Harborough rail users
Improving the quality of Market Harborough's rail service
On 26th November, LMS Pacific 46233 Duchess of Sutherland came through Market Harborough on a special from Ealing Broadway to York and back. Hauling a long train of maroon-liveried and Pullman coaches, she made a fine sight – despite being piloted by a diesel locomotive.
The return run came through at 20:35. By this time, darkness shrouded the train as it stormed though the station, taking a run at the gradient up Desborough bank. The clouds of white steam reflected the glow of the engine’s fire, giving the illusion of flames leaping and dancing above the cab. Rather atmospheric!
Tragically, a strike by ASLEF meant that EMR were running no services at all that day (apart from the 00:39 to Derby, which was really the previous evening’s train.) This special was therefore the only passenger train through Market Harborough on 26th November. In turn, this meant that all passenger trains though our station that day were the steam hauled*; the first time this has happened since 1957!
* Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and ignore the supporting diesel locomotive!
LMS Pacific 46233 Duchess of Sutherland hustles a long train through Market Harborough a few minutes late at 09:17 on a special from Ealing Broadway to York on Saturday 26th November.
Picture: Steve Jones
Market Harborough station was experiencing untypically wintry weather on Saturday 27th November when LMS Pacific No 6233 Duchess of Sutherland came through. She was hauling The Yuletide Express from Ealing Broadway to York on what turned out to be a stormy day. The return run through Market Harborough was slightly delayed, but it was good to see the engine in darkness, working hard to recover lost time.
No, not a member of the peerage; rather, the LMS Princess Coronation class locomotive of that name, no. 6233, built in 1938. She is now preserved in main-line operating condition and is a regular performer on railtours, such as between Ealing and York via Kettering and the famous Harringworth viaduct. However, on Saturday 21st December 2019, she became the first steam locomotive to travel through the realigned track and platforms at Market Harborough, passing through on time at 12:39. She was on her way from her base at Southall, West London, to the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley, Derbyshire, hauling only her two support coaches. Nonetheless, she made a fine sight as she passed through at speed, exchanging greetings with the HST - another main-line classic - that was forming the slightly delayed 12:26 to St Pancras on the opposite platform. (Photo: Bill Jones)