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 York Moors Railway (NYMR) on August 27.

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

The Bishop of Wakefield, the Right Reverend Stephen Platten, held a rededication service for the train at Pickering Station on August 27.

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 on August 27 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."

Details on the Eric Treacy’s timetable and the NYMR can be found at www.nymr.co.uk.