New Spanish-built trains are being introduced by TransPennine Express and Northern

Rail travel

Getting around by train in Yorkshire


Yorkshire is well-connected by train services, easing visits across many parts of the region as well as making Yorkshire a great centre for exploring other parts of Britain.

Seven different operators run trains on the rail network in the region (see below), although a common ticketing system operates through National Rail, run by the Association of Train Operating Companies.

National Rail also runs a rail enquiry service and journey planning website covering all its companies' services. A link to this is provided at the foot of the page.

Some operators are now requiring travellers to have a seat reservation and a ticket specific to their service, reducing opportunity for travel flexibility.

Among Government measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus, is 'The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020',which is law that you must wear a face covering when travelling in England on public transport, except under specified circumstances.


Which are Yorkshire's busiest railway stations? See our Railway stations page.

Which places in Yorkshire will save time with HS2? See The HS2 Effect page.

The Yorkshire region also has a splendid selection of preserved and steam railways. These are not only great for those delighted by a bit of nostalgia, but can be quite useful transport for days out to some of the most scenic parts of Yorkshire which might otherwise lack regular public transport. For more details see our Heritage railways page.

Rail operators in Yorkshire

Cross Country

Britain's longest rail journeys from Plymouth to Aberdeen and Penzance to Glasgow cross Yorkshire together with services from Southampton to Newcastle.

Journeys cross Yorkshire via York - Leeds - Wakefield Westgate - Sheffield or via York - Doncaster - Sheffield.

The services provide trains northwards to Darlington, Durham and Newcastle on the way to Scotland and southwards through Derby, Birmingham and Bristol or Reading and Oxford.

Cross Country is part of Arriva - a subsidiary of German state-owned Deutsche Bahn.

Transport Focus National Rail Passenger Survey Spring 2020
Satisfaction scores:
Overall 85% (80%, 86%, 81%, 86%, 83%, 88%);
Value 53% (52%, 54%, 55%, 50%, 57%, 55%);
Punctuality/reliabilty 80% (77%, 86%, 76%, 83%, 81%, 86%);
Crowding 66% (58%, 63%, 62%, 67%, 62%, 72%);
Stations 89% (83%, 86%, 86%, 86%, 87%, 89%);
Delays 54% (48%, 54%, 48%, 46%, 51%, 62%).

Previous (Autumn 2019, Spring 2019, Autumn 2018, Spring 2018, Autumn 2017, Spring 2017) score in brackets.
Compared with average of last 5 surveys: Green - improved, White - about the same, Amber - slightly worse, Red - worse.

Some EMR trains continue to run in a rebadged livery of the previous franchise operator

East Midlands Railway

Regular services operate between Sheffield and London St Pancras via Chesterfield, Derby and Leicester. An early morning service and late evening return is extended to Leeds via Wakefield Westgate.

East Midlands Railway is part of Abellio - part of the Dutch state-owned railway company.
Abellio has been awarded the franchise until 2027.


(Before August 18, 2019 the franchise was operated by the Stagecoach Group as East Midlands Trains.)

Transport Focus National Rail Passenger Survey Spring 2020 (comparison with previous franchise operator)
Satisfaction scores:
Overall 83% (80%, 86%*, 84%*, 87%*, 85%*, 89%*);
Value 49% (49%, 50%*, 44%*, 50%*, 54%*, 51%*);
Punctuality/reliabilty 73% (73%, 82%*, 74%*, 82%*, 79%*, 88%*);
Crowding 73% (68%, 73%*, 70%*, 73%*, 71%*, 76%*);
Stations 86% (83%, 84%*, 85%*, 85%*, 88%*, 89%*);
Delays 49% (44%, 46%*, 47%*, 55%*, 53%*, 52%*).
* Results for service operated by Stagecoach Group as East Midlands Trains.
Previous (Autumn 2019, Spring 2019*, Autumn 2018*, Spring 2018*, Autumn 2017*, Spring 2017*) score in brackets.
Compared with average of last 5 surveys: Green - improved, White - about the same, Amber - slightly worse, Red - worse.


