There was a really good Channel 5 documentary in the UK over the weekend about the QE2. I'm sure it's on the 5 catch-up site if you missed it.
One of the many interesting revelations, to me at least, regarded the original steam propulsion system. The designers had stipulated 4, but Cunard reduced the number to 3 to save money. This decision was blamed for many of the subsequent problems Cunard had with the propulsion system; the boilers were flogged to death and they couldn't take them offline to conduct routine maintenance. In the end they ripped the lot out and installed diesel engines.
No, I haven't gone off thread! The question I have regards the E-Flexers, which have been built with only two catapillar engines, as I understand it. Design and construction has come on in leaps and bounds since the 1960s, but I wonder how confident we are that the E-flexers will not suffer the same fate as the QE2? I know that they are designed so that each ship can operate with just one propeller working, but the Estrid will be operating a fairly punishing schedule and the three for BF will be thrashed in the Bay of Biscay.
Approps of the BF ships, neither will make the service speed of the Cap Finistere, as I understand it, so will BF be changing the Spannish schedules once Gailica and Salamanca enter service? Also, do we know yet where the third one is likley to be placed?