Rail Car Ferries

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Rail Car Ferries
Posted by Miningman on Saturday, December 01, 2018 1:13 PM

From Old Tyme Trains.

Now I often wondered what they did before the International Bridge was built. Black Rock would be the logical choice as it was closest to Buffalo and the mighty Niagara River has yet to start its rap in descent and then over the falls. ( Fixed this as I was in error) the 

This would have been a sight to behold.


Rail Car Ferries 

 

B&LH International at Black Rock, NY dock. 

INDEX 

 

Canadian Government Railways PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND to/from PEI 1915. Also, CNR car ferry (no name) 1944. 

Canadian Northern Steamship Company CANORA to/from Vancouver Island 

Canadian National PEI service. MV Abegweit. 1944 article. Also, history CN Marine PEI. 

Canadian Pacific Railway Windsor, Ontario - Detroit, Michigan
Various companies operated here for CNR CPR PM Wabash etc. 

Canadian Pacific Car and Passenger Transfer Co. Prescott, Ontario-Ogdensburg, New York.

Canadian Pacific Bay of Fundy ferry service. Saint John, NB - Digby, NS. 

COGEMA Matane - Baie-Comeau QC 

Michigan Central Detroit - Windsor 

National Transcontinental Railway LEONARD Quebec-Levis 

Ontario Car Ferry Company Ontario No.1 and Ontario No.2 GTR/CNR and BR&P Cobourg to Rochester

Pennsylvania-Ontario Transportation Company ASHTABULA Ashtabula, Ohio - Port Burwell, Ontario. 

SOPOR owns rail and port facility including rail barge slip in Baie-Comeau, QC which is isolated from outside rail lines. 
Served by COGEMA ferry Georges-Alexandre Lebel out of Matane, Quebec. 

 

 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, December 01, 2018 7:14 PM

Genesee Dock

http://photo.libraryweb.org/rochimag/rmsc/scm02/scm02851.jpg

Post by Brian Hotchkiss

"Turning Point Park - Trestle at the Genesee Dock along the lower Genesee River. Here, the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway trains loaded their coal cars onto ferries for delivery to the Canadian National Railroad in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada. Established in 1905, this Ontario Car Ferry operated for nearly fifty years" 

Better angle:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ottomatic77/2544728173

 

 

http://gold.mylargescale.com/Scottychaos/maps/Genesee-Docks.html

The dock looked like a roller coaster!

http://www.trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/CPR_London/history_Woodstock.htm#ashtabula

600 GMDH-1 A1713 9/1958 600 hp hydraulic unit testing/demonstrating on St.Marys Sub. in 1958. Bill Thomson 

This switch caught my attention. A very nice demo engine with a well-designed body. That little skirt covering the fuel tank is interesting. 

 

http://www.trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/industrial/ont/general_motors.htm

 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, December 01, 2018 7:19 PM

Looks like a great place to take a picnic lunch and just watch the rail and river traffic!  Big Smile

So THAT'S where all those spare Aerotrain noses went to! 

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, December 01, 2018 7:41 PM

Car ferrys, or more properly car floats, were once a common sight in the New York harbor area.  Most railroads in the area had their own tugboat fleets that barged freight cars across the Hudson River to various points in the NYC area.

Some of it's still done today, but just a miniscule fraction of what it was.

As a matter of fact, here's some video of the last New York car float operation, the New York and New Jersey car float, operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWTXrpgYO4Y

And that's one zoomie-lookin' switcher!  I wonder what its top speed was?  Warp Factor One?  Two?  Possibly Three?

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Posted by Backshop on Saturday, December 01, 2018 7:54 PM

Miningman

 Black Rock would be the logical choice as it was closest to Buffalo and the mighty Niagara had calmed down by here and wasn't in raging turbulent mode. 

 

 

That quote from Olde Tyme Trains is incorrect.  The Niagara by Black Rock hadn't "calmed down".  It was just getting started.  It ran from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, December 01, 2018 8:08 PM

Yes yes thats my error, not old time trains. Fort Erie/Buffalo is upstream from the falls. 

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, December 01, 2018 8:16 PM

Firelock76

As a matter of fact, here's some video of the last New York car float operation, the New York and New Jersey car float, operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWTXrpgYO4Y

And that's one zoomie-lookin' switcher!  I wonder what its top speed was?  Warp Factor One?  Two?  Possibly Three?

