LMS Princess Royal Class 6201 Princess Elizabeth

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6201 Princess Elizabeth
6201 PRINCESS ELIZABETH Castleton East Junction.jpg
6201 Princess Elizabeth at Castleton South Junction.
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
DesignerWilliam Stanier
BuilderCrewe Works
Build dateNovember 1933
 • Whyte4-6-2
 • UIC2′C1′ h4
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Leading dia.3 ft 0 in (1 m)
Driver dia.6 ft 6 in (2 m)
Trailing dia.3 ft 9 in (1 m)
Minimum curve
  • 6 chains (121 m) normal
  • 4 12 chains (91 m) dead slow
Wheelbase63 ft 10 in (19.456 m)
 • Engine37 ft 9 in (11.506 m)
 • Drivers15 ft 3 in (4.648 m)
 • Tender15 ft 0 in (4.572 m)
Length74 ft 4 14 in (22.663 m)
Width9 ft 0 in (2.743 m)
Height13 ft 3 in (4.039 m)
Axle load22.50 long tons (22.86 t)
 • Leading21.00 long tons (21.34 t)
 • Coupled22.50 long tons (22.86 t)
 • Trailing16.00 long tons (16.26 t)
 • Tender axle
  • Front: 18.60 long tons (18.90 t)
  • Middle: 17.80 long tons (18.09 t)
  • Rear: 18.25 long tons (18.54 t)
Adhesive weight67.50 long tons (68.58 t)
Loco weight
  • 104.50 long tons (117.04 short tons; 106.18 t)
  • 46202: 110.55 long tons (123.82 short tons; 112.32 t)
Tender weight54.65 long tons (61.21 short tons; 55.53 t)
Fuel typeCoal
Fuel capacity
  • 9.00 long tons (10.08 short tons; 9.14 t)
  • later 10.00 long tons (11.20 short tons; 10.16 t)
Water cap4,000 imp gal (18,000 l; 4,800 US gal)
Firebox type 
 • Firegrate area45 sq ft (4.2 m2)
 • ModelLMS type 1
 • Tube plates19 ft 3 in (5.867 m)
 • Small tubes2 38 in (60 mm), 32 off
 • Large tubes5 18 in (130 mm), 123 off
Boiler pressure250 psi (1.7 MPa)
Heating surface 
 • Tubes and flues2,299 sq ft (213.6 m2)
 • Firebox190 or 217 sq ft (17.7 or 20.2 m2)
 • Heating area584 sq ft (54.3 m2)
Cylinder size16 14 in × 28 in (413 mm × 711 mm)
Valve gearWalschaerts
Performance figures
Maximum speed25mph - (heritage railways) 45mph - (main line, tender first) 75mph - (main line, chimney first)
Tractive effort40,286 lbf (179.20 kN)
Power class7P reclassified 8P in 1951
WithdrawnOctober 1962
Current owner6201 Princess Elizabeth Locomotive Society Ltd
DispositionOperational, main line certified

6201 Princess Elizabeth is a preserved steam locomotive in England. It is one of two preserved LMS Princess Royal Class; the other being 46203 Princess Margaret Rose.


6201 was built in November 1933 at the London, Midland & Scottish Railway's (LMS) Crewe Works, the second of its class. It was named after the 7-year-old elder daughter of Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II). Despite the class officially being named after 6200 Princess Royal, the class received the nickname "Lizzies" after 6201.

After nationalisation in 1948, British Railways (BR) renumbered it 46201. It was withdrawn in October 1962. During its working career for the LMS it wore the famous LMS Crimson Lake livery (this livery is also what it has worn for most of its preserved career), alongside this it even wore LMS black. During its career with BR it wore both brunswick green and black, both of which were lined.


