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Steam preservation

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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, May 13, 2017 8:18 AM

Dr D

So why is the US Navy willing to save the original wooden sailing frigate USS Constitution and numerous battleships - USS Missouri - USS Iowa - USS Wisconson - USS New Jersey and yet willing to let this glorious construction of a passenger liner go to scrap.

Because those ships had illustrious careers and actually shaped history and the SS United States did neither.  Also, because those were USN ships and the United States wasn't.  So why should the navy save something that doesn't belong to it?  Plus, other than the Constitution, those ships aren't preserved by the government, but by private foundations.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, May 13, 2017 9:28 AM

Constellation is preserved indeed in Baltimore Johnny, we've been aboard her, Lady Firestorm and I (Lady F's grandfather was a Newfoundland fishing skipper so she's got salt water in her veins!) and she's impressive, to say the least.

This Constellation isn't the original from the War of 1812 era though, she's the second one, was built in the 1850's, and is the last surviving US Navy ship from the Civil War era.  A great one to visit.  Get down in the hold, and she smells old.  Not a bad old smell either, more like a "grandpa's basement" old smell.  Really pulls you into the past!

And Backshop, here's something a lot of people don't realize.  Those preserved Iowa class battleships and others like the North Carolina, the Massachusetts, and the Texas are still Navy Department property, they're on loan, so to speak, to the various battleship memorial societies around the country, and they'd better take care of them to the best of their abilities, or else!  I recall reading the state of Texas got a nasty-gram from the Navy several years back when the Texas wasn't being kept up as it should have been and was going to seed, so to speak.  "Take care of that ship, or we're taking it back!"  was the gist of the message.  It had the desired effect.

Wayne

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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, May 13, 2017 1:23 PM

I didn't know that...thanks!

On a related note...I got married in LA and we spent our wedding night on the Queen Mary.  We like doing "different" things than other people.  We've been on 3 cruises and haven't been to the Caribbean (and don't want to).  Our first was Alaska, then the Baltic and the last was Norway.  Our next will be Australia and New Zealand in January.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, May 13, 2017 1:44 PM

Well that sounds like fun!  Lady F and I would like to cruise the Canadian Maritimes on of these days, or possibly the Maine coast for the lobster!

"Fair winds and following seas to ye!"

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Saturday, May 13, 2017 3:21 PM

Although this off topic. The ss France was saved from the torch once when she laid up the final time by the French line. Purchased  by the Norwegian cruise line, she was repurposed for Caribbean cruising. boilers where removed to reduce operating expenses. Modern suites were add but some classes of cabins from her France era remained. She was a fun ship to sail on. She had a huge advantage over the Cunard's queens as she was air conditioned . Lack of ac kept the queens on the unprofitable north Atlantic runs.

The Norway cruised on until an unfortunate  deadly boiler explosion  forced a lay up she never returned from.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, May 13, 2017 6:36 PM

Firelock76
There's one advantage the old girl has over the new cruisers, those new ships are UGLY! At least to a traditionalist like myself. The things look like garish, overdecorated floating shoeboxes! Probably wouldn't last thirty seconds on the North Atlantic in winter, not like the old timers. The United States LOOKS like an ocean liner, even in it's state of decrepitude.

And there lies the impetus for saving this Titanic sized ship: it's grace.  These modern mega-ships have no class at all.  They remind me of the description of the ships of the Vogon constructor fleet in the Hitch-hiker's guide.  Giant office blocks.  They leave me cold no matter what they look like inside or how many theaters and buffets they have.  The QM2 is about the best looking simply because they used the traditional black-red-orange paint of Cunard rather than the all bland, all white of so many cruisers.  My 2 Cents

Anyhoo.  Isn't a train due?

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, May 13, 2017 6:43 PM

Indeed Becky!  Possibly the London and South Western Railway's "Boat Train?"

Which Lionel SHOULD have reproduced for the "Titanic Centennial" instead of that diesel-powered whatever it was.

We had a VERY intelligent discussion on the Classic Toy Trains forum about this  several years back!

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, May 13, 2017 6:44 PM

Miningman
SS Keewatin, the last of the CPR Ships built in 1907

Here's a video of the ship from the 50's that shows passengers boarding from the boat train:

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, May 13, 2017 6:52 PM

RME
Emissions are likely not the elephant-in-the-room problem. That is a sophisticated and VERY large steam plant, using an enormous amount of very proprietary technology that hasn't been marketed or made in many decades.

