From the British Journal "Engineering," May 26, 1911


The second of the two White Star liners being built by Messrs. Harland and Wolff, Limited, Belfast, for the New York service, is to be launched on Wednesday next, and the first of the twin ships--the Olympic--will leave on her first voyage to New York on June 14. Both events are naturally regarded with considerable interest, because the vessels are the largest yet built. The arrangements for the launch of the Titanic will exactly correspond with those in the case of the Olympic, and as these were unexcelled in the completeness with which every possible contingency was provided against, success on Wednesday is practically ensured, although the task is a difficult one in view of the great launching weight of the ship--nearly 27,000 tons--and the comparatively small distance in which the vessel has subsequently to be brought to rest. As we described very completely the launch of the Olympic on October 20 last (see ENGINEERING, vol. xc. page 568), there is no need to enter into details here.

On the occasion of the launch of the first ship, too, we fully described the two vessels, giving numerous engravings of hull and machinery, with several two-page illustrations of the general arrangement of the boilers and the combination of reciprocating engine and low-pressure turbine. It was not, however, possible then to enter into detail regarding the arrangement of the decks, but we are enabled to give with this week's issue an elevation of the ship and plans of all the decks. These plans, which are common to both vessels, are reproduced on the two-page Plates XXXIX. and XI. and on page 679. They afford a splendid idea of the great height of the ship--104 ft. from keel to navigating bridge.

Before entering upon a detailed description of the arrangement of the decks, as illustrated, it may be said that each of the two ships has a length over all of 882 ft. 9 in., and between perpendiculars of 850 ft., a breadth extreme of 92 ft., and a depth moulded of 64 ft. 6 in. The gross tonnage is about 45,000 tons; and on a load draught of 34 ft. 6 in. the displacement tonnage will be about 60,000 tons. For reasons which we explained in our previous article there is no intention to drive these ships at the very high speeds attained by a few of the Atlantic liners, the White Star Company believing that there is a wide preference for moderate speed, especially when there is ensured that freedom from vibration and oscillating movement in a sea-way which result from great dimensions and the carrying of a large volume of dead-weight cargo. Moreover, there is gain not only from the increased revenue derivable from cargo and from the greater area afforded for the carrying of passengers, but also owing to the reduction in the expenses because of the less power necessary to drive the ship. Thus the indicated horse-power of the machinery fitted to the Olympic and Titanic is about 46,000, and this, it is anticipated, will give a continuous sea speed in service of 21 knots. As is shown by the elevation, Fig. 1, Plate XXXIX., 440 ft. of the length of the ship is taken up with the machinery; this is equal to 50 per cent. of the total length, while in the case of the express liners the machinery space is about 70 per cent. Both proportions, of course, include the coal-bunkers.

In the White Star liners there are twenty-nine boilers, having in all 159 furnaces arranged (as shown on the longitudinal section and on the plan, Fig.10) in six separate water-tight compartments, five boilers being arranged athwart the ship in each, except in the first boiler room from the bow, where, owing to the fining of the lines of the ship, only four could be accommodated in the width. Of the twenty-nine boilers, five in the compartment nearest the machinery are single-ended, the others are double-ended. These single-ended boilers are available for running the auxiliary machinery while the ship is in port, as well as for the general steam supply when the ship is at sea. Two of the boilers in each of the two other compartments have also separate steam-leads to the auxiliary machinery. The furnaces exhaust into funnels having a height of 160 ft. from the furnace-bars. The steam, at a pressure of 215 lb., passes to two four-cylinder triple-expansion engines, the cylinders being 54 in., 84 in., 97 in., and 97 in. in diameter, with a stroke of 75 in. The exhaust from these engines (which were fully illustrated in the previous volume of ENGINEERING) is utilised in an exhaust-steam turbine of the Parsons type, designed for a range of expansion from 9 lb. absolute to 1 lb. absolute, and exhausting into the condensing plant designed to maintain a vacuum of 28 1/2 in., with the barometer at 30 in., and with the circulating water at a temperature of 55 deg. to 60 deg. Fahr. The arrangement of the propelling machinery and manoevring gear, as well as of the principal auxiliaries in the machinery department in the ship, were so fully described in other article on the occasion of the launch of the Olympic that it is not necessary here to enter further into details.

