:  The Internet's leading website for Paddle Steamers past and present

Boat trips remain ever-popular and in a few places around the world, sightseeing trips are provided by paddle steamers : a type of ship which is a survivor from a bygone era.  "Heritage" in all its aspects is now a big factor in the tourist and leisure business and a trip on a paddle steamer can add to the pleasure and interest of a boat trip. In some places you can hop on a more modern type of ship or wait for a paddler. Elsewhere you will need to seek them out and support the operators, usually running their services in very difficult financial circumstances, in their objective of preserving the remaining examples of these fascinating ships.

Gordon Stewart is keen to promote paddle steamers, and educate the public into their historical significance, both objects of the UK's Paddle Steamer Preservation Society of which he is a member. He has created what is probably the internet's most comprehensive reference resource for excursion paddle steamers worldwide. There is also an extensive historical database. The website is illustrated by Gordon's own photography (of which there is a full archive) and images kindly supplied for publication by his worldwide correspondents. This is not a full history of paddle steamers. Readers are invited to research individual vessels or sailing areas in more detail. A limited bibliogrpaphy is provided.

Schiller Brunnen 08.jpg
Paddle Steamer Schiller at Brunnen, Lake Lucerne in 2008 : one of five paddle steamers in the SGV fleet on this beautiful lake in Switzerland - a place where such ships are seen as an indispensible tourist attraction and so survive alongside more modern motor vessels

Waverley paddlebox.jpg




The form of propulsion unique to paddle steamers

The engines are a major on-board attraction

The most distinctive feature when seen from shore

The method of propulsion used by the first steamships and still ideal for calm and shallow waters. Many paddlers have viewing port-holes on the main deck so the turning wheels and splashing waters can be seen to good effect.

On most paddle steamers the engines are clearly visible and are, for many, a major on-board attraction. Here, lubrication oil is topped-up on Lake Lucerne's PS Schiller whilst the engines are stopped as she calls at a pier 

From a distance, Paddle Steamers can often be identified by their distinctive paddle boxes, with vents of different sizes and shapes, often highly decorated. The Paddle Steamer Waverley's port side vents gets a touch-up of paint whilst she waits at Tighnabruaich.

Paddle Steamers are ships which are now firmly established favourites in the tourist industry, providing excursions amongst fine scenery on lake, river and in the case of the UK's renowned Waverley, coastal cruises. Their fascinating steam engines, linked to large paddle wheels, are a unique selling point making and they retain many advantages over a diesel or oil engine despite their higher operating cost. Paddles also have their advantages in shallow waters and paddle steamers, like any other screw ship, can benefit from modern aids such as bow thrusters.

Unique Features : Paddle steamers have something extra to offer the interested observer or passenger compared to most ships : visible engines and paddles
Significant Benefits :
 Paddle steamers are smooth, quiet and virtually smell and vibration-free in operation - all leading to a better customer experience.


Learn why paddle steamers only dominated the seas for a very short period of time, but found a niche role where they still survive today.

Follow the links on the blue main index (below and near foot of the page) which take you to the main sections of the database where you can research excursion and inshore-ferry paddle steamers in detail whether operational, preserved, laid-up and at risk or now consigned to the pages of  history books. 

Operational Paddle Steamers
Paddle Steamer Reactivation Projects
Laid up Steamers
Statically Preserved Paddle Steamers

Paddle Steamers Under Construction
Lost Paddle Steamers
Paddle Steamers of the past
Paddle Steamer Engines
Clyde Steamers
British Paddle Steamer Index
Paddle Tugs

and visit the photo archive photo archive

The heyday for sea-going paddle steamers was short - but there remained a niche where they survived

