Rail Ferry Aprons

Just acquired a railroad ferry (Artitec model 50.121, discontinued) that I plan to use as part of a small bookcase-top switching layout.
I'll probably have to scratchbuild an apron to use with it so I'm in need of plans, drawings and photos of an apron. Preferably single track, but I may be able to adapt a larger apron. I have been unable to find anything useful online, so I'm looking for sources of the required information. I could use the NMRA library as a member, but they are now charging research fees for this sort of search. (Used to be free for members.) Any pointers?
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Rick Jones
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Walthers did a series of HO models with a waterfront theme, including the #933-3068 carfloat apron. As with their steel and other industry series, they also published a book with basic reference material including several photos. Look for "Railroading Along the Waterfront", with Eli Rantanes as told to Laura Sebastian-Coleman, 1997, ISBN 0-941952-53-3. The NMRA has reprinted John A.Droege's "Freight Terminals and Trains", ISBN 0-9647050-2-8. It has a chapter on water-front terminals, but is mostly text with a few track diagrams and blurry photos. Geezer

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Quit the NMRA?
Seems to me an article on the BEDT in the New York area had info on aprons... Model Railroader Craftsmen i think it was... (BEDT is where Strasburg's Thomas the Tank Engine came from)
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could use the NMRA library as

sort of

info on

where
There's a decent picture of a NYC car float apron at:
http://www.oldnyc.com/bayridge/bayridgeyard/bayridgeyard4.html
There are also some old long distance shots of Detroit train ferry slips at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train_ferry
Len
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Big Rich Soprano wrote:

Life member. Not going to happen.

The MRR mag index online indicates that the Nov. '92 issue of Railmodel Journal has some plans for a carfloat transfer bridge. Might be what I need if I can locate a copy.
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Rick Jones
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Hi Rick,
Bar mills sells car float ferry docks in verious scales and it would be a good start to look there.
Brock Bailey Victoria bc canada

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Brock Bailey wrote:

Wow, it's been quite some time since I posted that message. That must be a relatively new kit for Bar Mills. They don't have a separate page set up for it, just the photos and order link on the main page. It does look like it may be close to what I had in mind though. Need to check it out more.
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Rick Jones
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I'd guess that every ferry apron is different. 1- tidal rise and fall/river level variation. 2- harbour yard height. 3- ferry track design.
The greater the tidal range the longer the apron. The greater the difference between ground height and ferry deck the longer the apron. Single track/double track/triple track/interlaced tracks/turnout on apron.
Once you know the prototype water level variation and your difference in land/ferry height you can figure out the probable apron length. Level is ideal for operation. I don't think a gradient over about 1:25 would be workable. The moving end of the apron is commonly lifted by a gantry. Dapol make a signal gantry which could be a starting point. A model gantry crane could be used, but normally the cross gantry of an apron is lighter because the weight is only lifted at the ends. Add pulleys on each side, cables and massive steel cylindrical counterbalance weights. Alternatively the weights can be on the ends of pivoted horizontal arms.
Regards, Greg.P.
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