Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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c.1914 A gear-turbine liner of this name was launched - see SS Transylvania (1914)

1925 "ON Saturday last, September 12th, the new Anchor-Cunard liner Transylvania left the Clyde on her maiden voyage to New York. She is a twin-screw passenger and cargo vessel, built by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co, Ltd., for the Anchor Line - Henderson Brothers - of Glasgow and the following are her principal dimensions :-Length, 587ft. 6in.; breadth, 70ft.; depth to bridge deck, 57ft. 3in.; loaded draught, 28ft. 11.75 in. ; deadweight carrying capacity, 10,440 tons ; gross tonnage, 16,800:

Her excellent lines and her three funnels give her an imposing appearance. She is designed to carry 279 first-class, 344 second-class, and about 800 emigrant passengers, with a crew of 363, and on Saturday she sailed with over 1000 passengers.

The passenger accommodation and the public rooms are fully in accordance with that high standard of finish which we associate with the builders and owners of the ship, and the most up-to-date navigation and safety devices have been fitted. The propelling machinery is of the twin-screw double-reduction type with Brown-Curtis geared turbines fitted with the Nodal drive, and the turbines have an output corresponding to a service speed of about 17 knots. Steam is raised in three double and three single-ended boilers of the return tube cylindrical type, which are constructed for a working pressure of 220 lb. per square inch, and are fitted with the Howden-Wallsend system of oil-fuel burning. The oil bunkers and double bottom tanks carry sufficient fuel for thirty days' steaming. Power and light are obtained from two sets of geared turbo generators, and an emergency lighting set is installed after on the bridge deck. The engine-room auxiliaries are of the latest design, and the Weir closed feed system is fitted. At the Linthouse Yard of Alexander Stephen and Sons, Ltd., a sister ship to the Transylvania, the Caledonia, built to the order of the same owners, is nearing completion. She is expected to undergo her trials some time during the coming week."

In September 1939, the liner became an armed merchant cruiser and on 10 August 1940, off Malin Head, Ireland she was torpedoed by the U-56. Transylvania was being towed afterward but sank before reaching land. 36 lives were lost.[1]

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