Stadt Rapperswil (ship, 1914)
Stadt Rapperswil in 2009
|Builder:||Escher, Wyss & Cie.|
|Launched:||May 29, 1914|
|Class & type:||Steamboat|
|Installed power:||365 kW (500 PS)|
|Propulsion:||compound steam engine,
57 rpm at max. 13 bar
|Speed:||27 km/h (15 kn)|
|Boats & landing
|Radar, Echo sounding, GPS|
The PS Stadt Rapperswil is the younger of the two remaining steam paddle ships on Lake Zürich. Stadt Rapperswil was built in 1914 by Escher, Wyss & Cie. in Zürich for the Zürichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft. In contrast to most other Swiss paddle steamers, the most striking features of this vessel and its sister ship Stadt Zürich (1909) are a short smoke stack, and a spacious 1st class upper deck. The sister ships differ externally only minimally: In front, Stadt Rapperswil has a crossed flag mast. Her 1st class is more luxurious than her sister ship's, recognizable by mahogany and pear tree panelling, and an elaborate staircase to the upper 1st class deck.
On May 29, 1914, Stadt Rapperswil started her maiden voyage, housing members of cantonal and municipal authorities, representatives of Lake Zürich shore communities, and Escher, Wyss & Cie. and further prominent guests on board.. The acquisition of the new vessel was supported by subsidies of the Swiss government. The ship's salon was built in Art Nouveau style. The Zürcher Dampfbootgesellschaft (ZDG) then owned – together with Helvetia (built in 1875) and Stadt Zürich – three big ships as backbone of its fleet. During World War I, ship operations were reduced, and on December 2, 1918, operations even with steamships were stopped by the Swiss Bundesrat (Swiss Federal Council) as Switzerland couldn't import coal. The schedule restrictions were loosened in 1919. Beginning World War II, the boiler stayed filled with water, and in Winter the plant room was heated to keep the temperature above the freezing point (operationally for military purposes for 24 hours).
In 1950/51, Stadt Zürich and Stadt Rapperswil went under a refit, where their steam machinery was replaced with diesel engines. In beginning 1970's, it was planned to take the steamship out of service: The two remaining paddle steamers on Lake Zürich – Stadt Rapperswil and Stadt Zürich – had been replaced by modern motor ships on daily service; practically they are in service on Sundays, except as of 1986 summer season and again since 2003/4. In 1983, the administrative board of the ZSG decides preservation of the two remaining steamships. «150 years steam navigation on the Lake Zürich» are celebrated with different activities in 1985, and Stadt Rapperswil was improved in Winter 1989/90: The old steam-boilers have been replaced by a new one, her technical equipment improved, her wooden deck and the wooden stairs to the 1st class have been refurbished. Moreover, the salon and the smoke cubicle have been restored into their original appearances. The renovation has been financed by the public hand; by the «Aktion pro Raddampfer» association and by private donations.
In 2001, the project «Mit Volldampf voraus» (full tilt) is started. The two paddle steamships shall be equipped with improved comfort, once again. A collection campaign is started for the renewal of the salon steamers. One year later, on «Tag der Schweizer Schifffahrt» (Swiss navigation day's), in co-operation with the «Action pro Raddampfer». Revisions started in 2005/6: Sewage and power supply, refrigeration plants, diesel engine and heating are replaced. A new kitchen is installed, an improved glazing protects the passengers on the upper deck, so that the steamer can be used in every weather.
100th birthday of Stadt Zürich (2009)
From April 23 to 25, there was a centennial exhibition on board Stadt Zürich at Bürkliplatz. On June 12, 2009, exactly 100 years after the maiden voyage of the steaship Stadt Zürich, its anniversary trip with invited guests and its sistership Stadt Rapperswil was celebrated.
100th birthday of Stadt Rapperwil (2014)
From April 25 to 26, 2014, there was a centennial exhibition on board Stadt Rapperswil at Bürkliplatz.
Stadt Zürich (to the left) and Stadt Rapperswil in Zürich-Wollishofen
- according to plate onboard Stadt Rapperswil
- Information given at 100 year exhibibition onboard Stadt Zürich (April 2009)
- Tages-Anzeiger (April 15, 2009): Der älteste Konkurrent der Panta Rhei
Media related to Dampfschiff Stadt Rapperswil at Wikimedia Commons
- Dampfschiffe on Zürichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft's website (German)
- Aktion pro Raddampfer (German)