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China's Replica Titanic

Updated on January 26, 2018
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Recently married on Sept. 8, 2017, Jason Ponic works in the exciting world of Hollywood film and television by day and writes by night.

Romandisea Titanic CG rendering
Romandisea Titanic CG rendering

Made in China

Sichuan, China. Hundreds of miles from any ocean, in the center of the developing Romandisea mega resort, a rivet by rivet replica of the most famous ocean liner in history is being built. In just a little over a year from now, the world will gaze upon the RMS Titanic once again.

Ever since the sinking on April 15, 1912, the question has surfaced over and over again. Should the Titanic be rebuilt? Opinions had been firmly split over moral implications for decades. While there were still living survivors from the disaster, the plan to rebuild never got far off the dream table. Collective damnation of the very thought of sensationalizing the disaster was spearheaded by survivors and their families. Outright scorned by shipping industry giants like Cunard all attempts to rebuild the doomed liner vanished into the dust bin of bad ideas.

With the passing of Millvina Dean, the last living survivor, in 2009, the plans to rebuild not only resurfaced but quickly gained strength in a way never before seen. When the centennial of the sinking arrived in 2012, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer attempted to build 'Titanic II'. His attempt was grounded when his empire suffered financial collapse. Palmer's project was the latest in a long series of failed attempts to replicate the Titanic. Yet where Palmer and the others failed, the Chinese have succeeded.

The Ship.

No living human eyes have ever seen the Titanic in her full scale 1912 glory. Even those few thousand who worked on James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster movie only enjoyed a single sided shell 90% scale reconstruction of the ship. Still impressive but not truly whole.

In the case of China's Titanic, Romandisea is constructing a full-scale 1:1 replica, inside and out of the original Olympic-class liner. This is the first full size replica ever built. Her full 882 foot length by 92.5 width will be faithfully recreated for the world to see. The resort has reassembled the award winning team that built Cameron's Titanic to ensure the highest accuracy possible. Because this landlocked replica vessel will never sail the oceans, it is exempt from the very regulations the original Titanic helped change. It will only have the twenty original lifeboats.

Recreated Features

What makes this replica experience truly unique is that the public will get to experience the ship's original splendor both inside and out.

Among the staples from the original liner that are being faithfully recreated are:

  • The Grand Staircase. Probably the most famous highlight of the original ship will be fully recreated.
  • The Wireless Room. Tourists will get to see this room recreated in every detail as close to the original as possible.
  • The Engine Room. The world's largest reciprocating steam engines will be rebuilt for the very first time. The last time engines this size were built was in 1911. These mock ups may even run.
  • Boiler Room No. 1. Honoring the technology of yester-year, the first boiler room will be recreated from original Titanic blueprints.
  • The Swimming Pool. The original Titanic was ahead of its time when it featured an indoor swimming pool. Romandisea confirmed that this feature will be recreated.

Construction

After numerous delays, the official keel laying ceremony occurred in November of 2016. Slowly, plate by plate, the hull began to rise from its concrete block cradle. By May 2017 photos of the ship's outline began to circulate the web. By December 2017 the official Twitter account declared the hull construction to be half finished. Some of the Titanic's most recognizable features began to take shape include the twin crank shafts, placement for the grand staircase and swimming pool.

Projected Completion

With the overall project several years behind schedule, Romandisea has updated its figures for the completion of the ship. Originally slated for 2017 completion, the date has been pushed back to early 2019. Tweet's by Romandisea's official Twitter account have announced that construction was paused for the winter season and will resume in March 2018 after the conclusion of the Chinese Spring Festival.

The engine room where you can see parts of the massive engines awaiting assembly.
The engine room where you can see parts of the massive engines awaiting assembly.
The basin for the grand staircase.
The basin for the grand staircase.
Various decks
Various decks

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    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      5 months ago from Raleigh

      This is an amazing story, Jason. The photos along with the story really brings the Titanic to life. There is no one that has not heard of the ship that was supposed to be unsinkable. Thanks for sharing this story.

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