Author Topic: Rail ferry/barge operations  (Read 2433 times)

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PEIR

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Rail ferry/barge operations
« on: January 25, 2014, 11:27:41 AM »
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After looking at the China basin thread https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=31751.msg356219#msg356219 a rail ferry or barge operation looks like it would be very appealing to model. Here on PEI we used to have double deck ferries (upper deck passenger vehicles/lower deck rail at night, cars & tractor trailers during the day) connecting us with the mainland. With the CN abandonment in 1989 they only transported vehicles up to 1997 when the Confederation bridge was opened.

Summer ferries - http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_4j7mESJuxko/TQVFbbRhpmI/AAAAAAAADCY/a6KW6wUyhks/s1600/9706%2BHoliday%2BIsland.jpg
Winter ice breaker - http://yourrailwaypictures.com/OldDiesels/John_Hamilton_Gray_July_1974.jpg
Freight deck - http://yourrailwaypictures.com/OldDiesels/Inside_Railferry_MV_Abegweit_PEI_toNB.jpg
Dock switcher - http://www.flickr.com/photos/51896204@N08/7720924230/sizes/l/in/photostream/

I am looking at a freelanced short line set in late 1989-1999 and have no room for something as larger as a ferry but was wondering how a barge/tug operation would work with (Non ice season) but suitable looking for year round use. After searching the net for the past couple of hours I haven't found anything suitable and was wondering if anyone had some thoughts or ideas and better yet, links?

Working on a early 90's ALCO powered short line.

Stephen

nkalanaga

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 12:53:58 PM »
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Have you seen this page?  Several interesting pictures of a "small layout sized" barge operation.  Somewhat unusually, it also carried the locomotive, but that's optional, depending on your layout needs.
http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?city=Rosebery&country=British%20Columbia,%20Canada


data here: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=414785&nseq=0
N Kalanaga
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PEIR

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 01:06:21 PM »
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I had seen that pic but no info or the rest of the pics.  Thank you! It says in one photo the tug is a lake boat so I don't know how much ice they would have to contend with. I don't think in that incarnation that it would work for my application.
Working on a early 90's ALCO powered short line.

Stephen

PEIR

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 01:40:32 PM »
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I did some more digging on the Kaslo sub shown in the pictures above and found a video of the last run
Working on a early 90's ALCO powered short line.

Stephen

PEIR

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2014, 01:53:26 PM »
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Still trying to come up with a viable operation and how to handle the design of the barge and tug so it looks "right" for ice conditions. Most barge tug operations appear to be in a harbor or lake setting not in a strait. Perhaps I should just look at a tug/barge for the modeled summer months and not worry about the un-modeled season.
Working on a early 90's ALCO powered short line.

Stephen

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 05:14:11 PM »
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Be sure to enjoy the video of this operation as modelled on Mark Dance's N scale Columbia & Western:


(Note that C&W ops are also featured in a cover story in the Feb 2014 RMC.)

Bob Bufkin

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2014, 06:00:51 PM »
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Milwaukee Road used barges in Puget Sound.  I believe NP and GN did also.  Remember seeing some during a shipyard stay in the shipyard in Bremerton, WA.   Also found this:

http://www.mrcd.org/puget_sound_barges.html

nkalanaga

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 02:10:43 AM »
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"Lake so deep and large never freezes in winter except around shallow shoreline that can be easily broken by barge. "  So, not much ice, but the barge can break some.  If your ice is relatively thin, all it would need is a reinforced bow, which wouldn't have to show from the outside.

Is there also other shipping, such as passenger or auto ferries, general or bulk freighters, tankers, whatever, between your island and the mainland?  If so, there may be enough traffic that the ice would stay broken, or there could be a dedicated small ice breaker.

And, if there's enough current or tidal range, the strait may not freeze in "normal" winter weather.

One could also model something similar to the Alaska rail barges, with the tug towing the barge with a long cable.  That still wouldn't solve the ice problem, though, as most of the Pacific route doesn't freeze.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 02:15:06 AM by nkalanaga »
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Scottl

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2014, 08:49:22 AM »
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The interior lakes of BC rarely had significant ice cover, even in the late 19th century when most of the operations began and the climate was substantially colder (and ice was the norm).

I like your idea for a prototype.  I am quite sure however, that year round operation would be a significant challenge given the free-moving pack ice in Northumberland Sound.  It took some serious engineering to get the piles right for the Confederation Bridge for the same reason.  In the end, they emulated the hull shape used on ice breakers to give the bridge the maximum resistance against ice forces.

