‘Lizzie’ moves to Carnforth

‘Duchess’ over­haul prompts move of be­lea­guered ‘Princess Royal’ to West Coast head­quar­ters.

Steam Railway (UK) - - Contents - BY DAVID WILCOCK


In a sur­prise de­vel­op­ment in late Fe­bru­ary, side­lined Stanier ‘Pa­cific’ Princess El­iz­a­beth was to move from But­ter­ley to West Coast Rail­way Com­pany’s work­shops at Carnforth, where restora­tion to full main line work­ing or­der is to be car­ried out. Own­ers of the LMS 4-6-2, the 6201 Princess El­iz­a­beth Lo­co­mo­tive So­ci­ety, had only re­cently agreed for re-tub­ing and other out­stand­ing re­pairs to be un­der­taken as a con­tract by their hosts at But­ter­ley, the Princess Royal Class Lo­co­mo­tive Trust – but the search for a new restora­tion base be­came a pri­or­ity when the PRCLT an­nounced that no work could be car­ried out on ‘Lizzie’ for at least an­other seven months – be­cause of com­mit­ments to main­tain­ing and re­pair­ing their own Stanier ‘Pa­cific’, No. 46233 Duchess of Suther­land. It is un­der­stood that some of the re­place­ment boiler tubes or­dered for the ‘Princess’ and de­liv­ered to But­ter­ley have been used by the PRCLT to over­haul Duchess of Suther­land, which was with­drawn ow­ing to tube fail­ure in late 2017 (SR476), but will be re­placed. With the forg­ing of a new agree­ment with West Coast Rail­ways, ‘Lizzie’ was due to be hauled, to­gether with a sup­port coach, to Carnforth on Fe­bru­ary 22, in a for­ma­tion ‘topped and tailed’ by WCRC diesels. 6201 So­ci­ety mem­bers were in­formed of the sud­den change of tack by Chair­man Clive Mojonnier, in a let­ter dated Fe­bru­ary 4, in which he ex­plains: “No main­te­nance work what­so­ever, in­clud­ing re­place­ment of the small tubes, can be un­der­taken at the West Shed, But­ter­ley, for at least seven months.” The 6201 So­ci­ety board had taken the view that a move to a dif­fer­ent restora­tion base was “in the best in­ter­ests of the lo­co­mo­tive.” Mr Mojonnier told Steam Rail­way: “We don’t know whether or not the boiler will have to come off, as we were pre­vi­ously ad­vised. West Coast will give the en­gine a full ex­am­i­na­tion, and we’ll take it from there.” When asked if Princess El­iz­a­beth could yet re­turn to main line ac­tion in 2018, he replied: “I’ve no idea. How long is a piece of string?” ‘Lizzie’ was the sub­ject of a £280,000 over­haul at Ty­se­ley Lo­co­mo­tive Works from 2013, and re­turned to the main line in Au­gust 2016, but was with­drawn again af­ter only four months with weep­ing boiler tubes. A se­ries of ap­peals was sub­se­quently launched by the 6201 So­ci­ety to raise a fur­ther £100,000 for fur­ther re­pairs said to be nec­es­sary, but the public re­sponse to those fund-rais­ing ef­forts has been muted. The so­ci­ety is said to be ‘still pro­gress­ing’ a £50,000 in­surance claim for loss of earn­ings, when the ‘Princess’ was out of traf­fic.

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