Re: Car Ferries

From: Tom Hynes
Location: Grand Ledge
email: hynestatcomcastdotnet
Remote Name:
Date: 08.21.06
Time: 01:13:02 AM


There are no longer any active railroad car ferries on the Great Lakes. The only Great Lakes railroad car ferry still operating as a railroad car ferry is the Princess Superior . Built as the Incan Superior, she was the largest railroad ferry to serve on the Great Lakes and provided seasonal service from Thunder Bay Ontario to Superior Wisc for 18 years (starting in 1974,well after Hilton's book was published). The ferry now provides railroad and truck access to Vancouver Island, British Columbia with a near sistership, the Carrier Princess. Here are some links: A third near sister ship, the Georges Alexandre Lebel, provides year round? railroad ferry service across the Gulf of St. Lawrence between Matane and Baie Comeau, Que.They also started providing as-needed railroad ferry service from Matane to Sept. Iles (Point Noire) just this year.********************* Many of the ships mentioned in George Hilton's book are still around as documented or undocumented barges, so while there are no active railroad ferry routes on the lakes, there are still many links to the past, when railroad ferries were common around the lakes and elsewhere. Two other examples are the Purvis Marine PML 9000 barge, which was built to carry railroad cars on the Canadian west coast and now carries misc. cargos on the Great Lakes. And there is a tug/barge combo called Thunder/Lightning that operates as a Roll on-Roll off barge in the Gulf of Mexico. It was built in Ontonagon, MI the first of several proposed barges that were intended to replace the aging Ann Arbor Railroad ferries. Only one barge and one tug were ever built in the ill- fated scheme, and they never carried any rail cars.

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