11th May 2002
The Scarborough Coronation
|Locos Used||6233 "Duchess of Sutherland"|
|6233||Leicester - Loughborough - Toton - Alfreton - Chesterfield - Tapton Jn - Beighton Jn - Masborough Jn - Swinton - Hare Park Jn - Castleford - Milford Jn - Church Fenton - York - Malton - Scarborough|
|6233||Scarborough - (reverse of outward route?) - Leicester|
(1) Route confirmation required.
Source : Mark Honey
(on the train throughout)
(by Mark Honey)
After Duchess of Sutherland's minor problem on the run over Shap a few weeks ago, this gave 6233 a chance to recover her dignity with a 300+ round trip from Leicester to Scarborough an back. Run by the tour division of the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust, it offered steam throughout -and no Red Duffs!
Kick off was at 07.35 which meant getting up at 6.00 (having got to bed at 02.45 -don't ask) and so was feeling slightly fragile as the four of us drove to Leicester.
The stock was already in, the West Coast Railway set of maroon (in places) Mk1's, having been brought in by 31106 and 128. The 31's quickly departed for Derby and we watched 6233 back on with the support coach, making load 12 in all. While this was going on, the good value £4.95 breakfast was being consumed on board, to settle things down for your intrepid tour do-er! This proved to be a good move as this service was oversubscribed all day. Why can't others do this? We then found our seats -right in the front coach, so the acoustics would be good!
We got away well and cruised at just over 70 to Loughborough, the Duchess proving that she is a good strong engine. We picked up at Loughborough and ground to a halt at Trent East Junction for reason that we could see. This turned out to be an 60-hauled MGR that had crossed in front of us to get into Ratcliffe Power Station.
We were now nearly 10 late as we turned off through Toton and on towards Trowell Junction and out last pick up point, Alfreton (what happened to the '& Mansfield Parkway' bit?). The timings were slack, so we were back on time by now. We got past Clay Cross and had to crawl along the freight lines past Chesterfield because of a dodgy bridge (required actually!) and off up the 'Old Road' as Tapton. We were booked a water stop at Barrow Hill North Junction for water, and arrived on time. We let a 66-hauled Freightliner get by first and got away 20 minutes early.
There wasn't much point to this as we staggered and crawled past Masborough, Aldwarke Junction and Swinton which put us back to right time by Hare Park Junction. En route we passed our second pair of Fragonset 31's on a tour in the opposite direction. They looked liked 452 & 468. We then picked our way through to Castleford and into Milford Sidings, were amongst all the coal wagons, 66248 sat ticking over. This was our second watering stop and we were now about 5 minutes down. This water stop proved more difficult, as 6233 was uncoupled and run parallel to us to water in the loop.
Away at 12.00 we lost further time through Church Fenton and arrived at York 10 minutes late. A quick stop and a crawl to Malton followed. The number of slacks and crawls built up to give us a 20 minute late arrival at Scarborough. Already in run round loop was a set of Anglia stock and in the bay 67004 which had brought the tour in.
It didn't make much difference being late as we had nearly four hours in the town. Nunerous beers, ice cream and fish and chips plus a walk along the beach took all of our time and we arrived back to watch the Anglia set depart.
At 5 to 5, the Duchess reversed the stock in and we were away on time. The route back as a copy of the outbound run, and York was passed on time. This was achieved all the way to Milford where we watered again, and on to Barrow Hill where the same job was undertaken. It was starting to get dark as we left at 21.05, 15 early, which was to cost us as we waited at Tapton Junction for the road.
After crawling over that dodgy bridge again and waiting for the Erewash road at Clay Cross, we lost time to Alfreton, though nobody seemed to care much! The pyrotechnics were fantastic as we stormed away through Toton and over Trent Junction and arrived at Loughborough. A good getaway saw a rousing finish to Leicester where we arrived about 10 minutes late at 22.55.
A good day overall and proof that 6233 is more than fit to pull the Royal
Train along the North Wales Coast in the next few weeks.
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