Trekplace   Uncharted Content from the Final Frontier - Since 1999
FAQ   Links   Contact   Updated September 20, 2010

Where on the USS Enterprise Is the Engine Room?
by Greg Tyler
September 9, 2002
January 1, 2006


The USS Enterprise NCC-1701 of the original Star Trek television series holds a special place in the hearts of many longtime Star Trek fans. To many the NCC-1701 immediately comes to mind when the word "enterprise" is mentioned.

USS Enterprise NCC-1701, aft view

Despite the popularity of the original Federation starship Enterprise, the location of one of its key facilities, the engine room, has become a source of contention to some Star Trek enthusiasts. Some fans are convinced that the engine room of the Enterprise was located in the aft section of the ship's primary hull, near the impulse engines, and other fans believe that the room was located somewhere within the engineering hull. The aim of this article is to determine the most likely location of the NCC-1701 engine room based entirely on evidence from episodes of the original Star Trek television series and other key references used during the production of the series.

Background: Why the Confusion?

Much of the material in the Star Trek television series was invented and re-invented as the series progressed. For example, the operating authority of the Enterprise seemed to be Earth until late in the first season, when the term "United Federation of Planets" was first used. Early in the series, a key component of the Enterprise's power and propulsion system seemed to be a collection of lithium crystals, but as the series progressed, the term "lithium" was changed to "dilithium."

Just as many background details about the Star Trek universe were invented on an episode-by-episode basis, other background details were never firmly established during the course of the Star Trek series. The calendar years of the five-year mission documented in the original series remained ambiguous or conjectural until the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Q2," which aired nearly 32 years after Star Trek had ceased production.

The location of the USS Enterprise's engine room was another detail that was not firmly established in an episode of the original series. No one ever entered a turbolift and stated that they wanted to go, for example, to "main engineering on Deck 4." Further, since videotaped copies of the episodes were not commercially available, fans could not easily scrutinize the shows for clues that might reveal a likely location for the room.

The idea that the engine room of the original Enterprise was located in the rear of the saucer section, near the impulse engines, was made popular by Franz Joseph's highly regarded Star Fleet Technical Manual (Ballantine Books, 1975, SBN 345-24730-2-695, ISBN 0-345-34074-4) and Star Trek Blueprints (Ballantine Books, 1975, SBN 345-24471-0-500). The Franz Joseph publications are interpretive works, largely based on descriptive text in Stephen E. Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry's The Making of Star Trek (Ballantine Books, 1968, SBN 345-02697-7-125, ISBN 0-345-34019-1). Although The Making of Star Trek does not explicitly identify the location of the Enterprise's engine room, one interpretation of a passage in the book suggests that the engine room is in the saucer section.

On the other hand, the first edition of Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda, and Debbie Mirek's Star Trek Encylopedia (Pocket Books, 1994, ISBN 0-671-86905-1) features a conjectural deck chart to the Enterprise of the original series, and that chart identifies engineering as being on Deck 19 in the secondary hull. The authors of that publication explain their conjecture on page 93:

Note that our deck chart for the original Enterprise disagrees with previously published blueprints in that we are putting the engineering room (which clearly housed the ship's warp drive) in the Engineering Section, rather than in the saucer (where it would be closer to the impulse engines).

This article will attempt to determine the location of the engine room of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 during the five-year mission by reviewing the primary source of information about the ship: actual episodes of the Star Trek television series. Attention will also be given to the Star Trek Writers & Director's Guide (Bible), since that publication was used as a reference to the writers and producers of the series. Finally, attention will be paid to The Making of Star Trek, with the awareness that much of the Enterprise-related material in that book might have been the fabrication or speculation of Whitfield rather than derived from actual behind-the-scenes or on-screen information.


Since the engine room has been shown to be a location from which virtually every system of the ship can be controlled, monitored, and overridden using the room's display panels and consoles, studying which systems are seen to be controlled from that location by the use of those interfaces would not yield any definitive clues about the physical location of the engine room. Further, despite the fact that virtually every other Starfleet vessel's engine room is located in the secondary hull, including the engine room of the refitted Enterprise of the Star Trek features, the engine room of the Enterprise prior to her refit need not be in the that location.

