Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...>
Albeit that it never really ever operated in service on the Great Lakes, there is I believe still one more intact existing railroad car ferry still afloat on Lake Michigan: the ex-CN Abegweit. This stern-loading salt water ferry operated for many years between Cape Tormentine, NB and Prince Edward Island across the Canso Straits, providing the latter’s isolated CN trackage its only mainland connection. The abandonment of PEI trackage and the construction of a bridge put the Abeguit and other ferries out of business. The Abegweit went to Chicago to become the floating clubhouse of the Columbia Yacht Club.
My connection to this ship (this is a “salty”) was a time in 1960 when I boarded at Cape Tormentine with my 1957 Plymouth-cum-trailed boat nosed right up to the coupler (filling my windshield vision) of the daily overnight Montreal-Summerside PEI sleeping car. If that car rolled, we were toast. Loaded coal hoppers were carefully balanced.
This connection continued years later when I was an occasional guest on board this elegant club house at the Columbia Yacht Club, the last time some 15 or so years ago. Each time, I boarded I made a bee line to check to see whether or not the trackage on the car deck was still intact. It was, in toto AFIK (false flooring on top of the rails).
(railroads and ships- an unholy alliance)
Denny S. Anspach MD