New trains set to be introduced on the East Coast Mainline by operator LNER will come on stream between Leeds and London first, its managing director has said.
The new Azuma trains will be introduced on the Yorkshire route before elsewhere on the network, David Horne told the Great Northern Conference.
He also announced that direct services between Harrogate and the capital will come into force from December while direct routes to Bradford will follow in the New Year.
Mr Horne was talking up short-term improvements in the North during a session on connectivity at the conference in Leeds.
The sessions also heard from Sir Peter Hendy, chairman of Network Rail, who apologised profusely for the fiasco seen on the rail network in the North last summer.
Sir Peter told delegates that much of railway network outside of East and West Coast mainlines was built for the transportation of coal and iron.
He added that short-term help is on the way with better trains and increased capacity.
Elsewhere Lorna Pimlott, director of sponsorship and policy at HS2, said that it was incumbent on businesses to back HS2 and that the debate between Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 was not a valid one.
Ms Pimlott said: “HS2 is working hand in glove with TfN. HS2 it is an economic project, not a transport project.”
Jonathan Spruce, strategic director of TfN said that there was no divide between HS2 and NPR saying “We all need to back it so we can all benefit from it.
“We need both. And don’t let the naysayers say we cannot afford it, we can.”
The session heard from Robert Hough, chairman of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, who said that he was disappointed that TfN did not have the budget and powers of its London counterpart.