Grand Central Railway names train after famous Yorkshire vet James Herriot

Grand Central Railway Names Train After Famous Yorkshire Vet ‘James Herriot’

Grand Central Railway today named one of its recently acquired Class 180 trains after the world famous vet - ‘James Herriot’ at London’s Kings Cross Station.

Grand Central has strong connections with Herriot Country as the Sunderland born vet lived and practised in the villages and farms around Thirsk. Both Sunderland and Thirsk are served by Grand Central’s high speed rail services.

The special train, number 180112, was officially named by Jim Wight and Rosie Page, son and daughter of Alf Wight, the vet and author who created James Herriot.  The naming also builds on the partnership between Grand Central Railway and the World of James Herriot and the Herriot Country Attractions Group who bring many thousands of visitors into the beautiful parts of Yorkshire around Thirsk.

Tom Clift, Managing Director of Grand Central said “We are delighted to be able to name the latest addition to our fleet after James Herriot and to jointly promote some of the attractions along our route. This newly named train will shortly start running additional services on our route linking the Durham Coast, North Yorkshire and London, increasing the frequency of Grand Central services and also opening up a lot more opportunities for both business and leisure rail travellers.”

Ian Ashton, Chairman of the Herriot Country Attractions Group said “We are very excited that Grand Central has agreed to honour one of our most famous sons. It gives the group tremendous support and we hope the friendly, family image it portrays to the public, coupled with the name James Herriot, will bring many more people into Yorkshire to visit our beautiful county and all its attractions.”

180112 is the first of the Grand Central Fleet to be released from Railcare in the new external livery. Work continues on the engineering approval required for installation of all internal modifications including provision of Wi-Fi and at-Seat Sockets. The first unit to be fully refreshed is expected to be 180114 at the end of September 2009.

Grand Central runs high speed express trains between Sunderland, Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk, York and London.

In August Grand Central will begin operating an additional two services between Sunderland and London increasing both service frequency and the  range of additional journey opportunities available to our customers. Details of the precise start date will be made available soon on this website.

Timings for the additional services (Monday to Saturday) are:

  • Depart: Sunderland 09:18, Hartlepool 09:42, Eaglescliffe 10:01, Northallerton 10:19, Thirsk 10:28, York 10:52 and arrive London Kings Cross 12:50.
  • Depart London Kings Cross 19:18, York 21:21, Thirsk 21:39, Northallerton 21:50, Eaglescliffe 22:10, Hartlepool 22:29 and arrive Sunderland 2254.

Grand Central operates a fleet of High Speed Trains between London, Yorkshire and the North East. In March of this year Grand Central signed a lease with Angel Trains for two Class 180 trains to cater for new services commencing in August.

Negotiations are underway with Angel Trains (who own the Class 180 fleet) for Grand Central to lease a further three trains for next year’s “West Riding” expansion of routes to link Bradford, Halifax, Brighouse, Wakefield, Pontefract and Doncaster with London.