Time to get from G deck to the boat deck


Josh M

Member
Feb 22, 2018
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Hello everyone

I am interested in understanding the approximate time it would have taken to traverse certain distances within the Titanic in order to gain a better perception of her size and also to ponder the journey an unlucky passenger may have embarked on during the final minutes of the ships demise.

Does anyone know how long it would take to:

- Reach the boat deck from a cabin at the very aft of the ship on G deck

- Tank top and Orlop decks to the boat deck

Thank you
 

Jay Roches

Member
Apr 14, 2012
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From third class section "S" you would go up the stairs amidships. That stairway goes up as far as the Third Class entrance on C Deck. So that's four flights of stairs. You would then go to the forward second class stairway (the aft one doesn't go to the boat deck). You could do that by going through the emergency door to the forward second class stairway via the 2nd class promenade, or you could go up the stairways in the well deck and reach the forward second class stairway from B deck via the second class promenade there. So another 3 flights of stairs plus a walk of about 200 feet. (Steward John Hart took a group of third class passengers from the aft well deck to the boat deck via the first class aft grand staircase, which is not the most efficient route. He implied that he went up the aft grand staircase, which ends on A Deck, but he said the stairs took him to the boat deck opposite Lifeboat #8, which is directly outside the forward grand staircase.).

According to here it takes an average person 15-25 minutes to climb 36 flights of stairs. So 2 to 5 minutes for 7 flights of stairs, as an estimate.
According to here an average person walks 4.6 feet per second, so 45 seconds to a minute for the roughly 200 foot walk across C Deck (or B&C decks).
So it'd be about three to six minutes from section "S" to the boat deck. That assumes the person in question knows the way through second class to the boat deck. It's not immediately obvious, particularly because you have to take the forward 2nd class stairway; if you take the closest stairway after crossing the well deck, you have to transfer to the forward staircase on B Deck. The route Steward Hart took is more obvious but about 50-60 feet longer, plus the distance required to go from the end of the aft grand staircase on A Deck up to the boat deck. I'd go so far as to say that few stewards and no passengers would know the most efficient route., though. Most people would have used one of the First Class stairways, so make the estimate 5 to 8 minutes

There's several possibilities for the Orlop Deck. From refrigerated stores, go up and transfer to the forward second class staircase via an emergency door. That's eight flights of stairs, so about 2-5 minutes. From the mail room, up past the squash racquet court as far as D Deck then go to the first class grand staircase which leads to the boat deck. Eight flights and about 100 feet on D Deck, so maybe 3-6 minutes. From No. 3 hold (baggage) go to the mail room. From refrigerated stores, go up as far as Scotland Road then to the aft 2nd class staircase. Eight flights and about 100 feet on E Deck, maybe 4-7 minutes.

From the Tank Top, the only route on the deck plans is the firemen's staircase; go up to C Deck, go aft to the stairs leading from the forward well deck up to B, then take the stairs up to the Officer's Promenade on the boat deck. This is nine flights of stairs and maybe 200 feet of walking, so perhaps 4-7 minutes. The more likely routes aren't shown on the deck plans; you climb up ladders in the fidleys to Scotland Road on E Deck, then go to either the forward grand staircase or the aft second class stairway. Distance traveled depends on where you are on the tank top; also, ladders are slower to climb than stairs. It'd be roughly between 50 and 250 feet on E Deck, depending on where you were on the tank top. So 4-8 minutes, I'd say. Some crew testified that they went up the emergency stairs to the galley. From there you'd go to the forward grand staircase. It's about the same distance, overall.

If you're on the Orlop Deck or Tank Top you're crew, so you're reasonably fit and would probably tend towards the shorter times in the ranges.

Yes, this is long... but it was interesting to work out. I like to think I can figure out the fastest way to the Boat Deck from any point on Titanic... but I never thought of the times involved. It's a useful skill, anyway, provided I don't run into Lightoller when I get to the boat deck. :)
 
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Josh M

Member
Feb 22, 2018
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Thank you so much for this detailed and enlightening response; it is exactly what I was looking for. The duration of travel from certain sections within the ship, whilst only minutes, would surely have felt long and arduous once one knew the ship was going down and substantially tilted.

