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In the interwar period, when Trans-Atlantic airlines did not yet exist, luxury and speed were the two aspects in which competition was
higher between shipping companies. In long travels, luxury costed much less to ship owners than speed. The huge RMS Queen Mary, launched
in Scotland in 1934 and followed in 1938 by her sister RMS Queen Elizabeth, required 160000 horsepower to perform the fastest travel
at an average speed of 31.69 knots.
The RMS Queen Mary had twelve decks, including: deck D (one deck above waterline level), deck C, deck B, deck A (the first deck
that had parts exposed to weather, corresponding to the ends of the hull), main deck, promenade deck (fitted with
large windows), sun deck (running alongside the lifeboats) and sports deck (on top of the superstructure). There was accommodation
for 776 passengers in first class, 784 in second class and 579 in third class.
Both the RMS Queen Mary and RMS Queen Elizabeth served as troops transports during the Second World War, and the latter could not
effectuate her maiden voyage until 1946. Given that her prow raised from the waters a bit more than that of her sister, in 1960
she was still the largest commercial ship on the world, with a length of 315.25 meters and a gross register tonnage of 83673 tonnes.
However her machines of 181700 horsepower were not used to obtain average speeds above 28 knots.
On the mid 1960s the RMS Queen Mary and her sister transported an average of only 1000 passengers on the Trans-Atlantic routes. In 1965
the whole Cunard Line fleet was still in service to finance the construction of the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, but a strike in 1966 sealed the
fate of the RMS Queen Mary. She performed her last route in September 1967, but subsequently, instead of being sold for scrap, she was sold
to the city of Long Beach (California), where she has been used as museum, hotel and conference center until today. On the other hand,
the RMS Queen Elizabeth ended her days on January 1972, victim of a mysterious fire while docked in Hong Kong, where she had to serve as
a floating university.
Class: 2 units (Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary)
Type: Oceanic passenger liner
Length: 310.72 meters
Beam: 36.14 meters
Height: 55.20 meters from keel to funnels' top
Draught: 12.04 meters
Displacement: 81961 tonnes
Tonnage (gross register): 81235 tonnes
Propulsion: 4 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Parsons, 24 x boiler Yarrow, 160000 horsepower
Speed (service): 28.5 knots (52.8 kilometers/hour)