I agree with you there that steam emissions isn't a prime factor.  I would guess that the real issue is insurance.  Think of how tough the excursion universe got after Gettysburg.  A boiler explosion (a very, very low probability) on a mainline RR excursion probably wouldn't kill passengers.  Mame, injure, inconvenience, yes.  But death would likelty only come to the head end crew.  A boiler explosion at sea however is something the insurance companies wouldn't even want to cover.  The liability is the killer in my view.

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, May 13, 2017 11:47 PM

Penny- Thanks for the video. Very emotional and terrific story.

Port McNicoll has suffered badly. It really went downhill. The Great Lake steamers stopped, the trains stopped, the grain elevators were shut down. It had such a rich and vibrant past. 

The return of the Keewatin is truly inspiring and best of luck to them and their new direction in developing a retirement and recreational destitnation. 

Worth a visit to go see the Keewatin. 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, May 14, 2017 1:14 AM

........the story of the acquisition of the S.S. Keewatin and the S.S. Assiniboia really begins with Russia’s Tsarist autocracy and the revolution of 1905. The Tsar commissioned two ships from Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering in Scotland, often known as Fairfields, a company responsible for the creation of other impressive vessels including the R.M.S. Empress of Ireland, the R.M.S. Empress of Britain, the S.S. Athenia and many other cruisers, battleships, and passenger ships. In 1905 mass political and social unrest spread throughout the Russian Empire, and led to a number of constitutional reforms. As a result, the Tsar could no longer afford to take the ships he had commissioned. Fairfields was in need of a new buyer.

In an attempt to sell the ships they contacted the CPR who had already purchased the Alberta, the Athabasca, and the Algoma from another Scottish shipbuilding company in 1883. These three ships also have a unique history. In 1883, they travelled across the Atlantic from Scotland to Canada without issue. Once in Montreal the three ships were cut in half  at the Cantin shipyards to ensure they could fit through the St. Lawrence and Welland Canals and were reassembled when they reached Buffalo.

Mr. Duff of the CPR was contacted by Fairfields about the Russian-ordered ships. While he knew they were too long for transport he also knew that they could potentially be cut in half just as the previous ships were. Canadian Pacific Rail decided to purchase the ships.

img210

 

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Figures 4 and 5: Assiniboia at Davey Shipyard, Lauzon (Lévis) Quebec, 1907

While the ships were completely finished and ready for use when they left Scotland, there was a four month delay once they arrived in Lauzon (now Lévis) where they were cut in half and prepped for their journey. After reassembly at the Buffalo Dry Dock Company in the summer of 1907, they reached the Colchester Channel in western Lake Erie in December.

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This area presented a notoriously cold, shallow, and dangerous passage. To help ships navigate, markers were placed in the water during shipping season. However, in  the winter the markers were removed because they were generally shifted by ice and therefore rendered ineffective. This posed a serious problem; whoever was chosen to navigate these ships was going to have to do it without the help of the markers.

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Posted by 54light15 on Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:15 AM

One of the major reasons that the lake steamers went away was due to the Yarmouth Castle fire in 1965. It became illegal to operate a ship in commercial service with wooden decks and superstructure. I'd love to see the Keewatin running again, (I've been on it, it's beautiful) but that's not going to happen. 

 

I once painted a house for a man. One day I showed up late; he wasn't upset. he was a retired merchant sailor. He said that he was supposed to sign on to a ship but his mother didn't wake him up so the ship sailed without him. Soon after he read in the paper about the ship he missed. The Morro Castle was a smoking hulk beached at Asbury Park and ever since, being late for anything was not something he ever got angry about. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:46 AM

Then there were a group of stokers who stayed a little too late and hoisted a little too many at a Southampton England pub called "The Bunch of Grapes."

They ran like mad down to the dock just as the ship was casting off and pleaded to be let aboard but the mate at the gangway hatch refused them, "Rules was rules!"  They stood there cursing their bad  luck as they'd been out of work for weeks due to a coal strike and really needed the job.

Bad luck?  Six or so days later they must have wondered who was watching out for them.  The ship was (wait for it!) the RMS Titanic.

True story.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, May 14, 2017 6:47 PM

Firelock76
True story.

Yep!  Another bit of ship lore was the fact that it wasn't White Star custom to Christen it's ships.  Which was further enhanced by the fact that Titanic's yard number appeared to spell out "NO POPE" when reflected in the water.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, May 14, 2017 8:16 PM

Ah, the "No Pope" story!  I first heard that from my grandfather, my mother's father, over 50 years ago.  He was Irish, and Catholic as well, and talk about mixed feelings!  He was proud that grand ship was built in Ireland, he was a young man in his twenties at the time, but thought those Protestant Ulstermen had it coming when she sank because of that yard number that reflected "No Pope."