In "The Corbomite Maneuver" (Star Trek episode #3), Kirk refers to engineering decks:

KIRK: Helmsman, engineering decks could have been faster, too.

Kirk's line suggests that the Enterprise has entire decks dedicated to engineering. Kirk's line, however, does not explicitly state that the engine room lies among the engineering decks.

In "The Enemy Within" (Star Trek episode #5), Kirk's "evil half" hides aboard the Enterprise:

SPOCK: Knowing how the ship is laid out, where would you go to elude a mass search?
KIRK: The lower levels... the engineering deck.

The engineering deck, in the lower levels of the Enterprise

Kirk and Spock later search the engine room, and they find and confront Kirk's evil half hiding there. This suggests that the engine room is also referred to as the engineering deck, and that the engineering deck is among or near the lowest levels of the ship. Since the lowest levels of the Enterprise are in the secondary hull, the engine room would seem to also be in that location.

Later, as Spock muses on Kirk's condition in sick bay, Scotty contacts them from the room in which the confrontation took place.

SCOTT: Mister Scott, sir, on the lower level of the engineering deck.

This dialogue suggests that the engine room is on the lower of two adjacent levels of a single engineering deck. This suggests some type of distinction between the terms "levels" and "decks," although the nature of the distinction is unclear. Scotty's reference to "the engineering deck" sould seem to contradict Kirk's reference to "engineering decks" in "The Corbomite Maneuver."

In "The Man Trap" (Star Trek episode #6), Spock refers to "all decks and engineering levels":

SPOCK: Supplies of salt have been set out as bait at all decks and engineering levels, Captain.

This implies some separation between general-purpose decks and decks or levels dedicated to engineering. A logical implementation of this separation would be if engineering levels were grouped together in a dedicated section of the ship, such as the engineering hull. On the other hand, Spock's line does not explicitly state that all of the Enterprise's engineering levels are grouped together. It is possible that the engineering levels are scattered throughout the ship. More importantly, Spock's line does not suggest a location for the engine room.

In "The Naked Time" (Star Trek episode #7), Riley locks himself in the engine room. While trying to regain access to the engine room from just outside that room's entrance, Scotty asks an engineering crewman:

SCOTT: Get up to my office and pull the plans for this bulkhead.

This line implies that the engine room is on a deck below that containing Scotty's office. Since the bridge occupies virtually all of Deck 1, Scotty's office can be no higher within the ship than Deck 2, so the engine room can be no higher than on Deck 3.

Scotty later contacts the bridge from a wall intercom in the corridor outside the engine room:

SCOTT: Engineering to bridge.

If the area outside the engine room is still identifiable as engineering, then the engine room would seem to be part of a section dedicated to engineering.

After Scotty regains access to the engine room, he is seen checking one of the two large structures on the floor of the room as he discusses restarting the ship's main engines with Kirk:

SCOTT: Captain, you can't mix matter and antimatter cold! We'd go up in the biggest explosion since --
KIRK: We can balance our engines into a controlled implosion.
SCOTT: That's only a theory. It's never been done.

Since the structures do not contain control panels, one might assume that the structures are somehow physically connected with the main engines. Since the warp engine nacelles are connected to the ship at the secondary hull, the most logical location for the engine room would be within the secondary hull.

In "The Conscience of the King" (Star Trek episode #13), Kirk has Riley transferred:

KIRK: Lieutenant Kevin Riley in communications. I wish to have him transferred down to the engineering decks.

Riley is later seen to be working in the engine room. This implies that the engine room is located among multiple engineering decks, and that the engineering decks are located in the lower levels of the Enterprise.

Bored and lonely in the engine room, Riley contacts his friends in the rec room via intercom:

MATSON: Larry Matson. Is that you, Riley? What's up?
RILEY: Not me. I am down. The engineering room.