Grand Central


Two routes connect Yorkshire with London King's Cross. One route from West Yorkshire is Bradford Interchange - Low Moor - Halifax - Brighouse - Mirfield - Wakefield Kirkgate - Pontefract Monkhill - Doncaster to London. The other route is from Sunderland, Hartlepool and Eaglescliffe in the North East calling at Yorkshire stations Northallerton - Thirsk - York on the way to London.

Grand Central was Britain's highest-rated rail company for overall satisfaction with journey in the Spring 2020 Transport Focus National Rail Passenger Survey with a score of 95%.

Grand Central is part of Arriva - a subsidiary of German state-owned Deutsche Bahn.

Transport Focus National Rail Passenger Survey Spring 2020
Satisfaction scores:
Overall 95% (94%, 89%, 94%, 95%, 96%, 94%);
Value 74% (75%, 67%, 77%, 74%, 74%, 78%);
Punctuality/reliabilty 92% (90%, 82%, 91%, 89%, 93%, 96%);
Crowding 83% (79%, 76%, 80%, 82%, 93%, 88%);
Stations 86% (84%, 84%, 85%, 86%, 89%, 84%);
Delays ## (77%, 63%, 77%, 56%, 76%, 81%) .
## Insufficient data on dealing with delays.
Previous (Autumn2019, Spring 2019, Autumn 2018, Spring 2018, Autumn 2017, Spring 2017) score in brackets.
Compared with average of last 5 surveys: Green - improved, White - about the same, Amber - slightly worse, Red - worse.


Hull Trains

Several trains a day operate to London King's Cross on the Hull - Brough - Howden - Selby - Doncaster route in Yorkshire, continuing via Retford and Grantham on the East Coast Main Line. One journey a day each way is extended from Hull to Beverley in East Yorkshire.

Hull Trains is part of First Group, a public limited company based in Scotland.

Transport Focus National Rail Passenger Survey Spring 2020
Satisfaction scores:
Overall 92% (92%, 90%, 91%, 87%, 95%, 97%);
Value 61% (65%, 63%, 60%, 65%, 67%, 65%);
Punctuality/reliabilty 85% (85%, 84%, 84%, 82%, 87%, 95%);
Crowding 77% (79%, 75%, 82%, 77%, 85%, 89%);
Stations 88% (90%, 86%, 91%, 87%, 89%, 87%) ;
Delays 68% (66%, 69%, 59%, 61%, 72%, 67%).

Previous (Autumn 2019, Spring 2019, Autumn 2018, Spring 2018, Autumn 2017, Spring 2017) score in brackets.
Compared with average of last 5 surveys: Green - improved, White - about the same, Amber - slightly worse, Red - worse.

The first new Azuma train in passenger service at Leeds

London North Eastern Railway

London North Eastern Railway Ltd (LNER) took over services on the East Coast Main Line from Virgin Trains East Coast from June 24, 2018.

Regular services operate from Yorkshire to London King's Cross station via the East Coast Main Line. Yorkshire stations served by regular trains are Northallerton, York, Leeds, Wakefield Westgate and Doncaster.

There are also services from Hull, Brough , Selby, Harrogate, Skipton, Keighley, Bradford Foster Square and Shipley.

Heading south there are trains stopping at Retford, Newark North Gate, Grantham, Peterborough and Stevenage.

Heading north from Yorkshire there are regular services from Doncaster, York and Northallerton and a train from Leeds. Northern destinations include Darlington, Durham and Newcastle, and stations to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness.

London North Eastern Railway Ltd is a publicly-owned company set up by the UK Government's Department for Transport.

(Previous operator Virgin Trains East Coast was a Stagecoach Group and Virgin joint venture.)

