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4-inch Burrell traction engine 2020 - 2021

by Brian C, Chris G, Mike B

Mark D, Philip D 


Elaine Coulthard bought a Modelworks traction engine kit for her husband Les as a retirement present many years ago, but he only completed about 40% of it. In 2020, Elaine knowing Les would never finish his project persuaded him one day to part with it. They approached our society at the end of 2019

Elaine and Les, not previously known to us, very generously donated their partly built 4-inch Burrell traction engine plus Wagon and Bowser kits to the Society. 

Due to COVID restrictions, this traction engine project could not be completed in the normal timescale manner and was eventually finished and test approved in May 2021.

It has been agreed that an integral driving truck is to be made by Mark Whitson in exchange for the bowser kit.
The wagon will be completed in due course.


This project has been undertaken by a team led by Brian C.

14th April 2021

Today the Traction Engine came off the Lifter for a spot of fresh air. We filled it with water however most of it came out. Oh dear. We spent the next four hours fixing all the leaks. We did manage to pressure test it near the end of the day and it all seems ok. We will put it away until next week when we can put a fire in it.

25th May 2021

We have now put a fire in it and now after the third firing we now have it running. We had several problems we had to sort out first. The steam injector did not work and had to be replaced. The oiler had to be replaced with a new one. The biggest problem was the engine fixing between the boiler and the back nearly ripped the engine apart. We have fixed all these problems and now seem to have a working engine..

6th June 2021 the engine passed its first steam test and is now certified ready for service.

11th July 2021 the engine gets named ELAINE

1st Aug 2021 Finally Elaine and Les get to visit our club to see the traction engine.