Andy Burnham
Andy Burnham said his shadow cabinet would be 50% female and his shadow chancellor would be a womanGetty

One of the four contenders for the top Labour post, Andy Burnham has promised to re-nationalise the UK's railways "line-by-line" if he becomes the country's next prime minister.

The shadow health secretary has promised to end the "fragmentation and privatisation" of the railways, saying that he will review the current franchising system under which different rail routes are allocated on a competitive tender basis, and to allow public sector organisations to bid.

According to the BBC, a YouGov survey on May 2014 showed that the public supported the re-nationalisation of the railways by a margin of 60-20%.

Burnham's campaign manifesto, due to be unveiled on Thursday, will provide more details on this pledge.

In addition to a "policy of progressive re-nationalisation of our railways," Burnham is also seeking to further regulate the bus network. He plans to allow councils or elected mayors to have the same powers as the Mayor of London to set routes and ticket prices, the Mirror says.

"We need a new approach to our railways, one that puts passengers before profit. That's why I will work to bring the railways back under public control and public ownership," he will say in his manifesto, BBC said.

According to the Mirror, Burnham will promise to set up a National Rail governing body which will be accountable to the transport secretary. The body will make sure passengers are offered the cheapest ticket for every journey.

He is expected to highlight how the East Coast Main Line provided an efficient and profitable service while cutting fares at the same time when it was in public ownership.

He will also pledge to campaign for a high-speed rail route between the east and west of the country.

Burnham is fighting for the Labour leadership, together with Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall and latecomer and current favourite Jeremy Corbyn.

Ballot papers will be sent out on 14 August and the results will be announced on 12 September.

Burnham's manifesto will also see him setting out plans to reform social care, boost council housing and increase transport investment, the Mirror reports.