The London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) Princess Royal Class is a class of express passenger steam locomotive designed by William Stanier. They were Pacifics (i.e. had a 4-6-2 wheel arrangement). Thirteen examples were built at Crewe Works, between 1933 and 1935, and two are preserved.


When originally built, they were used to haul the famous Royal Scot train between London Euston and Glasgow Central.


A prototype batch of three locomotives was to be constructed in 1933. Two were constructed as drawn but the third set of frames was retained as the basis for an experimental turbine locomotive.[1][2] [3]


The third prototype was constructed with the aid of the Swedish Ljungstrom turbine company and known as the Turbomotive, although not named. It was numbered 6202, in sequence with the Princess Royals. Although 'generally similar' to the rest of the Princess Royals,[1] and 'not all that much different',[4] it used a larger 40 element superheater to give a higher steam temperature, more suitable for turbine use.[2][5][note 1] This boiler was also domeless as would later be used for the second batch of the Princess Royals. The continuous exhaust of the turbine, rather than the sharper intermittent blast of the piston engine, also required changes to the draughting and the use of a double chimney.[6][7] It entered service in June 1935 on the London–Liverpool service.[8]

This Turbomotive was rebuilt in 1952 with conventional 'Coronation' cylinders and named Princess Anne, but was soon destroyed in the Harrow and Wealdstone rail crash.[7]

Later production

A second batch of eleven locomotives was constructed later.[9]

Accidents and incidents

  • On 17 April 1948 a passenger train hauled by locomotive No.6207 Princess Arthur of Connaught was halted after a passenger pulled the communication cord. It was then hit from behind by a postal train, which a signalman's error had allowed into the section, resulting in the deaths of 24 passengers.
  • On 21 September 1951, locomotive No.46207 Princess Arthur of Connaught was hauling an express passenger train that was derailed at Weedon, Northamptonshire due to a defective front bogie on the locomotive. Fifteen people were killed and 35 were injured.
  • On 8 October 1952, an express passenger train overran signals and was in a rear-end collision at Harrow and Wealdstone station, Middlesex. Locomotive No. 46202 Princess Anne was one of two hauling an express train which ran into the wreckage. A total of 112 people were killed and 340 were injured. The locomotive was consequently scrapped.


Each locomotive was named after a princess, the official name for the class was chosen because Mary, Princess Royal was the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Scots. However, the locos were known to railwaymen as "Lizzies", after the second example of the class named for Princess Elizabeth who later became Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. Later examples of 4-6-2 express passenger locomotive built by the LMS were of the related but larger, Coronation Class.


The class was withdrawn in the early 1960s in line with British Railways' modernisation plan.


Name(s) Date
6200 46200 The Princess Royal 27 July 1933 17 November 1962 Last to be withdrawn
6201 46201 Princess Elizabeth 3 November 1933 20 October 1962 Preserved.
6203 46203 Princess Margaret Rose 1 July 1935 20 October 1962 Preserved. Owned by the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust.
6204 46204 Princess Louise 19 July 1935 7 October 1961 .
6205 46205 Princess Victoria 24 July 1935 25 November 1961 Fitted with modified valve gear in 1947. Converted back to normal in 1955
6206 46206 Princess Marie Louise 1 August 1935 20 October 1962 .
6207 46207 Princess Arthur of Connaught 9 August 1935 25 November 1961 Appeared in the 1930s classic documentary film No. 6207 A Study In Steel which showed the production of the locomotive from molten steel to the finished product.
6208 46208 Princess Helena Victoria 16 August 1935 20 October 1962 .
6209 46209 Princess Beatrice 23 August 1935 29 September 1962 .
6210 46210 Lady Patricia 6 September 1935 7 October 1961 .
6211 46211 Queen Maud 18 September 1935 7 October 1961 .
6212 46212 Duchess of Kent 21 October 1935 7 October 1961 .


Two examples, 6201 Princess Elizabeth and 6203 Princess Margaret Rose are preserved and both have operated on the mainline in preservation. They were named after the two children of Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), and his wife, Elizabeth, Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth, and after the king's death, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother). Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary (later Queen Elizabeth II) was seven years old in 1933 when her namesake was built, and Princess Margaret Rose was nearly five in July 1935 when her namesake was completed. At the time, they were third and fourth in line to the throne. 'Princess Margaret Rose' is owned by The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust and is on static display at the West Shed Museum, Midland Railway-Butterley, Ripley, Derbyshire.

Number Name Builder Built Withdrawn Service Life Livery Location Owners Status Photograph Notes
6201 46201 Princess Elizabeth Crewe Works Nov 1933 Oct 1962 28 Years, 11 Months LMS Crimson Lake Carnforth MPD 6201 Princess Elizabeth Society Undergoing Boiler Repairs 6201 PRINCESS ELIZABETH Castleton East Junction.jpg Retube required following multiple tube problems alongside boiler and firebox issues. Possibly new boiler ticket aswell as mainline ticket.
6203 46203 Princess Margaret Rose Crewe Works Jul 1935 Oct 1962 27 Years, 3 Months BR Crimson Lake, Late Crest Butterley Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust Static Display LMS 8P 4-6-2 46203 PMR Carlisle 22.09.94R edited-2.jpg




  1. ^ This trifurcated superheater design was later used on the Duchess class.[2]
  1. ^ a b Nock, p. 114
  2. ^ a b c Cook, A.F. (1999). Raising Steam on the LMS. RCTS. pp. 126–127. ISBN 0-901115-85-1. 
  3. ^ Rowledge, J.W.P. (1987). "3: The Princess Royal Class – The First Two". The LMS Pacifics. David & Charles. pp. 24–35. ISBN 0-7153-8776-6. 
  4. ^ Fryer 1990, p. 165
  5. ^ Rowledge, J.W.P. (1987). "4: The 'Turbomotive'". The LMS Pacifics. David & Charles. p. 47. ISBN 0-7153-8776-6. 
  6. ^ "9: Unconventional Locomotives 1929-1935". The British Steam Railway Locomotive. II: from 1925 to 1965. Ian Allan. 1966. pp. 112–117. ISBN 0-7110-0125-1. 
  7. ^ a b "18: Stanier's 'Turbomotive'". Experiments With Steam. Patrick Stephens Limited. 1990. pp. 163–171. ISBN 1-85260-269-4. 
  8. ^ Fryer 1990, p. 167
  9. ^ Rowledge, J.W.P. (1987). "5: The Princess Royal Class – Modifications, and the 1935 Batch". The LMS Pacifics. David & Charles. pp. 44–51. ISBN 0-7153-8776-6. 
  • Ian Sixsmith The Book of the Princess Royal Pacifics ISBN 1-903266-02-5
  • Hugh Longworth British Railway Steam Locomotives 1948-1968 ISBN 0-86093-593-0
  • Rowledge, J.W.P. (1975). Engines o0f the LMS, built 1923–51. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Company. ISBN 0-902888-59-5. 
  • David Hunt, Bob Essery and Fred James LMS Locomotive Profiles No. 4: The "Princess Royal" Pacifics

External links