RMS Titanic (colorized image)

RMS Titanic (Royal Mail Steamer "Titanic", sometimes known as SS Titanic) was one of the three passenger liners that were expected to dominate the oversea passenger traffic. She was the property of White Star Line, being built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard.


Titanic was the largest ocean liner in the world at the time, with a tonnage of 46328 BRT.

Other specifications

The Titanic contained two reciprocating four cylinder, triple-expansion, inverted steam engines and one low-pressure Parsons turbine. These powered three propellers. There were 25 double-ended and 4 single-ended Scotch-type boilers fired by 159 coal burning furnaces that made possible a top speed of 23 knots (43 km/h). Only three of the four 63 feet (19 m) tall funnels were functional; the fourth, which served only as a vent, was added to make the ship look more impressive. Titanic could carry a total of 3,547 passengers and crew and, because she carried mail, her name was given the ship prefix Royal Mail Ship (RMS) as well as SS (Steam Ship).

The Titanic was considered a pinnacle of naval architecture and technological achievement, and was thought by The Shipbuilder magazine to be "practically unsinkable."

Titanic had a double-bottom hull, containing 44 tanks for boiler water and ballast to keep the ship safely balanced at sea (later ships also had a double-walled hull). Titanic exceeded the lifeboat standard, with 20 lifeboats (though not enough for all passengers). Titanic was divided into 16 compartments by doors held up, i.e. in the open position, by electro-magnetic latches which could be closed by a switch on the ship's bridge and by a float system installed on the door itself.

The ship was technologically advanced for the period. She had an extensive electrical subsystem with steam-powered generators and ship-wide electrical wiring feeding electric lights. She also boasted two wireless Marconi radio sets manned by operators who worked in shifts, allowing constant radio contact and the transmission of many passenger messages.

Maiden voyage

After completing construction in Belfast, Titanic set sail on her delivery trip to Southampton.

On Wednesday April 10th 1912, she departed on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. After a nearly colliding with another ship, Titanic arrived at her first stop in Cherbourg. Then she went to Queenstown before departing to New York.


Main article: Sinking of the Titanic
200px-Titanic-New York Herald front page

The New York Herald front page.

On her maiden voyage already, she hit an iceberg on Sunday April 14th, 1912 at 11:40 P.M. (the location time), and sank two hours and forty minutes later, at 2:20 A.M.

About 1,496 people perished in tragedy, making it among one of the greatest peacetime marine disasters widely known. Titanic used the most modern technology available. The general public believed she was unsinkable, so you can guess how big shock was this for people, since she (despite the modernity and the experienced crew) did sink in the end, with many casualties.

Two hours after the sinking concluded, RMS Carpathia arrived to the sinking site to help the survivors. Their boarding on the ship extended to 8:30 P.M., when the last lifeboat was picked up. Then she set sail to New York, where she arrived April 18th, 1912.

A few days later, a few ships were sent out to recover bodies from the Titanic, which were floating in the ocean. Among these ships was the CS Mackay-Bennett.

The Wreck

Main article: Wreck

On September 1st, 1985, Jean-Louis Michel and Robert Ballard descended to the depths of the Atlantic to find the wreckage. While Michel was unable to locate Titanic, Ballard's attempt was successful. Due to limited time and resources, the wreck would not be fully explored until 1986, when Ballard mounted another expedition.

Since the wreck's discovery, Titanic's remains have been explored frequently. Expeditions to the wreck often make use of the Russian research vessel Keldysh. The wreck has also been heavily salvaged and damaged by subsequent expeditions. In 2012, the Titanic's remains turned 100 years old allowing her to be eligible for UNESCO cultural heritage site status and protection.