Royal Scot

Built in 1927, Royal Scot was the flagship locomotive of the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company, operating the fastest services on the West Coast from London to Manchester and Glasgow. After a five year overhaul she returned to steam on the mainline in 2016.

35 Years
service
75 Miles
Per Hour
85 Tons of
engine
90 Years
of age

First years in service

London Midland & Scottish Railway

Royal Scot was the first in a new breed of steam locomotives. With boiler plans borrowed from the Southern Railway the LMS sought to create a powerful and fast engine, capable of hauling heavy trains over the steep gradients found on the West Coast Route. The Royal Scot class was the end result and was used on the LMS' fastest passenger services from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.

Century Of Progress

Royal Scot visits the USA & Canada

In 1933 the locomotive was selected to travel to the United States for the Century of Progress Exposition. In order to send a newer engine, the L.M.S. swapped Royal Scot's identity with the 52nd member of the class The King's Dragoon Guardsman, built in 1930. Complete with a set of carriages, the 'new' Royal Scot travelled to the USA and was displayed in Chicago from May to November 1933. Following this she journeyed across the USA and Canada and even crossed the Rocky Mountains.

British Railways

Final years and retirement

Royal Scot was renumbered 46100 from her original 6100 by British Railways following the nationalisation of the railways in 1948. She, along with other members of the class, was rebuilt by British Railways in 1950 with a new tapered design boiler. She went on to serve another 12 years in traffic on the West Coast Main Line before being retired from service in Nottingham in October 1962.

Preservation

Return to steam

While Royal Scot briefly returned to steam at Bressingham Steam Museum from 1972 to 1978 and again in 2009, she has spent most of her years since retirement as a static exhibit, most notably at the Butlins holiday camp in Skegness after she was was purchased from British Railways by Billy Butlin.

It was not until September 2015 that Royal Scot truly returned to steam after a six year overhaul at LNWR Heritage. Following testing in late 2015 she made her triumphant mainline return in February 2016 on a journey from Crewe to Holyhead.

During her stay in Scotland, Royal Scot travelled over the Forth Bridge on some spectacular journeys from Edinburgh along the shores of the Forth.

Photography curtesy Andrew Shapland.