Interesting to see the tradition of Railcar ferry "preserved" in the New York City! Thank you for sharing the video, Firelock76! 

According to Wiki, only four GMD GMDH-1 were produced. Power output was 600hp for the first two engines. I guess the top speed is around 50mph but should be capable for higher speed by using different gears. I think it could be an alternate option of motorcar and railbus, hauling short commuter trains. Smile

http://www.mountainrailway.com/Demonstrators%20Page.htm

Cute little engine.

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, December 01, 2018 8:25 PM

A commuter train pulled by one of those things wouldn't be just transportation, it would be a ride! 

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, December 01, 2018 9:00 PM

A good discussion on this ensued on the Quiz a while back 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, July 23, 2017 10:10 PM

Allright then Gents and Penny.

What is this. Hint: Not a '57 Chevy

 
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Posted by RME on Sunday, July 23, 2017 10:46 PM

That's the second GMDH-1, the one that subsequently went to South America.  Unless I am mistaken, these locomotives used the same class of prime mover that is in the RDCs, 6-110.

One of the four is now 5'6" gauge!

There's also a GMDH-3, which is 'half a loaf' for the critter crowd, with an 8V-71 -- interesting, because RDC repowers with Detroits were apparently generally considered underpowered failures:

I have no idea whatsoever why there was no GMDH-2.  Someone here will know, so let's ask that next.

And what about this?

 
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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, July 23, 2017 11:19 PM

600 GMDH-1 A1713 9/1958 600 hp hydraulic unit testing/demonstrating on St.Marys Sub. in 1958. 
Bill Thomson 

Eventually sold 5/1962 to Federal Railways of Brazil. No other 600 hp units were built aside from 1001.

H means Hydraulic!  I don't know what a GMDH-2 is either. So good question!

As regarding your photo it looks like Baldwin built the front end !...nice cab too! 

 
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Posted by RME on Sunday, July 23, 2017 11:51 PM

 

 
Miningman
As regarding your photo it looks like Baldwin built the front end !...nice cab too! 

 

Hint: it is related to this:

 

 

 
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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Monday, July 24, 2017 12:29 AM

 

 
RME

That's the second GMDH-1, the one that subsequently went to South America.  Unless I am mistaken, these locomotives used the same class of prime mover that is in the RDCs, 6-110.

 

 

Another is still in regular use out my way, at the Kaybob gas plant near Fox Creek, AB (150 miles northwest of Edmonton).  As the video notes it has been repowered, but I can't remember what engine type offhand.  I do know the traveling mechanics who service it though, and will ask next time I see one of them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMJcbwReQvw

And great to see the quiz has been restarted!  Although I am not a frequent poster on the quiz threads I always read them, and have learned a lot from the expert-level questions.

 

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Monday, July 24, 2017 12:33 AM

 

 
RME

And what about this?

 

 

Those trucks sure look funny, am I seeing things or is one wheel smaller than the other?  Since your link went to a "DH2" reference my wild guess is that this is a DH1 (gotta have 1 before 2, but apparently not 2 before 3...).

On another note, could the GMDH-3 have been named for its 3 axles?

 

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Miningman on Monday, July 24, 2017 1:03 AM

Well half a loaf does have 3 axles so maybe! There may not be a -2. 

 
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Posted by RME on Monday, July 24, 2017 1:15 AM

 

 
SD70M-2Dude
Those trucks sure look funny, am I seeing things or is one wheel smaller than the other?

 

Good eye!  (And the small wheels have no power to them, either).

Now tell me how the engine in the 'other' link differs from a SW-8...

 
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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Monday, July 24, 2017 1:36 AM

 

 
RME

Now tell me how the engine in the 'other' link differs from a SW-8...

 

 

Hydraulic transmission instead of a main generator and traction motors.

 

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by RME on Monday, July 24, 2017 1:57 AM

Exactly so.

EMD had diesel-hydraulic experimental locomotives considerably earlier than GMD.  This is the reason you see "GMDH-1" instead of just DH-1 for the locomotive type miningman cited: the locomotive with the different-sized wheelsets was EMD's "DH-1", from 1951.  This had Allison transmissions driving just the outer sets, with the inners as idlers, like an inside-out RDC.

