Vanity rail projects take funding away from existing railways
Railways in the north of England have a high cost base, and a low user base. They tend not to provide satisfactory connectivity. But PR-led initiatives like replacing ‘Pacer’ trains are unlikely to change the fundamentals.
The scale of change required is much greater, but government does not seem to have a plan, or funding, in place. ‘Transport for the North’ seems to be away with the fairies.