Rail travel

Getting around Yorkshire by train

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.

Eight different passenger train operators run on the rail network in Yorkshire (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.

Where do trains run in Yorkshire? See our interactive Rail map of Yorkshire.

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

Which places in Yorkshire might have saved time with HS2? Archived: 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 make a detour from their south-west to north-east path between Sheffield and York, usually going via Leeds, but a few trains going via Doncaster. Routes across Yorkshire are Sheffield - Wakefield Westgate - Leeds - York or via Sheffield - Doncaster - York.

The services do not call at North Yorkshire stations as they head northwards to Darlington, Durham, Newcastle and Scotland. Trains head south from Sheffield through Derby, Birmingham and Bristol towards Plymouth.

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

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.)

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.

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. Two weekday journeys a day each way, one at weekends and some bank holidays, are extended from Hull to Cottingham and Beverley in East Yorkshire.

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

The first new Azuma train in passenger service at Leeds

London North Eastern Railway

Latest LNER livery — close to the InterCity livery of the late 1980s when these trains were introduced 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.)


Lumo, launched on October 21, 2021, operates on the East Coast Main Line through Yorkshire on journeys between Edinburgh and London without stopping anywhere in Yorkshire.

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


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.)

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 , Castleford, Dewsbury, Doncaster, Dore & Totley, Garforth, Greenfield, Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds, Malton, Marsden, Meadowhall, Middlesbrough, Mirfield, Morley, Normanton, Northallerton, Scarborough, Slaithwaite, Seamer, Selby, Sheffield, South Milford, Thirsk, Thornaby-on-Tees, Wakefield Kirkgate, Yarm and York.

Transpennine Express is operated by First Group, a public limited company based in Scotland. After May 28, 2023 this will be taken over by TransPennine Trains Ltd, a company run by the UK Government's Department for Transport

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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