The Locomotive 6201 Princess Elizabeth Society are the proud owners of this iconic locomotive, and have been since 1963 when our founding member Roger Bell set about the seemingly impossible task of saving 6201 Princess Elizabeth from being cut up for scrap metal. At that time, railway preservation was in its infancy and it was a huge undertaking to firstly persuade the owners British Rail (BR) that to sell the locomotive instead of it being disposed of via normal means, and secondly to raise the £2160 required to buy it from BR, which at that time was a significant sum of money – in fact you could buy a house for the same amount!
Since 1963, the 6201 Princess Elizabeth Society has preserved the locomotive, and restored her into mainline running order on a number of occasions following extensive overhauls. Amazingly the society have owned and operated the locomotive for a longer period of time than either the LMS [1933 – 1948] or BR [1948 – 1962] – approximately 55 years!
Running a preserved steam locomotive on the mainline needless to say is a very expensive business, and takes vast sums of money to keep the locomotive in steam. This is especially true in the modern era where state of the art black box recorders and automatic braking safety systems are required to allow mainline operation.
Q. How can I help 6201 Princess Elizabeth?
A. The society relies on its members and through public donations to keep Lizzie ‘alive’ Here are some ways in which people can help:
- Become a 6201 Member (with the option of becoming a volunteer)
- Make a Donation
- Raise money when you shop online via Easy Fundraising
Q. Where is the locomotive based now?
A. 6201 Princess Elizabeth is now at West Coast Railways Depot in Carnforth Lancashire.
Q. Which liveries has the locomotive been painted in?
A. When built, Princess Elizabeth initially out shopped in ex works grey for a very short time before being painted in LMS Crimson Lake Livery and named ‘Princess Elizabeth’. Then 6201 was briefly seen in LMS Post War Black with straw lining. When the LMS was amalgamated into British Railways in 1948, the locomotive was repainted again, this time in BR Black – LNWR style, and took on the ‘4’ prefix to become 46201. Then in the early 1950s the locomotive was repainted again this time in BR Green, initially with the BR Early Crest on the tender before being superseded with the late crest. When the society was founded to save the locomotive from being scrapped, the founding members voted to restore the locomotive into the LMS Crimson Lake livery, as seen at the time of the world record run in 1936.
For more information, take a look at our Timeline feature.