It was uncertain whether this train would run, since Stanier Pacific No 46233 Duchess of Sutherland did not successfully complete her 'loco and coach' test run until 48 hours before. But all the hard work of the PRCLT team in completing her prompt overhaul bore fruit when she appeared in the sunshine at Derby, resplendent in her magnificent coat of Brunswick green, the people's choice.
She got away smartly, reaching the early sixties both sides of Burton on Trent before taking the freight line through Alrewas to the WCML at Lichfield. Then she stormed away, reaching 67 at Rugeley before slowing for Colwich. We then dawdled through Stafford but reached 61 at Stableford and again after Madeley but signals were against us down the bank to Crewe.
The assessment there must have been favourable as we stormed back up the bank, with a maximum of 48 before easing back a little through Madeley. Then we sprinted down the bank, reaching 74 at Millmeece and continuing in the 70s till after Norton Bridge, when we once again shambled slowly through Stafford. After Colwich we had another good spell in the early 60s before slowing for the turnoff at Lichfield. A final rush through Burton saw us eat several miles at over 60, only slowing as we approached Pear Tree, whence we crept back into Derby.
The verdict seemed to be that that the loco had perfoirmed just as well as she looked, promising a wonderful summer ahead. The PRCLT team are to be congratulated on their excellent efforts, apart from selling a placard saying 'Keep calm - she'll soon be back in maroon.' I would happily buy one saying 'Keep calm - she'll stay in green for ever!'
Categories & Keywords
Keywords:46233, Duchess of Sutherland, pacific, staem