SS BADGER


Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...>
 

Yesterday, I enjoyed for the first time in many years crossing Lake Michigan on the ex-C&O railroad car ferry SS BADGER, one of the last, or perhaps THE last steam powered large passenger ship still operating in this country- coal fired to boot. .It is a National Historic Landmark, It was exhilarating to come up to the ship in Ludington MI with coal smoke drifting from its funnel, the fires being stoked for departure an hour later. The Steeple Compound Skinner Unaflow engines were silent, and the ship was handled in quite traditional manner with engine room telegraphs (“Chadburns”) , and dock manouvers were done by dropping an anchors as pivot, rather than using side thrusters. The tracks for 30+ steam era freight car are still inset into the car deck. There was a fair sea, and the passage was characterized by mild but definite rolling and pitching. The ship was packed to the gills with happy people enjoying the cruise, and not missing at all the grueling 300 mile trip through the Chicago.

The era of vast amounts of rail freight moving across Lake Michigan c. 1895-1982 had to be exciting, with at least ten or more ships designed for this service. C&O and Ann Arbor were the biggest operators.

The steam horn (a Super Tyfon I believe) sent shivers up my back.

I am talking fast before our Moderators send me packing.

Denny

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA


Mikebrock
 

Denny Anspach says:
I am talking fast before our Moderators send me packing.

Well, you WERE on board…right? Discussion about freight IS permitted although it is not clear if there was a freight car present.

Mike Brock

STMFC Boss


Tim O'Connor
 


It had tracks, and it carried FREIGHT CARS so how could moderators object?

FYI Blair Kooistra, renowned rail photographer (and BNSF dispatcher) and author,
rode the ship across the lake a couple of years ago and posted his album of photos...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/120320833@N02/albums/72157656490139076

Tim O'Connor






Yesterday, I enjoyed for the first time in many years crossing Lake Michigan on the ex-C&O railroad car ferry SS BADGER, one of the last, or perhaps THE last steam powered large passenger ship still operating in this country- coal fired to boot. .It is  a National Historic Landmark,  It was exhilarating to come up to the ship in Ludington MI with coal smoke drifting from its funnel, the fires being stoked for departure an hour later.   The Steeple Compound Skinner Unaflow engines were silent, and the ship was handled in quite traditional manner with engine room telegraphs (Chadburns) , and dock manouvers were done by dropping an anchors as pivot, rather than using side thrusters.  The tracks for 30+ steam era freight car are still inset into the car deck.  There was a fair sea, and the passage was characterized by mild but definite rolling and pitching. The ship was packed to the gills with happy people enjoying the cruise, and not missing at all the grueling  300 mile trip through the Chicago.

The era of vast amounts of rail freight moving across Lake Michigan c. 1895-1982 had to be exciting, with at least ten or more ships designed for this service. C&O and Ann Arbor were the biggest operators.  

The steam horn (a Super Tyfon I believe) sent shivers up my back.

I am talking fast before our Moderators send me packing.

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA


Al Kresse <water.kresse@...>
 

NEAT!  Thanks, Al Kresse

On August 13, 2017 at 11:04 PM "Tim O'Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC]" <STMFC@...> wrote:

 


It had tracks, and it carried FREIGHT CARS so how could moderators object?

FYI Blair Kooistra, renowned rail photographer (and BNSF dispatcher) and author,
rode the ship across the lake a couple of years ago and posted his album of photos...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/120320833@N02/albums/72157656490139076

Tim O'Connor






Yesterday, I enjoyed for the first time in many years crossing Lake Michigan on the ex-C&O railroad car ferry SS BADGER, one of the last, or perhaps THE last steam powered large passenger ship still operating in this country- coal fired to boot. .It is  a National Historic Landmark,  It was exhilarating to come up to the ship in Ludington MI with coal smoke drifting from its funnel, the fires being stoked for departure an hour later.   The Steeple Compound Skinner Unaflow engines were silent, and the ship was handled in quite traditional manner with engine room telegraphs (Chadburns) , and dock manouvers were done by dropping an anchors as pivot, rather than using side thrusters.  The tracks for 30+ steam era freight car are still inset into the car deck.  There was a fair sea, and the passage was characterized by mild but definite rolling and pitching. The ship was packed to the gills with happy people enjoying the cruise, and not missing at all the grueling  300 mile trip through the Chicago.

