The impressive engine of the Patria and Concordia has been working for almost a century now. As soon as tourists embark on this steamship, they realize, to their surprise, that this is no common boat, with its extraordinary roaring steam engine, the movement of the three huge piston-rods and the paddle-wheels
that are visible through glass panes.

At full blast, the piston-rods make 61 revolutions per minute, speeding the boat up to a maximum of 23 km/h, with a power of 600 steam horses. The four furnaces, which were coal-fired until 1951,
produce 3 tons of steam per hour.

The steam distribution system by means of Caprotti valves (Concordia and Patria are the only boats left in the world to feature this apparatus), is considered to be the highest level of evolution of steam engines: it reduces consumption while increasing, at the same time, power and manoeuvrability. Engine capacity reaches almost...two million cm3.

Two rare pictures taken from the driver’s position. On the left: pressure gauges. It takes four hours to reach the pressure needed for operating the boat. This means that the stoker has to light the furnace at 5:00 a.m. to be able to depart at 9:00 a.m. to effectuate the habitual excursion from Como to Colico.

Engine drivers at work.

The B piston-rod bears the following inscription: Regia Italia Genova, 22 luglio 1926 (Royal Italy Genoa. July 22, 1926).

The memorial plaque.

The original document containing
the test report for the engine of the steamer
28 ottobre (today named Concordia).

The glass windows overlooking the huge side wheels. The wheels have a diameter of 4 metres and are fitted with eight oscillating paddles.

Reflections and plays of light through the windows.