Jerry Burchell



Jerry Burchell showed his long term project to build a model British Rail gas turbine loco 18100 at Doncaster in 2018. A fascinating and unusual prototype the model of which employs many state of the art engineering practices made possible by his extensive use of 2D and 3D CAD to develop the design. These include rapid prototype techniques for lost wax casting, and water jet cutting. 

Some of Jerry’s techniques are later than the original locomotive which was actually commissioned by the Great Western Railway in the 1940s. Post war difficulties meant that the loco did not appear until 1951 from the workshops of Metropolitan-Vickers in Manchester. Its short working life was spent hauling express trains for British Rail’s Western Region out of Paddington station.

It was of Co-Co wheel arrangement and the gas turbine was rated at 3,000 horsepower, giving the power of a King class steam loco or a pair of the most powerful diesels available at that time. With the emphasis on power, rather than economy, fuel consumption was high. It used aviation kerosene which made it more expensive to run than No. 18000, which used heavy fuel oil. No. 18000 was also ordered by GWR from Brown, Boveri & Cie and also used for express trains out of Paddington. That loco was converted to electric power and is now preserved at Didcot. Meanwhile, 18100 was rebuilt as 25 kV electric locomotive E1000, later E2001, and scrapped in 1972.