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Mr Monkey spots the Scarborough Flyer at Stockport

Checking the Railway Touring Company website Mr Monkey found out that a steam train would be going through Stockport station on its way from Crewe to Scarborough every Friday from 23 July to 10 September 2010. He immediately reminded his humans that they like taking him out to see steam trains, even if it does involve hanging around Stockport station at 8am or 9pm.

30th July 2010

Use the control panel or link to the right to hear LMS 4-6-2 Princess Coronation class 6233 Duchess of Sutherland hauling the Scarborough Flyer out of Stockport station.
Mr Monkey watching the Scarborough Flyer rush past him Mr Monkey woke his humans up in time to take a train into Stockport to greet the Scarborough Flyer.

He jumped off on platform 3, and quickly noticed people clutching cameras at both ends of the platform, and more people with cameras on other platforms pointing their cameras at platform 3. Mr Monkey suspected that the Scarborough Flyer was going to arrive at platform 3.

After a couple of minutes, the train was announced, clouds of smoke appeared at the far end of the platform, and Mr Monkey and some other people were reminded not to stand near the edge of the platform.

Moments later a train, headed by 6233 Duchess of Sutherland, swept past Mr Monkey and slowed to a halt. He scampered to the end of the platform to inspect the locomotive.
Mr Monkey walking past the Duchess of Sutherland Mr Monkey looking at the front of the Duchess of Sutherland 6233 Duchess of Sutherland is an LMS Princess Coronation class 4-6-2 locomotive, the most powerful class of steam locomotive built for the British rail network. Built in 1938 and retired in 1962, she's not one of earliest versions built with streamlining, but she has got an attractive set of smoke deflectors (and the streamlining would have been removed in 1939 anyway).

After 37 years of idleness the Duchess of Sutherland was restored to running condition in 2001, in her original crimson lake livery. For some reason connected with gaining an extended boiler certificate, she has been painted LMS black for 2010. Mr Monkey admired the Scarborough Flyer headboard, and hoped there was enough sun for the passengers when they got to Scarborough.
Mr Monkey watching steam being released before the train leaves Mr Monkey watching the Scarborough Flyer setting off across Stockport viaduct When all the passengers with tickets to ride from Stockport had got on there was a whoosh of steam. Mr Monkey wasn't startled at all, because he'd been expecting it. As the train waited in the station water had probably been condensing in the pistons. The engine crew used the cylinder drain cocks to flush out condensed water with a blast of steam.

Moments later, the train set off. Mr Monkey watched it gather speed as all fourteen carriages departed towards York and Scarborough.

After the Scarborough Flyer had crossed the viaduct and disappeared from sight, Mr Monkey led his humans down into Stockport to buy all the butter pies Greenhalgh's had to sell.

6th August 2010

Mr Monkey watching the Scarborough Flyer arriving from the viaduct at dusk Mr Monkey watching enthusiasts gathered around the Duchess of Sutherland at Stockport A week later, Mr Monkey persuaded his humans to take him into Stockport to lurk around the station to see the Scarborough Flyer on its way back to Crewe.

He waited at the northern end of the station. Soon he spotted a single bright light, surrounded by smoke, at the far end of the viaduct. The light got bigger and bigger and suddenly the Scarborough Flyer, trailing grimy smoke, arrived at Stockport.

The train stopped to let some passengers off. Mr Monkey got close enough to see that the Scarborough Flyer was being headed by the Duchess of Sutherland again, and decided that the arrival of a steam train was more atmospheric at dusk.

Mr Monkey watched the train depart in the general direction of Wilmslow and Crewe, then set off for home.

13th August 2010

Use the control panel or link to the right to hear LMS 4-6-2 Princess Royal class 6201 Princess Elizabeth hauling the Scarborough Flyer out of Stockport station.
Mr Monkey watching the Scarborough Flyer stopping at Stockport station The next week Mr Monkey told his humans that they should go to Salford Quays to see the All Aboard exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North, and that it would be a good idea to watch the Scarborough Flyer going through Stockport again.

This time he decided to wait on platform 2 for the train to arrive at platform 3 and get a better (but longer distance) view of the train.

After he'd waited for a few minutes the train was announced, and almost immediately arrived. Mr Monkey quickly spotted that it was pulled by a different locomotive than the previous two weeks. As well as not having smoke deflectors, she was a completely different colour.

Mr Monkey realised that the locomotive was the 6201 Princess Elizabeth, the second locomotive in the Princess Royal class. Built in 1933, the Princess Elizabeth is probably most famous for a carefully planned run in 1936 in which she took a rake of seven coaches from Euston to Glasgow in 5 hours, 53 minutes and 38 seconds without stopping : that's the longest, fastest, non-stop journey by a steam-hauled passenger train ever.

