Carnforth Town Council

Vote to make Carnforth the first National Head Quarters of Great British Railways


Vote to Make Carnforth the first National Head Quarters of Great British Railways

Great British Railways national headquarters is to be based outside of London to ensure that skilled jobs and economic benefits are focused beyond the capital.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced in October a competition to provide the national home for Great British Railways (GBR), bringing jobs and investment outside of London.

Lancaster Civic Vision welcomes the announcement by David Morris MP that he has been in contact with Grant Shapps to secure the Great British Railways National HQ for Carnforth.

The competition will recognise towns and cities with a rich railway history that are strongly linked to the network ensuring the first headquarters will take pride of place at the heart of a new era for Britain’s railways.

Clip from the 1945 film Brief Encounter starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard – photo Carnforth Heritage Centre

The Lancaster, Morecambe and Carnforth areas have a long history as a major central hub for railways during the 19th and 20th centuries due to its role as an important trading port and its strategic position on the western route between England and Scotland.

Carnforth is already an established award-winning Heritage Centre and known worldwide for its linking with the Harry Potter and Brief Encounter films, as well as being the home of West Coast Railways the UKs leading specialist train operator whose excursions are regularly featured on the television programme Greatest Railway Journeys in the World.

The Dalesman steaming over the Ribblehead Viaduct – photo courtesy West Coast Railways

Lancaster Civic Vision has contacted the City Council about this opportunity. We believe that there is an extremely strong case for this investment being made at Carnforth including the contribution that this would make to the Levelling Up agenda, a strategic position close to the M6 as well as it being a natural complement to the forthcoming Eden Project North scheduled for a 2024 opening.

We further believe that the potential for high quality jobs the investment would bring would have significant economic benefits for Carnforth and the whole Lancaster District.

Great British Railways have asked for submissions from local authorities from across the country and will short list a number of locations. They will then host a non-binding, online vote which will give the public the opportunity to support and vote for their preferred location from the shortlist. The result of this vote will be used to measure the level of public support for each location and will be considered as part of final decision making.

In anticipation of a formal expression of interest being submitted, and in support of the efforts of David Morris MP to secure this investment, Lancaster Civic Vision are launching a campaign to identify the strength locally for the case of Carnforth.

We therefore urge all those who are in favour of the Council supporting David Morris MP efforts by submitting an expression of interest to The Transport Secretary to establish Carnforth as the new National Head Quarters of Great British Rail to visit our page at british-railways/ to register your vote now.

We need to act quickly as the closing date for applications is 16th March 2022. Lancaster Civic Vision 20th February 2022


Lancaster Civic Vision is the operating name of Lancaster Civic Society – Registered Charity No 258434

Lancaster Civic Society was founded in 1967 and in the over fifty years since that time has overseen the preservation of the heritage of the Lancaster and Morecambe district, its outstanding natural beauty, whilst assisting in its future development.

The Society is the principal non-partisan organisation in the Lancaster and Morecambe District representing all views and outlooks.

Officers of the Society are available if required to discuss or be interviewed about this press release, or about the Society and its work in the Lancaster City district.

Please contact in the first instance:

David Morgan – Hon Treasurer & Membership Secretary Email –

Tel – 07877 346450

Web –

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