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Duchess of Sutherland

Prototype Locomotive Details



Number: 6233 (In British Railways days 46233)

Class of Locomotive: Princess Coronation Class

Type: 4 Cylinder Pacific

Valve gear: Walschaerts

Tractive Effort: 40,000 lbs (at 85%) boiler pressure

Braking system: Air brakes (was vacuum but this was changed at the recent overhaul)


Built: 1938 at Crewe Works

Locomotive Weight: 161 tons 12 cwts

Length: 73 ft 10 inches

Height: 13ft 1 inch

Coal Capacity in the tender: 10 tons

Water Capacity: 5000 gallons in the tender and 2100 in the boiler

Boiler pressure: 250 lbs per sq. inch 


The locomotive burns up to 1 ton of coal every 40 miles run, evaporates about 45 gallons of water per mile. As much as two tons of coal will be burning at once when the locomotive is working hard on a heavy train.  The locomotive's maximum speed is 75 m.p.h. today although in service days this was a high as 100 miles per hour.  The "Duchess" class represented something close to the summit of British locomotive engineering.  They were fast runners as well as strong pullers.


Additional information on the prototype is available from ...






Princess Coronation Class Locomotive No 6233 Duchess of Sutherland was built in Crewe Locomotive Works by the London Midland & Scottish Railway Co. Ltd. and entered service in July 1938. She was one of only five locomotives to be built as non-streamlined in the early production batches. For the first six years of her service life she was allocated to Camden depot in London from where she worked the principal trains from Euston on the West Coast main line. In 1944 she was transferred to Crewe North depot and between 1944 and 1960 alternated between the three depots of Carlisle Upperby, Crewe North, and Camden. Her final home depot was Liverpool Edge Hill where she spent her last service days until being withdrawn from traffic in October 1963. In 1964 Sir Billy Butlin bought her for static display at his Ayr Holiday Camp and after that she moved to Bressingham Railway Museum, Norfolk.  


The locomotive was offered to The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust and was promptly bought in February 1996. 6233 was moved by road to West Shed, headquarters of the Trust in Derbyshire. The Trust applied for and was awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant of 342,508. This, together with a contribution from the trust itself, allowed the locomotive to become part of the Trust's collection and for her to be restored to full main line working order. The overhaul commenced in October 1998 and was completed Spring 2001.  In excess of 500,000 was spent with major boiler work consuming a large proportion of this. The locomotive will see mainline work until 2007.


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