Northern Belle to be hauled by 'Princess Elizabeth' this autumn

20 August 2020
An historic steam locomotive that was named after the schoolgirl Queen, which later operated her Royal Train, will haul the Northern Belle’s 1930s-style Pullman carriages over the picturesque Settle-Carlisle railway line this autumn.

Crimson-painted Princess Elizabeth ­– Triang once made a 00-scale model of her – will do two round trips from Preston on September 19 and October 3, stopping briefly in Carlisle before heading over the spectacular Ribbleshead Viaduct to Settle. The Preston trips will mean a regal reunion between Princess Elizabeth and Northern Belle carriage Duart, which both formed part of the Queen’s Royal Train during her Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

Businessman David Pitts, who bought the Northern Belle three years ago, said: “This beautifully-engineered locomotive was built in Crewe in 1933 for only £11,675 – barely the price of a decent car these days – and named after the Queen when she was just a seven-years-old. Then in 1936, 'Lizzie', as she is known to railway folk, broke the world record for a long-distance passenger train, maintaining an average 70.15mph while hauling eight carriages over 401miles. Flying Scotsman hauled my train on a couple of wonderful trips from Preston last year, these two new excursions with 'Lizzie' promise to be just as magical.”

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Passengers will be served a glass of champagne, before tucking into brunch during the outward journey to Carlisle. After a brief stop in the city, they will be welcomed back on board with more champagne before sitting down to a five-course dinner with wine on the way home.

Hornby issued its model version of a diesel-hauled Northern Belle, once part of the iconic Orient Express group and was considered one of the world’s most luxurious trains, before last Christmas.

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