An early technology : Man had long wielded paddles to propel craft through water and used wheels to harness the power of water. Turning wheels with attached  paddles was an obvious development, if a way could be found to power them. The first commercially successful steam ship is generally acknowledged to be Henry Bell's paddler Comet of 1812 which inauguarated a service between Glasgow and Helensburgh in Scotland but this was five years after Robert Fulton introduced a passenger service between New York and Albany on the Hudson River in the USA with his ship Clermont. His ship the Albany is credited as sailing from the Hudson to the Delaware River in 1808, albeit acting as a tug, and earning the accolade of the world's first sea-going paddle steamer. These were the culmination of several efforts to put steam engines to work in ships, which seemed an obvious development in the Industrial Revolution. It needed the size of engines to be reduced considerably before they could be applied to turning a paddle wheel - itself something known about for centuries - and they had to be reliable. The first paddle steamer of the industrial era is believed to be that built by Claude du Juoffroy in France in 1774 when he undertook experiments on the Doubs River but it was not until 1783 that his "Pyroscaphe" undertook the first of what can be considered any sort of journey as she sailed for a short distance on the River Saone. William Symington, a Scottish engineer, took up work on steam power and reputedly had a vessel sailing in 1788 on Dalswinton Loch in Dumfriesshire, Scotland on which there is a strong possibility that local resident, the poet Robert Burns sailed. His work  culminated in the PS Charlotte Dundas of 1802 which hauled a cargo barge along the Forth and Clyde Canal, but the canal's conservative owners did not pursue this form of propulsion further. After 1812, technological developments continued apace and soon steamships were criss-crossing the globe, although initially most had auxiliary sail rigging.

Some technical drawbacks..... : The earliest steamships were paddle propelled, but very quickly they were made obsolete by the development of the screw propeller, which replaced paddles for most marine applications. The screw, although not without its own problems, was permanently under water so was generally more efficient than the paddle wheel, whose individual floats are out of the water for most of the time as the wheel rotates, and in choppy waters this advantage was particularly apparent. Paddles were unsuited to the long-distance cargo trade, as the draught varied as coal stocks were used up, resulting in the paddles rarely working at their optimum depth. In this trade sailing ships still had advantages over steam due to not needing to carry coal stocks and themselves survived into the twentieth century. Military ships also favoured the screw because it was much less vulnerable to damage by enemy gunfire and damage from floating debris. 

Paddle out of water.jpg
Crowds at a Royal Navy review on the Clyde in August 1965 edge to the starboard side to view a destroyer leaving the port-side wheel largely out of the water and paddling air. The starboard wheel would have been bogged down and the paddle box full of water .............. an inefficient situation, albeit unusual for an excursion steamer in calm water !  Pictured is the Caledonian Steam Packet's PS Caledonia of 1934. Photo by Ian Stewart

.....but some timeless advantages : Paddlers found their niche in areas of calm and especially shallow water as ferries and excursion ships and found particular importance as river steamers where their shallow draughts helped navigate shifting sands and potential snags. Stern paddle wheels became particularly associated with the opening up of rivers in the American mid-west. Wheels at the back gave the mechanism extra protection from floating hazards in such waters. The military were glad of paddle steamers once again, however, during World Wars I and especially II where their shallow draught made them ideal for coastal minesweeping duties and most commercial paddlers were requisitioned for war service. A number of paddle steamers distinguished themselves at the Dunkirk evacuations but both this and minesweeping involved great risk and many were sunk by enemy action or mines as a result.

Many ferry operators persisted with paddle steamers in the face of new technologies. They were tried and tested, with engineers used to operating and maintaining them - and often in making running repairs. Thee capital cost of the paddle engines also tended to be lower. Many of those companies working in areas with frequent calls at piers preferred what was, at least for some time, an advantage in paddlers' speed of acceleration and slowing. Even today, a screw motor vessel can be extremely noisy and juddery when asked to make a quick getaway from a standing start. The development of variable pitch propellors, such as the Voith-Schneider design which found early success around 1930 on Lake Constance and more latterly azimuth drives have meant that ships are now so maneovrable that they can sail sideways and spin on their axis. The use of bow rudders and bow thrusters aided paddle steamer manoevrability, but this still leaves the handling of such ships a highly skilled task with increasingly few mariners trained in its art.

