Building of Giant Liners

New York Times

Work on the White Star's Olympic and Titanic Proceeds Rapidly

The rise and progress of the leviathan liners now building is an absorbing topic of conversation at Belfast, where the rapid advance in their construction is visible to all.

It is no figure of speech to say they dominate the city, for, in addition to their imposing appearance on the stocks, popular imagination anticipates the important epoch they will mark in the history of British shipbuilding, the importance of their advent into the mercantile marine, and the distinction they will confer on the Ulster capital.

But the interest is not confined to the city on the Lagan it is widespread; no previous productions have excited such universal interest as is centred in these vessels, and the expectant public will soon begin to count the weeks that intervene before the stately hull of the first ship can be seen riding in the water.

With the advanced condition of the shell of the Olympic, the hydraulic riveting, which is a notable feature, is coming into prominence; the symmetrical appearance of the rivet heads catches the eye and gives the impression of exceptional strength. All the iron work of the structure is completed up to the shelter deck—which is the highest continuous deck in the ship—and the bridge deck plating and riveting is well advanced.

Another idea of the progress of the work may be conveyed by the fact that more than 1,000 of the shell sidelights are already fitted in the vessel. The erection of stateroom framing on some of the decks is well advanced on the ship, and the fittings are being made in the shop.

An important item in such a huge vessel is, of course, the stairways, and already the second and third class stairways are completed up to the shelter deck.

The main first-class staircase in these Ships will excel anything yet seen in naval architecture. The internal work is proceeding in connection with the fitting of sanitary and air pipes, tank suctions. watertight doors, &c. The lying launch-ways are fitted all fore and aft, and the builders have commenced putting the sliding ways in place. Thus early are the preparations commenced for the great event to take place in a few months, when the builders will undertake the task of transferring to the water a structure far larger and heavier than any hitherto launched.

The shell plating, deck plating, of the Titanic is now well advanced, and as quite an army of workmen is regularly employed on these vessels, and in the various shops in connection with them, every day marks an important advance in the construction of both.

The construction of the machinery is keeping pace with that of the hull. The principal parts of the engines for the Olympic are well forward, the crank shafts are turned, most of the columns erected, cylinders bored and drilled, thrust shafts turned, turbine shafting finished, and turbine castings made.  A large number of the boilers have been water tested and work has been started on one of the funnels, of which there will be four in the vessel.

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