Richard III: Locomotive to be renamed in honour of discovery
Railway enthusiasts are on track with plans to rename a locomotive in honour of Richard III.
Bosses at the Great Central Railway (GCR), in Loughborough, are to temporarily transform the King Edward II 6023 into the King Richard III 6015.
Bill Ford, managing director of the attraction, said the idea was to pay tribute to Richard III, whose remains were discovered in a car park in the city centre in August.
He said: "It was something we came up with as a committee and thought it appropriate.
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"The locomotive, which is fondly known in railway circles as The Blue King, is a regal-looking machine and fit to be named after another monarch."
The locomotive is to be renamed on March 11, with specially-manufactured name plates made by John Cowlishaw, from Lincoln.
Mr Ford said the GCR planned to use the locomotive that week to transport passengers along its line from Loughborough to Leicester North, at Birstall.
He said the railway has been granted permission to rename the loco by the owners, Great Western Society at Didcot.
The Great Western Society rescued the locomotive from the scrap heap and lovingly restored it.
Mr Ford said: "The society could have chosen to get work done elsewhere, but they sent it to us for essential boiler work.
"They entrusted us with their locomotive and we had it for three or months during the works.
"We have a good relationship with them, so thought we might just ask if we could borrow their loco and even rename it after the king who was found in Leicester.
"We used the King Edward IIas the star attraction at our gala in January so we already knew a lot about the loco.
"We hope to run it as King Richard III from next week."
Philippa Langley, spokesperson for the Richard III Society, said she was delighted to hear of the re-naming.
She said: "It is a lovely thing for the GCR to do.
"Once again, it just shows the affection with which Richard III is held locally. It sounds wonderful to be able to travel along in such a lovely locomotive bearing such a regal name.
"I might try to get along so myself and my two sons could enjoy a ride on King Richard III."
GCR marketing manager Kate Tilley said the company would be looking to host a medieval or Plantagenet weekend in April using the Richard III theme and possibly a medieval banquet dining theme.
Anyone wanting more information about rides on the King Richard III or the weekend should call the booking office on 01509 632323 or visit: