River Don Engine functioning in time for £500,000 initiative

By Khaled Hejres @k_hijris

The River Don Engine at Sheffield’s Kelham Island is up and running again thanks to a grant given in order to replace its boiler.

The boiler has arrived just in time for the launch of a £512,173 project.

Several people poured into the museum to catch a glimpse of the engine in motion as it gyrated and spun, filling the chamber which housed it with a mechanical hum, and steam would blow out in clouds up towards the engine room’s roof.

At each hourly interval between 12.00-2.00 p.m., an intercom announcement drew guests into the engine room.

Josh Thomas, 25 said: “I’m so glad it’s up and running, the last time I came this room was pretty quiet.”

The Heritage Lottery Fund had given Kelham Island a grant of £428,100 in order to fit in a new boiler for the iconic steam engine.

The River Don Engine’s original battery of boilers could deliver up to 12,000 horsepower.

Sarah Asad, 20, said: “I honestly don’t know anything about engines, but seeing this one up close makes me appreciate how easy we have it. It’s hard to believe steam powered an entire train.”

The engine will play a crucial role in the Sheffield 1916: Steel, Steam and Power project.

The project is set to assimilate itself by the 30th of May 2016 and will give museum visitors the chance to experience Sheffield life as it was during the zeppelin bombings.

It will also see the inclusion of a power lab with hopes of engaging young Sheffield minds and opening them up to the sciences and engineering.

A 1916 House will contribute to expanding the museum’s knowledge as it will allow guests to experience how life had been, particularly on a social level, during the zeppelin bombings.

The River Don Engine is the most powerful steam engine in Europe – and quite possibly the world – and has attracted a vast number of visitors to Kelham Island.

The functioning River Don Engine:


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