Duchess of Sutherland made history on August 7, by becoming the first member of the ‘Princess Coronation’ class to venture into Cornwall.
Hauling the Railway Touring Company’s ‘Royal Duchy’ from Bristol to Par, the Stanier-designed 4-6-2 also became the first of its class to cross the famous Royal Albert Bridge over the River Saltash.
After arrival at Par, the locomotive had to be turned on the St. Blazey turntable for the return run to Bristol. However, the ‘Duchess’' great length (74ft 10in) proved to be too long for the turntable – the only one still operational in Cornwall and the only locomotive turning facility west of Plymouth.
In order to accommodate Duchess of Sutherland, part of the boundary fence had to be removed to avoid fouling No. 46233’s buffers.
Cambrian Transport Ltd had recently restored the St. Blazey turntable to working order, which is owned by DB Cargo. It is hoped that DB Cargo will transfer ownership of the turntable and roundhouse to Roundhouse Cornwall Ltd, who aim to restore both to their former glory.