In Memoriam: RMS Titanic
Much has been made of the smoothness of the Titanic's engines. In the movie version of "A Night to Remember", there is a scene where Bruce Ismay balances his pen on the dining room table. Many of the passengers first realized something was wrong, when they felt the engines stop. While the stability of a ship is a function of its size, the vibrations experienced are, in the main, caused by her engines. The type of engine used also has a direct bearing on the efficiency and cost of operation.
Because of their size, the Olympic class ships could not hope to compete with Cunard's speedsters without prohibitive expenditures for coal. As a result, White Star went for economy and comfort. Based on their experience with the Laurentic, the decision was made to use a combination of reciprocating and turbine engines for power.
The history of these engines is as interesting as that of the ships they propelled.
Copyright © 1995-1998 Michael Disabato.