Princess Coronation Pacific no 46233 Duchess of Sutherland is in steam while the boiler of 46100 Royal Scot stands ignominiously alongside D1842
50 years ago it would have been unthinkable to pass through Crewe, the heart of the LMS, without seeing a "Semi" (as we used to call them - I now know why they had that nickname by the way) and a "Scot" or even several of them. Now it's a rare event - for me at least. Heading south from Preston on Sunday afternoon I had my camera ready to catch a shot as the Voyager slowed towards the station.
I'd seen 46233 in steam on my way north in the morning and mentioned this to a chap who was sitting with Bob Gregson on his book signing stand at Preston Riverside. His doubting response suggested it may have been cooling down from its last exploit until I read this on Railway Herald ...
"RH has been advised that A4 No. 60009 Union of South Africa failed its fitness to run exam prior to its booked turn on todays 'North Wales Coast Express' from Liverpool Lime Street to Holyhead.
The train has been diesel-hauled on the outward leg, and No. 46233 Duchess of Sutherland was expected to work to Holyhead during the day to haul the return leg as far as Chester, in order to ensure that the passengers get to enjoy some steam mileage. However, the train ended up being diesel-hauled in both directions reportedly due to a Network Rail timing issue. The full details are awaited.
The Duchess would have had to come off the train at Chester, as it cannot operate on the 'North Wales Coast Express's booked route back to Liverpool through Helsby and Frodsham because of a gauging issue with a bridge in that area.
So I was correct it was gently building pressure on Sunday morning. Unless somebody knows different.
What does the future hold for 46100 Royal Scot? Its beginning to look like it will never be put back together again - Politics!