Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Diesel Electric Paddler

This YouTube video is a tribute to the diesel electric paddle vessel Vevey which 'retired' on 30 September 2010 after 103 years service on Lake Leman, joining DEPV Italie and DEPV Helvetie in the laid up fleet at their owner's shipyard in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The three diesel electric paddlers were all originally built as steamers but were re-engined in the 1950s-1960s. Another former steamer, converted to diesel electric propulsion during that period, the Montreux of 1904, returned to steam with the fitting of a brand new bridge-controlled steam engine in 2000. Plans to return the other paddlers to steam have never materialised. Hopefully some means of returning Vevey and her diesel electric fleetmates to service will be forthcoming in the not too distant future.

Although there are many video films of Swiss lake paddle steamers (and their engines in operation) on YouTube, this is the only one I've seen showing a diesel electric engineroom - not as dramatic as a steam engine but still very interesting.

Second video shows some of the farewell events that occured during her last weekend in service

Note the 'Au Revoir ?' pennant flying from her mainmast

Stuart Cameron