LMS Princess Royal Class 6201 Princess Elizabeth

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Princess Elizabeth in 2006
46201 Princess Elizabeth at Carlisle awaiting scrapping.
Princess Elizabeth salutes The Queen from Battersea Railway Bridge at the start of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Princess Royal Class No. 6201 (British Railways No. 46201) Princess Elizabeth is a preserved British steam locomotive.

Overview[edit]

6201 was built in 1933 at Crewe Works, the second of its class. She was named after the 7-year-old elder daughter of Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), Princess Elizabeth (today HM 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After nationalisation in 1948, British Railways renumbered her 46201. 46201 was withdrawn in 1962.

46201 was bought by the then Princess Elizabeth Locomotive Society straight from BR service when withdrawn in 1962. Initially kept at the Dowty Railway Preservation Society's premises at Ashchurch in Gloucestershire, and then subsequently at the Bulmers Railway Centre in Hereford when the Bulmers Centre closed in the 1990s, the loco moved to the East Lancashire Railway. After a brief spell at Crewe Heritage Centre in 2009, the locomotive became based at Tyseley Locomotive Works ahead of an overhaul which commenced in 2013, and is now at PRCLT's West Shed at Butterley in Derbyshire.

On 3 June 2012, 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.[1]

On 11 July 2012, Princess Elizabeth hauled the Royal Train from Newport to Hereford and again from Worcester to Oxford as part of the Diamond Jubilee Tour. 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 Mainline. (The other was also an LMS loco 6233 Duchess of Sutherland in 2002 where Princess Elizabeth was the stand-by 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. No. 6201 was withdrawn from service in July 2012 for a piston and valve examination at the Tyseley Locomotive Works, and after repairs she returned to service on 17 November hauling the Vintage Trains' "Cumbrian Mountaineer" from Carnforth to Carlisle. She was withdrawn for overhaul at the end of December 2012 having completed her longest period of operation in preservation.

She returned to steam in June 2015 after a heavy overhaul and was featured in Tyseley's open weekend on Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 June 2015.

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

Princess Elizabeth is one of two preserved Princesses; the other being 46203 Princess Margaret Rose.

References[edit]

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