| September/October 1977

Steam specialists, we figure, are attracted by all uses of steam for providing power so we think you'll be interested in the operation of the Mississippi Queen, biggest steamboat on any United States river.

We took the trip from New Orleans to Vicksburg and back with a group of Montanans from Helena and Great Falls. We saw the whole boat including the modern engine room, with- its horizontal, tandem compound, condensing steam engine.

The Mississippi Queen is operated by the same company which runs the Delta Queen, the famous steamer that is half a century old. On the trip we took, the two Queens met twice at Natchez, they tied up together and passengers could exchange boat visits.

To give you some idea of the Mississippi Queen's scale, here are some of the vital statistics:

Length, 379 feet; beam, 68 feet; draft, 8 feet; cost of construction $24 million; passenger capacity, 400 number of staterooms, 218; crew size, 125; gross tonnage, 4,500 tons; steam engine horsepower, 2,000 HP; cruising speed, 12 MPH.

Fuel oil tankage totals 430 tons; fresh water tankage, 440 tons plus 150 tons daily; fuel consumption in service, estimated 335 gallons an hour; auxiliary generator capacity, 3,000 KW; steam pressure, 500 pounds.