Titanic II a step closer to reality

BRIDIE JABOUR
Last updated 15:20 19/06/2012
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ORIGINAL: The SS 'Titanic', leaving Belfast to start her trials, pulled by tugs, shortly before her disastrous maiden voyage of April 1912.

Titanic
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NEW VERSION: A 21st-century version of the Titanic is planned.

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Construction on the Titanic II is due to begin soon with billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer announcing he has hired a ship design and marine engineering company to do a full review of the project.

Once Finland-based company Deltamarin has completed the review and cleared the Titanic II against safety and construction regulations, work on the ship will begin in China.

Mr Palmer made the announcement in a statement where he consistently referred to himself as Professor Palmer. He was a adjunct professor at Deakin University from 2002 to 2006 when he delivered a series of lectures.

He first aired his ambitious plans to build the Titanic II public in April and said he had been "overwhelmed" with the response as about 20,000 people clambered to sign up to be on the maiden voyage.

Titanic II will be a regular feature on the transatlantic route between the UK and USA,” he said in a statement.

“This magnificent vessel is being constructed in memory of the heroic people who served on the first ship, as well as the passengers who sadly shared their fate.

“We also want to recognise the artists and artisans whose skill, creativity and dexterity has never been fully recognised because of the ship's limited service.”

One of Mr Palmer's companies, Blue Star Line, has laid down design criteria to make the ship as identical to the original Titanic as possible.

Once the project is given the all clear by Deltamarin, construction of Titanic II will begin in CSC Jinling Shipyard in China and is scheduled to be finished in 2016.

Titanic II will have 840 rooms and nine decks. The main changes to the original Titanic would be below the water line including welding, a bulbous bow for greater fuel efficiency, diesel generation and bow thrusters for increased manoeuvrability.

The Titanic was commissioned by the company White Star Line and was the world's largest liner, measuring nearly 270 metres long, 53 metres high and weighing approximately 40,000 tonnes.

It sank in 1912, killing more than 1500 passengers and crew.

Mr Palmer has invited the Chinese navy to escort Titanic II from China to the United Kingdom where the ship will then re-trace the intended route of the original ship.

Would you sail on the new Titanic's maiden voyage? Comment below.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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