Friday, August 06, 2010

Italian train ferries: TYRSUS (1961-1994)

Being a Southern European, what I really enjoy is the lure of sunny shipping spots in blue and azure waters, and there are no better such places anywhere other than the Mediterranean.
In 1986 I did my first photographic foray into the Med and two days at the end of the pier in Civitavecchia produced several boxes of magnificent Kodachrome 25 slides as well as several colour and B&W negatives. The highlight of my stay in Civitavecchia was the opportunity to see and photograph the Ferrovie de lo Stato train ferries used on the regular Civitavecchia - Golfo Aranci route.
Those ships were in fact mini liners with all hadsome design particulars expected on Italian ships...
The oldest ship in service on that October 1986 was the TYRSUS whose photo I am pleased to share today with fellow ship enthusiasts. She was a product of the Palermo C.N. Riuniti (yard nº. 221).TYRSUS main particulars were as follows: Gross tonnage - 4.447 GRT, 119,87 m long, 17,79 m wide, 2 diesel Fiat engines with an output of 5.968 kW gave her a service speed of 16 knots. TYRUS was certified to carry 905 passengers and had space for 385 lane meters. She was introduced on the Civitavecchia - Sardinia service on 1 October 1961 and this was her daily routine for more than 30 years. In 1994 she was sold to Plurimar, registered in Malta as AQUILA PRIMA and operated on the Adriatic. However she soon reverted to the original name in 1994, becoming DUBA 94 in 1995 and EL SALAM EL SAUDI in 1996 for Red Sea service. This did not last due to serious engine trouble and TYRSUS final years were spent laid up in Port Said. In 2002 she was renamed again, as VEESHAM III and on 8 March 2005 arrived at Alang to be broken up.
I have returned many other times to Civitavecchia but those were the days for free shipspotting, one could go everywhere, jump on top of the breakwaters, photograph all the floating beauty... I was there again last year, and must say only that there was trouble even for taking a picture of my own ship near the gangway - signs of a new dark age...
Texto e imagens /Text and images copyright L.M.Correia. For other posts and images, check our archive at the right column of the main page. Click on the photos to see them enlarged. Thanks for your visit and comments. Luís Miguel Correia
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