Cheshire and Warrington Economic Alliance, the area's development agency, has applied to create a National Skills Academy for Rail in Crewe.
An Expression of Interest has been submitted in response to the Government's publication of the prospectus for the fourth round of the National Skills Academy Network.
Amongst the employers behind the idea in Crewe is music producer and railway enthusiast Pete Waterman, who owns several railway businesses including Crewe-based LNWR.
The plans are also supported by the North West Development Agency, the North West Learning and Skills Council, Cheshire County Council and Crewe & Nantwich Borough Council.
The initiative is also supported by Network Rail, Virgin Trains, University of Chester and Manchester Metropolitan University Cheshire.
Martin Lee, chief executive of CWEA, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity which has the potential to bring real benefits to the rail industry nationally, and major economic benefits to the North West and Crewe in particular. There has been a lot of coverage in the press recently about "the old railway town of Crewe" – this is an opportunity for us to look ahead and plan for a new and exciting future for the rail industry in Crewe."