A visit from a Duchess

Sunday 14th October 2001

Recently restored to main line condition, Stanier 8P Princess Coronation class 6233 Duchess of Sutherland blows off surrounded by admirers having arrived six minutes early at Llandudno Junction from Crewe. The sprinters in the sidings are contemptuously ignored.

The 13 coach train comprised vehicles 99041 (support coach in blood and custard livery), 5040, 4927, W5009,1863, W21272, 3098,W3140, 3112, 1692 (buffet), W3122, W6310 (all in GWR chocolate and cream), 6320 (directors saloon in royal blue).

Fares from Crewe ranged from £52.50 for standard class to £225 (including food and drinks) for those wishing to lord it in the directors saloon. For the benefit of local enthusiasts, the organisers offered spare standard class seats from Llandudno Junction for a very reasonable £20, though this wasn't well publicised. We had to enquire at the sales stand from where we were directed to a man on the train. Clutching our boarding passes, we waited patiently for departure time of 13:31, ten minutes after the Virgin HST forming 1D87, but since it was late we left 16 minutes down at 13:47.

As you can see, the weather wasn't wonderful!

Steam to Holyhead