The second locomotive was intended as a full switcher replacement, and is DH-2 (but note, not GMDH-2).  Here are a couple of 'better' pictures:

Note the early use of Flexicoil-style trucks, and the evidence that a 'standard' 900hp 567 was used as the powerplant.  Note also that EMD is promoting 'hydraulic drive' in the display.  I am still looking for a 'free' version of the technical descriptions of this transmission.

Pictures of this locomotive are relatively rare, because (as I understand it) after the demonstration runs were complete locomotive 105 was rather promptly converted back to diesel-electric, and then used at EMD as a plant switcher.  Between those two pieces of information, it's pretty clear that the approach that was used Did Not Work Very Well.  (I have my suspicions what some of the issues were...)

Note the tell-tale truck swap.

 
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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Monday, July 24, 2017 2:10 AM

 

 
RME

I have my suspicions what some of the issues were...

 

 

Do tell.  Great photos too

 

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, July 24, 2017 7:00 AM

Pretty sure the DH-2 a Voith transmission, similar to the type use more or less successfully on DB and BR in Europe, and later on the K-M and Alco diesel-hydraulics.  I don't think EMD engineers respected the torque curve for the 567, resulting in a sluggish start with a tendency to overheat the transmission.

I'm sure the bolster was offest for those "Maximum Traction" trucks on the DH-1.

 
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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, December 01, 2018 9:01 PM

A B&O bus making a Station Stop before heading to the ferry for train time.

 

And on the freight side

         

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, December 01, 2018 9:03 PM

Oops.. half cut off ...well if you go to July 23, 2017 Classic Quiz you will be there. 

.... Great photos Balt!!! Wow

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, December 02, 2018 1:43 AM

Firelock76 - haha, glad to know I am not the only one who likes those mini diesel engines! If the first two GMD GMDH-1 (600hp) Double-headed, they would be as "powerful" as the GM AeroTrain (or 10kw more powerful)  Stick out tongue

BaltACD - If I am a B&O fan, I didn't have to complain about Corporate Image like how I criticized PRR's trains. From the engines to the consists or their named trains, from their boats to their well-decorated bus, their fleet looked clean and the liveries were consistent. Thank you for sharing those rare pictures!

http://gallery.bustalk.info/displayimage.php?album=640&pos=0

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, December 02, 2018 9:41 AM

For those who don't know, those B&O buses picked up passengers from various points in lower Manhattan, then traveled across the Hudson River by Jersey Central RR ferries  to the Jersey City terminal of the Jersey Central Railroad.  The B&O used to run passenger trains to the same.  AND there was a bus turntable at the terminal to make the return trip easier for the driver!  That ended in 1958 when the B&O ceased passenger operations north of Philadelphia.

Seems like a great deal, a bus ride, a ferry ride, then a train ride!

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, December 02, 2018 11:56 AM

Firelock76
For those who don't know, those B&O buses picked up passengers from various points in lower Manhattan, then traveled across the Hudson River by Jersey Central RR ferries  to the Jersey City terminal of the Jersey Central Railroad.  The B&O used to run passenger trains to the same.  AND there was a bus turntable at the terminal to make the return trip easier for the driver!  That ended in 1958 when the B&O ceased passenger operations north of Philadelphia.

Seems like a great deal, a bus ride, a ferry ride, then a train ride!

All for the price of one train ticket!

         

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, December 02, 2018 12:00 PM

There was a bit more to the operation than this.  Interestingly enough, the first reference to this service I remember reading (I think in one of the Beebe books) said the buses used one of the tunnels (I remember it saying Lincoln, but Holland would make more sense) and it was only much later that I found out about the ferries to Liberty Street.  We had a thread on this, with some Mike MacDonald content, in 2014:

http://cs.trains.com/ctr/f/3/t/230410.aspx

An interesting point came up a couple of years ago.  The bus facilities within the Jersey City terminal were accessible to private cars!  If you made a phone call to a special number listed in the timetable, you could reserve a spot on the same ferry as the official bus, and after it was turned around and had left, you could drive right up to your car's vestibule to let someone off to get on the train (or, presumably, pull up to the baggage car to unload luggage from the trunk).  Now, that's a feature PRR would find very, very hard to match...

The principal terminal was in perhaps the most notable of surviving New York Art Deco buildings, the Chanin building, with a loop so the bus could quickly turn around without negotiating much traffic.  Other stops included 9th St. (at what was then Wanamaker's) and the Hotel Vanderbilt.

