Hughes, John O P 1914


John Hughes was educated at Kelly College, Tavistock. He then 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 he joined the newly-formed Gas Turbine Department as Senior Design Engineer. 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.

During his career he wrote the paper “The Design and Development of a Gas Turbine Locomotive” which he went on to read to the Institute of Locomotive Engineers. The institute awarded him the Stewart Dyer Award for his work. Following this success he went on to write a number of other articles on the same subject which were published across the country and overseas.