Lieutenant Kevin Riley, "down" in the engineering room of the Enterprise

Since the bridge occupies virtually all of Deck 1, the rec room can be no higher within the ship than Deck 2, so the engine room can be no higher than on Deck 3.

In "Court-Martial," Spock locates Finney, who has eluded a phase-one search:

SPOCK: B Deck - in or near engineering.
KIRK: Seal off B Deck, sections 18Y through 23B.

The engine room is thus located on B Deck. Unfortunately most Starfleet deck references in Star Trek series and films set in the 23rd and 24th centuries deal more with deck numbers rather than deck letters. There is also no known association between deck letters and deck numbers. For the sake of argument, if we assume that an A Deck corresponds to Deck 1, B Deck corresponds to Deck 2, etc., then the engine room would be located on Deck 2. This cannot be true, however, since we know that the bridge is located on Deck 1, and that both a rec room and Scotty's office lie on some level or levels between the engine room and the bridge. For this reason, the specific reference to the engine room residing on B Deck, within sections 18Y through 23B, does not indicate the physical location of the room.

In "The Alternative Factor" (Star Trek episode #20), Lieutenant Masters identifies a room seen only in this episode as engineering. Since the engine room and the outlying corridor are also considered engineering, per "The Naked Time," this room would seem to be located in the same general area as the engine room. Since this other room contains the ship's dilithium crystals, one could infer that the engine room seen in other episodes was in the same general area as the dilithium crystals, at least as of this point in the Enterprise's five-year mission.

Lieutenant Masters in engineering, but not in the engine room

In "The Doomsday Machine" (Star Trek episode #35), Kirk and Scotty are aboard the Enterprise's sister ship, the USS Constellation, and they are forced to take the crippled ship into battle. The warp drive and the impulse engines' control circuits are offline. Scotty has to connect the warp drive control circuits to the impulse engines so that the Constellation can use her impulse engines. Before Scotty can complete his task, Kirk asks Scotty for power to the ship:

KIRK: Scotty, where's that power?
SCOTT: Coming, sir. If I push these engines too hard in the condition they're in, they'll blow apart!

Scotty works on the engines of the USS Constellation

Later Kirk, in auxiliary control, asks Scotty, in the engine room, to devise a way to destroy the Constellation's impulse engines.

KIRK: I want you to rig a thirty-second delay detonation device and rig it so that it can be blown from up here.
SCOTT: Aye, sir.
KIRK: Set it, and get up here as fast as you can.

This exchange suggests that aboard the USS Constellation, the engine room is located somewhere lower than the deck on which auxiliary control is located. In "I, Mudd," Kirk discovers that the android Norman is aboard the Enterprise on Deck 8, in auxiliary control. This would seem to suggest that the Enterprise's engine room is somewhere below Deck 8.

While giving this report, Scotty is seen operating a handheld engineering tool in front of the heavy screen in the engine room. Later, when Scotty is still in the engine room, Kirk again asks for power to the ship:

KIRK: Scotty, give me that power!
SCOTT: You've got it, Captain. Just enough to move us. I can't do better.

Kirk then orders full ahead, and Scotty is thrown across the engine room.

The above evidence from "The Doomsday Machine" might suggest that Scotty is working directly with the Constellation's impulse engines from within the engine room. This implies that the Constellation's engine room might be located in the saucer, near the ship's impulse engines, and that the Enterprise's engine room occupies a similar location within that ship. On the other hand, Scotty might be working with the control circuits of the Constellation's warp engines, since those control circuits are being used to operate the impulse engines. Another possibility is that Scotty, ever the miracle worker, might have been working on the warp engines themselves, in an effort to make them partially operable. The Constellation's engine room need not be located near the impulse engines.

In "Mirror, Mirror" (Star Trek episode #39), mirror-Spock refers to computer activity in the engineering section of the mirror Enterprise, as Scotty and McCoy work with the computer in the Emergency Manual Monitor room that overlooks the engine room:

SPOCK: Computer
SPOCK: Explain computer activity in the engineering section.