The era of vast amounts of rail freight moving across Lake Michigan c. 1895-1982 had to be exciting, with at least ten or more ships designed for this service. C&O and Ann Arbor were the biggest operators.  

The steam horn (a Super Tyfon I believe) sent shivers up my back.

I am talking fast before our Moderators send me packing.

Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA

 


 


Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...>
 

Tim O’C pointed the way to Blair Koostra’s absolutely excellent photo memoire of travels on the SS BADGER, 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/120320833@N02/albums/72157656490139076 and he captures its life and culture just as we experienced it two days ago.  His photo of the Captain with his hands on the engine room telegraphs had to be taken when he was conning the ship in reverse into its berth, probably in Manitowoc. He did this from a station on the stern.  With the Unaflow engines, he could manouver by ordering one engine FORWARD and the other REVERSE .  Absolute wonder for a steamship..  I read where the Chief Engineer commented that he could have no better privilege than working with such fine machinery. He also has photos of its twin SPARTAN, which serves as a parts donor, and is berthed adjacent  in Ludington..  I often wonder whether at some point, the SPARTAN will gain a new life to give the BADGER a rest. 

The amount of freight car tonnage across Lake Michigan was huge (but dwarfed by tonnage through Chicago).  The principal rail Wisconsin ports included  Kewanee (GB&W), Manitowoc (C&NW)  and Milwaukee (GTW).   Michigan’s ports included St. Ignace (DSS&A), Mackinaw City (PRR & NYC), Frankfort (Ann Arbor),  Ludington (Pere Marquette), Grand Haven (Pere Marquette/C&O, GTW?), and Muskegon (GTW, Pere Marquette, PRR?).  There may have been others at times (Escanaba?), but my defining source, George Hilton’s tome on the Great Lakes Car Ferries is far away.  
 furtherThese ferries were built for year-round service, and many were designed for routine ice breaking.  One ferry loaded to the gills SS MILWAUKEE lies on the bottom about three miles off Milwaukee after sinking in a storm in c. 1930 or 31.  Here lies a real time warp collection of Steam Era Freight Cars, preserved quietly in the fresh water depths for almost 90 years!

One of the earliest successful ice breaking railroad car ferries, SS SAINTE MARIE, served  as the model for the famed Lake Baikal (Siberia) ice breaking car ferry SS BAIKAL, built in England, but assembled on the shores of the lake  to fill the last gap in the Trans Siberian Railroad (the latter was not as successful because Lake Baikal’s ice -different water chemistry- did not break up in the same manner as that on Lake Michigan.  A few years ago, I found still at Port Baikal (Siberia)  BAIKAL’s original slip with gantries, etc. , although in ruins). 

What great modeling opportunities!

Denny

   
Denny S. Anspach MD
Okoboji, IA


rwitt_2000
 

I did the trip about 18 years ago. If you live in the mid-west it should be on your "bucket list".

At Ludington, I recall that there were old freight cars and remnants of the rail yard etc. for the ferry operations.

Do they still service freight traffic? When I crossed on a week day, I believe, they had several special trailer trucks hauling bridge components too big to use the Interstates around Chicago. Something the railroads did in the steam era.

Regards,

Bob Witt


anthony wagner
 

Back in the 70s I watched the Soo Line switch a car ferry at Manitowoc WI for a short while. Hazy on the details. I was on my way to Green Bay and didn't have time to see how the ferry was un-loaded and then re-loaded. I know balance was important so several short cuts were moved instead of longer ones. George Hilton published a book a while back on Great Lakes car ferries. There were more than many people expect. Tony Wagner


On Monday, August 14, 2017 11:38 AM, "rwitt_2000@... [STMFC]" wrote:


 
I did the trip about 18 years ago. If you live in the mid-west it should be on your "bucket list".

At Ludington, I recall that there were old freight cars and remnants of the rail yard etc. for the ferry operations.

Do they still service freight traffic? When I crossed on a week day, I believe, they had several special trailer trucks hauling bridge components too big to use the Interstates around Chicago. Something the railroads did in the steam era.

Regards,

Bob Witt



destorzek@...
 




