RMS Titanic facts

It's one of the most infamous ships of all time, but what do we actually know about the RMS Titanic?

RMS Titanic facts

The Titanic was never actually described as ‘unsinkable’

The Titanic was claimed by its builders to be ‘practically unsinkable’. It was a bold claim, but slightly less bold than the ‘unsinkable’ claims that movies have added to the story.

It was at launch the largest object ever to move on the water but she was not designed to be the fastest (Cunard’s Lusitania and Mauretania were always going to be faster). Stories of the captain trying to make a speed record are without substance.

The Titanic had a swimming pool on board

The accommodation on Titanic was luxurious and spacious. In first class there were many new attractions such as squash courts, a Turkish bath, a gymnasium, a barber shop and also the first swimming pool on board a ship. Even the cheaper third class cabins were of a better standard than those on other liners. Nevertheless, there were more luxurious and spectacular liners in operation at the time.

The Titanic was designed to be a large-capacity workhorse on a commercially lucrative but competitive route.

The Titanic had two sister ships

Olympic launched 20 October 1910, arrived at Jarrow for scrapping 13 October 1935.

Britannic launched 26 February 1914, sunk by mine 21 November 1916.

The Titanic carried post

The reason the titanic is often referred to as ‘RMS Titanic’ is because the RMS stands for Royal Mail Ship.  

There were only enough lifeboats for a third of the people on board

There were 20 life boats on board, which would have held a capacity of 1178 people.

Meanwhile the capacity of Titanic was 3320 people.

Watch: facts from real life Titanic survivors 

RMS Titanic statistics

The Titanic was a mighty ship indeed but how did she measure up to the other great liners of her age?

Registered dimensions:

  • Length: 852.5 feet
  • Length overall: 882.75 feet
  • Breadth: 92.5 feet
  • Depth: 59.6 feet
  • Tonnage: Gross 46,329, Net 21,831

Number of decks

7

Engines

  • 2 triple-expansion 8 cylinder engines and 1 low pressure turbine
  • Registered horsepower: 6906
  • Total horsepower: 46,000
  • Service speed: 21 knots
  • Estimated top speed: 23/24 knots

Passenger capacity

  • First class: 735
  • Second class: 674
  • Third class: 1026
  • Crew: 885

Losses

1523 people; 815 passengers and 688 crew

See Titanic objects in the Royal Museums Greenwich collection

RMS Titanic Timeline

31 March 1909: Laid down

31 May 1911: Launched

31 March 1912: Completed

2 April 1912: Sea trials (Belfast Lough and the Irish Sea)

12.15, 10 April 1912: Sailed from Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York via Cherbourg, France and Queenstown, Ireland

18.35, 10 April 1912: Arrived Cherbourg

20.10, 10 April 1912: Sailed from Cherbourg

11.30, 11 April 1912: Arrived Queenstown

13.30, 11 April 1912: Sailed from Queenstown

09.00, 14 April 1912: First ice warning, received from Caronia

23.40, 14 April 1912: Collision with iceberg

00.45, 15 April 1912: Wireless call for assistance, first transmission, using code CQD. Transmission altered to the new code SOS, first use of this code by a passenger liner.

02.10, 15 April 1912: Last transmission

02.20, 15 April 1912: Titanic foundered

04.10, 15 April 1912: First lifeboat picked up by Carpathia

21.25, 18 April 1912: Carpathia docked in New York

1 September 1985: Titanic wreck site located, approx 2.5 miles below the Atlantic, by a joint French/USA expedition