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|St. Marys River.
Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- Seaway Queen
By Todd Davidson
When the St. Lawrence Seaway officially opened in April of 1959, a new era was
created for the Great Lakes. The demand for larger ships, both domestically
and from around the world would shape the face of shipping on the Lakes.
Upper Lakes Shipping had the foresight into the new expanse of growth and had
began designing a new vessel to become the true "Queen of the Lakes". On May
30th, 1959 at Port Weller Dry Docks, a new maximum seaway laker was
christened. The new ship "Seaway Queen" was the pride of the ULS fleet and
was given the honor of the new company flagship. The Queen cost over $7
million dollars to build and was a true classic steamboat, both inside and
out. The St. Lawrence Seaway costs over $700 million to construct and
employed over 22,000 men. She was named to honor those men and their efforts
to forever change the future of Great Lakes shipping.
The Seaway Queen was active in the grain run from the head of the lakes to the
seaway, sometimes bringing a return load of ore or coal to the Dofasco Steel
Mill in Hamilton, Ontario. Grain was her mainstay, accounting for more than
half of her seasonal cargoes. On December 20th, 1988, she delivered the 100
millionth ton of iron ore to Dofasco, taking part in a huge ceremony and
celebration honoring the event. This came after a long 6 year lay-up during
the recession years of the 80's.
She has a capacity of 24,300 tons and can carry over 23,300 metric tons of
wheat. She is powered by a Inglis Turbine steam engine with 8,250 horsepower
and can run 14.5 knots fully loaded, also is equipped with a bow thruster. The
Seaway Queen is the second oldest Canadian straight decker on the lakes, only
P&H Shipping's classic grain boat Oakglen is older (by one year). Only the
Kinsman boats on the American side have more years on the ladder vessels, with
only one active today, the Kinsman Independent (built in 1952).
The Seaway Queen entered lay-up in Toronto in 1999.
Over the following years equipment was removed from the classic laker, a sure
sign the end was near. In 2003 the Seaway Queen was sold for scrapping and
moved to Montreal, the first leg of her trip to the scrap yard.
In October, 2003 the Seaway Queen was towed from Montreal
heading for scrapping in Alang, India.
The Oakglen was paired with the Seaway Queen at Quebec City, where the two tows
were joined as one pulled by the tug Seaways 5 for their trip to the scrap yard.
The tow took a Southerly route rounding the Cape
of Good Hope to escape the rough weather the North Atlantic dishes out that time
of year. The tug Seaways 2 with the Mapleglen in tow reportedly took a severe
beating in October transiting the North Atlantic. A towing company spokesperson
reported it is more economical going this route with the two vessels in tow, the
Suez Canal will only allow one vessel per transit.
The scrap tow of the Seaway Queen and Oakglen ended
February 11, 2004 with the safe
arrival in Alang, India.
The trip was not with out incident. The Seaway
Queen experienced flooding after rounding Cape Town, South Africa. Her rivets
started to pop and faced the threat of sinking. The salvage tug pulling the
vessels carried heavy
duty salvage pumps. These pumps kept the Seaway Queen afloat until her arrival
The trip from Dubai to Montreal to Alang took 165 days.
|Turbine steam engine horsepower
On Deck, 2001. N. Schultheiss.
Builder's Plate was removed in 2001 and sent to the corporate office for