Alan Shearer helped East Coast name a train the ‘Blaydon Races’ to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the song.
The former Newcastle striker was joined by 1962 ‘Queen of the Blaydon Races’ Sheila Dodds to unveil a plaque on the locomotive.
Descendants of the song’s writer and local dignitaries were also present to see the naming of the electric train, number 91115.
East Coast managing director Karen Boswell said: “Train naming for me is all about bringing a sense of community together with the wonderful romance and nostalgia of the railway.”
Trevor Cox from local band The Longsands played a rendition of the song on the platform after the unveiling.
The lyrics recall a journey to a famous horse race held from 1861 in Blaydon.
The train naming is one of the highlights of a series of events to mark the anniversary of the song, which was first performed to a large audience by its writer, the noted concert hall song writer and performer George ‘Geordie’ Ridley, in 1862.
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