Trains, and planes, and...

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by doctorwayne, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    ...boats?
    Well, why not? I happened to be down at Lock 3, on the Welland Canal this afternoon, and got a few pictures of the laker Atlantic Huron heading back "up-lake". Sources tell me that she'd just delivered a load of GERN-Brand Flux to one of the steel plants in Hamilton, Ontario, and was heading back to the GERN plant at Port Maitland for another load.
    I caught her just as she slipped into Lock 3:
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    These were taken from the elevated public viewing platform:
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    Once the gates were closed, it took only about 10 minutes to lift the boat:
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    From ground level, she looms pretty large:
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    The lift bridge at Glendale Ave. was up, and there was a cruise ship, downbound:
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    With a length of 736' and a breadth of almost 78', the Atlantic Huron had room to spare, at least lengthwise, in the 859' long lock. However, it was a fairly tight squeeze, width-wise, in the 80' wide lock. There are 8 locks in total (Locks 4,5, and 6 are "twinned" also, allowing up-and down-bound boats to pass) and Lock 8 is 1,380 feet long. The average lift of each lock is 46.5', and the average trip through the 27 mile long canal takes about 12 hours.
    I hope that you've enjoyed this look at some of the railroads' heavy-duty competition.

    Wayne
  2. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

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    Lock systems are really neat. It's amazing how slowly a ship takes to traverse them, but with such tight clearances and little room for error, it makes sense to travel slowly.
  3. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    Looks like her stern is oddly cut off - to fit in a shorter lock?
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    When you consider the time and expense it would take to move that much cargo by other means, it really isn't that long at all...

    BTW, what is GERN doing shipping by boat when they have a perfectly good rail system? Or is it the receiver's preference? ;)

    Andrew
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Actually, the boat carries the equivalent of about 750 covered hoppers, and is used to supplement the amount carried by rail, at least over such short distances. GERN, overall, ships a much higher tonnage of flux worldwide via ship than is moved by rail within Canada, although it may move via rail at its destination. Even with new facilities opening in different parts of the world, this trade is expected to grow, as the properties of the flux from the various areas are usually best suited to particular end uses. The one constant, though, is that "If it's GERN, it's GOOD" :-D

    Wayne
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I'm not sure: I believe that the locks in the St. Lawrence Seaway are all at least 859' in length, but this boat isn't strictly just a laker, so that truncated stern may be to fit in a shorter lock elsewhere, or it may be simply a feature of the design.
    Here's a link to some more info on the Atlantic Huron and her sisters:

    Canada Steamship Lines

    Wayne
  7. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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    I was doing some military work on Rock Island in between Moline Illinois and Davenport Iowa when I happened to be down by the locks watching a train cross the bridge. When the train had crossed, they swiveled it out of the way and then this little tug pushed 12 barges into this lock like they were on rails! He didn't have but maybe a couple feet clearance on either side and it seemed like he did not even slow down. What precision.
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  8. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Wayne and TrainNut! Great shots! I can see lakers like the one above as well as ocean going vessels and towboats with barges in Minnesota. Duluth is a great place to watch the big boats while the Mississippi has lots of bage traffic. Here's some I caught as it passed Red Wing MN.
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    Ralph
  9. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Of course, GERN Texas Division is much closer to the Port of Houston, New Orleans, and the Panama Canal, which is one of the reasons for the expansion.