Cathedrals Express and a Duchess steam through Biggleswade

Cathedrals Express heading towards Langford
Cathedrals Express heading towards Langford

The Cathedrals Express was one of a number of steam trains travelling through Sandy and Biggleswade over the weekend, taking passengers to Lincoln on Sunday, December 9.

The locomotive is LMS Class 5MT 4-6-0 no 44871, one of the last locomotives to be withdrawn from service, surviving until 1968, the last year of steam on British railways.

She was also one of four locomotives chosen to take part in the famous Fifteen Guinea Special in August 1968. 44871 was in-charge of the Carlisle Citadel to Manchester Victoria leg of the tour which went south down the Settle and Carlisle Line. On this leg of the tour she double headed with 44781, 44871 acted as the pilot engine with 44781 being the train engine. 44871 is one of only three from that train to survive, the others being 45110 and 70013 Oliver Cromwell.

Saturday, December 8, welcomed the locomotive LMS Coronation Class 8P 4-6-2 no 46233 Duchess of Sutherland through the area.

No.46233 ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ is a London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Princess Coronation Class 4-6-2 “Pacific” type steam locomotive built in 1938 by Crewe Works for the London Midland and Scottish Railway.

Built as a high speed express passenger locomotive, 46233 was built to haul fast express passenger services such as ‘The Royal Scot’ and ‘The Mid-Day Scot’ between London Euston and Glasgow Central as well as other expresses to Liverpool.