If the ice was fixed and not moving, a bubbler would keep a path open for a ice-hardened vessel.  Where I live on Lake Ontario, there are two ferries that run year round using this system and it works well.  They only cease operations when the ice starts to move in the spring for a short period.  You could probably get away with this violation of reality- not many people realize ice moves!  Modelling a bubbler station on shore would be a detail that would be interesting, even if it is just a big air pump.

Stilll, there is no reason it could not be a three-season operation and would make a great focus for a layout.

PEIR

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2014, 09:27:58 AM »
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Be sure to enjoy the video of this operation as modelled on Mark Dance's N scale Columbia & Western:


(Note that C&W ops are also featured in a cover story in the Feb 2014 RMC.)

Thanks for the link. It was both interesting and helpful.

Milwaukee Road used barges in Puget Sound.  I believe NP and GN did also.  Remember seeing some during a shipyard stay in the shipyard in Bremerton, WA.   Also found this:

http://www.mrcd.org/puget_sound_barges.html

Great barge info in that link as well as other operations.
Working on a early 90's ALCO powered short line.

Stephen

PEIR

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2014, 09:41:55 AM »
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"Lake so deep and large never freezes in winter except around shallow shoreline that can be easily broken by barge. "  So, not much ice, but the barge can break some.  If your ice is relatively thin, all it would need is a reinforced bow, which wouldn't have to show from the outside.

Is there also other shipping, such as passenger or auto ferries, general or bulk freighters, tankers, whatever, between your island and the mainland?  If so, there may be enough traffic that the ice would stay broken, or there could be a dedicated small ice breaker.

And, if there's enough current or tidal range, the strait may not freeze in "normal" winter weather.

One could also model something similar to the Alaska rail barges, with the tug towing the barge with a long cable.  That still wouldn't solve the ice problem, though, as most of the Pacific route doesn't freeze.

Ice would get fairly thick throughout the winter from the ferries piling it up as well as what was coming down from the gulf. Occasionally a ferry would get trapped in the ice.

Specs from Wikipedia on the John Hamilton Gray http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_John_Hamilton_Gray

MV Abegweit (1982) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Abegweit_%281982%29
Working on a early 90's ALCO powered short line.

Stephen

PEIR

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2014, 09:54:26 AM »
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The interior lakes of BC rarely had significant ice cover, even in the late 19th century when most of the operations began and the climate was substantially colder (and ice was the norm).

I like your idea for a prototype.  I am quite sure however, that year round operation would be a significant challenge given the free-moving pack ice in Northumberland Sound.  It took some serious engineering to get the piles right for the Confederation Bridge for the same reason.  In the end, they emulated the hull shape used on ice breakers to give the bridge the maximum resistance against ice forces.

If the ice was fixed and not moving, a bubbler would keep a path open for a ice-hardened vessel.  Where I live on Lake Ontario, there are two ferries that run year round using this system and it works well.  They only cease operations when the ice starts to move in the spring for a short period.  You could probably get away with this violation of reality- not many people realize ice moves!  Modelling a bubbler station on shore would be a detail that would be interesting, even if it is just a big air pump.

Stilll, there is no reason it could not be a three-season operation and would make a great focus for a layout.

I never heard of the "Bubbler" I'm not sure if it would work for a 8 mile stretch across the strait. I think I will stick to the 3 season approach since that would make life easier since a 400' HO ferry is out of the question and since the two ferries carried 16 and 20 cars respectively a decent sized  barge with three or four tracks that hold five or six cars shouldn't look out of place.
Working on a early 90's ALCO powered short line.

Stephen

Scottl

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2014, 09:56:51 AM »
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It operates here over a 2 mile distance.  A major difference would be the absence of a strong current.

Thanks for the links to the PEIR.  I knew little about it and it was an interesting prototype. 

PEIR

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2014, 10:37:07 AM »
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Yes, the current would be an issue for the bubbler and likely the distance.

Glad you liked the links 8)
Working on a early 90's ALCO powered short line.

Stephen

PEIR

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Re: Rail ferry/barge operations
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2014, 06:33:50 PM »
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I ordered the Walthers car float and slip this afternoon. I'll see what I can do with them when they arrive. I looked at the walthers tug and thought i would ask here first if there is a more modern and perhaps a size or two larger diesel tug available in HO?
Working on a early 90's ALCO powered short line.

Stephen