The new managing director will oversee the planning, investment and delivery of billions pounds of planned enhancements across the North in the coming years.
However, Network Rail has stopped short of creating a ‘Route for the North’ as suggested by former HS1 boss and National Grid chief executive Ms Shaw in her review of Network Rail’s future structure and financing.
Currently, Network Rail is split into seven routes across England and Wales as well as another route in Scotland.
Its London North-west route stretches from London to Scotland via the East Midlands, while the London North-east route covers London to the Scottish border via Newcastle.
In her report, which was published in March, Ms Shaw said it was important that the routes “represented the right geographies” and proposed merging the northern sections of Network Rail’s LNE and LNW routes to form a new single ‘Route for the North’.
Ms Shaw said this would align the North’s political and economic geography and support the newly created body, Transport for the North.
But Network Rail said merging both routes would cause significant disruption and cost too much to implement.
Instead it has proposed that both LNW and LNE operate as they do now, with a Northern route MD overseeing the planning and delivery of enhancements across region.
Under plans for further devolution, Network Rail will also create a number of new roles for each of its routes across the UK.
These include: a chief operating officer and a head of maintenance across the seven routes in England and Wales; new route project sponsorship directors to oversee the specification and management of enhancements; and new business development managers to secure third-party funding for rail improvements.
Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: “We are appointing a ‘railway upgrade tsar for the North’.
“This new role will ensure a clear focus on future rail expansion, modernisation and investment across the whole of the Northern Powerhouse.
“Better railways are a great driver for delivering more jobs, housing and economic growth.”
Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “Passengers are set to benefit from huge levels of investment in our railway across the North. I welcome the focus that Network Rail is bringing to future investment in the North.”