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Jessie M.

Jan 13, 2019
Yes, yes, I know the title is childish but bare with me a moment. :p

In two recreations now - Cameron's interpretation and Titanic: Honor and Glory's real-time sinking video - I've noticed a recurring trend... The Titanic, or rather her engines, sound like a Train. Now, as much as I may love old tech, I'm a complete and utter fool when it comes to engines and other similar Gadgets so I've been wondering if the mechanisms used on the Titanic are at all similar to a steam engine. I know that the Titanic had a "Reciprocating Engine" but that about as much as I know when it comes to how she worked.

Your thoughts, forum? Am I hearing things? Or is our lovely ship "The little Titanic that could"?
May 3, 2005
Just search on "Titanic's Engines" and you will plenty of explanations, illustrations, etc.
One poster on these forums has also posted photographs of a scale model of the engine he is making.

Tim Aldrich

Jan 26, 2018
In principle, the engines in Titanic operate the same as the engines on a steam locomotive. Steam expands in cylinders, which move pistons and eventually that motion ends up at propellers or wheels.

One major difference between Titanic and a locomotive is that a locomotive uses the steam one time. In a locomotive the boiler turns the water into steam, the steam goes into the cylinder(s), expands and is then exhausted to atmosphere. A "total loss" system if you will. That is why locomotives have to haul around water in the tender car to keep the boiler topped off.

Titanic on the other hand ran the exhaust steam through a condenser which turns that steam back into water. That freshly condensed water would then be run back into the boilers.

This is, of course, an overly-simplified process. Mr. Halpern's article (link below) should tell you all you would want to know.

Titanic's Prime Mover
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