This suggests that the engine room and Emergency Manual Monitor room are located within an area of the ship that can be referred to as the engineering section. If we assume that the mirror-Enterprise's internal spaces are identified in the same manner as those of the "real" Enterprise, then the "real" Enterprise's engine room and Emergency Manual Monitor would seem to be located in the ship's engineering section. Since the Enterprise's secondary hull is also referred to as the engineering hull, the most likely location for the engineering section would be within the engineering hull.

The association of the Enterprise's engine room with the ship's engineering section is maintained in both "I, Mudd" (Star Trek episode #41) and "Journey to Babel" (Star Trek episode #44). In "I, Mudd," Norman commandeers the Emergency Manual Monitor, and when Scotty fails to respond to Kirk's intercom call to the engine room, Kirk contacts security:

KIRK: Security, the intruder is in the engineering section. Have all units converge at that point.

It should be noted that the Star Trek Encyclopedia considers the Emergency Manual Monitor and auxiliary control to be the same facility. Since Kirk identifies auxiliary control as being on deck eight in "I, Mudd," one might surmise that the engine room, one level below the Emergency Manual Monitor, would be on Deck 9. On the other hand, visual evidence from "I, Mudd" and other episodes clearly distinguishes auxiliary control as being a separate facility from the Emergency Manual Monitor. For this reason, the engine room need not be located on Deck 9.

In "Journey to Babel," Kirk guides Sarek and Amanda on a tour of the Enterprise. As they enter the engine room, Kirk identifies the area:

KIRK: This is the engineering section.

Kirk, Spock, Sarek, and Amanda enter the engineering section of the Enterprise

In "The Ultimate Computer" (Star Trek episode #53), Commodore Wesley mentions that a modification will need to be made to the Enterprise in order to accommodate the M-5 computer:

WESLEY: When your crew has been removed, the ship's engineering section will be modified to contain the computer.

The M-5 is later seen to be housed in the engine room, further establishing the association between the engine room and the engineering section of the ship.

Shortly after Kirk meets Doctor Daystrom, Daystrom reports on the power requirements of the M-5:

DAYSTROM: Captain, I've finished my tests on the M-5, and it must be hooked into your main power plants in order to be operative.

This suggests that the engine room is in close physical proximity to the Enterprise's main power plants.

Later, in the engine room, Kirk orders the M-5 to be disconnected from the ship's power plants. An engineering crewman begins to operate on a power terminal in the room, and the M-5 establishes an energy link to the terminal, killing the crewman. Spock then observes:

SPOCK: M-5 appears to be drawing power directly from the warp engines... tapping the matter/antimatter reserves.

M-5, tapping power from within the engineering section

This suggests that the engine room is also located near the warp engines, to the point where the matter/antimatter reserves can be tapped in order to draw power directly from the engines. The most likely location for the engine room would be in the secondary hull, to which the warp engine nacelles are mounted.

During a battle exercise gone awry, the M-5-controlled Enterprise damages her sister ship, the USS Lexington. Spock reports the status of the Lexington:

KIRK: Estimate damage on Lexington, Spock.
SPOCK: Hit in engineering section. Possible damage to her impulse engines. She is still maneuverable on warp drive.

This line could be interpreted to suggest that the Lexington's engineering section is close to the impulse engines in the primary hull, rather than in the secondary hull. This would seem to contradict evidence from earlier in the episode. On the other hand, Spock's report has other possible interpretations. It is possible that the Lexington was hit in two possible locations: the engineering section, and the impulse engines. Alternatively, the Lexington could have been hit only in the engineering section, causing damage to circuits that remotely control the impulse engines, thus making Spock's sensors think that the impulse engines might have been damaged.

In "The Omega Glory" (Star Trek episode #54), Kirk and a boarding party beam aboard the engine room of the Enterprise's sister ship, the USS Exeter. Before they beam away, Spock establishes a sensor lock:

SPOCK: We are locked onto the Exeter's engineering section, Captain.

