Barges and Trains

This might be a bad question .........
I was wondering if anyone knew if the Mississippi River was used by the
railroad(s) [in the 1950's time period] for train car crossings by way
of barges. Or, did they rely solely on bridges.
If barges were used, might you know approximate locations along the
river [states in particular] and which railroads were primarily
involved in this endeavor?
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Huey Long bridge in New Orleans was completed in 1935, owned and operated by the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad but I'm not sure exactly when all the railroads stated using it and stopped the barges.
I'll check but I think SP's barge traffic crossed at Harahan and TP crossed near downtown not far from the terminal....
Reply to
the OTHER Mike
The 1935 build date would probably make a barge scenario in a 1950's layout unrealistic w/ regards to the lower Mississippi. I don't know where Harahan is. Maybe that will be my saviour as a plausible reason to add a barge to my 1950's layout plans.
Am I missing other bodies of water worthy of a barge that the CB&Q, the SP, the UP, the Frisco, The ATSF, and/or the SP would have required or considered the use of a barge in the 1950's? I am not too familiar with bodies of water to the west of the Mississippi that may have justified a barge for any of those particular railroads.
NY harbor offered ideal circumstances for the use of barges here in the east.
Was the Sacramento River large enough at any point to justify a barge?
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Frisco: The Frisco had a barge operation at Mobile, Alabama that operated daily to service industries on Blakeley (BLAKE - lee) Island. The barge ferried cars across the Mobile River in the vicinity of the Alabama State Docks. This operation was active in the 70s, but I do not know if it is still operating today. The operation is interesting to me account there was a large bitumuls plant on Blakeley Island that used a lot of tank cars.
Harahan is on the West Bank across the river from New Orleans, in a manner similar to Manhattan and Queens. It is part of the Metro New Orleans area.
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wrote in message
If I recall correctly, the Missouri Pacific had a car ferry at St. Genevieve, Missouri, crossing the Mississippi.
One of the last times I saw steam power on the MoPac was there, as high water had caused minor flooding on the approach tracks, and the normal diesel could not be used, so they had brought out a small steam engine. This would have been in the late 1950s, although my memory can't seem to pin it down any better.
Reply to
Bill Beeman
Actually, Harahan is on the east bank of the Mississippi, upriver from New Orleans. ( basically between New Orleans and the airport in Kenner )
Harahan I "think" was an official or yardmaster with IC who's May's yard is just outside of Harahan.
The area directly across the river from downtown New Orleans is still New Orleans but is known as Algeirs. The railroad ferry was named ( and I know the spelling is wrong ) Gouldsbourough and the small yard under the GNO / Crescent City Connection ( bridge) on the westbank is still called Gouldsbourough yard. It basically is an interchange yard between the "Lower Coast" and "UP"
Reply to
the OTHER Mike
Froggy and Bill,
Great info. That will allow me some nice leeway in my attempt to design and include a modest barge component to the layout planning. I have always wanted to scratch build a barge, but I needed to be sure that it could be applicable. I think I can now make this happen.
Thank You !!! Matt
Reply to
Matt Brennan
I'm surprised no one has mentioned that MR had an article on a barge setup a few months back. There were photos of the ramp, etc..
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You might want to look for a copy of the Walthers book "Railroading Along the Waterfront" published to give modeling ideas for the Walthers waterfront series of structure kits. In addition to the operations at New Orleans and Mobile Bay other have mentions, the book says there was a river transfer between Natchez, MS and Vidalia, LA that lasted into the 1980's. On a quick scan, I see it also mentions operations on the Detroit River, and old one at Chicago, and one in Canada. Geezer
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There was rail barge service across San Francisco Bay until at least the early 1950s. I used to watch the barges load and unload in Tiburon (Marin County) when I was a kid.
This isn't one of the railroads you mention, but the Milwaukee Road had two rail-barge routes in Washington State on Puget Sound. One barge run was from the railroad's small Seattle freight terminus out to Port Townsend to serve the railroad's isolated line from Port Townsend to Port Angeles. The other one was from Seattle north to Bellingham. The Bellingham run was about 60-70 miles, maybe more. The railroad had its own tug and barge fleet. The Seattle-Port Townsend car ferry operated into the late 1970s.
I believe the last commercial rail-barge service in North America was on a large lake in Canada.
(to reply remove Boeing jet from address) ______________ C. Marin Faure Seattle, Washington Bellingham, Washington
Reply to
C. Marin Faure
"Railroading Along the Waterfront"
Item #: 913-103
I just found it. I have it on my holiday wish list: to be handed to my wife soon. Fabulous! Thank You!!!
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RMC had an article in the '70s about building a model of a transfer steamer, which wasn't a barge but a side-wheel ferry that took cars across the river. I believe they said the last such boat stopped operating in the late 1950s or early 1960s...I will have to go check my copy, but I do remember it was used by the Missouri-Illinois Railroad.
Cordially yours, Gerard P.
Reply to
OP mc_b:
I think the New York Cross Harbor is still floating cars on barges. They still were as of 1999, anyway.
See also:
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(MOUNTAINS of useful stuff here!)
Will check that RMC I mentioned to see what issue it was .. I think the operation referred to in the article was the St. Genevieve crossing.
Cordially yours, Gerard P.
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