GRAND Central Railway has 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 - which runs services between London and the North-East - has strong connections with Herriot Country as the vet, who was born in the Roker area of Sunderland lived and practiced in the villages and farms around Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

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 author who created James Herriot. 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."

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said "The James Herriot train is a great way of getting the message of Yorkshire out across the UK. James Herriot is certainly one of Yorkshire's famous names, and I'm pleased that Grand Central have chosen to honour him in this way."