TRUE, but only just. Titanic was built to the same design as her slightly older twin sister, Olympic, launched about seven months before Titanic on 20th October, 1910. Olympic, Titanic and Britannic, the third sister of the Olympic Class trio, were all 882ft 9ins long. Titanic and her older sister Olympic were almost identical, the only visual difference being Olympic’s open A Deck promenade, which was later enclosed on Titanic and Britannic. However, Titanic also differed from Olympic in other small respects, including extended B Deck Staterooms and additional cabins, giving her a Gross Register Tonnage (GRT) of 46,328, only 1,204 GRT (or 2%) greater than Olympic at 45,124 GRT, but nonetheless just enough to give Titanic the title of largest liner in the world. However, Olympic, as the first in this new class of superliner, was 42% larger than the previous largest ship in the world, Cunard’s Mauretania, at only 31,738 GRT.
For this reason, Olympic’s building and launch attracted much more public interest than Titanic’s.
Olympic was later to learn from the disaster which occurred to her younger sister, as after the Titanic sank, Olympic was withdrawn from service in order to increase her watertight protection and lifeboat provision. These modifications were also built into the Britannic, which then had more accommodation again, increasing her GRT further to 48,158 GRT. Olympic outlived both her younger sisters, travelling at least 1.8 million miles during her eventful career and continuing in successful service until she was scrapped in 1935 following American restrictions on the emigrant trade and an increase in the popularity of travelling across the Atlantic by aeroplane.
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