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Paddle Steamers with Turbine Engines

Above : Rhine turbine paddle tug Dordrecht at Kaub. Photo courtesy of Felix Brun / Alstom Power archive

Turbines were fitted to three experimental paddle tugs built for use on the River Rhein in the mid 1920s and one on the River Rhone, but it never caught on and as far as the webmaster knows, was not attempted elsewhere. The above photo and drawing show the turbine and reduction gear fitted to the tug "Dordrecht". Photo courtesy of Felix Brun /Alstom Power (successors to Brown Boveri) archive.

PT Zurich (1922) : Escher Wyss (Zurich) / EW Zoelly turbine
PT Dordrecht (1925) : Schiffs- und Maschinenbau Gesellschaft (Mannheim) / Brown Boveri Company
PT Toulon (1929) : Sachsenberg (Rosslau/Elbe) / Parsons
PT Rhone (1931) : Escher, Wyss (Zurich) / EW Zoelly turbine

Escher, Wyss of Zurich were renowned engineers and shipbuilders. Long-serving Chirf Engineer Heinrich Zoelly developed a turbine design which his company adapted for the transportation sector, railway locomotives as well as ships. The company also investigated the use of turbines in paddle steamers with the two tugs Zurich and Rhone beingthe only operational examples

Dordrecht was built for Dutch owners and with collapsable funnels so as to be able to sail beyond Basel in Switzerland. She was one of the longest Rhine tugs at 77.81 metres and was 22.20 metres in breadth. Steam was fed at 300 degrees celsius from twin Scotch boilers to two turbines, one high-pressure, the other low. There was one reverse turbine. The turbines generated 1500 ships horse power. Double reduction gearing reduced the revolutions from 3600 to 38. Reboilered in 1954 she was withdrawn in 1957, parts of her boiler reused in another vessel and the forward part of her hull used as a clubhouse for the Seafarers-Club at Bonn  

See below for more information about Dordrecht's engine kindly supplied by Felix Brun / Alstom Power

Built by Sachsenberg for the Compagnie General pour la Navigation du Rhin (CGNR) based in Strasbourg.
Length 69.2 m.  Breadth 9 m (hull) / 18.6 m (over sponsons)
Coal fired but later converted to oil
Transferred to Switzerland in 1939 under the ownership of Compagnie Suisse Comptoir de Transports Rhenans (CSCTR)
Damaged in 1945 at Strasbourg but repaired and reactivated
Converted to oil fuel in 1952
Out of service from 1959 and scrapped in 1961
Below : Toulon in service

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