A MEMORIAL engine named after a former bishop and railway fan has carried 70 vicars across the North York Moors after a £600,000 refit.

The Eric Treacy is named after a former Bishop of Wakefield and it began hauling passengers along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) yesterday.

The Right Reverend Treacy was a keen photographer and his 12,000 images of railways are on show in the National Railway Museum, in York.

The retired vicar died of a heart attack at Appleby Station, Cumbria, on May 13, 1978, as he waited to take a picture of a train.

To allow he Eric Treacy to run, it has undergone an 11-year £600,000 overhaul by volunteers on the NYMR.

The present-day Bishop of Wakefield, the Right Reverend Stephen Platten, held a rededication service for the engine at Pickering Station yesterday. He was joined by Right Reverend Dr David Hope, former Archbishop of York, and Stephen Sorby, of the National Railway Chaplaincy.

To mark the special occasion the NYMR offered clergy a free ride on the Eric Treacy yesterday, from Pickering.

Phil Bustard, railway spokesman, said: “We had about 70 members of the clergy on the train who travelled along the line.

“It’s gone fantastically well and we’re delighted with the day.

With the Eric Treacy’s background it was good to involve the clergy.”

For details on the engine’s timetable, go to nymr.co.uk