Changing circumstances : The demise of paddle steamers, once found in large numbers on short ferry and excursion services around the world and also as estuarine and river tugs, was in part a result of the relentless need for operators to continuously cut their operating costs - a requirement common to any enterprise in a competitive economic environment. Although Paddle Steamer technology had constantly evolved over the years, the advent and refinement of the motor ship gave operators the prospect of substantial reductions in their fuel and crew costs. As the noise and excessive vibration which plagued motor ships was improved, they reduced what was probably their biggest disadvantage, but in this respect remained inferior to steamships. However, that is not the whole story. The decline of passenger steamers coincided with a change in demand which meant that, with the exception of a few cases, they were not replaced at all - except by car ferries, better road connections and where feasible, bridges. That left the pure excursion traffic and in many places remaining passenger numbers meant that only considerably smaller boats were needed. Where demand was less affected, paddle steamers had a better chance of survival and in the 1970s, enthusiasts, and to some extent the public in general, embarked on campaigns which were to save threatened ships and change their prospects completely as the tourism industry and the "heritage" industry entered a period of rapid growth. Many have said that heritage appreciation is a recent phenomenon. It isn't, of course, but the rapid modernisation and technological evolution in the 1960s meant that in the excursion ship sector at least there was one contributing factor. Paddle steamers, which for 150 years seemed an integral mainstay of the business, were no longer being replaced by modern improved versions of the old favourites - they were now disappearing altogether as a class
Tattershall Castle 1971 J Dale 1100.jpg
Car ownership : Tattershall Castle and her sister Wingfield Castle (1934) were innovative paddlers, designed to carry cargoes on the relatively short crossing of the Humber Estuary between Hull and New Holland, and in the photo above dated 1971 by Jake Dale, it can be seen that the cargo space became useful for carrying cars. Nevertheless, the two only had a few more years of working life and their younger quasi-sister Lincoln Castle only until 1978, replaced by a diesel (albeit paddle for draught reasons) car ferry temporarily introduced in anticipation of the ferry service being replaced outright by a road suspension bridge in 1981
Goethe and MV.jpg
Cost considerations : Germany's mighty River Rhine was a stronghold of paddle steamers providing connections between piers along both sides of the river - primarily for passengers, but in early years, goods as well. PS Goethe (seen right in 2000) was built in 1913 as a goods and passenger ship and has been expensively rebuilt on two occasions for her now passenger-only role. The last paddler built for the German section of the Rhine appeared in 1929 and operators KD have since then specified motor ships (often propelled by Voith-Schneider units) as road, rail and bridge connections left the ships increasingly with the tourist trade only. From 1981, Goethe was the only remaining paddler and even she was withdrawn in 1989. Restored late in 1996 after a significant rebuild she was placed on the "Nostalgic Route", the highly-scenic tourist run between Koblenz and Rudesheim. Still marketed as a nostalgic paddler, she was converted to motor operation after the 2008 season, partly on technical grounds but also as a cost-limiting measure. Fuel costs were reported to have halved after the conversion and there were also savings in engine room personnel.

An anachronism ? : Paddle Steamer Maid of the Loch (above, at Luss in a photo by Kenny Whyte) was built in 1953 for service on Scotland's Loch Lomond.  It was the last of a long line of passenger paddle steamers built for service in the UK and many thought it was obsolete as soon as it was ordered. In mainland Europe, the last paddlers had been built 25 years earlier. It was not just the propulsion method, but the size of the ship which raised  eyebrows, but it seemed a good idea to the ship's operators at the time. The critics were probably right. The Maid accumulated increasing losses and was eventually withdrawn after the 1981 season - but still survives as a static exhibit in the care of a charitable company with a long-term hope of returning her to service.

