In 1927 Mussolini launched a scheme to drain the Pontine Marshes southeast of Rome, Italy, which had defied cultivation since Roman times.
Fowler of Leeds, England, designed a BIG ploughing engine SUBERBA based on the EE and Z7S engines:
- Length was 25 6 - Height 13 10.5 - Weight 25 tons.
- Nominal HP of 30.
- Cylinder sizes of 9 and 15 with 14 stroke.
- The winding drum was 11.5 deep with 12 coils of 1 wire rope 470 to 800 yards.
- The plough employed on the Italian work had working depth of 31.5 and width of 24-28.
Only 4 working pairs (8 engines) were ever made and supplied to Italy. Fowler engine numbers 17514 17519, 17530 and 17531.
There are no surviving engines and only one known Superba works photograph (186C) as previous page, which shows EE Class No.17515, 30HP Superheated 'Superba'. Left-hand engine.
Supplied to F. Boncompagni Ludovice, Italy on 14th April 1927.
The Superbas never worked in Britain, and when their work finished in the marshland outside Rome, it is thought they were moved to the Medjerda Valley in Tunisia, where the magnificent engines met their ignominious end a few years later.
When the Fowler works closed in 1974 many engineering drawings were lost or destroyed. Those surviving, numbering 10,000 are now held at The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) University Reading. Only 32 specific Suberba drawings survived. No working specification list survived.