Prinsesse Alexandrine (ship, 1903)

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The Prinsesse Alexandrine was a Danish train ferry that was used from 1903 to 1933 on the Baltic Sea on the Gedser - Warnemünde route between Denmark and Germany.

The Princess Alexandrine (before renovation), 1903

Construction and technical data

The ship was a paddle wheel ferry with two side paddle wheels. It was built in 1903 at F. Schichau's shipyard in Elbing with construction number 706. It was delivered to the Danish State Railways (DSB) on October 1, 1903 and put into service by them on the Gedser ↔ Warnemünde route, which was opened the day before . Home port was Gedser.

The ship was originally 86.87 m long, measured with 1449 GRT , and only equipped with a 79.5 m long track . The unexpectedly rapid growth in the volume of traffic soon made it necessary to expand capacity. In order to create more space for the transport of rail vehicles, especially the sleeping car of the “Berlin Express”, the ship was converted in the winter of 1904/1905 on the Helsingør Skibsværft in Helsingør . It was lengthened by around 15 m to 101.75 m and the trajectory capacity was increased by installing two tracks with a total usable length of 147 m to six passenger carriages and 16-17 freight wagons. At the same time, the exhaust system was changed and the number of chimneys was reduced from four to two. However, the conversion also made the ferry less maneuverable. The passenger capacity was increased from 800 to 900 people with the conversion. Cars were only transported on rail wagons. The ship was 18.75 m wide, had a 3.65 m draft and was measured at 1733 GRT after the conversion . A triple expansion steam engine with 2140 PSi , fed by four coal-fired boilers, enabled a speed of 13.8 knots . The originally four chimneys were not one behind the other, but in a rectangle; this quickly earned the ship the sobriket “det omvendte spisebord” (“the upturned dining table”).


Alternating with its sister ship , the single-track paddle wheel ferry Friedrich Franz IV of the Mecklenburg Friedrich-Franz-Eisenbahn (MFFE) , which was also delivered by Schichau , it was supposed to carry passenger coaches across the Baltic Sea in the summer months , while the double-track twin screw ships Prins Christian (DSB) and Mecklenburg (MFFE) were intended for freight transport and operation in the winter months.

The four Danish and German ferries remained reliably in service until the outbreak of the First World War . When the war began, regular traffic was interrupted for the time being. While the German ferries were then used for war purposes on various routes between German ports to carry troops, the Danish ferries were initially withdrawn to Copenhagen . After consultation with the warring parties, the Prinsesse Alexandrine and the Prins Christian , clearly marked with a large Danish flag painted on the ship's side and the inscription “Danmark”, were used again on their main route Gedser ↔ Warnemünde in 1914. At Hook Hagen, west of Gedser, a quarantine station was set up to prevent possible epidemics from being brought in.

In November 1922 the Prinsesse Alexandrine was replaced by the new DSB ferry Danmark . She then served as a reserve ship on inner Danish lines until she was laid up in 1933 after a collision . In 1935 the ship was sold to Petersen & Albeck in Copenhagen for demolition and was scrapped.

Notes and individual references

  1. In the winter of 1905/1906 the Friedrich Franz IV. Was also extended and converted to two tracks.

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