Only three other paddle steamers were built for excursion work in the UK after the Second World War, with Waverley still in operation but with Bristol Queen and Cardiff Queen failing to see out the 1960s

Paddle Steamers can be operated successfully - but only if the circumstances are right

New roles were needed : Paddle Steamers can only survive if they operate either in cooperation with or away from the direct competition of "commercial" services and they must offer something that is a little different from what a commercial service might offer. They have largely lost their role as ferries, but need to capitalise on the considerable and still growing demand for enjoyable "days out". They must be popular attractions in their own right, providing the best of modern facilities but also showcasing their unique engineering heritage. They are a tourist attraction and must market themselves as such, but more crucuially they must go from where the public is likely to be to somewhere that they are likely to want to go to - or at least to see.
W Argyle and Bute 2013 Skel KW.jpg
Restricted roles : Paddle Steamer Waverley cruises up and down the Firth of Clyde. Here she is seen heading homewards off Skelmorlie in 2013 in a photo kindly supplied by Kenny Whyte.  She now fulfils a purely excursion cruise role. Ferry services were once handled by similar paddle steamers, but the link between Wemyss Bay on the mainland and Rothesay on the Isle of Bute is now maintained by car ferries on a shuttle service. The current holders of that roster are the Polish-built twins Argyle and Bute, seen above crossing the Firth with the Cowal coastline behind and the higher hills of Argyll in the distance
Paddlers remained suitable in certain areas : Large paddlers are now confined largely to the Swiss lakes, where there is the happy convergence of most of the factors needed to sustain excursion ships of this size : a sizeable local resident population, large tourist numbers, attractive local scenery and popular lakeside resorts equipped with landing stages, accessible maintenance facilities, supportive local authorities and tourist development boards and a large supply of local enthusiasts. Most of all, they are owned and operated by their original owners on a strictly commercial basis alongside a fleet of motor vessels. It is known that they attract more customers than an equivalent motor vessel but being part of a fleet allows the additional costs of a paddler to be absorbed in a wider business. Smaller paddlers survive in great numbers at the German city of Dresden largely for the same reasons. Only in Australia, now the "home" of the paddle steamer, have they survived in large numbers and are even being built new, but these ships are much smaller than seen in Europe and many are small enough to be operated a private houseboats or occasional vessels and only on inland rivers, primarily the Murray
Waverley Largs Queue 2011.jpg
Still popular ! : At the right place at the right time and going to the right places, paddle steamers can attract the crowds like Waverley at Largs in 2011 (above)

The cost of operating and maintaining large ships, especially in the tough and ever toughening regulatory environment concerning maritime matters is enormous. These issues are particularly relevant to "sea-going" vessels and why the UK's PS Waverley is such a rare survivor. It is not despite her age, but probably because of her age. Being a paddle steamer is a unique selling point and one which attracts excursionists when otherwise there might be little or no demand, but they do have to beware of serving primarily the existing "enthusiast" market. It probably will not be enough to ensure long-term sustainability.

As paddle steamers and historic ships in general are now so rare in public service, they are less "visible" and therefore less able to attract public awareness and develop a pool of potential enthusiasts, whose support is has been essential in keeping most running. It is little surprise that the strongest pool of support, proportionately, is in Switzerland, where numerous examples of paddle steamers survive. (More about preservation and its successes in Switzerland.....). Nevertheless, valiant attempts continue to ensure that paddle steamers survive elsewhere and if they can attract sufficient custom to fill their (generally large) capacities, they can be successful financially and continue to provide what is now an educational experience in past engineering methods and an enjoyable outing for the general tourist.

Here are three examples of how the tide has turned in different ways to the benefit of paddle steamers :






Schonbrunn at aschach.jpg

A global shipping corporation took control of the paddle steamer fleet based in Dresden, the world's largest fleet, and refurbished the ships, many over 100 years old to a magnificent standard. Most people thought that the economic realities of the capitalist world would spell the end of this East German fleet - but not so. Nine paddle steamers are thriving. 

The larger Swiss Lakes would be unthinkable without their immaculately maintained paddle steamers, although only 40 years ago it was assumed that as the ships came to the "end of their lives" they would be replaced by motor vessels. The paddlers have remained alongside the newer motor vessels in this most technologically advanced and high-cost country.

Enterprising enthusiast and preservationist groups have shown that it is possible to take a paddle steamer disposed of by its "commercial" owners, and even after many years of lay-up, return it to operational service. Schonbrunn, above, the last of a long line of steam paddlers on the Danube in Austria, was saved in such a way.

