King Edward I

ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL STEAM LOCOMOTIVES TO RUN IN BRITAIN, KING EDWARD I WAS BUILT BY THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY TO HAUL THE FASTEST EXPRESS PASSENGER TRAINS FROM LONDON, TO THE WEST COUNTRY AND BIRMINGHAM. SHE WILL BE RETURNING TO STEAM IN 2019.

32 Years
service
75 Miles
Per Hour
87 Years
of age
89 Tons of
engine

Great Western Railway

The Most Powerful

King Edward I entered service with the Great Western Railway in June 1930. The King Class locomotives were, when built, the most powerful express passenger locomotives in Britain. They were built to haul the GWR's heaviest express passenger trains to the West Country and Midlands.

She was one of thirty engines in her class and was initially based at Plymouth Laira and Newton Abbot depots from where she worked express trains such as the 'Cornish Riviera Express' from London to Plymouth. By the time of WWII King Edward I had clocked up over 854000 miles!

British Railways

In service & retirement

In the late 1940's British Railways decided to modify all of the King class with new superheated boilers and modified draughting increasing their efficiency and so better suiting the then prevailing conditions. King Edward I's modifications were completed in late 1957, just five years before she was retired from service. By this time King Edward I was based at Cardiff Canton depot.

Preserving 6024

Return to steam

King Edward I was sent to Barry Scrapyard in South Wales on withdrawal in 1962 and it was not until 1989 that she was finally returned to steam by the 6024 Preservation Society Ltd. Since then she has performed numerous times on the mainline and has been through two overhauls.

She was purchased by the Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust in 2012 and is currently being overhauled to mainline running condition by the 6024 Preservation Society Ltd, which remains responsible for the care of King Edward I.

During the overhaul the opportunity is being taken to reduce the profile of the locomotive's cylinders. This will make King Edward I slightly narrower and enable the locomotive to travel to more destinations on the national railway network when she returns.

You can read more about King Edward I at the 6024 Preservation Society Ltd's website www.6024.com.

Photography courtesy Geoff Griffiths.