Historic Scottish Steamer to Get New Life with Biodiesel

John Davis

The Sir Walter ScottFor more than 100 years, The Sir Walter Scott has sailed the waters of Loch Katrine in Scotland… one of the last coal-powered steamers in the country. A 2.2 million Pounds (4.35 million U.S. dollar) renovation is due for the old girl, and officials want to run her on biodiesel.

This story in the Scotsman.com says the conversion will take place after the current tourist season:

The work is part of eight months of extensive improvements to the last single screw-driven ship on Britain’s inland waterways, which has carried millions of passengers since launch in 1899.

Two new boilers will be installed to run on 40 per cent bio-diesel to cut operating costs and smoke, which left soot on some passengers’ clothes. The switch will mean the boilers no longer have to be fired up two hours before departure or be constantly hand-stoked. There have also been problems sourcing the high-quality coal required.

The change is environmentally good news for Loch Katrine… which supplies Glasgow with most of its water.

The change will also include overhauling the hull and building quarters for passengers during foul weather.