Grand old lady of the railways steamed through the South Hams

By Ginny Ware   |   Totnes Reporter   |
Saturday 7th May 2022 4:00 pm
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The Duchess of Sutherland climbing Rattery Bank near Totnes (Colin Wallace )

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A steam train built before World War Two passed through Totnes last week as part of a ‘tour’ from London to all corners of the country.

The beautiful and historic Duchess of Sutherland powered through the South Hams to the delight of train buffs who waited by stations to see it steam by.

The 84-year-old preserved ex-London Midland Scottish Railway (LMS) Coronation Class locomotive, numbered 6233, hauled the Cardiff to Penzance leg of the Great Britain XIV steam charter tour of the country, which started out from London on Friday April 22 and visited York, the remote West Highland outposts of Fort William and Mallaig before returning south.

A variety of steam locomotives were used along the route.

Designed for the LMS by William Stanier, the Duchess of Sutherland was built at Crewe in 1938 for hauling crack express trains like the Royal Scot.

Withdrawn by British Railways in 1964 she spent some years displayed at a Butlins holiday camp in Scotland before being restored to operation in 2001.

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