In view of the difficulties, financial, regulatory and increasingly personnel wise as the number of steam-certified engineers diminsh, it is surprising that projects still exist to restore derelict paddle steamers. It is one thing to take on a newly-withdrawn paddler such as Waverley when gifted to the UK's Paddle Steamer Preservation Society in 1974 but another thing to take over a derelict or near-derelict ship and restore her for service. This could be regarded as in the realm of unrealistic dreams for nostalgic enthusiasts, but it has been shown that it can be done. The most recent project concerns PS Patria on lake Como, Italy, where the quasi-state-owned company NLC are refitting the ship as a steamer. She has been out of service since 1990 with only local enthusiasts to promote her cause. It is quite remarkable that the operating company, already owning PS Concordia and only using her sparingly, decided on this course of action. A return to service as a motor ship had been mooted in the past, but this new turn of events was unexpected.

Enthusiast support groups are now well established and fully contibuting to paddle steamer operations

Enthusiasts played a vital role in saving the last of the paddle steamers when strict financial criteria dictated against them and public interest in industrial and maritime heritage was still only in its early days. Now, organisations are well established and instrumental in ensuring their continued survival, either by supporting existing operators or owning paddle steamers in their own right. This makes it easy for the enthusiast to get involved directly and make a positive contribution either financially or by helping to promote or maintain the ships and know that their efforts are contributing to securing the long term futures of our remaining paddle steamers.
Unterwalden 2011 nadia.jpg
109 years old and as good as new ! : With the help of enthusiasts and under the control of a sympathetic shipping company, PS Unterwalden (above), one of a fleet of five paddle steamers on Lake Lucerne) returned to service in May 2011 after a major refit. She was restored to closer to her original profile, but with a glass-enclosed upper deck to meet modern expectations. Clever design, however, means she looks much more like she once did, with the heavy construction of the 1961 refit removed. This photo of Unterwalden, back in service for the first time since 2009 was kindly supplied by Nadia Joehr
Having a "paddle steamer" is good for your marketing
Ships with a side-wheels which are for decorative purposes only are not included in this database. However, the addition of a wheel to a ship indicates that even appearing to be a "paddle steamer" gives a ship an important selling point. Mock wheels tend to be more common on motor ships trying to imitate Mississippi-style steamers, but mock side-wheels are not unknown.

It is unlikely that many, if any, new genuine paddle steamers will be built although the term "paddle steamer" retains a fair bit of "cache" and numerous boats, primarily Mississippi-style sternwheelers are built for tourist purposes. These capitalise of the theme but the boats are powered by modern cost-effective diesels and the propulsion is actually by submerged screw with the paddle wheels often for decorative purposes only and are therefore not genuine "paddle steamers". The ships rarely recreate the atmosphere of a historic ship completely. Remarkably the operators of the shipping services on Germany's Ammersee, a lake in southern Bavaria, decided to build a completely new vessel as a side-wheeler. MS Herrsching entered service in 2002 and although not powered by steam, she otherwise is a fine vessel.

Why a paddler ? : MPV Herrsching - above - one of a new generation of ships with a genuine set of paddle wheels. It was a surprise that the ship was a paddler. It would have been even more of a surprise if she had been a paddle steamer - an option which did receive genuine consideration, but was ultimately ruled out on cost grounds. Nevertheless, the operating company saw advantages in having a modern yet "traditional" vessel
Yarmouth Belle 2010 Garry Knight.jpg
Why the side wheels ? :  The addition of a paddle wheel to a ship indicates that even just appearing to be a "paddle steamer" gives a ship an important selling point. Mock wheels tend to be more common on motor ships trying to imitate Mississippi-style steamers with a large wheel at the stern, but mock side-wheels are not unknown. The photo above shows the Yarmouth Belle, taken on the Upper River Thames near London in 2010 and kindly made available under Creative Commons License by owner Garry Knight. What is interesting and disturbing about Yarmouth Belle, now owned by the renowned and historical Turks shipping company, is that its wheel, a very poor decorative representation, has been added only recently to what was a magnificent historical vessel. Yarmouth Belle was built in 1892 and was originally a steamship and as well as the not-unexpected conversion, she also had a modern deckhouse added aft to spoil her original profile. The paddle wheel certainly detracts from her authenticity and, to the webmaster's mind, her looks, but clearly it was a deliberate decision by the owners to claim her on their website as a "traditional English side wheeler" (which she clearly isn't) adding that it offers elegance and versatility unrivalled on the Upper Thames.