Thanks again, and by the way, if you enjoy this topic so much you could also provide some maps with the routes you describe above marked on them ;)
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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During the British inquiry, Lord Mersey visited Olympic. He climbed from the stokers' quarters in the bow to the boat deck in five minutes, in spite of his age. As he said, this was with guidance.
 
Nov 14, 2005
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From third class section "S" you would go up the stairs amidships. That stairway goes up as far as the Third Class entrance on C Deck. So that's four flights of stairs. You would then go to the forward second class stairway (the aft one doesn't go to the boat deck). You could do that by going through the emergency door to the forward second class stairway via the 2nd class promenade, or you could go up the stairways in the well deck and reach the forward second class stairway from B deck via the second class promenade there. So another 3 flights of stairs plus a walk of about 200 feet. (Steward John Hart took a group of third class passengers from the aft well deck to the boat deck via the first class aft grand staircase, which is not the most efficient route. He implied that he went up the aft grand staircase, which ends on A Deck, but he said the stairs took him to the boat deck opposite Lifeboat #8, which is directly outside the forward grand staircase.).

According to here it takes an average person 15-25 minutes to climb 36 flights of stairs. So 2 to 5 minutes for 7 flights of stairs, as an estimate.
According to here an average person walks 4.6 feet per second, so 45 seconds to a minute for the roughly 200 foot walk across C Deck (or B&C decks).
So it'd be about three to six minutes from section "S" to the boat deck. That assumes the person in question knows the way through second class to the boat deck. It's not immediately obvious, particularly because you have to take the forward 2nd class stairway; if you take the closest stairway after crossing the well deck, you have to transfer to the forward staircase on B Deck. The route Steward Hart took is more obvious but about 50-60 feet longer, plus the distance required to go from the end of the aft grand staircase on A Deck up to the boat deck. I'd go so far as to say that few stewards and no passengers would know the most efficient route., though. Most people would have used one of the First Class stairways, so make the estimate 5 to 8 minutes

There's several possibilities for the Orlop Deck. From refrigerated stores, go up and transfer to the forward second class staircase via an emergency door. That's eight flights of stairs, so about 2-5 minutes. From the mail room, up past the squash racquet court as far as D Deck then go to the first class grand staircase which leads to the boat deck. Eight flights and about 100 feet on D Deck, so maybe 3-6 minutes. From No. 3 hold (baggage) go to the mail room. From refrigerated stores, go up as far as Scotland Road then to the aft 2nd class staircase. Eight flights and about 100 feet on E Deck, maybe 4-7 minutes.

From the Tank Top, the only route on the deck plans is the firemen's staircase; go up to C Deck, go aft to the stairs leading from the forward well deck up to B, then take the stairs up to the Officer's Promenade on the boat deck. This is nine flights of stairs and maybe 200 feet of walking, so perhaps 4-7 minutes. The more likely routes aren't shown on the deck plans; you climb up ladders in the fidleys to Scotland Road on E Deck, then go to either the forward grand staircase or the aft second class stairway. Distance traveled depends on where you are on the tank top; also, ladders are slower to climb than stairs. It'd be roughly between 50 and 250 feet on E Deck, depending on where you were on the tank top. So 4-8 minutes, I'd say. Some crew testified that they went up the emergency stairs to the galley. From there you'd go to the forward grand staircase. It's about the same distance, overall.

If you're on the Orlop Deck or Tank Top you're crew, so you're reasonably fit and would probably tend towards the shorter times in the ranges.

Yes, this is long... but it was interesting to work out. I like to think I can figure out the fastest way to the Boat Deck from any point on Titanic... but I never thought of the times involved. It's a useful skill, anyway, provided I don't run into Lightoller when I get to the boat deck. :)
Very informative post. Thanks! I think your numbers are right. I once timed how long it would take for me to get from my rack just aft amidships on the 3rd deck to the bow of my carrier. It was a little over 5 mins going at a good clip. But it would have been be longer if the passage ways were clogged with people ect.
 

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