There was also a terminal at Columbus Circle, originally using the 23rd St. ferry and 8th Av, stopping along the way at the New Yorker and the Lincoln;

another at Rockefeller Center (on a route that used the then-glorious West Side Highway), stopping at the Taft and Victoria;

34th St. (pointedly not mentioning you-know-what) via 7th Av., stopping at the Governor Clinton, Pennsylvania (of 6-5000 fame), McAlpin, and Vanderbilt;

and Brooklyn, first to a loop near Boro Hall and the St. George, later to the Eagle Building. 

I do not know if the bus driver would stop to let passengers out at intermediate points.

When the CNJ 23rd St. ferry (the civilized way to Gramercy Park, an old 'heart of the city' before the expansion up the West Side and above midtown) was discontinued, the route to Columbus Circle was rerouted via Hudson St. to 8th Av. uptown, apparently still coming from the Liberty St. Ferry although you may note how close this was to the Holland Tunnel... it is interesting to speculate on how the routing might have changed had B&O continued passenger service beyond 1958, especially if dedicated busways and the like had been implemented in New York City early.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, December 02, 2018 12:14 PM

Hey, I lucked out!  I went looking for some You Tube video of the CNJ terminal and found a four minute video.  Pre and post-war shots, with the B&O buses and trains included.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rj1VTVkfcw

Sadly, except for the terminal building itself, nothing of what you see in the film exists anymore.  The building survives as a centerpiece of Liberty State Park with the Bush trainsheds intact.

Maybe that EA diesel if it's #51, and one of the post-war B&O buses is still around in private ownership, but that's all.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, December 02, 2018 12:27 PM

Wow! What the deuce happened that it's all gone? Nuclear war? Invaders from space? General Motors? 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, December 02, 2018 12:45 PM

Miningman

Wow! What the deuce happened that it's all gone? Nuclear war? Invaders from space? General Motors? 

 

Not a bad supposition Miningman, but it's a bit more mundane than that.

When the CNJ was absorbed into Conrail all that terminal area trackage, plus the Communipaw engine shops, hell, just about everything east of the CNJ Newark Bay drawbridge was un-needed by the new railroad, so it all disappeared. 

Including the Newark Bay drawbridge, but the Port Authority wanted that gone for years anyway.  Conrail was happy to oblige.  Sic transit gloria mundi...

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, December 02, 2018 12:49 PM

Miningman
Wow! What the deuce happened that it's all gone? Nuclear war?

Strange you should mention that.  In the early 1970s we 'rediscovered' the abandoned Jersey City terminal, and it was exactly like one of those postnuclear-holocaust sets:  office desks left with papers on them or knocked around, as if with no advance warning; the Bush trainsheds with luxurious vegetation growing up where trains should be.  In those days you could easily get up the tower stairs, where from blackness you were suddenly treated to a brilliant view across Lower Manhattan with the distance across the river seemly compressed as in a telephoto lens.  (Getting to the terminal also produced the unusual appearance at some points that you could drive on flat streets all the way to Lower Manhattan; there were no port facilities or buildings at the waterfront to signal the eye...)

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, December 02, 2018 1:10 PM

I can picture all of that scene. Among the most expensive real estate in the world and you can get an unobstructed view of Lower Manhatten from abandoned buildings. Quite the contrast or contradiction. 

So did closing this all down improve commuter and rail services of other kinds, especially passenger trains or is it sorely missed? 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, December 02, 2018 2:12 PM

My 8th-Grade Colulmbia Grammar School class used the B&O to and from Washington in the winter of 1944-1945.  We boarded the bus at Columbus Circle a d returned there.  The bus used the Liberty Street Ferry, not 23rd Street.  The bus each way was a Maroon Fageol.  After WWII the buses were blue and may have been ACF-Brills.

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Posted by Deggesty on Sunday, December 02, 2018 2:57 PM

Firelock76

For those who don't know, those B&O buses picked up passengers from various points in lower Manhattan, then traveled across the Hudson River by Jersey Central RR ferries  to the Jersey City terminal of the Jersey Central Railroad.  The B&O used to run passenger trains to the same.  AND there was a bus turntable at the terminal to make the return trip easier for the driver!  That ended in 1958 when the B&O ceased passenger operations north of Philadelphia.