The world's Paddle Steamer fleet is growing !
2013 saw the return to working order of two paddle steamers which had been out of service for many years and only recently had any hope of such a renaissance. The provincial government at Como, Italy, sponsored the restoration of PS Patria and a local enthusiasts' group in Switzerland, with local government support, arranged the renovation of PS Neuchatel (above). The Swiss paddler had been used as a restaurant ship for many years and needed the installation of an engine and boiler. Photo by kind courtesy of Sebastien Jacobi (via Olivier Bachmann)

With the help of the public it can grow further 
Maid othe Loch 2011.jpg
Maid of the Loch (above) looks like she is ready to cast off from Balloch Pier on Loch Lomond. Unfortunately she has been out of service since 1981, but much work in recent years has meant she has been open to the public for static use. Hopes that a major grant from the UK's Heritage Lottery Fund would allow her to be returned to service in 2019 were dashed when it was announced that the project had failed to get the required funding at the September 2018 round of allocations. It is anticipated that a bid for the funding will be re-submitted for future assessment.

All aboard queue.jpg
Come aboard and take a detailed look around some of our paddle steamers, going on deck, looking into the deck houses, cafeteria and restaurant and, of course, the attraction specific to paddle steamers : the engines.

All Aboard - click here


The main sections of this database are listed on the blue main menu below. The main menu can be found on the entry pages to each section and at other points in the database. You will normally be able to get back to the entry page for each section by following the return links at the bottom of individual pages.


Operational Paddle Steamers
Paddle Steamer Reactivation Projects
Laid up Steamers
Statically Preserved Paddle Steamers

Paddle Steamers Under Construction
Lost Paddle Steamers
Paddle Steamers of the past
Paddle Steamer Engines
Clyde Steamers
British Paddle Steamer Index
Paddle Tugs
Sternwheelers photo archive


For a comprehensive guide to paddle steamers in all their guises from a historical development point of view I would direct you to the following for further reading :

The Coming of the Comet : The Rise and Fall of the Paddle Steamer   by Nick Robins

Seaforth Publishing, 2012 : ISBN 10 : 1848321341  and ISBN 13 : 978-1848321342

ABOUT THIS WEBSITE is researched, designed and maintained by Gordon Stewart, life member of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (North of England & North Wales branch) and is based in England
The website aims to be a source of basic reference, setting the scene for those who wish to understand the general situation regarding paddle steamers. Those who wish to research further are directed to the appropriate sources shown in the bibliography sections of the relevant past of the historical database. Links to external websites are provided to take viewers to steamer operators' websites and for general research purposes only. It is not responsible for the content of these websites. Please report any broken or corrupted links to webmaster
The webmaster attempts to keep information as up-to-date as possible but does not guarantee that any information such as ship status etc is necessarily current. If you have any news updates or corrections, please advise the webmaster so these pages can be updated. Any views expressed are those of the webmaster alone unless otherwise indicated.

Send an e-mail to the Webmaster, Gordon Stewart   Your comments and views, questions or information requests are welcomed

What counts as a Paddle Steamer in this database ?