As to the structural details of the hull, the longitudinal section, Plate XXXIX, shows that there are fifteen transverse water-tight bulkheads, extending from the double bottom to the upper deck at the forward end of the ship, and to the saloon-deck at the after end--in both cases well above the load waterline. The reciprocating-engine room is the largest compartment in the ship, being about 69 ft. long, while the turbine-room is 57 ft. long; the boiler-rooms are generally about the same length, and the holds are 50 feet long. Thus, any two compartments may be flooded without in any way involving the safety of the ship. The centre keelson is 63 in. deep, under it there is the flat keel-plate, 1 1/2 in. thick. There are four intercostal girders on each side of the centre line, with a continuous margin-plate, forming a wing ballast-tank at the sides. The frames are spaced 3 ft. apart except at the ends; the spacing is reduced to 24 in. forward and 27 in. aft. They are generally of channel section, 10 in. deep amidships, and of angle-irons and reverse bars at the ends. At intervals there are heavy web-frames, and in the machinery space extra strength is provided by increasing the number of these web-frames. As shown, the frames extend from the wing-tanks to the bridge-deck--a height of 66 ft. and are connected to the wing-brackets by strong plates. The deck-beams are 10 in. deep, of channel section up to the lower deck; they are spaced to suit the frames, being connected to them by brackets, as shown on the midship section, page 680. Four longitudinal girders extend throughout the whole length of the ship. These are of the plate type and have deep angle-irons. Special provision is made in the machinery compartment to provide for greater head-room; the aggregate sectional area of the girders in the machinery-room is equal to the four longitudinal girders in other parts of the ship. The midship section further shows the arrangement of standards in the form of steel circular columns in the holds, engine and boiler rooms. These extend to the lower deck, and above this level there are solid stanchions of less dimensions, but placed at closer intervals. On a line with these stanchions are girders with deck-plating of increased thickness, to provide for longitudina1 stresses. The decks are of steel-plating, and the shelter and bridge-decks are specially strengthened by thicker plates. It will be noted that these deck plates are all scarfed or joggled. In the latter the laps are treble-riveted, and at the turn of the bilge doublings are fitted, as is also the case on the shear strake in the way of the bridge and shelter-decks. The cross-section also shows the system by which the superstructure decks are supported, and, further, the arrangements made so that they may be of greater width than the decks within the moulded dimensions of the ship. The upper works are carried on bulb-iron frames on the same lines as the main frames, but spaced wider apart, while heavy brackets are provided at intervals to carry the extension in width of the deck-beams.

There are nine decks, and plans of these are given on Plates XXXIX and XI. The boat-deck is shown separately above; the promenade-deck is Fig. 2; the bridge-deck, Fig. 3; the shelter-deck, Fig. 4; and the saloon-deck, Fig. 5--all on Plate XXXIX. The upper deck is Fig. 6; the middle deck, Fig. 7; the lower deck, Fig. 8; and the orlop-deck, Fig. 9--all on Plate XL.

These plates show clearly the general arrangement of the habitable quarters of the ship. The extent of the accommodation is as follows:

First-class passengers 730

Second-class passengers 560

Third-class passengers 1200

Officers and crew 63

Engine-room complement 322

Stewards and victualling department 471

Total 3346

For first-class passengers there are thirty suite rooms on the bridge-deck, and thirty more on the shelter-deck. Including these, there are 330 rooms for first-class passengers, 100 having single berths, 100 double berths, and 130 three berths, with provision in some cases for an additional Pullman berth. For second-class passengers there are 166 rooms, arranged with single, double, or four berths. The number of rooms for third-class passengers is 63, some of them with two berths, but, in addition, there are open berths on the lower deck forward for 160 emigrants, and portable rooms may be erected, as required, aft on the same deck for 240 emigrants.

The boat-deck, 97 ft. above the keel, is illustrated in Fig. 12, and has a length over all of about 492 ft. The forward end serves as the navigating bridge, and behind it is the wheel-house, forming the forward end of a large deck-house in which are the cabins and public rooms of the navigating officers, so that they are not only near to the work, but isolated from the passengers, a separate promenade even being arranged for. Abaft this deck-house is the first-class entrance, which extends right down through the habitable decks of the ship, and having not only a broad stairway and large assembling areas at each landing, but elevators communicating with the respective decks. The entrance on the boat-deck is for the convenience of those who desire to promenade in the central part of the ship at this high level, and a notable feature is that the boats are so disposed that there is, for over 200 ft. of the length of the promenade, an unobstructed view over the steel bulwark. Forward, where some of the boats are carried, there is the promenade for the officers, and aft a promenade for the engineers. There are two raised platforms on this level, on the tops of the clerestory roofs of the public rooms on the deck below, so that there is ample space for lounge chairs. Note may here be made of the standard compass platform, which rises in the centre of this boat-deck to a high level, and is thus free from all contact with ferrous metal. The only public room on this boat-deck is a gymnasium, which has a length of about 46 ft. and a width of 17 ft. 6 in. In this gymnasium there are all the modern appliances for exercises, and for thus relieving ennui on an Atlantic voyage. The usual arrangement of the White Star Line is to set apart certain hours of the day for ladies, gentlemen, and children, so that all in turn may have the use of the appliances. The after part of this deck is reserved as a promenade for second-class passengers, who have not only a companion-way leading from all the inhabited decks to this level, but also an electrical elevator.

