Warp cores are a frequent plot device in Star Trek, as well we all know. This question has a list of ejection events and a nice picture of what appears to be a warp core coming out of Voyager. Apparently there are 7 successful and 14 failed attempts to eject a core shown in the canon.

I found myself wondering what an engine room looks like without its warp core. The core is the centerpiece of nearly every Engineering set. Examples:

There are many shots of cores overloading, in the act of breaching, online, idle, offline etc. etc. At the end of First Contact, you even see some footage of the Enterprise-E warp core being brought online after suffering a total loss of coolant. It seems like it would be a very striking visual to show a core being ejected, or at least a before & after shot of engineering. It seems odd to me that I can't recall ever seeing an engine room without its core.

So my question is: have we ever been shown such a shot? If we haven't, what would it look like? Just a big empty room? Or is the core on some warp drives inside the big center structure we see in the engine room?

  • 6
    We certainly don't see the Enterprise-D without a warp core since they never managed to eject the damn thing
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 2:29

2 Answers 2


In the Star Trek : Voyager episode 'Day of Honor' (the same episode referenced in the linked question), Chief Engineer Torres is forced to "dump the core" because of a surge in tachyon levels.

You can see the before and after pictures below;

Voyager with warp core

Voyager without warp core

Where the warpcore itself is concerned, you can see a complete core in the picture below

My sincere apologies for the join-line where I've had to composite two photos together.

Voyager Warp Core

  • This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you for finding the pictures. I'm coming up on that episode, first time I've tried to watch the series end to end.
    – Dacio
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 3:40
  • Watched the episode last week, and it was everything I'd hoped for, heh. They also answered another question of mine by just turning around and going back to get the dumped core - proving that as long as it doesn't actually breach or go critical, the act of dumping is inherently safe and repeatable. (With some repairs, of course. When are they not repairing things in Star Trek?) Thanks again!
    – Dacio
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 16:54
  • @dacio - Voyager also has a backup warp core in storage. On top of that, they normally have sufficient battery reserves to replicate a new core from scratch.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 20:46
  • 2
    @Richard: I still dispute that we can consider that backup warp core to be canon. Both Day of Honor and Renaissance Man make it pretty clear that the loss of the primary warp core stranded Voyager for good. Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 17:30
  • 1
    @LightnessRacesinOrbit - The Voyager Technical Manual strongly implies that they cannibalised it for parts over the course of the show. Later on, the loss of the core seems far more serious, presumably because their battery reserves and fuel storage are very limited.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 17:33

Long time now, but worth adding an answer. You mention First Contact but neglect the movie that immediately followed, Insurrection - there's a warp core ejection scene in there too, followed by a nice panning shot of the Enterprise-E's Engineering with a distinct lack of warp core

enter image description here

Geordi: "But there's nothing to stop them from doing that* again, and we're fresh out of warp cores!" as he looks at the empty space where the reactor stood.

Interestingly, the crew do not seem to view the ejection of the core to be a catastrophic event in itself, in contrast to Voyager, perhaps because they are still within Federation space to get their hands on a new core

(they are more concerned with using the core as a bomb to close *the tear and avoid the immediate danger).

However, no mention is made of how the Enterprise-E resumes warp capability, though the movie curiously ends with the ship traveling at impulse out of the Briar Patch and towards open space.

  • What are the random asterisks? Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 17:29
  • @ThePopMachine thought they would be useful with the spoiler tag for what 'that' is, in case people haven't seen Insurrection.
    – Gargravarr
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 9:09
  • @valorum thanks for the edit and screenshots!
    – Gargravarr
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 9:11

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