Napier Deltic Marine Diesel Engine

Napier Deltic Marine Diesel Engine

Like the petrol-powered Sabre aero engine, the Napier Deltic was a remarkably high power-to-weight ratio engine with highly original features and layout to work in mainline express rail locomotives, minesweepers, and high output fire pumps.

A valveless 2-stroke diesel engine with pistons in opposed cylinders, the 3000+ horsepower arrangement found within the Class 55 locomotive with a total of 36 cylinders and 72 pistons across 6 crankshafts is remarkable – see more information in this video:

Within the marine arena, the Deltic marine diesel engines were historically used in Royal Navy minesweepers like HMS Ledbury, these were replaced by CAT C32 4 stroke diesel engine, which, to be fair, being a conventional 32 litre V12 4-stroke engine has likely been a lot more reliable!

Historically a Deltic engine was installed in a captured German E-Boat to replace the Mercedes Benz diesel unit and provided much more power at a fifth of the weight.

A technical marvel, the Deltic marine diesel engine also saw service in the US Navy during the Vietnam conflict, but these days is only found in heritage railway Class 55 examples.

Gardener Marine Diesel Engines


Gardner Marine Diesel Engine

In this blog we have shown some interesting videos of the products from L. Gardner & Son which made reliable and high torque and economical marine diesel engines in Manchester until the mid 1990’s.

It is reported that a 2-tonne Bentley car could manage 30 miles per gallon with a Gardner diesel fitted and this was in the 1930’s!

Watching these videos gives an idea of Manchester area heritage in manufacture of outstandingly rugged, simple, and fuel economical marine diesel engines.

With the remarkable straight eight prime mover shown there is no cylinder head gasket and a maximum revolutions of 1850 – very different to modern high stress turbocharged engines from Volvo Penta, MTU, CAT, M.A.N or Pielstick brands.

If you want to see more on these diesel engines there are a range on show at the Anson Engine Museum. In the 1900s, there were over 20 stationary diesel engine makers within 20 miles of this museum!

MTU Series 4000 Diesel Generator

In this case study video from generator supplier Shenton Group you can watch the process of removing 4 old Blackstone gensets that went to the Anson Museum – they were replaced with 3 new MTU 4000 series generators.

The faithful Blackstone generator set which was installed at Cardiff pumping station in the 1970’s is seen here on a lo-loader going to it’s final location.

Blackstone Diesel Generator