Drydocks for OlympicTitanic


Brent Holt

We know, of course, that Olympic had to go back to Harland & Wolff twice before Titanic's loss for repairs. It has been said that the Thompson Graving Dock was the only drydock in the world that was large enough to hold her. But what about the Trafalgar drydock in Southampton? According to the book "Docks and Ports: Southampton", the Trafalgar dock was opened in 1905 and had a length of 912 feet and a width of 100 feet.
I have seen photos of Aquitania in the dock in the 20s. Is this info correct, or did the dock have to be expanded later?


Scott R. Andrews


As best as I've been able to find out, when Trafalgar Dock at Southampton was first opened, it wasn't large enough to accept ships any larger then the WSL's "Big Four." By 1913, the head end of the dock had been extended and a "notch" carved out to allow ships the size of the Olympic and Aquitania to fit within the dock. The situation at Southampton really improved when the floating dock was added to the repair facilities, sometime in the early 20's I believe. Just as importantly, several large floating and graving docks were under construction within convenient distance to WSL's and Cunard's western terminus, negating the need for one of these ships to have to make an entire eastward crossing in order for minor repair work to be performed, such as replacing a dropped propeller.

Scott Andrews

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