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Old 22nd September 2005, 07:09
thunderd thunderd is offline  
 
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Steam, steam and more steam

In the last few days the Discovery channel on satellite TV has had a couple of fascinating shows. Firstly let me confess I am not an engineer so don't shoot me down if my terminology is not correct.

The first one was about the old steam mechanism that used to lift the two halves of London Bridge. They have thankfully restored and preserved it and it is a massive and impressive piece of machinery. It is all gleaming steel rods and (I think brass bushes) they have painted parts of it in heritage red and green colours.

Apparently in its day it was very state of the art and was one of the first major steam engines to re-use the steam in a device called an accumulator.

The second show I saw was again all about steam engines in ships and explained the basics of things like triple expansion engines. They also showed the engine (not steam) in what was then the worlds biggest container ship, it was called the Shen**** something and weighed in at some 80-odd thousand tons, a very impressive ship.

I guess to those of you who worked these engines all your working life its all a bit boring but I must admit I find it fascinating just to see the raw power that steam can generate. I very much admire the people whose hobby is restoring old steam driven tugs, locomotives etc.
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