SD6909 : Bolton Steam Museum - Robey uniflow engine

taken 10 years ago, near to Bolton, Great Britain

Bolton Steam Museum - Robey uniflow engine
Bolton Steam Museum - Robey uniflow engine
This is an angle not seen before as I was on the McNaught-compound beam engine's beam floor.
I have a real soft spot for this 'modern' design of reciprocating steam engine. This design has the efficiency of a much more complicated triple expansion engine in a much smaller footprint. This is because wasteful condensation is reduced by ensuring the steam flows in one direction only from the hot cylinder heads to the cooler exhaust ports in the centre of the cylinder. Because of the temperature gradient and differential expansion the cylinders were bored in a barrel shape with a wider bore in the cool centre. At operating temperature the bore became parallel. Another special feature was the need to provide compression relief when the engine was running without a good vacuum produced by condensing the steam. Many uniflows had manually operated valves on the sides of the cylinder that opened auxiliary clearance spaces. This engine has automatic auxiliary exhaust valves. These operate all the time in the Museum because there is no condensing plant in operation. This engine was built in 1926 and supplied to the Baltic Sawmills, Ammanford. From 1938 it was used as a test engine in the laboratories of the Manchester College of Technology. It was removed by a local machinery merchant in 1947 and stored until acquired by the Northern Mill Engine Society in 1987. The cylinder is 13.5" bore by 16" stroke and it ran at 200 revolutions per minute on superheated steam at 200 pounds per square inch.
The Bolton Steam Museum :: SD7009

Bolton Steam Museum is operated by volunteers from the Northern Mill Engine Society (NMES) who have rescued 25 of the old stationary steam engines which once powered the cotton mills of Lancashire and Yorkshire. It has the largest collection of working steam mill engines in the UK and probably the largest in the world.

The original museum was first opened to the public in 1983 in one of the original engine-houses of Atlas No 3 Mill where 5 of the rebuilt engines could be seen working in steam and over the following 7 years it became a well-known attraction in the area. However, in 1990, the mill complex was sold for redevelopment as a retail supermarket and the museum was in the way. Fortunately, the new owners, William Morrison Supermarkets, were sympathetic to the Society's plight and undertook to relocate the museum into another building on the far side of the site. Unfortunately, this meant dismantling all the engines, moving all the parts into the new building and beginning the rebuilding work all over again but the society now has the security of a long lease and has spent the last 22 years reassembling its collection, which has now grown to some 27 engines, in the new premises. The new building is ideal for the museum, with plenty of natural lighting and full crane coverage to assist with moving and assembling the heavy engine parts.

The Society's collection of steam engines now represents one of the largest in the UK. Due the fact that work is still in progress, it is not yet possible to open the museum to the public on a regular basis, although special Steam Open Days are held each year.

LinkExternal link Northern Mill Engine Society website

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SD6909, 116 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Saturday, 20 August, 2011   (more nearby)
Sunday, 24 May, 2020
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 6998 0990 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:35.0892N 2:27.2961W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 6998 0991
View Direction
South-southwest (about 202 degrees)
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Other Tags
Stationary Steam Engine  Steam Engine (Preserved)  Bolton SteamMuseum 

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Image Type (about): inside 
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