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Nostalgia & History > Last passenger car ferry in the US?


Date: 05/03/12 10:19
Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: timz2

Circa 1930 SP quit ferrying passenger trains
Benicia to Port Costa-- and around the same
time at New Orleans? Then SN quit in 1940
or whenever it was. Who was left after that?
Did any exist after 1947?



Date: 05/03/12 12:11
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: zephyrus

The Sacramento Northern's "Ramon" car ferry did carry its last regular passenger train in 1940. It finally ceased all operation on April 6, 1954.

Weren't there some passenger car ferries still running on Lake Michigan in the 50s?

Z



Date: 05/03/12 12:31
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: truxtrax

Yes on L. Michigan between Wisconsin and Michigan and a lot later than the 50's. I think up into the 80's. Might have also been on L. Superior. But I don't think any passenger traffic other than walk ons.

Larry Dodgion
Wilsonville, OR



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/12 12:33 by truxtrax.



Date: 05/03/12 13:56
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: aussiehinz

Yes, but not to convey intact passenger trains, which I understood the question to be. Lake Michigan car ferries operated by C&O from Ludington MI, Ann Arbor from Frankfort MI, and GTW from Muskegon MI were designed to carry passengers, automoblies, and railroad freight cars across the lake between Michigan and various Wisconsin ports. All had completely discontinued operations by the mid 80's, although a remnant of the once robust service exists today, utilizing C&O's "Badger" car ferry between Ludington MI and Manitowoc WI. The ferry service and route is actually a federally recognized continuation of US Highway 10 between those points, although its operating season is only from May through October. The "Badger" carries automobiles and their passengers across Lake Michigan on a 4 hour schedule. No facilities for railroad freight car handling remain anymore at either Ludington or Manitowoc. Further south, a relatively recent "express" ferry service operates between Muskegon and Milwaukee, the route of the former GTW car ferry service. "Lake Express" crosses the lake in 2.5 hours multiple times per day with newly designed craft for autos and passengers. The railroad ferry facilities at Muskegon and Jones Island in Milwaukee have long been relegated to history.

Here are two November 2011 views of the former C&O "Badger" docked at Ludington MI during the off season.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/12 14:01 by aussiehinz.






Date: 05/03/12 14:18
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: DavidP

There was also a freight car ferry service between Palm Beach, FL and Cuba until about 1960.....not sure if they had accommodation for passengers though. One of the ships built for this service - the New Grand Haven - was later sold to CN which operated it as the Patrick Morris between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. It sank in high seas off of Cape Breton Island in 1970 while steaming to the assistance of a stricken fishing boat.

Dave



Date: 05/03/12 14:43
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: CShaveRR

Minor correction...the GTW ferries handled passengers, but not automobiles.

Carl Shaver
Lombard, IL



Date: 05/03/12 14:46
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: CPRR

Technically the ferry boat to Alcatraz took railroad cars on it. They brought convicts in that way up until the 1960's.



Date: 05/03/12 16:02
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: PHall

The Las Plumas was hauling railroad cars across San Francisco Bay until 1978.



Date: 05/03/12 16:48
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: zephyrus

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Las Plumas was hauling railroad cars across
> San Francisco Bay until 1978.


Yes, but the Las Plumas was freight only.

Z



Date: 05/03/12 21:50
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: ts1457

timz2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Circa 1930 SP quit ferrying passenger trains
> Benicia to Port Costa-- and around the same
> time at New Orleans? Then SN quit in 1940
> or whenever it was. Who was left after that?
> Did any exist after 1947?

I believe the Missouri Pacific ferried passenger trains across the Mississippi River to and from Natchez, MS, but I think that operation ended in 1940.



Date: 05/03/12 23:46
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: SBC_1344

How about Banda Sea and Bali Sea from Mobile, AL to Coatzacoalcos, VER?

Still in service.

Whoops I forgot the "freight only" inquiry...



Date: 05/04/12 10:07
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: timz2

ts1457 Wrote:

> I believe the Missouri Pacific ferried passenger
> trains across the Mississippi River

It seems MP's Houston-New Orleans trains were
ferried to Baton Rouge until 1947. That's what
I'm wondering-- was that the only one after 1940.



Date: 05/04/12 13:21
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: agentatascadero

The Prince Edward Island service outlasted anything similar in the US by many years, could have lasted into the '80s. Yes, I do mean through passenger cars from the mainland, if not eniter trains. AA

Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA



Date: 05/04/12 14:55
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: mcfflyer

agentatascadero Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Prince Edward Island service outlasted
> anything similar in the US by many years, could
> have lasted into the '80s. Yes, I do mean through
> passenger cars from the mainland, if not eniter
> trains. AA


I believe this service ended in the early 1970s, with a through coach from Moncton to Charlottetown. At one time a decade earlier, there was a through sleeper to Montreal.

But this isn't in the US as the original question was for.

Lee Hower - Sacramento



Date: 05/04/12 15:55
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: ghCBNS

mcfflyer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I believe this service ended in the early 1970s,
> with a through coach from Moncton to
> Charlottetown. At one time a decade earlier,
> there was a through sleeper to Montreal.


Last passenger service on the PEI Ferry was a mixed train in the fall of 1969 with a through coach between Moncton NB and Charlottetown PEI. Freight trains were still handled by ferry until December 1989.


> this isn't in the US as the original question
> was for.


But a former PEI Ferry “Abegweit” is now in the US and anyone in the Chicago area can see it at the Columbia Yacht Club on the Chicago lakefront.

http://www.columbiayachtclub.org/viewCustomPage.aspx?id=27



Date: 05/04/12 18:25
Re: Last passenger car ferry in the US?
Author: mcfflyer

ghCBNS Wrote:

> Last passenger service on the PEI Ferry was a
> mixed train in the fall of 1969 with a through
> coach between Moncton NB and Charlottetown PEI.
> Freight trains were still handled by ferry until
> December 1989.
>
>

Thanks, Gary. I knew you'd know, but I was at work, firing off from memory. I'd have gotten home, looked it up and corrected it, but you beat me to it. Gary, when did the through sleeper to Montreal come off?

Lee



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