Latest news on steam locomotive No.6233 Duchess of Sutherland

46233 Duchess of Sutherland
Credit: RailView

West Shed has announced that steam locomotive No.6233 ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ is nearly ready to return to action after repairs have been taken out.

The locomotive will be rolled out in LMS Crimson Lake on Sunday 9th September 2018 at 11 am at the Midland Railway – Butterley. After the official launch and unveiling, the plan is for the locomotive to be running on the Midland Railway line along with Royal Saloon 45000 and No.1 Dynamometer Car for a special run.

The plans for the Roll Out Day are still being finalised, but there is likely to be a charge for people to see the Duchess outside the West Shed and to take photographs.

The details will be confirmed nearer the event. Things are only able to be planned at short notice and are dependent on the last stages of the work.

The Last Stages

The Duchess launch is going to be a special occasion, and therefore the group don’t want anyone to see the finished look before the Roll Out Day. Therefore, from the 18th August 2018, some parts of the West Shed will be closed to visitors. This is to allow for the final painting and putting various parts back on the locomotive.

Footplate Rides and Driving Experiences with 6233 Duchess of Sutherland

A limited number of footplate rides and driving experience places are now available. These need to be pre-booked and paid for and are allocated on a first come first served basis.


The running dates are subject to change because of the fact that these runs are test runs for Duchess of Sutherland following a major overhaul. Teething issues can crop up, a full refund will be given if the group have to cancel any running dates.

If you would like to have a chance of a footplate ride or a driving experience, then either call West Shed on 01773 743986 or email them via [email protected]

Places Available
  • Tuesday 11th September:
    • Footplate rides
    • 30-minute slots between 9 am and 8 pm. (see further information below)
  • Wednesday 12th September:
    • 1 x Driving Experience place available
    • 9.30am to 12.30pm.
  • Thursday 13th September:
    • 1 x Driving Experience place available:
    • 9.30am to 12.30pm

Footplate rides are 30-minute slots between 5 pm and 8 pm. These are priced at £20 and includes a round trip on the Midland Railway line. You must be at least 16 years old to take part in this activity.

There may be further footplate rides available on Friday 14th (afternoon to evening) and Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th. This will be confirmed soon.

Driving experiences are half a day, with about 3 hours on the footplate. The cost for this experience is £350. Participants will need to arrive 30 minutes before their session for a safety briefing. You must be at least 18 years old to take part in this activity.

Duchess of Sutherland in action

Following on from the return to steam, 6233 Duchess of Sutherland is expected to appear at the following heritage railway galas:

  • 20/09/2018 – 23/09/2018: Severn Valley Railway Gala
  • 12/10/2018 – 14/10/2018: Swanage Railway Gala
  • 19/10/2018 – 21/10/2018: East Lancashire Railway Gala

Additionally, the following railtours are expected to be hauled by 6233 Duchess of Sutherland:

  • 17/11/2018: London – York (Railway Touring Company)
  • 06/12/2018: York – Peterborough (Railway Touring Company)
  • 08/12/2018: Kings Cross – Lincoln – Kings Cross (Railway Touring Company)
  • 15/12/2018: London – York (Railway Touring Company)
  • 20/12/2018: York – Peterborough (Railway Touring Company)

This is excellent news, and we look forward to seeing 6233 Duchess of Sutherland back in action very soon!

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