Engine room tours


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Tom Bates

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Aug 16, 2002
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If i was i passenger on the titanic or any other liner of the time could you get engine room tour(s)? Lets say i was on board the titanic and i ask the chief enginer for a tour what will he say? and will he give a tour? thank you
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Bearing in mind that a ship's engine room is a dangerous place for the unwary, I should think the only passengers granted access would be Thomas Andrews and his colleagues who were on board as representatives of the builders Harland & Wolff. In special circumstances, and while a ship was in port, tours might be granted - during the American disaster inquiry a tour of the Olympic was arranged for the investigating Senators. It might have been possible for 3rd Class passengers to see down into the boiler rooms through occasionally open doors (as Frankie Goldsmith claimed) but if those passengers had asked the Chief Engineer for a quick tour round his domain he would probably have said **** ***! (censored)
 
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Tom Pappas

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But since Mr. Bell was an officer and a gentleman, his reply would probably have been more like, "I'm afraid not - it's an extremely hostile environment. See my staff wearing asbestos suits?"
 

Bob Godfrey

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Of course you're right, Tom, he was a gentleman. I guess he would have said "I'm afraid not - it's an extremely hostile environment. Now **** ***!" :)
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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I can't speak for Titanic but bridge and engine room tours were - and no doubt still are - regular features of passenger ship entertainment programmes.

Engine room tours for the more able bodied could extend as far as the tunnel escape and the stern gland!

Latterly, I would imagine that azipod propulsion would pose problems for the ER tour conductors!

Noel
 

Erik Wood

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Aug 24, 2000
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I do not permit bridge or engine room tours without my consent (that engine room tours at the consent of the Chief, but with my foreknowledge)while the ship is underway. I make few execptions. Inport is another matter.
 

Jerry Nuovo

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Jan 18, 2003
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Everyone of the cruises that I have taken aboard the QE2,The Captain did allow the passengers to take tours of the bridge. The bridge tours were allowed only when the ship was in port. Sincerely,Jerry Nuovo
 
Aug 10, 2002
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When I was on the SS Constitution we had regular Bridge tours. On the NS Savannah we had a glassed in walkway so the tourists could look into the Engine Room and watch the engineers. It used to suprise the passengers when they came in the aft centerline door to the wheelhouse and no one was at the large wooden telemotor wheel. Someone would always volunteer to steer. They of course didn't realize Iron Mike was doing it.
Regards,
Charlie
 

Erik Wood

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I don't mind giving tours inport (but about an hour and half before departure I nix them). A few years back a Washington State Ferry ran aground of Alki beach in Elliot Bay. The problem was the Captain was busy giving tours instead of doing his job. The Coast Guard yanked the mans license and since that time all inland boats in Washington State are no allowed to give bridge tours while the bridge in a operational status.
 
Oct 28, 2000
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Several years ago my wife and I were doing a magazine article about the Mississippi Queen. We were escorted to all of the areas of the ship, including the pilot house (never bridge on the Western Rivers) and the engine room. The Chief Engineer was pleasant, but obviously bored with our visit. He opened the door to the engine room and pointed in. That was our tour.

"Where do you get engineers who know steam?" I asked. "Most of us are from the Great Lakes," he answered. The lakes fleet was notoriously out of date, still using WW-II steamers at the time. I asked which ships he had ridden and he mentioned one in particular, the Meteor.

"The old whaleback?" I asked. "Yes, that's the one," he said with interest. "Do you know anything of 'er?"

"Yes," I was just aboard I answered truthfully. "She's a museum ship in Superior, Wisconsin."

The Chief grabbed my arm and dragged us into his cabin for a 45 minute discussion of his old boat. The Meteor is now permanently ashore, but kept in great condition. The triple expansion engine actually runs on compressed air.

"Now," the Chief Engineer said, "Would you really like to see the engine room?"

We went everywhere but the boiler room. He even opened the lagging so we could see the cylinders driving the pitman arms. Then, he opened a door leading to the sponson which carries the ship's huge paddle wheel. "Take a look from back here," he said motioning us through the door.

I eventually found myself on an 18-inch wide walkway behind the paddlewheel. That's how I got a photo of Mississippi Queen from astern without ever leaving the ship.

--David G. Brown
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Regarding engine room tours, such were conducted on the Titanic. There's an account (published not in the last, but in the one before White Star Journal, Irish Titanic Hist. Soc.) by Fr. Browne where he mentions going on a tour of the ship with a few other acquaintances. They visited 2nd and 3rd class as well as the engine room and post office among other areas of the ship. Sounds like they basically went everywhere.

Daniel.
 
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