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Historical Database
Loch Lomond, UK
The Loch Lomond Steamboat Company became the dominant force on Britain's largest and probably most famous lake. In 1888 the company was taken over by the Noth British Railway and in 1896 by the Dumbarton & Balloch Joint Line Committee, in which the railway company and two of its competitors took joint interest in the branch railway from the main line at Dumbarton to the south end of the lake at Balloch. The steamers and pier came under joint control and continued as such by the successor railway companies until nationalisation in 1948. In 1957, the steamer service was transferred to the control of the Caledonian Steam Packet Company, the Clyde steamer subsidiary of British Railways, and at the time of the first joint committee, the deadly rival of the North British.

After 1953, steamer service on the lake became a one-ship operation with the new PS Maid of the Loch, surprisingly built as a paddle steamer, and the last such passenger vessel built for British waters. A large vessel, around double the size of the two paddlers she replaced, the Maid was to struggle financially against declining traffic until withdrawn after the 1981 season.

The last lake cruiser other than smaller vessels providing shorter localised cruises was the Countess Fiona, brought overland from the Clyde to replace the Maid of the Loch. She ran until the end of the 1989 season and lay at Balloch until scrapped ten years later. The Maid, meanwhile, was subject to several abortive restoration plans, but volunteer maintenance over many years halted her deterioration and restoration to steam is now a realistic target.

Early Steamers

Marion (1816-1827)
Lady of the Lake (1825-1834)
Euphrosyne (1827-1837)
Balloch (1835-1837)
Lochlomond (1836-1846)
Queen of Scots (1838)
Waterwich (1844-1853)
Pilot (1850)

Vessels of the Loch Lomond Steamboat Co (1845-1888)

Price Albert (1850-1862)
Queen Victoria (1852-1868)
Prince of Wales (1858-1901)
Prince Consort (1862-1899)
Princess of Wales (1866-1881)
The Queen (1883-1911)
Empress (1888-1933)

Vessels of the Joint Railway Committee

Prince George (1898-1942)
Princess May (1898-1953)
Prince Edward (1911-1955)
Princess Patricia (1914-1938)
Queen Mary (1914 - but never used in service - scrapped 1929)

Vessels of the Railway Executive - Scottish Region (British Railways)
Caledonian Steam Packet Co from May 1957

Maid of the Loch (1953-1981)

Loch Lomond Passenger Steamers 1918-1989
By Alan Brown
Published by Allan T Condie Publications
ISBN 1 85638 028 0
Highly detailed and copiously illustrated history of steamer services

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Historical Database