ASME-Landmark:USS Texas' Reciprocating Steam Engines


The USS Texas is the last surviving warship of its kind—powered by reciprocating steam engines. It was launched at Newport News in 1912 during a period in which naval authorities were switching to the newly-developed steam turbine for propulsion, but were unsure of its suitability. Only one more warship, the New York, commissioned one month after the Texas, was to be powered by the reciprocating engines. At the time, the Texas' engines were initially described as "the ultimate in naval reciprocating engine construction."

The Texas was propelled by twin screws driven by 4-cylinder triple-expansion engines that provided 14,000 horsepower to each shaft and traveled 21.05 knots at 125 revolutions per minute. Piston valves were used on all cylinders, one for the high pressure cylinder, and two each for the intermediate pressure cylinder and two low pressure cylinders.

During World War I, the Texas served in the Atlantic and was present at Scapa Flow for the surrender of the German Fleet. In World War II, the Texas primarily served in the Atlantic on convoy escort duty. Under Rear admiral C.F. Bryant, U.S.N., the Texas fired the opening naval salvo of the D-Day invasion at Normandy. After World War II, the Texas was removed from the Navy's active roster and was returned to the state of Texas as a monument in 1948. The engines are the largest survivors of their type. See ASME website for more information