The shed locations of 6201/46201 during its career with the LMS and BR on particular dates.[1]

Shed allocations
Location Shed code From
W1 3 November 1933
Polmadie 27A 6 January 1934
Camden 1B 24 June 1939
Longsight 9A 15 July 1939
Camden 1B 16 September 1939
Edge Hill 8A 21 October 1939
Crewe North 5A 5 October 1940
Edge Hill 8A 20 May 1944
Crewe North 5A 24 March 1945
Edge Hill 8A 11 December 1948
Crewe North 5A 13 June 1953
Polmadie 66A 24 July 1958
Carlisle Kingmoor 12A 11 March 1961
Carlisle Upperby 12B 27 January 1962
Withdrawn 20 October 1962


Following withdrawal in November 1962, 46201 was bought by the then Princess Elizabeth Locomotive Society straight from service. Initially it was kept at the Dowty Railway Preservation Society's premises at Ashchurch, and then subsequently at the Bulmers Railway Centre in Hereford.[2] When the Bulmers Centre closed in 1993, the loco moved to the Midland Railway Centre, Butterley.[3] An overhaul of the locomotive and tender was started there, but with most work spread between both the Tyseley Locomotive Works and Riley & Son in Bury, the locomotive was not completed until 2002.[4]

After a brief spell at Crewe Heritage Centre in 2009. It was withdrawn from service in July 2012 for a piston and valve examination at the Tyseley Locomotive Works, and after repairs it returned to service on 17 November hauling the Vintage Trains' Cumbrian Mountaineer working the train from Carnforth to Carlisle via the West Coast Main Line and then returned via the Settle-Carlisle line from Carlisle to Crewe where a diesel took the train to Tyseley. It was withdrawn for overhaul at the end of December 2012 having completed its longest period of operation in preservation. It returned to steam in June 2015 after a heavy overhaul and was featured in Tyseley's open weekend on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June 2015. It would not be until 2016 that it would return to service on the main line, following which it was based down in London at Southall Railway Centre working rail tours in the southern half of the UK.

On 23 August 2016, Princess Elizabeth hauled its inaugural main line train of the Steam Dreams' Cathedrals Express from London Victoria to Minehead on the West Somerset Railway via Ascot, Reading and Newbury and return.

It was later withdrawn from service in late 2016 due to multiple problems being found with the locomotive's boiler and it was decided to carry out the repairs at the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust's (PRCLT) West Shed at Butterley in Derbyshire. 6201 returned to service in 2019 following repairs in Carnforth.

Diamond Jubilee and Royal Train[edit]

As part of the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, on 3 June 2012, after arriving in London with a Vintage Trains rail tour from Tyseley, Princess Elizabeth's whistle signalled the start of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant while the locomotive was standing on Battersea Railway Bridge. The Queen was made aware of the locomotive and waved to the crew on the footplate.[5]

On 11 July, Princess Elizabeth hauled the Royal Train from Newport to Hereford and again from Worcester to Oxford as part of the Diamond Jubilee Tour.[6] The loco carried the traditional four-lamp combination (one lamp at the top of the smokebox and three on the buffer lamp irons) used on trains conveying the Head of State, although no headboard was carried. It is only the second time in preservation that the Queen has been conveyed on a steam-hauled Royal Train on the main line, the other was also an LMS loco 6233 Duchess of Sutherland in 2002 where Princess Elizabeth was the standby engine. It is believed that it was the first time that the Queen has travelled behind the locomotive that was named after her and the event came just a few weeks before the 50th anniversary of the preservation of the loco, which has been owned by the Princess Elizabeth Locomotive Society longer than under both the LMS and British Railways.

Current Status[edit]

From 2016, 6201 was located at PRCLT's West Shed at Butterley in Derbyshire. On 22 February 2018 it was moved to Carnforth MPD for boiler repairs and other general maintenance by West Coast Railways.[7] The move from Butterley to Carnforth was completed by two West Coast Railways Class 37 diesel locomotives.[8]


  1. ^ http://www.brdatabase.info/locoqry.php?action=locodata&type=S&id=446201002&loco=6201
  2. ^ Princess in Waiting The Railway Magazine issue 1068 April 1990 page 228-233
  3. ^ Lizzie's main line farewell as major overhaul beckons The Railway Magazine issue 1108 August 1993 page 39
  4. ^ Lizzie works its first train for eight years The Railway Magazine issue 1214 June 2002 page 75
  5. ^ "Thank you one and all: the people who helped make the Jubilee happen". Daily Telegraph. 10 June 2012.
  6. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBlIiVV1TZs 6201 Hauling the royal train
  7. ^ https://6201.co.uk/index.php/2018/02/25/progress-update-february-2018/
  8. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btWilg2XtHA A Broken 6201 moved to Carnforth

External links[edit]