Following his successful visit for the September 2001 Vintage Weekend (above), the FR's1864-built Prince returned to WHR (Caernarfon) to haul Heritage Train services in June, July and August 2002, when a two-train service ran on selected dates.
Like the other England locos still working in the 1920s and 1930s, Prince was a regular on WHR services, but was more camera-shy than (in particular) Palmerston and Welsh Pony. The picture below (credit: Beverley Pritchard collection) shows Prince, then a mere 60 years old, on a Dinas Junction-bound train, taking water at Quellyn Lake (Snowdon Ranger) in 1923-5.
The initial carriages for the Heritage Train were no. 23 (the original NWNGR/WHR "Summer Car", seen below at Caernarfon in 2000), plus FR nos. 11 and 12, which also ran on the old WHR.
Prince was moved to Dinas on Sunday May 26th, followed by the first carriages; no. 23 followed some days later, just in time for the start of the two-train service. The fresh livery applied to no. 23 includes re-liveried ends in proper "Colonel Stephens" style, matching that recently applied to FR no. 16, and in due course some other members of the FR vintage fleet.
The new full-height NWNGR replica carriage no. 24 joined the rake on August 25th, running with nos. 23 and 12.
Prince is seen below following delivery on May 26th, making a contrast in size with Castell Caernarfon. Sadly, FR volunteer Geoff Hall, who led the team of retired engineers which restored Prince in the 1970s, had passed away the previous day at the age of 91.
The Heritage Train entered service at the Golden Jubilee bank holiday in early June, and immediately attracted sell-out passenger figures.
The train ran, typically five days a week, in the July and August high suimmer service.
Bruce Brayne's pictures below show Prince on the last day of the Heritage Train's operation; cars 23 and 24 had swapped places in the rake.
Prince was moved back to the FR on September 7th, for a little TLC before the FR Vintage Weekend in October. By keeping to a maximum of three coaches (even once a fourth Heritage carriage became available), Prince was kept within his limits while working on WHR(C), and experienced less wear than the FR's Blanche or Mountaineer did in earlier seasons at WHR(C).
Since his extended stay in 2002, Prince has been a regular return visitor for Special Events. A change was made for his May 2009 visit to participate in the Phase 4b Hafod y Llyn reopening celebrations, as he was unloaded with the chimney facing Caernarfon, his usual orientation when working on the WHR in the 1920s and 1930s. The turn was facilitated by delivering the loco by road, perhaps the last time this would be done in preference to transfer by rail, as part of a series of movements including moving NGG16 no. 138's boiler to Boston Lodge, and taking Lilla from the FR to Penrhyn Castle for a short working visit.