Steam powered side and stern-wheelers including those which have been converted to diesel power and those which survive statically (even if the machinery has been removed). Side-wheelers built as motor vessels are also included where they can be regarded as equivalent in size to the steamers covered. Stern-wheelers built as motor vessels are excluded because a large number have been built in recent times (some are genuine paddlers, others have screw propulsion and wheels mainly for effect only). Very small steamships of the "hobby steamboating" nature are excluded.  Modern ships primarily propelled by screw propellor but with a side-wheel either entirely or substantially for visual effect are excluded (except in the case of "Freya" which is a genuine hybrid vessel and includes traditional paddle steamer machinery as well as a diesel motor.  The historical database is limited to lake, river, estuarine and inshore paddle ships

Copyright and re-use of information and images

All material and photographs displayed on this website are the property of Gordon Stewart or the accredited photographer where shown and not for re-use without permission of webmaster (uncredited photos are those of the webmaster) or photographer unless allowed under the appropriate Creative Commons licence (quoted alongside all photos used under this permission).
All information is presented in good faith based on meticulous research. If any information is clearly wrong, please advise the webmaster and it shall be corrected

All photographs displayed are with the permission of the acknowledged photographer but are not to be copied for re-use for any other website or publication without the specific authorisation of the photographer. You are welcome to use the text from this website as a research source and basis for your own work but it should not be copied and republished elsewhere verbatim or only slightly altered.
All material on the database (formerly and including the Paddle Steamer Resources by Tramscape database) is Gordon Stewart or the individual photographer where acknowledged. Photos not otherwised attributed are by Gordon Stewart


The webmaster gratefully acknowledges many sources of information, including websites shown on the links page, magazines such as Paddle Wheels and Dampferzeitung and published books which he has read and absorbed information from. Many of these are listed in the Bibliography sections of the main pages to which they refer and readers of this website are referred to these books for much more detailed information about the relevant subjects. Thanks go to everyone who has submitted photos. They are acknowledged on the website alongside their photos. Particular thanks to Kenny Whyte, renowned ship photographer resident on the Clyde coast for his kindly allowing me to use numerous images from his collection. 

Paddle Steamer Information Requests

Most of the information available to me is presented in abbreviated form in this database and it is unlikely that I will be able to help with ships which are not included in this database, but please send the webmaster an e-mail and I will give as much assistance as I can. I can for example also give general guidance about paddle steamer services in Europe (e.g. Swiss lake steamers operations) and guide you to the best sources of external information.
The "Paddleducks" website
 is the home of the world-wide modelling community where there is a lively forum for information about paddle steamers as well as modelling issues. Paddleducks members often have access to ship plans and other information of specific relevance to modellers.
  Paddle Steamer Preservation Society in the UK accepts enquiries for inspection of the material in its historical collection for research purposes. 

Can You Help With This database ?

The webmaster would be delighted to receive any updates of relevant information and photographs (of which you own copyright) which could help to keep this database as up-to-date as possible and fill in gaps in the historical record. Howeever, photographs of PS Waverley are not required due to the enormous number of images of her now available on the internet


Clyde Turbine Steamers

Although Clyde Steamer fleets were dominated by paddle steamers, the introduction of the turbine steamer King Edward in 1901 dramatically improved the quality of the long-distance day excursion fleet. The world's first ever passenger ship powered by turbines brought a new level of speed, comfort and smoothness and in the next 35 years a number of excellent vessels joined the Clyde fleet.

The only surviving example is TS Queen Mary (seen above in 2017 in Prince's Dock, Glasgow) which sailed from 1933 to 1977. She was bought by a Scottish charity the Friends of TS Queen Mary in October 2015 with the intention of taking her to Glasgow and preserving her in a permanent berth near the city centre and she was returned to the Clyde on May 15th 2016 to be prepared for her new life. Stripping out of old fittings was proceeding rapidly when the above photo was taken

Montpellier tram.jpg
InTramCities  with Gordon Stewart : Infrastructure, Architecture and Environment along streets with trams

Gordon Stewart travels regularly throughout Europe to create what is perhaps the finest tramway photograph resource on the internet. Although trams are the focal point and common thread throughout, it is where they are running which provides the diversity and interest in his photos. As well as city centres with their grand architecture, Gordon takes you to less well-known suburbs to give a real feel for the tramway city. The photos are becoming an important historical record for those interested in the city itself as well as its trams and also show how trams fit into urban environments to provide an attractive and accessible transportation system.  Domain front page
Gordon Stewart 2001-2018