Papers of J.O.P Hughes re Gas Turbine Locomotive

Scope and Content

The collection includes letters, reports, specifications and plans as well as Locomotive photographs. The contents of the collection may be summarised as follows:

J.O.P Hughes

The material relates to Hughes’ work on the development of the Gas Turbine Locomotive whilst employed by the English Electric Co. All items appear to be directly related to Hughes’ work on the Gas Turbine Locomotive, in the form of correspondence, papers and reports written by Hughes, photographs and chart and drawings. These chart from the preliminary design of the Locomotive, to its eventual decline due to economic reasons.

Administrative / Biographical History

These papers relate to the work J.O.P Hughes who was a Design Engineer, on the development of Gas Turbine Locomotives.

J.O.P Hughes (1914 -

J.O.P Hughes attended the Automobile Engineering Training College from 1930 to 1932 where he gained the National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering and Distinctions in Applied Mechanics and Heat Engines. After attending the Graduate School of Automobile Engineers in 1935, he became Test Engineer at M.A McEvoy Ltd. and then Junior Designer at Rolls-Royce Ltd. in 1936. He worked on engine designs for cars and fighter aircraft before becoming involved in Gas Turbines when he joined the newly-formed Gas Turbine Department of English Electric Co. Ltd. in 1947 as Senior Designer. Here he took part in the design of the prototype 2700 H.P EM27 Gas Turbine and took charge of the application of this engine for Locomotive use. Was appointed Chief Designer, Gas Turbine Locomotive Projects in 1955 at the Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows. While the Gas Turbine Locomotive was admired by railway enthusiasts and professionals alike, British Rail was reluctant to take on the Locomotive for fear that it would be economically unsound; this led to the Locomotive’s eventual demise. Hughes later went into partnership to form the firm of Humphris and Hughes, Consulting Engineers in 1966. Rail travel remained his passion, and he joined the Board of Motor Rail Ltd. as Technical director in 1967.


The collection is arranged in a system of files and folders. As it has not been possible to ascertain if it was J.O.P Hughes or his wife who arranged the papers, the collection has been left in its original order.

Access Information

Access is given in accordance with the NRM access policy. Material form this archive is available to researchers through the Search Engine reading room.

Opening times:

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Contact details:

Address: Search Engine, National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York, YO26 4XJ. Email:

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Acquisition Information

1999-8291: Donated to National Railway Museum by Mrs F.M. Hughes.

Alternative Form Available

Not applicable.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

The collection contains a wide variety of material, from hand –written letters and papers to printed pamphlets and plans. It also contains a great deal of photographs.

Archivist's Note

Catalogued by Liverpool University Masers of Archives and Records Management student 2009.

Description created by Jane Ronson (Archives Hub team) using the Archives Hub EAD Editor, May 2015.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied of items in the archive, provided that the copying process used does not damage the item or is not detrimental to its preservation. Copies will be supplied in accordance with the NRM’s terms and conditions for the supply and reproduction of copies, and the provisions of any relevant copyright legislation.

Appraisal Information

No appraisal of this collection has been undertaken.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

Related units of description held at the National Railway Museum, listed by Inventory number:

1994-7140: English Electric 1948-1975: Records Concerning experimental Locomotive

1996-7233: English Electric Records

1996-7233: Vulcan Foundry Records

Related units of description elsewhere:

B/VF, DX/603: Vulcan Foundry 1825 – 1978: Corporate, financial and production records, drawings, photographs, property and staff records, misc. papers, letters to foreman. Held at National Museums Liverpool: Maritime Archives and Library.

Location of Originals

Not applicable.