STUDENTS at King’s Ely Senior were given the chance to get up close to the elegant Princess Elizabeth steam locomotive.

Train spotters from across the region flocked to Ely station on the afternoon of Friday, November 11 to admire the LMS 6201 Princess Elizabeth as it passed through the city pulling the Cathedrals Express train on its way to Norwich.

Among the crowds were members of the King’s Ely Senior Big Thinking Club, who were eager to sacrifice part of their lunch break to see the 83-year-old locomotive, which is capable of developing indicated power outputs well in excess of 2,000 hp.

It is of vital importance that our students here at King’s Ely understand their local context. Amongst other objectives, the Big Thinking Club looks to enhance this and a trip to Ely station to see a famous steam engine in action is something that many of us might overlook. We had an adventure in our own backyard and I hope we always will delight in that.Instigator of the Big Thinking Club, and Head of Science and Physics at King’s Ely Senior, Ned Kittoe

The Big Thinking Club is a loose affiliation of students which meets every Friday with the aim to educate beyond the formal confines of the classroom.

Amazingly, 80 years after it shattered the world’s highest long distance steam average speed record, sustained non-stop in both directions between London and Glasgow, 6201 Princess Elizabeth’s record of over 70 mph for 401 miles still stands. Princess Elizabeth is a living testimony to the design quality that Sir William Stanier FRS and his LMS team applied to the locomotive’s creation and development, including the engineering excellence that the craftsmen of Crewe works put into its construction.

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