‘Lizzie’ swans into Swanage

LMS ‘Princess Royal’ No. 6201 Princess Elizabeth broke new ground by making its debut on the Swanage Railway on September 28.

A new take on a classic shot as LMS ‘Princess Royal’ No. 6201 Princess Elizabeth steams towards Swanage with Corfe Castle in the background on September 28 hauling the ‘Cathedrals Express’. PAUL BLOWFIELD

A new take on a classic shot as LMS ‘Princess Royal’ No. 6201 Princess Elizabeth steams towards Swanage with Corfe Castle in the background on September 28 hauling the ‘Cathedrals Express’. PAUL BLOWFIELD

Princess Elizabeth is the first of its class to work over Swanage branch line metals and the trip continued the Stanier 4-6-2’s trend of entering new territory, having appeared in Cornwall on September 17.

Swanage Railway Company Chairman Trevor Parsons said: "It was a great honour, and very exciting, to play host to such a prestigious, powerful and record-breaking steam locomotive that was the largest to visit the line.”

‘Lizzie’ was at the head of the Steam Dreams ‘Cathedrals Express’ from London Victoria. A Class 47 diesel, bringing up the rear on the outward leg, hauled the train over the South Western main line on the return trip, stopping at Southampton where No. 6201 took over to London.

Next month will mark the 80th anniversary of No. 6201’s record-breaking non-stop run from Euston-Glasgow on November 16/17 1936. The run saw Princess Elizabeth covering the 401 miles at an average speed of 70mph, a record that has never been bettered.