The thing is, it wasn't true.  Titanic's yard number was 401, and her Board of Trade official number was 131,428.   Scuttlebutt had it the official number was 3909 04, which does spell out NO POPE if you hold it up to a mirror and fudge the "4", but again, the scuttlebutt was false.

Anyway Lord Pirrie, the head of the Harland and Wolff shipyard had no use for any religious bigotry and wouldn't tolerate it in his yards. Anyone who could do the work was welcome, Protestant or Catholic. On the other hand, right across the River Lagan from Harland and Wolff was another shipyard that just gloried in religious bigotry and launched many if not all it's ships with "NO POPE" painted on the sides.  So, it wasn't too much of a leap for the rumor mills in the rest of Ireland to blame Harland and Wolff for the "NO POPE" slur from that second-string yard who no-one had ever heard of.

It is true that the White Star Line didn't go in for christening it's ships.  "They justs builds 'em and shoves 'em in!"  said a shipyard matey.  However, White Star and Harland and Wolff did make a big party out of the launch for all involved, christening or not.  And a great time was had by all!

RME
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Posted by RME on Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:54 PM

54light15
... the Yarmouth Castle fire in 1965. It became illegal to operate a ship in commercial service with wooden decks and superstructure.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 6:41 PM

Thanks for that RME, I've never heard that one by Gordon before.  Not as good as "Edmund Fitzgerald", but very melodic and haunting just the same.

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Posted by mudchicken on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 9:41 PM

Deggesty

Concerning steamships that now serve as fast hotels (fast to the dock) has anyone else styed at the Delta King in Sacramento? It, along with the Delta Queen, (which migrated to the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers) were built for overnight service between Sacramento and San Francisco. My wife and I spent a night there several years ago. 

 

Johnny - Yes (twice)...and the Delta Queen appears to be on the way towards getting a new lease on life. Now refitting at Houma, LA

Greene Line wharf rat in a past life...

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by samfp1943 on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 9:37 AM

mudchicken

 

 
Deggesty

Concerning steamships that now serve as fast hotels (fast to the dock) has anyone else styed at the Delta King in Sacramento? It, along with the Delta Queen, (which migrated to the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers) were built for overnight service between Sacramento and San Francisco. My wife and I spent a night there several years ago. 

 

 

 

Johnny - Yes (twice)...and the Delta Queen appears to be on the way towards getting a new lease on life. Now refitting at Houma, LA

 

Greene Line wharf rat in a past life...

 

When married in 1961, the wife, and I rode south on the Delta Queen (GreenLines, then). and Returned home back on the 'Panama Ltd' NOLA,via Chicago, and Memphis.  

The new iteration is owned by the American Steamboat Lines- The American Queen... See video @ https://www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/brochures/view-online/?utm_source=Bing&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=NB-Search-Beta-Geo&utm_keyword=%2Bmississippi%20%2Bqueen%20%2Bsteamboat&utm_creative=Special2017-2018Offers-Best-AwardWinningExcursions&utm_network=o&utm_device=c&utm_content=BrochurePage

Modern,new, sternwheeler. Saving now for a trip! Wow Bow

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:30 AM

I had never thought of Houma as being a place for shipfitting. The two times that I was  there, in the fifties, I was visiting a great-uncle who had been charge of the growing the cane on a sugar plantation. He and his niece, who kept house for him, still lived in the plantation house. 

I was told that when my great-uncle was young, he assisted in laying out the SAL below Petersburg. I do not know what he did; carried the chain, perhaps?

Johnny

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Posted by Paul of Covington on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 4:44 PM

Deggesty
I had never thought of Houma as being a place for shipfitting. The two times that I was there, in the fifties, I was visiting a great-uncle who had been charge of the growing the cane on a sugar plantation. He and his niece, who kept house for him, still lived in the plantation house.

   It was in the fifties that offshore oil exploration took off, and shipyards and maintenance facilities sprang up all along the rivers, bayous and canals in support of the industry.   And that was in addition to the big fisheries already there.  

_____________

   My mind's made up.   Don't confuse me with the facts.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, May 18, 2017 6:41 AM

I believe that Houma also had a mooring mast for US Navy airships during WW2.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul

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