Dean of Durham is loco about train tribute

The Durham Cathederal Choir entertains travellers over the tannoy.
The Durham Cathederal Choir entertains travellers over the tannoy.
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Durham Cathedral is taking to the rails.

Virgin Trains today has unveiled a locomotive specially designed to celebrate the Cathedral and mark the retirement of Dean of Durham, The Very Revered Michael Sadgrove.

Throughout my time here as Dean of Durham, I have travelled along this stretch of railway line and, along with so many others, marvelled at the breathtaking view the stretch into Durham affords of the Cathedral.

Dean of Durham, The Very Revered Michael Sadgrove.

Locomotive 91114 features a ‘Durham Cathedral’ name plate and has been given an extensive design-makeover to include a silhouette of the historic building, St Cuthbert’s Cross and other details from the cathedral’s architecture.

The cab also features the name ‘The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, Dean of Durham” along with the dates of his service to mark his retirement.

Mr Sadgrove welcomed the train as it arrived at Durham station before joining the service to Newcastle, where the train was officially blessed.

Durham Cathedral Choristers sang to customers between the two stations over the train’s public address system, which the Dean also used to deliver a short message to passengers.

Mi“It is truly an honour to have a train named after Durham Cathedral and I am humbled to see my name on the cabin of the locomotive too,” he said.

“Throughout my time here as Dean of Durham, I have travelled along this stretch of railway line and, along with so many others, marvelled at the breathtaking view the stretch into Durham affords of the Cathedral.

“For so many, that view is a symbol of ‘coming home’, a feeling that we have been privileged to share for the last 12 years, and it will remain a special view to us forever.”

Virgin Trains managing director David Horne said: “We’re honoured The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove is launching and blessing our newly designed ‘Durham Cathedral’ locomotive as his final official engagement as the Dean of Durham.

“We’ve worked closely with the Cathedral community to create this design and I’m confident our customers like it when it’s out and about on our route, promoting this amazing city to the rest of the UK.”