The Duchess in Shropshire

46233 “Duchess of Sutherland”, that is, hauling the return “Cathedrals Express” from Crewe, via Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton, back to London. There haven’t been many Duchess pacifics in Shropshire recently. Sister locomotive 46229 “Duchess of Hamilton” was active in the area perhaps 30 or more years ago, and 46233 has been to the Severn Valley, but I don’t think there can have many occasions – ever – when one of these Stanier locomotives has pulled a train along this line. Shame about the weather… and the exhaust. The train was heavy enough – eleven and a diesel at the back – but the Duchess had shut off steam when it passed us, already running a minute or two early.