River and lake railroad ferries in H0?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by TEP 60, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. TEP 60

    TEP 60 Member

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    There is one producer in Europe, who makes in H0 maritime railroad ferry and docking facilities for it. Are any producers, who produces in H0 river and lake railroad ferries and docking facilities for them?
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Are river and lake ferries still used in America for rail? Most of the rail ferrying that I know of now is done by barge and tug rather than ferries.
  3. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    That would be cool, the pics in the link look sweet

    but like Russ, i dont think that there are any ferries that exist in the US anymore
  4. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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  5. TEP 60

    TEP 60 Member

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    I mean river and lake ferry and docking facilities modelling in H0 by prototypes all over the World and all epoches of.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    2 reasons for the popularity of barges as opposed to ferries are that the barge has no power unit or control cab, so it is much less expensive. A tug boat can spot the barge for loading and then go elsewhere to do other work while the barge is being loaded. Also if you look closely at that model it only has one track due to the space taken up by the superstructure. A barge will have 6 or 8 tracks going the full width of the barge, so the barge will carry more cargo. I seem to remember seeing pictures of a ferry or barge loading facility in Seattle that hauled freight to Alaska, but I can't remember if they used barges or ferries. If it was a ferry, it would have had a short full width superstructure near the bow and the aft 3/4 of the ship would have been wide and flat. The rail cars would have been loaded up to the back of the superstructure. The ship would have backed into it slip in order to have the stern always facing the loading/unloading ramps.
  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

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    One of the principle Golden Rules of Modeling is that if you want it, you can have it.

    One can easily envision a freelance railroad with a ferry or barge, or both, incorporated into operations, operating in any period from past to present.
  8. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

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    And that i something alot of us most offten forget about Model Railroading :wave:
  9. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    I remember one of my early Trainfests (Trainfest 2008, was my twentieth) where a group had set up an above ground pool, about ten feet in diameter, and were an operating RC car ferry, in HO scale. They would unload, reload, and send the ferry across the "lake", where it would be unloaded, and reloaded for the return trip.
    While most of us don't have the space for a "ten foot lake", the concept of car ferry operation as the basis of a layout isn't out of reach, and could be a neat way of changing out the variety of cars on the layout.
    Wm.K. Walthers had, at one time, a car ferry, and a ferry dock, as part of their "Waterfront series". Those have been out of production for some time now, and do not appear in the current catalog.
    Research Car Ferry/ferries, looking for photos, and then see if any currently available kits would be kitbashed to work. Caveat: the SS Badger, a Great Lakes ferry, in HO scale, is over four feet long, and over a foot wide. You could also check Ebay, to see if any of the Walthers kits are available there.
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    One distinct advantage to consider whether you model a barge or ferry is that a float built on a cart that lines up with a dock on the edge of your layout can become an excellent "off stage" staging yard for a layout built in a small enough space that there just isn't room to install a staging yard to bring trains on and off the layout. As soon as I post this, someone will post a picture to prove me wrong, but most barges or ferries only carried the cars of a train. The floats were not designed to handle the weight of the locomotive and in the days of cabooses, a second caboose would be spotted at the other end of the ferry run with another locomotive. The first locomotive would push the cars on the float using a few empty flat cars or gons as "handles" to keep excess weight off the float. When the float gets to the destination, another locomotive will use some empty flats or gons as a handle to get the loaded cars off the float and may reload the float with empties or loads for the return trip. These empty cars would stay spotted near the dock to be used as handles for the next operation.
  11. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    There are great ship building model manufactures who make an assortment of plastic and resin ship kits which I'm sure can be easily converted into ferry service. The sky is the limit I would say. Bearco Marine and Sylvan, both are the same company I just forget who bought who, make some really nice kits. Like Sumpter said though, the kits can be very large, so some bashing would need to be done.

    I intend to go the car float and tug option myself. Something else you could consider as well.

    I also agree with MM. Its your RR. Build it how you want it and have fun.
  12. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    When unloading a float, or, for that matter, a car ferry, care must be taken to insure the "stability" of the float or ferry. Boxcars full of product, make lousy submarines! :eek: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I think the procedure was to load from the center out and to load one row on one side then a row on the other side in order to keep from unbalancing the float and turning it over. The float would be unloaded in the opposite order from the outside in and alternating sides.
  14. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member

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    Russ:
    You are right on concerning how the floats/ferries are on loaded and off loaded. Also the heaviest cars would be loaded in the center of the barge to help stabilize it.
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    There is still a steam Railroad car ferry crossing Lake Michigan. Unfortunately all the connecting tracks have been removed. Although it only makes one round trip a day, it cuts out a lot of travel time. The train decks have been adjusted to take cars, trucks and RVs.
    If you're content with Barge and Tug operation, Sylvan Scale Models make a lovely Tug, but not barge or ferry. Someone on the forum was making a static car ferry.
    In BC, on the interior lakes, CPR used to ferry not just the cars but a switcher to run the little, isolated, branch lines.
  16. ytter_man

    ytter_man Member

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    There's rail barge service between Vancouver and cities on van island like Victoria and Naniamo.
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I think a barge would be an easy first scratch building project.
  18. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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  19. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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  20. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    I'd agree. I made mine very easy by choosing not to model the typical three track barges that include some of the turnout trackage on the barge deck. Instead I made a two track barge out of a piece of 1X4 pine board. I left the turnout trackage on the float bridge and simply laid two stretches of flex track down the length of the board.

    I was very gratified to see a photo of a prototype barge like mine in the most recent issue of The Railroad Press! Who knew!?

    Anyway, I offer this pic as a possible alternative to purchasing...although I STILL like the looks of that car ferry in the link at the beginning of your thread TEP!

    [​IMG]
    Ralph