Paddle Steamer Picture Gallery


PS Castalia

Builders: Thames Ironworks, Blackwall 1874

Propulsion type: Paddle compound diagonal (two engines, one in each hull)

Owner: English Channel Steamship Company (Operated by the London, Chatham & Dover Railway)

Service dates: 1874 - 1883

Tonnage: Gross 1533


Well, have you ever seen a paddle steamer anything like this? I hadn't, before this picture was given to me. PS Castalia was a twin hulled, four funnelled, paddle steamer which had her two paddle wheels inside the 26 feet space between the two hulls. Each hull had a separate compound diagonal engine, although she could manage only 11 knots in service. The design was supposed to increase her stability, but she was a poor sea going boat and she did not fare well in the often turbulent waters of the English Channel. As a result she was withdrawn within ten years and sold in 1883 to the Metropolitan Asylums Board for use as a floating hospital on the Thames in Long Reach. Her disposal date is not known.

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