SS Megantic

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SS Megantic
United Kingdom
Name: Megantic
Namesake: Lake Megantic, Quebec, Canada
Owner: White Star Line
Port of registry: Liverpool, United Kingdom
Route: Liverpool to Montreal Liverpool/Southampton/London to New York
Builder: Harland and Wolff, Belfast
Yard number: 399
Launched: 10 December 1908
Completed: 3 June 1909
Maiden voyage: 17 June 1909
Out of service: July 1931
Fate: Sold for scrap 1933
General characteristics
Tonnage: 14,878 GRT; 9,183 NRT
Displacement: 20,470 long tons (20,800 t)
Length: 550.4 ft (167.8 m)
Beam: 67.3 ft (20.5 m)
Height: 41.2 ft (12.6 m)
Draught: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
Decks: 3 decks, 2 partial decks
Installed power: Twin 4 cyl quadruple expansion reciprocating steam engines.
Propulsion: Twin propellers
Speed: 16.5 knots

SS Megantic was an ocean liner built by Harland and Wolff, of Belfast, and operated by the White Star Line. The liner was launched in 1908 and was 14,878 gross register tons (GRT). The ship was attacked by a German U-boat during World War I, but survived. Megantic was taken out of service in 1931 and scrapped in 1933.


The Dominion Line steamship company operated liners on the Liverpool-Canada route in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Their ships had become outdated, so in 1907 two new liners were ordered from Harland and Wolff, SS Albany and SS Alberta. However, while they were being built they were transferred to the White Star Line and with them the White Star Line itself entered the Canadian passenger trade.[1]

Albany was renamed Megantic, after Lac-Mégantic in Québec, and the Alberta became Laurentic.[1] At the time, the two ships were the largest built to date for Canadian service and were used as a form of a full-scale experiment to decide on the machinery for Olympic and her sisters. Megantic being a conventional twin propeller ship with quadruple expansion engines while Laurentic, with the same hull and boiler power, was given three propellers and 2 four cylinder triple expansion engines and a center low pressure steam turbine design.[2] Megantic was launched on 10 December 1908 and made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Montréal on 17 June 1909. She remained on that route until the Great War, when she was briefly placed on White Star's Liverpool-New York City service until being called into service as a troopship in 1915. She was attacked in 1917 by the German submarine, U-43, but managed to escape unharmed.[1] She was returned to White Star in December 1918 and after a refit in 1919 to enlarge her 1st class accommodation, returned to the Canadian service from Liverpool. She had another refit in 1924 and after 1928 operated from London and Southampton. Off-season, Megantic was often used for cruising from New York to the Caribbean and in the 1930s, for economy cruises.

After his arrest by Scotland Yard onboard the ship the Montrose, on the waters of the St-Lawrence in Canada, Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen and his female accomplice Ethel Le Neve were returned to England on the Megantic. Crippen was hanged for murder in 1910, but Le Neve was acquitted and died in 1967.

Megantic made her last Atlantic crossing in May 1931 and was then laid up until 1933, when she was sold for scrapping in Osaka.[1]

Megantic had a gross tonnage of 14,878 and a net of 9,183 tons. The deadweight was 8,790 tons and load displacement on a draft of 27 ft. 6 in. was 20,470 tons. The overall length was about 570 ft.


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