It's not a baseball report. It's something that staggers the imagination. Let's say you needed a prime mover for a waterworks -- a really large waterworks, 19 million gallons a day -- and let's say it's 1926 and you live in a country with a lot of coal and a strong engineering tradition. And let's say you wanted it utterly reliable.
Of course you'd build a matched pair of 62-foot tall, 1000-bhp, triple-expansion steam engines atop directly-driven piston pumps, wouldn't you? The Brits did -- and at the time, the mammoth installation really was the best choice.*
But it is stunning. Staggering. All the more when you consider the pair of engines remained in service until 1980! And why not; they worked.
Best of all, after the engines were honorably retired, steam enthusiasts adopted them! It took a new boiler and an enormous effort, but one of the engines runs again, under steam -- and yes, they have public demonstrations.
I have been a big admirer of steam enthusiasts ever since I met the crew who rescued the old locomotive from Broad Ripple Park; but this effort is on a truly heroic scale.
...And in a few days, I'll link to another engine, earlier but just as ambitious and built, in its unique way, in a similar scale.
*This was to change, soon after -- and they followed the technology, as you'll see.