A Northern Way white paper has called for the UK's government to take a serious look at high-speed rail links with the north of the country.
The partnership between three regional development agencies, Yorkshire, Northwest and NorthEast, said faster links with the south are vital for the economic growth in the north.
Its March high-speed rail white paper claims high-speed rail connections between London and northern cities both sides of the Pennines could add £5bn to the north's economy.
Northern Way transport director John Jarvis said the partnership's work showed the economic regeneration and employment benefits had been overlooked.
"A high-speed rail network will transform the north's international competitiveness, lead to a more equitable spread of wealth across the country and contribute to carbon reduction as well," Jarvis said.
Nationally Northern Way says improved city-to-city and business-to-business links could inject £13bn into the economy.
The findings have been shared with Transport Secretary Lord Adonis, who is expected to unveil the government's high-speed rail white paper in March.