It is almost equally fascinating to see old things pop up out of dust and new flashy things invented. Kory Anderson and his team in South Dakota did precisely the same thing. They breathed life back into a monster. As a result, the largest steam engine to have ever made, the 150HP Case, came to life nearly after a slumber of a century.
The JI Case Company based in Racine, Wisconsin, back in the day boasted the creation of this mammoth engine to their credit. It was used like a warhorse or a work mule to pull gigantic freights and heavy loads over long distances.
This magnanimous engines were produced for a little over two years, after which their production was shelved because of the lack of metallurgical advancements back in the day. Only 9 of these engines were produced, and their parts were later sold off for scrap. The only remnant of these engines was a boiler.
Anderson was always passionate about steam engines, having grown up around them; he took a keen interest in these mammoth engines. So he and his team gathered the machine’s blueprints and got down to the task, recreate one of the most iconic steam engines ever.
It took a staggering 16 months for the team to assemble the engine only. 640 rivets were used in the rear wheels, and it weighed a hefty 6200 pounds that is roughly 2812 kgs.
The result is outstanding.
As the team says, “The 150 Case RL weighs in fully loaded at 37 tons, and is 25 feet (7.6m) long, 14 feet (4.2m) wide, standing over 12 feet (3.6m) tall. The engine burns both wood and coal to maintain its operating pressure of 180 psi steam. The bunkers have a capacity for 3 tons of coal, and the water tank will hold 600 gallons (2,271 litres) of water.”
The engine offers a speed of 2.64 mph (4.2 km/ h) in low gear and can reach up to 5.69 mph (9.1 km/h) in high gear.
The recreated 150HP Case was unveiled on September 18, 2018, in South Dakota. As the engine pulled the hefty objects without a hitch, the team is now optimistic that the engine’s capacity can be enhanced and pull off greater feats and heavier load if and when required.