18 October 2010

Commandeered

From The New York Times on this day in 1931:

PARTS FOR NEW SHIP TIE UP RAIL LINE

Whole Section of British Road Is Commandeered to Transport Stern Frame for Cunarder.

An entire section of a British railroad was commandeered recently to help convey the stern frame of the new 73,000-ton Cunard liner from the factory at Darlington, England, to the River Clyde, near Glasgow. Reports to the New York office of the company tell of the shipment of the frame in dismounted form in eight enormous castings.

A special train and a completely cleared track were used to move the castings to Middlesbrough at the mouth of the river Tees, where they were loaded aboard a steamer for the final leg of their journey to the Clyde. An entire week was taken for the task of dismantling the castings and hoisting them on special trucks for the railway journey. Because of the abnormal dimensions and overhang of the castings, it was necessary to keep clear the entire railway line from Darlington to Middlesbrough.

Details of the task of building the ship, known only as No. 534, which reached the New York offices of the company, have aroused the interest of shipping circles. Secrecy surrounds many features of the ship because of the present rivalry of France, Italy and the United States in the field of large ship construction. Charges already have been made that some features of the ships under construction have been copied by rivals.

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