Seems like a great deal, a bus ride, a ferry ride, then a train ride!

 

Wayne, my wife and I did better than that several years ago--in British Columbia. We had spent two nights at the Empress in Victoria (we spent most of the day between the nights going to Courtney and back in an RDC). The morning we left Victoria, we walkedt to the bus station and boarded a bus for Vancouver, and crossed to Vancouver on a ferry which, I believe crossed the United States along the way. In Vancouver, we rode the Skytrain from downtown back to the Central Station--and took the train for Seattle, arriving there close to bedtime. In one day--bus, ferry, Skytrain, and railroad train! 

You can still do it!

Johnny

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, December 02, 2018 4:56 PM

Sounds like fun Johnny!  Maybe one day...

And Miningman, in answer to your commuter question commuter service to the CNJ's Jersey City terminal ended in 1967 when what was called the "Aldene Plan" was implemented.

Here's the story if you're interested, short and to the point.

http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Aldene_Connection

Is it missed?  Hard to say.  At the time a lot of CNJ commuters weren't too happy about it but they got used to it.  New Jersey Transit's an absolute mess right now so even if the trains did  still go to Jersey City it's debateable whether it would make a difference one way or another.

It would also mean that in addition to trains and buses NJ Transit would be operating ferrys as well.  I think they'd draw the line at that.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, December 02, 2018 5:25 PM

Firelock-- Very nice, thank you. I've read references to the Aldene Plan but never knew what it exactly was. Good summary, pithy and on the point. 

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, December 02, 2018 5:56 PM

Firelock76
Hey, I lucked out!  I went looking for some You Tube video of the CNJ terminal and found a four minute video.  Pre and post-war shots, with the B&O buses and trains included.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rj1VTVkfcw

Sadly, except for the terminal building itself, nothing of what you see in the film exists anymore.  The building survives as a centerpiece of Liberty State Park with the Bush trainsheds intact.

Maybe that EA diesel if it's #51, and one of the post-war B&O buses is still around in private ownership, but that's all.

The B&O EA's were traded into EMD and were rebuilt into E8m's in the early 50's.  The carbody and trucks of #51 were returned to the B&O who placed it in the B&O Railroad Museum when they opened it in 1952 or 53.  CSX donated the museum to privated hands in 1993, if memory serves.  51 is currently undgoing a restoration at the museum.  I am not aware of any of the busses surviving.

         

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, December 02, 2018 6:08 PM

Balt, I found one of the buses!   However, I don't think it's part of the yard sale.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9zgQc0kTBw 

Interesting short film on the B&O 51 restoration.  Too bad it deteriorated to the shape it's in, but then EMD probably never expected it to be around 80 years after delivery.   I wonder if it's possible to bring it back to operation?  Too much to hope for?

Glad you liked that little "Aldene Plan" dissertation Miningman!  I found something else CNJ related on You Tube.  Here's a 3 1/2 minute segment of a promo film the CNJ did in 1949 called "The Big Little Railroad."  One part will show everyone just how big that Jersey City terminal and railyard was.

Too bad it's only 3 1/2 minutes, but as the old show biz saying goes...

"Always leave them wanting more!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kYeg5A6jBE

And David, how was the bus ride?  Fun, I'll bet!

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Posted by Deggesty on Sunday, December 02, 2018 7:50 PM

Wayne, I do not remember for certain, but I think we ate breakfast on the ferry. I know that we ate on other trips between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. As I recall, you could get snacks or real meals.

When I rode Prince Rupert to Port Hardy and back, I ate dinner and breakfast in the dining room, each way; lunch had to be found in the cafeteria. Overnight trips took 20 hours each way; day trips (summer time) were faster.

Johnny

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Posted by Deggesty on Sunday, December 02, 2018 8:18 PM

Oh, yes, on the return to Prince Rupert, I was invited up to the pilot house in the afternoon before we reached Prince Rupert. The day before, as I was waiting to board for the return, one of the officers and I talked a few minutes, and he asked me if I would like to visit the pilot house.

Johnny

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, December 02, 2018 8:30 PM

Dinner on the ferry and a ride in the wheel house, it can't possibly get any better than that Johnny!

Well, maybe if they let you drive for a bit...

Wayne

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, December 02, 2018 8:44 PM

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