One of the great paddle steamer events of 2001 has been the return to service of the Montreux, dating from 1904, after a complete rebuild which included the installation of a new boiler and a new steam engine. Withdrawn in 1958, her original steam engine was removed and she returned to service in 1962 with a modern Diesel-electric propulsion system. By the late 1990s this was itself beginning to show its age so a brave decision was taken to convert the ship back to steam, a new engine being ordered from Sulzer, makers of the original steam engine, and a new boiler from Ignis Robey an associated company of Wellman Robey which supplied the new boiler for Kingswear Castle this year.
Montreux has been completely refurbished with steel work replacements to the hull, new decks, a new bridge and a new enclosed upper deck saloon shown here, looking aft towards the new funnel.
Looking forward from the aft end of the enclosed upper deck with the main mast in the foreground.
The new engine gleaming nicely.
In order to keep the operating costs down the new engine was intended to be bridge controlled but the mechanism for this has not yet been fully installed and the engineer can be seen here watching the telegraph.
Sailing along the south east shore of Lake Geneva between Evian and St Gingolph.
The dining saloon at the aft end of the main deck where excellent meals or snacks can be bought.
The ornate woodwork in the dining saloon has been taken from the restaurant ship Valais at Geneva. All the workmanship and refit work on Montreux has been done to a very high standard as on all Swiss paddle steamers. Sailing aboard these vessels is very highly recommended.
Kingswear Castle returned to service in 2023 after the first part of a major rebuild which is designed to set her up for the next 25 years running on the River Dart. The Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust is now fund raising for the second phase of the rebuild. You can read more about the rebuilds and how you can help if you can here.