Opportunity for trainspotters as rare locomotive to pass through Peterborough this week

Trainspotters will be given the opportunity to see a rare locomotive as it passes through Peterborough this week.

By Ben Jones
Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 4:57 am
46233 Duchess of Sutherland. Photo: The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust.
46233 Duchess of Sutherland. Photo: The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust.

The 46233 Duchess of Sutherland will make its way from Norwich towards Worcester for the city’s Christmas Fayre on Thursday (December 2).

On its route, it will pass through March, Whittlesey and Peterborough, on the line under Town Bridge and close to the Weston Homes Stadium. It is expected in March at around 8:59am and Peterborough at 9:25am. On the return journey, it is expected into Peterborough at 8:42pm, before making its way to March for 9:10pm.

The engine was the fourth in its class built and entered service on July 18, 1938 and is part of the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Coronation Class of express passenger steam locomotives.

They were designed for power to provide express services between London and Glasgow; regularly reaching in excess of 100mph. They were also known as Coronation Class as the service between the two cities was introduced to mark the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

They were the most powerful class of express passenger locomotives ever to run on a British railway; with six driving wheels six feet nine inches in diameter, four cylinders and weighed 161 tons in total. Locomotives of this class could handle trains of up to sixteen coaches with ease and were capable of producing over 3,300 horsepower. They also held 4,000 gallons of water and ten tons of coal, enough to fire the boiler for the whole 401.5 mile journey from London to Glasgow.

In 1944, the locomotive was reallocated and worked across the UK, mostly in the north, until 1963 when she was put into store.

In 1964, she was brought by Barry Butlin after running over 1.6 million miles in service and saved from scrapping.

The train has now been restored to running order on the mainline by The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust and is one of just three remaining from the 38 built.