The LMS Princess Royal Class Colin Campbell

 

The Princess Royals were a class of 13 engines which were designed by William Stanier in 1933 explicitly for fast and heavy passenger expresses.

All had names of members of the Royal Family. There were only 13 built as Stanier went on to design and build the even more powerful Princess Coronation class 4 years later.

One of these engines No. 6202 named Princess Anne was experimentally built as a “Turbomotive” which had turbines fitted instead of the conventional cylinders. This did not prove to be a great success and was rebuilt in 1952 as a conventional loco. Unfortunately it only had 2 months back in service before being damaged beyond repair in the Harrow & Wealdstone station disaster when it was involved in a multiple accident where 113 lives were lost and 340 people injured.

It was because of the loss of this engine that approval was given for BR to build the Standard 71000 Duke of Gloucester as a replacement.

The remaining 12 engines remained in service until withdrawal in 1962 working between London Euston and the North of England and also beyond as far as Glasgow and Perth.

Two engines survived for preservation, No 6201″Princess Elizabeth”and No. 6203 “Princess Margaret Rose”. The latter was originally bought by Billy Butlin and used as a stationary exhibit at his Pwllheli holiday camp and is now based at The Midland Railway-Butterley in Derbyshire.

No. 6201 is currently being restored to Main Line condition at Tyseley in Birmingham and is expected to be available for charter by the Spring of this year. In October 2006 it was the chosen motive power for “The Devonian”, which was a day trip from London Paddington to Plymouth and return. Not the most apt of names as the original Devonian ran from Bradford to Paignton! The steam portion of the journey was from Westbury to Plymouth and back to Westbury.

These first pictures show it approaching Langstone Rock at Dawlish Warren in the pleasant Autumn sunshine.The train was limited to 9 coaches due to the steep gradients it would meet in the Dartmoor hills.