Kirk and crew find no personnel in the Exeter's engine room, only a single uniform draped over hardware in the center of the room. Kirk uses the intercom to address the ship:

KIRK: This is Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise. Is there anyone on board? If there is, and if you can hear me, please respond by intercom to the engineering section. Is there anyone on board?

During Kirk's address, we see glimpses of different areas of the ship, including the engine room, which is seen to be empty of both the Enterprise boarding party and the found uniform. One could interpret this as a sign that starships such as the Exeter and Enterprise have two virtually identical engine rooms, but there are no other clues in the series, or in any Star Trek series or movie to suggest that this might be the case. Since every shot of the ship's interior during Kirk's address is devoid of uniforms, which are implied by dialogue to be all over the ship, the most likely explanation for this "second" engine room is that it is part of stock footage that was rather haphazardly edited into the scene, without consideration of the fact that Kirk is in the engine room before, during, and after he addresses the ship.

Kirk orders Spock and Galloway to search other areas of the ship. They soon report their findings:

SPOCK: Spock here, Captain. Lieutenant Galloway and I are checking out the lower levels. There seems to be no one aboard. Only uniforms.
KIRK: What about the shuttlecraft?
GALLOWAY: Galloway on the hangar deck, sir. All four of the craft are still here. If they left, they didn't leave that way.

Among the locations that Galloway checks out is the hangar deck. This suggests that the engine room is in or close to the lower levels of the ship, as well as the hangar deck. Since the secondary hull is the location of both the hangar deck and the lowest levels of the Enterprise and her sister ships, it is reasonable to assume that the engine room would also be in the secondary hull.

In "Elaan of Troyius" (Star Trek episode #57) and "The Paradise Syndrome" (Star Trek episode #58), a structure in the middle of the engine room is seen to house a single dilithium crystal, which is shown to be a critical component of the warp drive. The physical presence within the engine room of a critical component of the warp drive might suggest that the engine room is located near the warp engines. The most likely location that satisfies this requirement would be the secondary hull.

The dilithium crystal converter assembly, located in the center of the engine room

"The Paradise Syndrome" also has a shot in the engine room where Scotty points back at the area behind the large screen and says:

SCOTT: I can't give you warp nine much longer, Mister Spock. These engines are beginning to show signs of stress.

Scotty points to his engines

Later, as the Enterprise is overexerted, Scotty mentions that the dilithium crystal circuit is failing. Still later, another overexertion causes the area of the engine room behind the large screen to flash as if it's damaged. Scotty later reports on the status of his "poor bairns":

Scotty frets over the ship's engines

SCOTT: And don't ask for any more warp-nine speeds, Mister Spock. Our stardrive is completely burned out. The only thing we have left is impulse power.

This suggests that the area behind the screen in the engine room is associated with the warp engines, and that it is perhaps not associated with the impulse engines.

In "The Tholian Web" (Star Trek episode #64), McCoy mentions that the effects of the interphase on the crew:

McCOY: It's getting critical. There have been a number of assaults down on the lower decks. Even Scotty's being affected.

This suggests that the engine room is located in or near the lower decks of the Enterprise.

"Day of the Dove" (Star Trek episode #66) offers a variety of somewhat conflicting evidence on the location of the Enterprise engine room. Although the engine room is accessible throughout the entire episode, early in the episode Uhura mentions to Kirk:

UHURA: Reports coming in from the lower decks. Emergency bulkheads have closed. Almost 400 crewmen are trapped down there, sir.

Since many other episodes imply that the engine room lies among the lower levels of the Enterprise, one might theorize that the decks on which the crewmen are trapped are those below the engine room. On the other hand, decks above or containing the engine room might have also been sealed off. The alien thriving on hatred, planned to sustain itself by feeding from the hatred accompanying repeated physical skirmishes between the Enterprise crew and the Klingon detainees. If the alien identified the engine room as a strategic location to both factions, then it might have specifically maintained access to the engine room while trapping much of the Enterprise crew in surrounding areas.

