Car Float question

I'm building a model of a car float for my HO scale layout, and I need a way to anchor the rails, so I bought a set of Eastern Car Works Car Float
Toggles. Guess what? That's not what they appear to be used for. I have two questions: 1. What ARE they used for? 2. How do I anchor my track on the float?
Jeff
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Jeff Stanton wrote:

IIRC, the toggles connect the float to the apron of the slip. The apron is the moveable section that adjusts for the difference in height between the fixed area of the dock and the float. It's at least one car length long, and may be longer. NB that the locomotive never moves onto the apron; idler cars are used between the locomotive and the cars to be placed on the float. The slip is the area that the float "slips" into.
Use spikes or heat-set contact cement (Pliobond) to fasten the rails in place. On many floats rails were welded directly to the deck, or were welded or spiked to the deck's substructure. AFAIK, the floats did not have ties underneath the rails as on regular track, but perhaps this was done on very early floats in the 1800s. You could glue the track to a dummy subfloor, then fill in with sheet material between and around the rails to make it look like the rails are fastened to the deck. On some floats, the rail tops were level with the decking, so you could try for that look instead.
HTH
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NB that the locomotive never moves onto

Not necessarily true - I have a number of photos of the NY Harbor operations where there is a switch engine riding right along with a bunch of cars to be switched - not all of the small yards reached by car float had an engine permanently assigned.
Kevin Rhodes
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With some of the larger ferrys, you could get away with putting the loco onto the ferry but generally, the weight of the loco exceeded the weight of the cars that would go down that track and that would make the ferry roll to the side, making for an interesting problem getting the loco back off of the ferry. Some ferrys also couldn't be loaded down a side track all at one time but would need to be loades a few cars at a time. They also had to be careful of loaded vs. unloaded cars as well as the end to end weight.
-- Why do penguins walk so far to get to their nesting grounds?
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Bob May wrote:

VERY true. The loading had be performed carefully and with thought. Often you could not fully load one track at one time (depending on the weight of the cars). More than a few carferries were rolled on their sides (sunk) in their slips by careless loading.
Another not uncommon occurrence was trying to put one too many cars in a track ... thus pushing the boat out of it's slip, and dropping the extra car into the 'drink' off the end of the apron (between the boat and apron). NOT good!
My experience has been on the Great Lakes cross-lake carferries and river carfloats. I doubt things are much different in this regard on salt water.
Dan Mitchell ===========
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From what I've learned, on the prototype Great Lakes carferries the boat captain (or first mate) made the calls on how the boat was loaded, not the railroad crew.
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I have thougtht about the spring. I don't want to embaras anyone so I would use light springs on the corners. If the barge/float were loaded improperly, it would just list and lose contact with the apron. I haven't done it yet, but since I have a lakeport, I might.

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Where would you get the springs? Is there somewhere with a good selection of springs that publishes their specs so you could get a well matched set with an appropriate springiness? Haven't looked at my Small Parts Inc catalog in a while...
Had been debating 4 corner springs vs 1 center spring. I was thinking that with 1 spring it might be easier to get the right springiness and still have a spring that's durable enough to take some abuse. And the balance would be more delicate, which in this case would be a good thing.
Mike

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Since it is only a 'mind game' for the moment, I hadn't thought about the details. You might try an RC car hobby shop for some shock absorber springs.
Yes and no for th balance. since the water presses equally on the bottom of the float, a single spring would not represent that well. You might consider a three spring set up with two springs at the apron to simulate the stiffness of the clamps and one at the back.

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Lotsa places have spring assortments. Menards, Home Despot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, Tru-Value Hardware, better ( non- chain) auto parts stores, etc.
Froggy,
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Because if they didn't, then the eggs would be destroyed and any chicks that did manage to hatch would perish. By the time the chicks are ready to leave the "nest" all the ice has melted or broken up and they are near the water's edge. That long distance they travel is the extent of the seasonal ice. As a place to live, Antarctica sux. Did you know that there were dinosaurs there at one time? Froggy,
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Froggy wrote:
>> Why do penguins walk so far to get to their nesting grounds?
> Because if they didn't, then the eggs would be destroyed and any > chicks that did manage to hatch would perish. By the time the chicks > are ready to leave the "nest" all the ice has melted or broken up and > they are near the water's edge. That long distance they travel is the > extent of the seasonal ice. As a place to live, Antarctica sux. > Did you know that there were dinosaurs there at one time?
According to some paleontologists, there still are! :-)
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wrote:

Agreed. It's pretty much a foregone conclusion that they are one and the same
Froggy,
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The Green Bay & Western took delivery of their new Alco diesels via Lake Michigan carferry in the 1950s; but I've never found evidence that their earlier Alco steam locos were delivered that way.
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Here's a guesss Jeff: The toggles might be used to hold the float to the bridge when the float is docked. The name Toggle kinda fits. We rode the Badger (X RR car ferry, now car/truck ferry) across Lake Michigan this summer; the deck still had the RR tracks embedded. There were two sockets also embedded in the deck at the edge that the crew connected to the shore ramp with something they "flipped" over into the socket.
I have a picture of the socket if you're interested.
--
73 de KT0T
Bob Schwartz
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Jeff Stanton wrote:
> I'm building a model of a car float for my HO scale layout, and I > need a way to anchor the rails, so I bought a set of Eastern Car > Works Car Float Toggles. Guess what? That's not what they appear to > be used for. I have two questions:
> 1. What ARE they used for?
To secure the carfloat to the apron when docked.
> 2. How do I anchor my track on the float?
I haven't built a carfloat, but I do need to secure rails to something similar. I'm using tieplates from:
http://www.proto87.com/p87stores/frtrck.htm
(usual disclaimer applies)
I've also had some success with modified sections of the Peco inspection pit. This is available for either code 75 or code 83 rail.
If you're building a car float, you may already be aware of these sites, but if not, here are two related to car floats and rail-marine operations.
http://www2pb.ip-soft.net/railinfo/car-floats/nyc-carfloats.html
http://home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/railmarn.html
The Rail-Marine Information Group may also be of interest.
http://www2pb.ip-soft.net/railinfo/car-floats/rmig.html
Incidentally, a comment was made about locomotives not being permitted on the car floats. I've seen numerous photos showing switchers on car floats that were under way. Many of the NY area railroad float yards were isolated from their main systems, and the only way to get the locos there was by float. Elsewhere, the C&O yard in Norfolk Va. and the AT&SF yard in Oakland were similarly isolated. No doubt there were other examples.
All the best,
Mark.
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Were carfloats (or car barges) always 'dumb', or were they powered? If powered, would they then have really been car ferries? Regards, Bill.

examples.
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William Pearce wrote:

Both. See my other post. Some were always barges. Some were self-propelled. And, in later years many of the self-propelled 'river' ferrys were converted to barges.
The big cross-lake ferrys were self propelled, and single ended. They were ships, really, though they were called 'boats' on the Great Lakes. Most loaded/unloaded over the stern, though the one's at Mackinaw did so over the bow.
There were several attempt to use tug/barge carfloat sets on the open lakes, and all were failures. The lakes get too rough for them, and ice is a BIG problem in the winter.
Dan Mitchell ===========
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