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Paddle steamer: The rebirth of Neuchâtel

Following several years undergoing an extensive restoration programme, the historic paddler Neuchâtel proudly entered her namesake port on 27 November 2013 under her own power for the first time in 45 years, ready to start her inaugural season this spring.

Built by Escher-Wyss, Neuchâtel was launched on 9 May 1912. She is the last half-saloon river-type steam boat in Switzerland. She measures 48.5m by 11m, and her passenger capacity was 550 as built. She was originally powered by a two-cylinder 350hp compound steam engine, but in 1954 was converted to oil-burning instead of coal.

The renovation of Neuchâtel started in 2010, and, at a cost of about €8.3 million, raised through a variety of sources, she had a complete hull overhaul, with many of the hull plates being replaced. A new engine was also fitted, and the project came to a successful conclusion during 2013. MAB

Ships Montly - January 2024

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