The quadruple-screw turbine mail and passenger steamer Calgarian, was at the time of launching the largest and fastest vessel so far built for the Canadian trade. She was constructed for the Allan Line's main service between Liverpool, Quebec, and Montreal in summer, and Halifax and St. John in winter. The order for the hull and machinery was placed with the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Limited, Govan, Glasgow. The vessel was built to meet the requirements of the British Corporation Registry of Shipping, B. S.* class, also to Board of Trade and Canadian emigration rules.
The massive appearance of the Calgarian, with cruiser stern, cruiser funnels, high pole masts and imposing superstructure, is seen in the picture of the vessel. She ran a series of speed trials on the Clyde on March 16 1914, when her best run was at a speed of 21.25 knots. The chief particulars of the ship were:
Length on waterline: 590 feet o inch
Length between perpendiculars: 570 feet o inch
Breadth molded: 70 feet o inch
Dept, molded to bridge deck: 54 feet o inch
Mean draft: 28 feet 6 inches
Gross tonnage: 18,000 tons
Sea speed, designed: 19 knots
Number of first class passengers: 200
Number of second class passengers: 500
Number of third class passengers: 1,000
Number of officers and crew: 500
Total number of passengers and crew: 2,200
The ship had eight decks, A the boat deck, B the promenade, C the bridge, D the shelter, E the upper, F the main, G the lower, and H the orlop deck. There were eleven watertight bulkheads, and it was claimed that the ship would remain afloat with any four adjacent compartments open to the sea. The double bottom extended all fore and aft, and was carried to the upper turn of the bilge.
In addition to the usual light and sound signals and an installation of wireless telegraphy, there was submarine signaling gear, and a bridge semaphore with Morse flashing lamp on a platform above the bridge. In the equipment of the vessel there was provided a 7-knot motor launch equipped with wireless telegraphy apparatus. In case of fog this launch would be sent ahead scouting, but would be secured to the steamer by about 400 yards of light steel wire so that her position would always be known. Lifeboats were provided for all, together with a life jacket for each person on board. There were 17 ordinary lifeboats and 28 Englehardt decked boats.
The passenger accommodation was arranged on the A, B, C, D, E and F decks. The first class berths were designed in suites, special cabins, one-berth and two-berth staterooms. There were four sets of era suite cabins, consisting of two bedrooms, sitting room, bath and dressing room; each sitting room had two large couches, a writing table, concealed wash basin and suitable furniture. There were eight special cabins with bath rooms adjoining; the paneling and furniture of these rooms were in oak. The public rooms included a dining room on the shelter deck, a library, lounge, card room and smoke room on the bridge deck, and a verandah cafe, upper smoke room and gymnasium on the boat deck. The style of decoration was Georgian throughout. The dining saloon extended the full width of the ship and had seating accommodations for about 190 persons, all at small tables. There was a large dome overhead in the center of the room, with a gallery all round and a balcony at one end for the orchestra. The lounge was an example of the more sumptuous decoration, fashionable in the time of George II, and it contained a fine carved mantle-piece and over-mantle. There was a painted frieze of dancing children which ran all round the central part of the room. The smoke room was in French walnut, the mantle-piece, with reproductions of an old Vauxhall-glass mirror, was somewhat similar in character to that in the King's Room at Hampton Court Palace. The gymnasium was a lofty room, and was equipped with all the latest appliances for health-giving exercises.
Accommodation was provided for second class passengers in two and four-berth rooms, furnished like the first-class ordinary cabins, and had a large dining saloon, smoke room and lounge. The third class accommodation could be divided if required into two portions, so that either part could be placed in quarantine if necessary; a part of the third class space could be used for cargo purposes.
