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The Courier was built to the order of Huddart, Parker and Co of Melborne.
It was built by C. S. Swan and Hunter of Wallsend.
It is 220ft long, by 30ft and draws 11ft of water.
The triple expansion engines, built by R. and W. Hawthorn, Leslie and Co, were fitted with Marshall's patent valve gear. The bed plates and pillars were of cast-steel. The 1500 sqft condenser is separate from the engines and made of gun-metal. The cylinders are 30in., 46 in., and 73 in. respectively by 36 in. stroke. 150lb steam is supplied by two multitubular boilers; 15 ft 3 in. by 11ft. The forced draught is supplied by two double-sided fans, each driven by a high speed compound engine. The trial trip toook place on 28th October 1887 on the Admirality course of 9.6 knots between Cullercoats and Newbiggin off the mouth of the Tyne. An average speed of 17.548 knots was obtained, with an indicateed horse power of 2979; with 124 revolutions per minute and the vacuum 26.5 in.