Later, in the detainment room, Kirk tells Johnson:

KIRK: ...get down to engineering and help Scotty hammer things back to normal...

This suggests that the engine room lies on a deck below the detainment room seen in this scene.

Later in "Day of the Dove," Spock mentions:

SPOCK: The Klingons control deck six and starboard deck seven, while we control all sections above.

At this point the engine room remains under the control of the Enterprise crew. One could infer from this line that the engine room lies somewhere above Deck 6, or on Deck 7, portside. On the other hand, Spock does not mention any decks below Deck 7. At least some of the decks below Deck 7 were likely under varying degrees of control by both factions, so it is possible that the engine room could be on one of the contested lower decks.

Perhaps the most confusing part of "Day of the Dove" with respect to the location of the engine room occurs when Kirk and Spock leave the bridge to confront the alien. Before Kirk and Spock leave the bridge, Spock indicates the location of the alien:

SPOCK: Alien detected in the engineering section, near reactor number three.

On their way to the engine room, Kirk and Spock are seen to walk through some corridors within the Enterprise. During their journey, they encounter Chekov, Mara, and another Klingon, who are on their way to the Enterprise's main life support couplings. Mara earlier identified the location of the life support couplings:

MARA: Number six deck.

Since the engine room is always seen to be located adjacent to a corridor, and Kirk and Spock are walking in the corridors following their turbolift trip from the bridge, then it is likely that Kirk and Spock are walking on the same level as the engine room. Since Mara is also in a corridor, she could also be on the same level as the main life support couplings on "number six deck." If these assumptions are all true, then the engine room would seem to be on Deck 6 - in the primary hull of the ship.

On the other hand, Mara might have just begun her trek to the life support couplings on Deck 6, and her path might have begun on a lower deck, near the engine room. Another possibility is that the Klingons, who controlled Deck 6 and part of Deck 7, managed to disable a portion of the turbolift network. This might have forced Kirk and Spock to depart the turbolift from the bridge on some level between the bridge and the engine room. Kirk and Spock might have been walking to another turbolift station, or to a Jefferies tube or ladderway, on Deck 6, or some other level between the bridge and the engine room, when they encountered Mara. A partial turbolift outage might have similarly affected Mara. The engine room thus might not be located on Deck 6.

At the end of "Day of the Dove," the alien entity, which can pass through solid matter, is seen to leave the ship. It starts its journey by passing through a wall in the engine room, and it ends its journey by passing through the ship's outer skin from the starboard side of the secondary hull. Unless the alien entity used an extremely convoluted and indirect flight path, the engine room would seem to be located in the Enterprise's secondary hull.

The alien in the Enterprise engine room

The alien leaves the Enterprise from the engine room

The alien departs the Enterprise, passing through the outer skin of the secondary hull

Another possible clue to the location of the Enterprise's engine room might lie in the areas adjoining the room. In "The Naked Time" (Star Trek episode #7) and "Day of the Dove," the main entrance to the engine room is seen to adjoin a curved corridor. The engineering facility seen only in "The Alternative Factor" also adjoins a curved corridor. Since the decks of the Enterprise's saucer generally have circular outlines, a curved corridor and its adjoining rooms might seem more appropriate in the saucer than in the secondary hull, where the decks generally have oblong outlines. It is the opinion of this author that the precise configuration of the corridors outlying the Star Trek sets should not be given much consideration. Many of the major Star Trek sets were built along a single curved corridor and two short straight corridors. This was a production necessity due to stage space limitations. It is also important to consider that the engine room sets of both the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 of the feature films and the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D of Star Trek: Generations also had adjoining curved corridors, and yet those facilities are accepted as being located in the secondary hulls of their respective vessels. Further, the corridor segments, doorways, and other features seen just outside the engine room in the television series changed several times over the course of the show, suggesting that the appearance of the outlying areas at any given point was not to be taken as a "definitive" layout.

