PS Rigi

Lake Luzern
PS Rigi
Date entered service -- 1848
Date withdrawn from active service -- 1952
Length -- originally 33.0m
(later lengthened to 38.0m)
Breadth -- 4.22m
Passenger capacity -- originally 200
Previously on display in the centre of the Verkehrshaus Transport Museum
near to Luzern Verkehrshaus-Lido pier
Spring 2006
Unfortunately the results of the joint detailed survey released on 27th March 2006 showed the state of the paddle steamer was unsuitable for restoring to operational status
Instead sufficient repairs will be undertaken to enable her to remain in a preserved static state at a new location in the Verkehrshaus Transport Museum at Luzern
Autumn 2005
As a result of exceptionally heavy rain during August, the lake level rose considerably and spread as far as the Verkehrshaus Transport Museum which caused damage to the former paddle steamer including some fungus growth
It was necessary to cover the ship in a temporary 'tent' and some remedial work took place - unfortunately this was better described as 'damage limitation' rather than the first phase of restoration
19th January 2005
A major revamp of the Verkehrshaus Transport Museum at Luzern requires the vessel to be moved from its existing location
Various options are under consideration including ambitious "asperations" to 'rescue' the ship from the museum before the buildings are altered leaving her totally trapped !
It is considered by some that she would be an ideal steamer to operate alongside her five younger paddle steamer sisters, especially for private charter sailings and possibly some of the more lightly used timetabled sailings, although just the former is more likely to be the practical option

The signing of the "delcaration of intent" to restore the vessel to operational status took place on Wednesday 19th January at 1400 on board the paddle steamer in the Verkehrshaus Transport Museum...
    ... to be followed in April by a 50,000SF detailed feasibility study which the Dampferfreunde Vierwaldstättersee will underwrite (subject to approval at their AGM in April)
watch this space ..........
1959 After several years laid-up, she was bought for 1,000SF and hauled the short distance over dry land from the lake to the centre of the Verkehrshaus Transport Museum to become an outdoor exhibit and cafeteria
1952 Withdrawn from service after over 100 years service
Following the success of dieselising paddle steamers at the time on other lakes, plans were drawn up to do the same to "Rigi" and an engine was ordered
Unfortunately this action was abandoned under the 'modernisation plan' which resulted in the construction of several new motor vessels instead - mv Titlis (1951) mv Rigi (1955) and the larger mv Schwyz (1959)
1848 The oldest preserved Swiss paddle steamer entered service and joined three slightly older steamers PS Stadt Luzern (1837) PS Gotthard (1843) and PS Waldstätter (1847) - she took just about 100 minutes to travel from Luzern to Flüelen
She competed with the sail ships which took between 9 and 12 hours depending on the weather and soon they were squeezed out of all but some local traffic !

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Updated - Lakes Brienz, Geneva, Luzern, Thun, Zurich, Konstanz, Maggiore, Como, Garda 13th June 2006   (c)2004-2006 John B Bird