3” Scale Burrell Agricultural Engine


One of the Club’s current projects is a 3” Scale Burrell Traction Engine. The engine was given to the Society after one of our members sadly passed away. The engine had been purchased from Station Road Steam and described as follows: Without any doubt whatsoever, this is the most horrendous looking Burrell I have seen that remains in one piece. Built in the 1970s, the owner inherited it from his grandfather many years ago”

This is what the engine looked like when originally purchased.

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When given to the Society in 2012 it had already been stripped because the original steel boiler was deemed as scrap. Initially we found a part built copper boiler on Ebay which we were able to acquire but in hindsight we should have started from scratch because we ended up making many of the parts again.

By 2015 apart from continuing to work on the boiler we had completed a new smokebox, smokebox door & ring and mounted the original perch bracket and chimney to the new smokebox. However, we were starting to have issues with the Society’s riding cars for our 5” gauge railway so they took priority and work on the Burrell slowed up.

With renewed enthusiasm within 2017 we have completed the boiler which is now being machined ready to accept the horn plates. Also the rear wheels have been trued in the lathe and now fitted with a steel band and rubber tyres. At the same time the front wheels have also had rubber tyres fitted. The following pictures show the newly tyred wheels.

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April 2018. A little update on our 3" Burrell. The new boiler now has the new hornplates fitted and the wheel set looks very smart with the rear wheels finished, painted and awaiting lining.

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Dec 2019. A couple of recent photos to show how the 3" Burrell is slowly coming on.

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Two more photos taken this February, our 3" Burrell continues to shape up.

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The agricultural engine is having the new cylinder casting machined, here are a couple of photos of the old cylinder. New Keyways are being added to the drive gears, due to the state of the old one we have had to make it a larger key.

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An imperfection in the bore has been machined out, this made it larger so a cast iron sleeve was added to return it to the correct dimension.


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Here are some photos from one of our members producing the Connecting Rod for the Burrell. It is a particularly interesting method of manufacture with nearly all of it being produced on the mill apart from the basic diameters at the start.


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Work continues on the cylinder, new lagging, drain cocks, safety valves, apart from the cylinder casting all parts have been newly produced from stock raw material.


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The bottom halves of the main crank bearings for the Burrell rebuild. The engine was first set up with 3D printed ones to check gear mesh, now all is ok cast iron ones are made.


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One of our members is producing the clacks for the Burrell, here are the components before being soldered together. Again 3D printed ones were originally produced to check that they were the correct angle to suit the boiler. You can click on the images to enlarge them.

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More parts contiune to be made by members, this time the big end bearing is being made. You can click on the images to enlarge them.


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The finished connecting rod for the clubs Burrell project, some very lovely and interesting machining in these photos. You can click on the images to enlarge them.

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A series of photos showing how a handwheel was produced for the 3" Burrell using a CNC milling machine. You can click on the images to enlarge them.
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