Transport Focus National Rail Passenger Survey Spring 2020
Satisfaction scores:
Overall 91% (89%, 89%, 87%, 87%*, 92%*, 91%*);;
Value 59% (59%, 57%, 61%, 60%*, 63%*, 60%*); ;
Punctuality/reliabilty80% (83%, 80%, 79%, 78%*, 87%*, 86%*);;
Crowding 81% (79%, 80%, 77%, 80%*, 83%*, 81%*);
Stations 89% (88%, 88%, 91%, 86%*, 92%*, 90%*);
Delays 65% (59%, 55%, 52%, 61%*, 66%*, 63%*).
* Results for service operated by Virgin Trains East Coast.
Previous (Autumn2019, Spring 2019, Autumn 2018, Spring 2018*, Autumn 2017*, Spring 2017*) score in brackets.
Compared with average of last 5 surveys: Green - improved, White - about the same, Amber - slightly worse, Red - worse.


Northern

Northern operates regular local services stopping at all National Rail stations and halts across Yorkshire and the north of England.

Since March 1, 2020 Northern has been operated by Northern Trains Ltd, a company run by the UK Government's Department for Transport
(Before March 1, 2020 the franchise was operated by Arriva Rail North - a subsidiary of German state-owned Deutsche Bahn.)

Transport Focus National Rail Passenger Survey Spring 2020
Satisfaction scores:
Overall 77% (72%*, 78%*, 72%*, 80%*, 81%*, 83%*);
Value 52% (54%*, 55%*, 54%*, 57%*, 57%*, 57%*);
Punctuality/reliabilty 63% (65%*, 72%*, 65%*, 77%*, 77%*, 83%*);
Crowding 72% (70%*, 71%*, 69%*, 74%*, 71%*, 76%*);
Stations 73% (77%*, 79%*, 77%*, 80%*, 83%*, 84%*);;
Delays 30% (34%*, 40%*, 31%*, 41%*, 47%*, 42%*).
* Results for service operated by Arriva Rail North. Spring 2020 data covers period involving old and new operator.
Previous (Autumn 2019*, Spring 2019*, Autumn 2018*, Spring 2018*, Autumn 2017*, Spring 2017*) score in brackets.
Compared with average of last 5 surveys: Green - improved, White - about the same, Amber - slightly worse, Red - worse.

Transpennine Express

Regional express trains are operated regularly from Liverpool, Manchester Airport and Manchester stations across Yorkshire to the Yorkshire coast, North East England and North Lincolnshire.

Yorkshire stations served include Batley, Brough , Dewsbury, Doncaster, Dore & Totley, Garforth, Greenfield, Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds, Malton, Marsden, Meadowhall, Middlesbrough, Mirfield, Morley, Northallerton, Scarborough, Slaithwaite, Seamer, Selby, Sheffield, South Milford, Thirsk, Thornaby-on-Tees, Yarm and York.

Transpennine Express is operated by First Group, a public limited company based in Scotland.

Transport Focus National Rail Passenger Survey Spring 2020
Satisfaction scores
Overall 78% (79%, 83%, 73%, 86%, 81%, 86%);
Value 50% (55%, 55%, 48%, 57%, 57%, 60%);
Punctuality/reliabilty 56% (66%, 65%, 59%, 77%, 74%, 82%);
Crowding 68% (57%, 59%, 54%, 69%, 58%, 65%);
Stations 82% (84%, 84%, 82%, 85%, 86%, 88%);
Delays 38% (47%, 48%, 36%, 53%, 49%, 51%).

Previous (Autumn 2019, Spring 2019, Autumn 2018, Spring 2018, Autumn 2017, Spring 2017) score in brackets.
Compared with average of last 5 surveys: Green - improved, White - about the same, Amber - slightly worse, Red - worse.


Heritage railways

See our page dedicated to Heritage railways normally operated by steam or classic diesel locomotives, which are not part of the National Rail network.


More information

Further details of trains on the National Rail network can be found at its enquiry website:

National Rail   National Rail Enquiries and journey planner (external link).

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