Derby expected to host Great British Railways HQ

Derby is expected to be named as the new headquarters of Britain’s railways, it has been reported.

The East Midlands city will be confirmed as the home of new public sector body Great British Railways (GBR), according to the Guardian newspaper.

Derby is understood to have fought off competition from other shortlisted locations including Birmingham, Crewe, Doncaster, Newcastle and York.

Among the selection criteria were alignment to levelling-up, transport connections, railway heritage and value for money.

A CrossCountry train at Derby station
Derby is expected to be named as the new headquarters of Britain’s railways, it has been reported (MediaWorldImages/Alamy Stock Photo/PA)

Derby is already home to the UK’s largest train factory – owned by Alstom – where around 2,000 people are employed.

The headquarters will host high-skilled jobs and provide a strategic direction to GBR.

The Department for Transport (DfT), which will announce the decision shortly, said it does not comment on speculation.

It is hoped GBR will simplify the rail network and improve services for passengers by absorbing the state-owned infrastructure management company Network Rail and taking on many functions from the Department for Transport.

The body’s tasks will including issuing passenger service contracts to private companies to run trains.

It was due to be launched in early 2024 but that timetable has been scrapped.

Then-transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan told MPs in October last year that the Government axed its plan to introduce a Transport Bill during the current parliamentary session because legislation to deal with the energy crisis was being prioritised.

Derby’s bid to host the headquarters named a potential location as the former site of the Railway Technical Centre in the south-east of the city, which has been developed into a business park.

The region has been hit by the delayed Midland Mainline electrification project and the decision to axe a planned HS2 station at Toton.