East Coast Mainline operator LNER is to launch a new named train on May 6, to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III.

The Carolean Express will operate between London and Edinburgh, departing Kings Cross at 1100 – the time the Coronation takes place at Westminster Abbey.

In truth there is already an 1100 London-Edinburgh train but, so far, it it carries no name. The service arrives into Edinburgh Waverley at 1527.

The Carolean era refers to the reign of Charles II between 1660–1685, and has returned to use with the accession of King Charles III.

Says David Horne, MD of LNER, “We’re delighted to be continuing the tradition of royal recognition through our fleet of Azuma trains with the introduction of the Carolean Express.”

Previously LNER has operated other named trains with royal connections:

  • The Coronation in July 1937 to mark the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth
  • The Silver Jubilee in 1935, the year of King George V’s Silver Jubilee
  • The Elizabethan in 1953 to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth

Rail fans however will remain disappointed that the 1000 departure from Kings Cross to Edinburgh still does not bear one of UK rail’s most famous names: The Flying Scotsman.

For some reason only the 0540 Edinburgh-London train bears that name (in one direction only) yet in days gone by it was the 1000 departures (from London and Edinburgh) which were named Flying Scotsman.

Rail author Matthew Woodward tweeted, “Trains with names are so much more interesting and even exciting to passengers.”

In other news LNER says that passenger numbers have returned to almost pre-pandemic levels.

On the London-Edinburgh route this has, in fairness, been helped by the problems on the West Coast Mainline both in terms of Avanti West Coast, engineering works and so on.