The next, the promenade-deck, extends over a length of 510 ft., and is illustrated by Fig. 2, on Plate XXXIX. There is a large deck-house, beginning at 198 ft. from the bow, and in it provision is made for a number of state-rooms. The inner berths are lighted and ventilated from the boat-deck above. A corridor from the main entrance leads to the reading and writing-room, as shown in the plan; the maximum length is about 41 ft., and the width about 41 ft. Abaft this there is the lounge with oriel windows, and with a maximum of corners, so much coveted on board ship. At the extreme after end of this deck is the first-class smoking-room, which has a length of over 65 ft. and a maximum width of over 63 ft. Abaft there are verandahs and palm courts on each side, but separated by the companionway for the second-class passengers leading to the promenade-deck above. As to the decoration of these and the other public rooms we hope to say more in a later issue. Forward of the smoke-room there is second companion-way for the first-class passenger leading down through all the habitable decks, and here again the notable feature is the large collecting area at different landings.

The bridge-deck (Fig. 3) is the top of the moulded structure of the ship; above this, for over nearly 365 ft. amidships, the shell-plating has been carried to the deck above, but is provided with large square windows, raised by mechanical means at will (Fig. 1). Within there is a bright sheltered promenade for first-class passengers; the walking space abaft this is reserved for the second-class passengers. This bridge-deck amidships has a length of 550ft,, beginning 189 ft. from the bow, while the forecastle is 128 ft. long, and the poop aft 106 ft. long. In the forecastle, as shown, there are provided capstans for the anchor gear, while provision is also made for the cables leading to the anchor gear oil the shelter-deck below. There are three steam-winches in connection with the cargo arrangements. Aft again on the poop there are electric cranes for the cargo. The main deck house amidships is for the most part utilised for special rooms for first-class passengers. Forward of the main companion-way are a series of state-rooms. Amidships there are a number of "parlour suites" and "suites of rooms." As shown on the plan (Fig. 3), these suites embrace sitting and one or two bed-rooms, with bath-room and other accommodation. Doors are arranged in the partition, so that as many as six rooms can be let en suite, an advantage which will be greatly appreciated by family and other parties travelling together. In the after end of this deck-house there is arranged a restaurant for first-class passengers. This is supplementary to the dining-room, which will be referred to later, and is provided so that first-class passengers may dine a la carte, an advantage which is being appreciated more and more on all steamship services, being more consonant with modern ideas as to diet. Abaft of this restaurant is a second-class entrance and one second-class smoking-room.

The shelter-deck (Fig. 4) extends right fore and aft. At the forward end of the forecastle, there are Napier windlass and anchor gear, which, as has already been pointed out, is of a somewhat novel type, owing to the fact that there is an anchor hawse-pipe on the stem as well as on the port and starboard sides, and thus special drums have had to be incorporated, as shown on this small plan, which is included on the forecastle deck. Abaft of this, under the forecastle, are the mess-rooms for the firemen and seamen, with sculleries, &c. In the well there are arranged two of the hatches to the holds below, and electric cranes for dealing with cargo, mails, and baggage. Aft of this well the arrangements conform pretty much to those on the decks above. It will be noticed that the inner state-rooms are arranged with broad ventilating passages to the side of the ship, so that these, as well as the outer rooms, have port-holes for direct ventilation and light. This type of inner berth has proved acceptable.

Amidships there are "parlour suites" and "suites of rooms." These are of exceptional size, and, as will be explained in a subsequent article, are notable for the attractiveness of their decoration. The only public room on this level is the second-class library. At the stern of the ship there is the third-class smoking-room and third-class general room, having communication with the companion-way leading through all the decks on which the sleeping cabins of these passengers are arranged. In the stern of the ship on this level is the steering gear, which has been constructed by Messrs. Harland and Wolff, and is of their well-known and tried type. The engines for working the capstan are also located in the steam steering-house.