The Star Trek Writer & Director's Guide (Bible) uses the term "engineering section" to describe the secondary hull of the Enterprise. Although actual episodes' references seemed to use the term "engineering section" to refer to an interior region of the ship, it makes little sense to have a "engineering section" of the ship's interior located in a different physical part of the ship's than one that was also called the "engineering section."

A reference is also made to Scotty regarding "the Engineering Section as his private world." If this doesn't refer at least in part to the engine room, then Scotty must spend a great deal of the time in a region of the ship that is never seen in the original series. The Guide mentions that Scotty's "idea of a pleasant afternoon is tinkering in any Engineering Section of the vessel." This sentence is somewhat confusing. The descriptor "any" implies that there may be more than one engineering section aboard the ship, and yet the use of capital letter suggests a formal designation that would logically be associated with a single area of the ship. The Guide also describes the engine room, or engineering deck, set, describing it as "a section of the ship's innards, where in we find the basic components of the ship's motive force and energy.... access to the main feed of the starship's circuitry is available here." Although the reference does not explicitly identify the location of the room, the fact that it provides access to the "main feed of the starship's circuitry" might imply that the room is located near key systems associated with the main engines.

The Making of Star Trek coincides with the Guide for the most part, even to the point of directly quoting the Guide's description of the engineering deck and hangar deck sets. A possible exception can be found on page 171:

The impulse engine section is located at the bottom rear end of the saucer. Headquarters for the engineering division is also located in this same area, as are main engineering control facilities plus sufficient repair, storage, and other facilities to service the primary section when detached from the star-drive sections of the vessel.

It is likely that this passage persuaded Franz Joseph to position the Enterprise's engine room in the primary hull. Unfortunately the passage contradicts the majority of clues given in the actual episodes and other sources analyzed for this article. It is possible, however, to explain away the seeming discrepancy. The term "headquarters for the engineering division" need not be the actual engine room, but perhaps a cluster of offices and briefing rooms. If this is the case, then the rear of the saucer could be home to Scotty's office, described as being "up" with respect to the engine room in "The Naked Time." This would allow Scotty's office to be in the engineering headquarters within the primary hull, and the engine room to be in the secondary hull. The last quoted line in the passage above can be explained away by interpretation. It could be interpreted to mean that the "main engineering facilities" in the bottom rear end of the saucer are only the main facilities when the saucer is "detached from the star-drive sections of the vessel." This is a debatable interpretation, but it does resolve the discrepancy between the passage in Making and the majority of clues in it and other sources, which would seem to locate the engine room in the ship's secondary hull.

It is also important to note that the section of Making that describes the internal layout of the Enterprise was written entirely by Whitfield, and not by Roddenberry. The layout could be purely conjectural, rather than based on discussions with actual production staff for the Star Trek television series. Further, it is important to note the likelihood that the producers of the television series considered The Making of Star Trek to be a derivative work based on the series than a guide for the writers of the series.


The majority of clues in the sources studied seem to indicate that the engine room of the USS Enterprise is located on a key engineering deck, positioned among at least three engineering decks, in the engineering section of the ship's interior, somewhere among or near the lower levels of the vessel, below Deck 8, within the secondary hull, alias engineering hull, of the ship.

The fact that the most likely location of the engine room of the Enterprise of the original Star Trek series is the same as that of virtually every other Federation starship might be a fortunate coincidence. On the other hand, it does provide an added sense of continuity between the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 and her sister ships from Kirk's five-year mission, and other starships, such as the "almost totally new Enterprise" NCC-1701 of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the USS Defiant NX-72405 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and the USS Voyager NCC-74656 of Star Trek: Voyager.

Works Cited

Content © by Greg Tyler unless otherwise noted. This web site is a fan-produced, not-for-profit endeavor. Use of other parties' copyrighted works is done either with permission or under the terms of Fair Use. Works owned by other parties will be removed at the request of the copyright holder.

Opinions expressed by interviewees are their own, and they do not necessarily represent the opinions of the authors of this web site. The authors of this web site cannot always verify and are not responsible for the accuracy of claims made by interviewees.