West Yorkshire business leaders joined representatives from train operator East Coast at Leeds station to unveil a special tribute to the region’s business and leisure travellers.
The group, which included members of Leeds, York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, was joined by local entrepreneur Leon Doyle – star of TV’s The Apprentice – to name a train ‘West Riding Limited’ in recognition of the region’s role as a key hub for services to London.
Inspired by the first steam train to operate from Bradford to London King’s Cross – known by the same name, which launched in 1937 - the train proudly displays an authentic replica of the original LNER cast iron blue and white nameplate with lettering in the iconic Gill Sans font*.
East Coast Managing Director Karen Boswell said: “Since launching our new timetable earlier this year 65 services now run between Leeds and London each day, making it by far our most popular route, whilst other key stations in the region – Bradford and Wakefield – form part of a daily early morning superfast service to King’s Cross.
“Therefore, it was appropriate to pay homage to the people who regularly use our services and make it such a successful route. ‘West Riding Limited’ represents the geographical area associated with the name and, in the literal sense, it is indeed limited to people travelling from the region, as it travels non-stop from the West Riding to London.
“It is our fastest – and our most prestigious – service from the West Riding to the capital.”
The attending dignitaries experienced the train’s first journey under its new guise as it left Leeds station at 0700 before arriving into London King’s Cross at 0859, representing a superfast service which is repeated each weekday at the same time.
President of Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Nigel Foster added: “We were all delighted to be invited to join East Coast at the dedication ceremony and forward journey down to London – it is a service that many business people in the region use successfully on a regular basis.
“It was also a timely gesture as the Chamber of Commerce was travelling to Westminster to lobby the Government to put a case forward for the Leeds City Region to be chosen as the location for the Green Investment Bank.”
This latest train naming represents the next stage in the re-introduction of a policy of train naming by East Coast. It is in response to substantial public demand and since March, East Coast has named three other locomotives: a rebranded Flying Scotsman, the Sir Bobby Robson and the Lincolnshire Echo.
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