She was retired in 1962, and was bought from British Railways for £2160 in 1963 before she'd had time to fall to bits.
Mr Monkey watching 6201 Princess Elizabeth waiting at Stockport station Mr Monkey watching 6201 Princess Elizabeth setting off from Stockport station Mr Monkey examined the locomotive while passengers got on. He thought the nameplate was a little understated for a locomotive named after a future queen, but he did like the livery of LMS crimson lake with gold lining.

After a few minutes the whistle blew and the Princess Elizabeth started up with an impressive and slightly alarming display of wheel-spinning. The wheels quickly gave proper traction and the Scarborough Flyer set off across the viaduct and on towards Scarborough. Mr Monkey waved it goodbye, then trotted to Platform 4 to catch a train to Manchester Piccadilly.
Mr Monkey watching the Scarborough Flyer cross Stockport viaduct at night After Mr Monkey had spent the day in Salford Quays at the IWM North and the Lowry, he stopped in Stockport on the way home to help his humans drink a bottle or several of Duchesse de Burgoyne at the Railway Tavern. After the beer it seemed like a good idea to wait on Wellington Road to see what the Scarborough Flyer looked like going over Stockport Viaduct.

The viaduct cost £72,000 in 1842. It's 1792 feet long, 110 feet high at the centre, and has 26 arches, and is further away from Wellington Road than Mr Monkey had thought.

Mr Monkey found out that while a steam train looks good crossing the viaduct at night, it doesn't show up very well in photographs. And then he went home.

27th August 2010

Use the control panel or link to the right to hear LMS 4-6-2 Princess Royal class 6201 Princess Elizabeth hauling the Scarborough Flyer into Stockport station*.
Mr Monkey watching 6201 hauling the Scarborough Flyer into Stockport Mr Monkey watching the Princess Elizabeth pass him Mr Monkey realised that so far he'd only waited for the Scarborough Flyer at the northern end of Stockport station, where the locomotive halts. He decided that he'd wait at the southern end for a change, to see the train actually arriving.

The Princess Elizabeth appeared a little more suddenly than Mr Monkey had hoped, but she did blow her whistle for him, which was nice. Mr Monkey stood back as the train rushed past him. The 6201 clanked rather as she went by, but the carriages just rumbled. It took about a minute for all twelve carriages to pass Mr Monkey and rattle to a halt.
Mr Monkey watching the Scarborough Flyer slowing to a halt Mr Monkey looking at the carriages of the Scarborough Flyer The carriages are old British Rail stock, built between 1960 and 1970, and are a mixture of first and second class, open and corridor types. There's a pullman coach with a kitchen, too.

Mr Monkey realised that the problem about being at the south end of the platform when the locomotive was at the north end was that his humans wouldn't run the length of the platform, so he limited himself to watching people clambering aboard the train to go to York or Scarborough, and waving at the train as it departed.

When it was out of sight he gave in to his humans demands for food, and let them go down into Stockport for breakfast.
The rake of carriages hauled by 6201 Princess Elizabeth 27/08/2010:
NumberBuilt  TypeNumberBuilt  Type
1990401960BR Mk1 Brake Corridor Composite752391966BR Mk2 Second Open
299128 Pamela1962BR Mk1 First Open8993271962BR Mk1 Tourist Second Open
3Windermere1966BR Mk2 Pullman Parlour with kitchen9993221970BR Mk2c Tourist Second Open
4993501960Pullman BRE Pullman Parlour Second10993181961BR Mk1 Tourist Second Open
5993521960Pullman BRE Pullman Parlour Second1149401962BR Mk1 Tourist Second Open
631501963BR Mk1 First Open12996801968BR Mk2a Brake Corridor First
* Once the locomotive had hooted and gone past all the carriages sounded very similar until they stopped. Approximately 30 seconds of repetitive carriage rumble has been removed to reduce boredom.

10th September 2010

Mr Monkey watching 6233 Duchess of Sutherland hauling the last Scarborough Flyer of 2010 into Stockport After he'd seen the Scarborough Flyer at Stockport a couple of times, Mr Monkey decided he'd rather like to travel on it himself. He noticed that the last run of the season was only a few days from Miss Carol's birthday, so he cunningly suggested to Mr Rik that Miss Carol would like to visit York as a celebration.

On the morning of the 10th Mr Monkey was waiting on the platform at Stockport. This time Mr Rik was holding tickets to ride as well as a camera, and when the Duchess of Sutherland pulled the Scarborough Flyer out of the station, Mr Monkey was sitting comfortably in carriage 99318.

Read about Mr Monkey's steam-drawn journey at Mr Monkey takes the Scarborough Flyer to York.
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