spacer-transparent.gif (814 bytes) spacer-transparent.gif (814 bytes)

spacer-transparent.gif (814 bytes)

spacer-transparent.gif (814 bytes) spacer-transparent.gif (814 bytes)
spacer-transparent.gif (814 bytes)

Updated: nOV. 24TH, 2007

spacer-transparent.gif (814 bytes)

Copyright  2007, Titanic The Ship Magnificent.

Main Condenser - After end of Olympic’s port main condenser in the shops, shown here in the installed orientation, with the casing partly removed. The Shipbuilder / Author’s collection

Copyright  2007, Titanic The Ship Magnificent.

Shaft Tunnel - A shaft tunnel aboard the Mauretania. The plummer blocks and shafting seen here are very similar to those aboard the Olympic-class liners and other large ships of the era. Engineering / Author’s collection

Copyright  2007, Titanic The Ship Magnificent.

The Center Propeller. Olympic’s center four-bladed propeller. The Shipbuilder / Author’s collection

Copyright  2007, Titanic The Ship Magnificent.

Shown here is the starting platform of the Holland America Line's H&W-built SS Nieuw Amsterdam (1905). Though the machinery is quite a bit smaller, this gives a good general impression of what this space looked like on the Olympic-class liners. The engine order telegraphs and the throttle controls of the reciprocating engines were of the same configuration. Engineering / Scott Andrews collection

Engine Rooms - Transverse sections through the Turbine and Reciprocating Engine Rooms. Author’s collection

   Introduction - Consistent with the White Star Line’s policy of eschewing speed in favor of size and comfort, the efforts of Harland & Wolff’s marine engineering department were focused on developing machinery plants of relatively moderate power in comparison to those “Blue Ribband” contenders of White Star’s competition. The main criteria in designing propelling machinery for White Star’s vessels was high economy and reliability, with sufficient reserve power to guarantee that the required service speed would be maintained in even the worst conditions. Additionally, the machinery had to be as nearly vibration-free as practical. This was of utmost importance in the Line’s premier ships, which were those on the transatlantic run to and from New York. By the late 1890s, Harland & Wolff had turned to triple-expansion reciprocating engines of the four-crank design, employing low-pressure cylinders at each end. (continued below)


Image above, Engine Rooms - Transverse sections through the Turbine and Reciprocating Engine Rooms.
Author’s collection

This arrangement permitted much larger engines and kept the dimensions of the components of the low-pressure stage to reasonable size. Of equal importance, the four-crank arrangement allowed the application of the new Yarrow, Schlick and Tweedy system of engine balancing. Engines of this type, producing a gross 28,000 indicated horsepower (IHP), were fitted to the 17,274-GRT Oceanic (II) of 1899, giving her a top speed of over 21 knots, though in service she was usually run at the 19-knot service speed of running mates Teutonic and Majestic. (continued)


   Reciprocating engines - The two sets of reciprocating engines were of the four-cylinder, triple-expansion, direct-acting inverted type, balanced on the Yarrow, Schlick and Tweedy system. After a slight drop in pressure due to expansion within the various supply lines and valves, steam from the boilers arrived at the high-pressure cylinder of each engine at 210 PSIG. Steam exhausted from the high-pressure cylinder was then directed to the intermediate-pressure cylinder, where it was received at a pressure of 78 PSIG. After doing its work in the intermediate-pressure cylinders, the steam was then exhausted to the respective low-pressure cylinders, where it was received at 24 PSIG for further expansion. After having been expanded as far as practical within the reciprocating engines’ low-pressure cylinders, the steam was exhausted at a pressure of about 9 pounds per square inch absolute (PSIA) - below atmospheric pressure - and directed towards either the low pressure turbine or directly to the condensers . . . (continued)


   Propeller shafts - At its forward end, each outboard shaft terminated at a large thrust block assembly. When the engines were turning ahead or astern, the revolutions of the propeller drove the ship forward or backward. This thrust occurred as a result of the propeller exerting a force along the shaft in the respective direction. The crankshafts of the reciprocating engines, however, revolving in simple bearings, were not designed to absorb this thrust. To take up this thrust and convey it to the hull, thrust blocks were introduced just abaft the reciprocating engines. These served to transmit the fore-and-aft thrust generated by the propeller to the ship’s structure. The thrust blocks were situated in the Turbine Engine Room, just aft of the watertight bulkhead dividing this compartment from the Reciprocating Engine Room. . . . (continued)


   Boilers - Each double-ended boiler was 15'-9" in diameter, 20 feet long, and contained six furnaces. The single-ended boilers were of the same diameter as the double-ended but only 11'-9" long; each contained three furnaces. This resulted in a total of 159 furnaces. The furnaces were all of the Morrison type, having an inside diameter of 3'-9", and were provided with furnace fronts of the Downie “boltless” pattern. The firebars were of the Campbell type, supplied by the firm of Railton, Campbell & Crawford, of Liverpool. Within each furnace was an interior partition called a furnace bridge, or “bridge wall.” This was located at the back end of the fire bars which formed the grate. In addition to supporting the back end of the grate, the lower portion of the furnace bridge separated the lower portion of the furnace tube (the “ash pit”) from the upper portion (the crown, or “firebox”). The heat and gases of combustion were kept above the grate while all air drawn in through the ash pit by the draft of the fire passed through the burning fuel resting on the grate. . . . (continued)


   Return-feed plant - The main air pumps discharged the condensate removed from the condensers into two feed tanks, one placed on each side of the ship just abaft the bulkhead dividing the engine rooms. Each feed tank had a capacity of 2,790 gallons. From the feed tanks, the water drained into two Weir control tanks, one on each side of the Reciprocating Engine Room. The control tanks measured 4' x 4', with a depth of 3 feet. The water was drawn from the control tanks by four Weir single-cylinder, vertical direct-acting hotwell pumps. Each of these had a pump barrel 14 inches in diameter, a steam cylinder of 14 inches diameter and a stroke of 24 inches. The hotwell pumps were located in pairs on each side of the ship immediately adjacent to the control tanks. Each pair was capable of dealing with the whole of the feed water, i.e., 700,000 pounds per hour; but under ordinary conditions all four pumps were operated together at slow speed.

   From the hotwell pumps, the feed water was discharged through the main feed filters. These filters, of which there were four, had a grid area of 17,000 square inches
. . . (continued)


Tank Top - Titanic's Tank Top, showing general arrangements of boilers, engines and auxiliaries. Illustration by Bruce Beveridge

Titanic’s Tank Top, showing general arrangements of boilers, engines and auxiliaries. Illustration by Bruce Beveridge

Other topics in this chapter:
Background: the decision to employ combination machinery - Arrangement of machinery - Uptakes and funnels - Bunker arrangements - Ash hoists and ejectors - Boiler room fans and ventilation - Steam pipes and valves - Exhaust steam turbine - Maneuvering gear - Condensers - Evaporating plant - Shaft bearings and propellers - Main engine seats - Thrust seats - Propeller shaft stools - Boiler stools - Mobility through boiler and machinery spaces (raised decks, access to the higher levels, gratings, ladders)

Copyright 2007 Beveridge, Hall, Andrews, Klistorner and Braunschweiger.

spacer-transparent.gif (814 bytes)
spacer-transparent.gif (814 bytes) spacer-transparent.gif (814 bytes)

spacer-transparent.gif (814 bytes) spacer-transparent.gif (814 bytes)