The propelling machinery consisted of four turbines of the Parsons type, embodying the most recent improvements in design and construction, so as to ensure the maximum economy in fuel consumption, and resembling in this respect the machinery of the Empress of Russia, which had recently been constructed at the same yard. The port outer shaft was driven by a high-pressure turbine, exhausting into an intermediate-pressure turbine driving the starboard outer shaft. The two inner shafts were each driven by a low-pressure turbine driving both ahead and astern. For maneuvering, when entering or leaving harbors independent high-pressure steam connections were provided on each low-pressure ahead turbine. There was also an independent high-pressure steam connection to the intermediate-pressure turbine. This, combined with an arrangement of valves, enabled the high-pressure turbine to be cut out, or should the intermediate-pressure turbine be out of action, the high-pressure turbine could exhaust direct into either or both of the low-pressure turbines.
The whole of the main propelling and auxiliary machinery was situated in one watertight compartment. The turbine casings were of cast iron, and the drums, spindles, wheels and shafting were of forged steel. The four propellers were of the solid bronze type and each had four blades.
The condensing plant, which was placed in a separate watertight compartment immediately aft of the main engine room, consisted of two main condensers of the Uniflux type, which, together with the two air pumps of the Dual type, were designed to maintain a vacuum of 28½ inches with the barometer at 30 inches and a sea temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. There were four centrifugal circulating pumps of Messrs. Pauls' make. The air pumps discharged to filters of the gravitation type, through which the feed water gravitated to large float control tanks placed near the center line of the ship, and suctions were provided for the main and auxiliary feed pumps.
The feed heater was of the high-pressure type, two Weir evaporators had a total capacity of 150 tons per twenty-four hours, and for four distillers had each an output of 20 tons per twenty-four hours.
Steam was generated in six double-ended and four single-ended cylindrical boilers placed in two boiler rooms and worked under forced draft on Howden's system, having a total heating surface of 54,250 square feet and a total grate surface of 1,344 square feet, designed for a working pressure of 200 pounds per square inch. There were four electrically driven forced-draft fans, each 6 feet 9 inches diameter, placed on the deck above the boilers. Ash hoists and ash ejectors were arranged in each boiler room. The coal bunkers were situated alongside the boiler rooms, and there were also coal bunkers across the ship at the forward and after ends of each boiler room.
The main electrical generating plant consisted of three steam turbine-driven sets, each of 250 kilowatts capacity, while as a stand-by in case of complete breakdown of the main plant a small emergency turbo generator of 18 kilowatts was installed on the shelter deck, well above the waterline. The total number of lamps throughout the ship was about 3,000.
The sliding doors in the main watertight bulkheads below the upper deck were worked by the Stone-Lloyd hydraulic arrangement, and could be operated from the navigating bridge if necessary. The steering gear was of Brown's quadrant rack and pinion type, and placed on the G deck. There was also auxiliary and stand-by steering gear.
Stockless anchors were provided and worked by two separate engines of Napier's make, each engine driving one cable holder and one warping capstan. There were also four steam warping capstans on the D deck at the stern, all of Napier's make. There were ten steam winches for working cargo. The ship was ventilated on the "Nuvacuumette" system, the fresh air being heated in winter and cooled in summer, ensuring a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the ship. The refrigerating plant was of the CO2, type by the Liverpool Refrigeration Company; the refrigerated spaces occupy about 70,000 cubic feet. This was in addition to the ship's refrigerated provision rooms, which had a capacity of about 10,000 cubic feet.
Externally the Calgarian resembled closely the Allan liner Alsatian, which was built by Messrs. Beardmore, Dalmuir. They were both of the cruiser stern design, but the rudders were not similar. The Calgarian's rudder was not supported outside the hull, while the Alsatian's rudder hung on a single pintle in the stern post. The cruiser stern was severely tested during the turning trials of the Calgarian, and it earned unqualified approval because of its excellent qualities as regards freedom from vibration, ease of steering, and efficiency in propulsion. The ship turned a complete circle to port in 3 minutes 45 seconds, and a complete circle to starboard in 4 minutes 35 seconds.
The speed trials were run on the Clyde measured mile at Skelmorlie and consisted of seven double runs, beginning at a speed of 11 knots and working up gradually to a speed of 21.25 knots. On the last double run the mean speed was 20.63 knots, which was a knot and a-half more than that which would be required on regular service.
[International Marine Engineering, May 1914]