The saloon-deck is shown in Fig. 5, Plate XL. and the features here, of course, are the dining-saloons for first and second-class passengers respectively. That for the first-class passenger is placed almost exactly amidships, and is nearly 120 ft. long, while forward of it and adjacent to the companion-way is a reception-room, occupying about 50 ft. of the length of the ship, independently of the stairway and elevators. On each side of the ship, it will be seen, there is an entrance-hall, separated from the first-class reception room, about 30 ft. square, and doors to the main companion-way. The dining-room is arranged with small tables, many of them for two passengers only. The tables are so arranged that a company of any number can easily have a table to themselves. The reception-room may also be utilised an an annexe to the dining saloon. The second-class saloon is equally extensive, and is similarly arranged adjacent to the companion-way. The galley and pantries are, as shown in the plan, arranged between the two dining saloons to facilitate service; and, needless to say, the experience of the White Star Company has been utilised in order to ensure results most conducive to the comfort of the passengers. Abaft the second-class dining saloon is a compartment, arranged with cabins, for second-class passengers, while still further aft, in the stern of the ship, are rooms for the third-class passengers.

Coming now to the upper deck, which is illustrated in Fig. 6, it will be seen that the forward part of the ship is given up for the accommodation of the trimmers and seamen, while on the port side of the boiler-casings there are arranged further rooms for third-class passengers; and, abaft these compartments, rooms for waiters, stewards, cooks, &c. On the starboard side there is accommodation for first-class and second-class passengers, as shown on the plan. The inner berths on this deck, as on the saloon and shelter decks, are arranged with light and ventilating spaces to the shell plating. Alongside the engine room, on the starboard side, are further cabins for second-class passengers. From this point aft the accommodation is utilised for second and third-class passengers.

The middle deck is shown in Fig. 7. Even this deck is well above the load water-line, as shown in the transverse section on page 680. At the forward end there are cabins for third-class passengers, and in the stern for second-class and third-class passengers, while the third-class galley and dining-saloons occupy the centre of the ship. Alongside the engine-room on each side of the ship are the cabins of the engineering officers. An interesting development in merchant ship equipment is introduced on this deck and the deck below, in the form of a squash racquet court, which is some 30 ft. long by 20 ft. wide, with a gallery, while further aft are Turkish and electric baths, with all the usual appliances. The electric baths, it will be seen, are arranged on the port side of the ship, while the Turkish baths are on the starboard side, with shampooing-rooms; forward of these is a swimming-bath, 33 ft. long and over 17 ft. wide. These two additions, in association with the gymnasium, and an a la carte restaurant, introduce acceptable varieties to life on board ship, which in the past has proved so monotonous to many passengers. The lower deck amidships, as shown on the plan (Fig. 8), is used for the storage of coal. At the extreme after end arrangements have been made for putting up portable cabins for third-class passengers, or for utilising the space for cargo. In the forward end there is provided further accommodation for firemen, greasers, and third-class passengers, a very large area being here given to the Post Office and the mails.

The area of the orlop-deck (Fig. 9) is also largely absorbed by the machinery, and it will be noted that, as fully described in our previous article, coal-bunkers are arranged athwart the ship, immediately in front of the firing-platforms in each stokehold. These athwartship coal-bunkers are fed from a longitudinal bunker on a higher level, as shown, access being obtained through scuttles and shoots. The baggage-room has a compartment to itself.

Fig. 10 shows the tank tops at the forward end, with cargo or reserve fuel space. It will be seen that, at this level, there is a separate passage for the firemen from all of the stokeholds, leading to spiral stairways communicating with the sleeping and mess-rooms on the decks above. The arrangement of boilers, with four abreast in the forward boiler-room, and five in all the others, is easily seen from this half-plan, while the position of the propelling engines and of the large refrigerating engines is shown. Abaft of this is the turbine-room, the exhaust-steam turbine being shown in the centre, with the eduction-pipes leading from each side to a condenser. Forward are the various valves for throwing the turbine out of gear and passing the steam from the piston engines direct to the condensers when required. Detailed drawings of the engine and boiler arrangements, however, were published on the occasion of the launch of the Olympic in our previous volume, so that there is no further need to refer to them, or to the electric engine installation, which occupies the compartment abaft the turbine-room. The arrangement of the propellers is also well shown in Fig. 10, from which it will be seen that the wing propellers slightly overlap the centre propeller driven by the turbine, but the latter is well abaft of the wing propellers.