Boarding stairs


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Sep 1, 2004
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Where were boarding stairs after boarding? I have heard somewhere that the stairs were pulled into a ship. But I can not imagine how somebody carrys the stirs through first class reception room or through hall on B-Deck or some other corridors. I think they were pulled out and stayed in a port. Any ideas?
 

Noel F. Jones

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Vitezslav,

At passenger terminals boarding was normally done by transverse gangways ('gangplanks' or 'brows'). These were shore equipment and were landed before departure.

You are probably thinking of accommodation ladders which are part of the ship. An accommodation ladder is deployed in a fore and aft direction and when not in use can be raised and stowed against the ship's side.

Accommodation ladders are not normally practicable for mass passenger embarkations/disembarkations; when alongside they are usually rigged for crew and official access. When out in the stream they are also used to embark pilots and official boarding parties etc. from boats.

Perhaps someone can come up with a picture of one?

Noel
 
Sep 1, 2004
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Hi Noel!
I was thinking of that stairs (or bridges) like in Cameron's movie. That one, as Rose with Ruth and Cal or Jack with Fabrizio boarded.
 

Noel F. Jones

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As far as I know there were no dedicated passenger facilities at So'ton until the Ocean Terminal was built in the 1950s. Before then passengers were processed in cargo transit sheds temporarily converted for the purpose. Being a railway port, there would be plenty of space on the wharf apron to deploy gangways at ground level and these could be landed and shifted by the shoreside cranes.

I doubt whether the access bridge seen in the Cameron film ever existed. Perhaps others can advise.

At Liverpool Landing Stage - which dates from 1880 or thereabouts - on the other hand there were several covered access gantries (bridges) from an upper deck and which could be cranked along the stage to line up with a ship's embarkation ports. Even so, each of these still required a portable gangway which was retracted into the bridge when not in use. This arrangement kept passengers above and clear of the workings on the stage decking below; this would be the handling of mail, motor vehicles in transit, hold baggage and stores etc.

Tilbury Landing Stage (now the London Cruise Terminal or somesuch) does not have these bridges but does have an upper deck from which portable gangways can spring. The stage at deck level there is somewhat narrower than was the case at Liverpool where there was full vehicular access alongside the ships.

I suspect Cameron's researchers erroneously took their cue from the 1912 Liverpool situation.

At New York there was no need for bridges, the gap between ship and pier buildings being easily spanned by gangways.

Noel
 
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