Apr 27, 2023
Neat photos. The New York Central and a few others ran tugs and car barges across the Hudson River at least into the early 1950's. Wish I had had a camera when I visited my father's office back then, I also would have gotten photos of the Central's Triple Power engines on the High Line.
When I was assigned to work at B&O's Locust Point yard in the early 1970's the B&O was still operating a car float operation between Locust Point and Fells Point on the other side of Baltimore Harbor. The yard crew working the over the float bridge to load and unload the car floats would use seven empty flat cars as idlers so that the weight of the engine was kept off the float bridge and the car floats.
A site highlighting B&O's marine operations with links to each of the tugs that the company operated after the 1950's. It looks like only one may still be in operation. As built they all had a 1600 HP Fairbanks-Morse diesel engine. The survivor has been repowered with a 3000 HP EMD prime mover.
That's a great video!
I'm a big fan of the Milwaukee Road's system they used to have here on Puget Sound.
The Panama Canal Act of 1912 began a regulatory push to force railroads to divest themselves of maritime assets, but since tugs provided a service that was "auxiliary and supplemental" to rail service, these were permitted, along with railroad-owned lighters and carfloats. Fun Fact: EMD's 567 also found service in tugs.
My family took a vacation in 1961 - rode the Panama Limited from Chicago to New Orleans. While doing all the touristy things we took a water borne tour of the Port of New Orleans. We were out in the middle of the harbor, in the Mississippi River and I thought a freight train was coming - it was a tow boat with a raft of barges. The genuine EMD 567 chant churning the waters.
I learned of EMD's presence on the waters when riding the Staten Island Ferry some 40+ years ago. An older and learned friend pointed down below deck and asked if the sound was familiar. It sure was. Four EMD 567s were at work down there.
An Alco going for cruise in San Francisco Bay.