British Transport Commission (BTC)Great Western RailwayPast and PresentWestern Region

TS Great Western (III)(1933) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 5135408

TS Great Western (III)

Nigel Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw turbine vessel, built in 1933 by Cammell Laird & Co., Birkenhead (Yard No.995), for Great Western Railway.

Technical Data

  • Length: 86.23 m (overall) m (between perpendiculars)
    Breadth: 12.30 m
    Depth: 5.21 m
    Draught: 3.93m
    Tonnage: 1659 – 1742 gross/666 net/ deadweight
    Engines: Two 6-cylinder coal, steam reciprocating turbines/ Oil-fired boiler (1947)
    Power: kW/306 nHP
    Speed: 14.0 knots
    Capacity: 450 passengers (250 1st class amidships; 200 3rd class), general cargo and cattle
    Call Sign: GWRD
    LR Number (1945): 25165
    Official Number: 163483
  • IMO Number: 5135408
    Port of Registry: London/UK 🇬🇧


November 21st 1933: Launched by Lady Cadman.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Trials carried out on the Clyde reaching 14.5 knots

General arrangement (Machinery spaces) “The Marine Engineer, May 1934”

January 1934: Delivered to British Railways, Great Western Region for their Fishguard – Waterford route.

Nigel Thornton Collection

April 3rd 1944: Service terminated when she was taken off service for overhaul.

While at Penarth she was requisitioned for service in the Irish Sea as a troopship for which her listed troop-carrying capacity was 557.

August 2nd 1944: Release to resume commercial service.

August 29th 1944: Commenced commercial service and, although she carried passengers over the subsequent Christmas period, she otherwise operated only for cargo.

1945 (Early): To counter the possibility of U-boat attack, she was allocated a destroyer and motor gunboat escort .

1948: Acquired by the British Transport Commission (Western Region) and sailed on the night service.

© A Duncan

Nigel Thornton Collection (© A Duncan)

1948 – 1959: Operated Fishguard – Waterford service.

Nigel Thornton Collection

June 29th 1959: Passenger service withdrawn altogether, taken out of service for conversion to a container ship (capable of carrying unaccompanied vehicles) and operated cargo only. Her third class accommodation, deck-house and lifeboats at the stern were removed and the crew moved into the 1st class accommodation. Her foremast and mainmast were replaced; a new foremast was fitted on the superstructure forward of the funnel and new mainmast fitted after end of the boat deck Total alterations had the effect of increasing her gross tonnage.

1966: Service abandoned.

January 2nd 1967: Withdrawn and sent to Holyhead to lay-up pending her sale.

March 6th 1967 – May 18th 1967: Relieved on the Heysham – Belfast cargo service.

June 1967: To Jos. Boel et Fils, Tamise, Belgium for breaking.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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