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Notes from Bob Carr — June 1995


You may have noticed the photograph of a Russian steamship on page 32 of Tim Smith's recent excellent publication, 25 years of GLIAS. The ship in question was a regular visitor to London and in the 1970s could often be seen in the Surrey Commercial or Millwall Docks.

She was built at Rostock in former East Germany in 1956 by VEB Schiffswerft Neptun and registered in Leningrad (now St Petersburg). Her ice-strengthened hull was of welded and riveted construction and gross tonnage was 3,258.

The Angarsk generally brought cargoes of timber from the Baltic and perhaps Northern Russia. She was one of a class of about 15 vessels, built by the Neptun yard 1953-8. Length overall was 335 feet and beam overall 47 feet.

Readers will probably be most interested in the steam engine which propelled the ship. At her date of building reciprocating steam engines were becoming unusual for new ships. Angarsk had a four-cylinder compound engine with a low-pressure turbine for the final stage of steam expansion. There were two cylinders of 465mm bore and two of 1,000mm bore with a common stroke of 1,000mm (ie one metre). Power output was 1,828kW (2,450ihp) giving a speed of 12 knots. This engine was built in Magdeburg by Schermaschine Karl Liebknecht. The Angarsk was oil-fired and carried up to 589.5 tonnes of oil fuel (tonnes of 2,205 lbs).

The present writer took considerable trouble in the late 1970s to try to arrange a visit for GLIAS but at that time such a visit required the permission of a Russian citizen and despite correspondence with the Russian Embassy we never managed to achieve this. How times have changed. Bob Carr

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© GLIAS, 1995