---In STMFC@..., <anycw1@...> wrote :

Back in the 70s I watched the Soo Line switch a car ferry at Manitowoc WI for a short while. Hazy on the details. I was on my way to Green Bay and didn't have time to see how the ferry was un-loaded and then re-loaded. I know balance was important so several short cuts were moved instead of longer ones. George Hilton published a book a while back on Great Lakes car ferries. There were more than many people expect. Tony Wagner
==============================
My wife and I rode the Badger across the lake, and the City of Midland back a few years before the C&O abandoned the service. Back in those days, if you started your round trip on the west side of the lake, you likely rode two different boats... the Badger having been immediately reloaded with cars for a different western port.

While standing on the aft deck of the Midland in Ludington, watching the loading, the switch crew was loading a string of big, modern tankcars (this was well after the 1960 cut-off of this list). They kept pushing, and we kept listing, more and more... then they stopped, and the switch foreman was having a "discussion" with the deck officer, accompanied by a lot of arm waving, then the switch crew started pulling the tank cars off again, and we came upright. I don't recall what they replaced the tankcars with, but all the tankcars didn't make the trip across the lake together.

Dennis Storzek


Andy Laurent
 

Gents,
Let's take this SS Badger discussion full circle back to this list.  Here is a photo that I uploaded to the Group Files from the Mailer-Luedke Collection showing a component of the Skinner Unaflow engines being shipped to Christy Corporation in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc on the Ahnapee & Western Railway. The trailing gondola has some steel sub-assemblies that look an awful lot like boat parts as well.  Christy was building the Badger and the Spartan at the time of this incident. The load met with some discomfort in a curve near Forestville, Wisc and ended up as shown. 

https://xa.yimg.com/df/STMFC/Badger-componentAWRwy_c1951.jpg

Enjoy!
Andy L.
Cedar Rapids, IA

 


Charles Peck
 

Andy, is "some discomfort" your euphemism for claim agents nightmare?
Nobody is happy when the big hook has to roll.
Chuck Peck 

On Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 4:59 PM, andy.laurent@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 

Gents,
Let's take this SS Badger discussion full circle back to this list.  Here is a photo that I uploaded to the Group Files from the Mailer-Luedke Collection showing a component of the Skinner Unaflow engines being shipped to Christy Corporation in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc on the Ahnapee & Western Railway. The trailing gondola has some steel sub-assemblies that look an awful lot like boat parts as well.  Christy was building the Badger and the Spartan at the time of this incident. The load met with some discomfort in a curve near Forestville, Wisc and ended up as shown. 

https://xa.yimg.com/df/STMFC/Badger-componentAWRwy_c1951.jpg

Enjoy!
Andy L.
Cedar Rapids, IA

 



Bud Rindfleisch
 

So nice to see these pics! I rode across Lake Michigan back in the mid 50's Ludington to Manitowoc on both the Badger and the Spartan. Used to love standing on the aft deck and watching them load the freight cars, balancing from one track to the other to keep the ship from listing. 
     One trip was a rough passage with pretty much our whole family throwing up, not fun, but all the rest were great. If I remember correctly it was a little over 4 hours to cross.
      Bud Rindfleisch


patti and stan schweitzer <psschweitzer@...>
 

Looking at the photo, it appears that there is more distortion of the track to the right of the cars shown than under the cars or to the left of the cars.  I think there has been already considerable clean up performed, including removal of what caused the problem.  I would have liked to see the situation before the start of the cleanup and what the track looks like to the right of the photo.
Stan Schweitzer



From: "Charles Peck lnnrr152@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, August 14, 2017 5:26 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: SS BADGER

 
Andy, is "some discomfort" your euphemism for claim agents nightmare?
Nobody is happy when the big hook has to roll.
Chuck Peck 

On Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 4:59 PM, andy.laurent@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 
Gents,
Let's take this SS Badger discussion full circle back to this list.  Here is a photo that I uploaded to the Group Files from the Mailer-Luedke Collection showing a component of the Skinner Unaflow engines being shipped to Christy Corporation in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc on the Ahnapee & Western Railway. The trailing gondola has some steel sub-assemblies that look an awful lot like boat parts as well.  Christy was building the Badger and the Spartan at the time of this incident. The load met with some discomfort in a curve near Forestville, Wisc and ended up as shown. 

https://xa.yimg.com/df/STMFC/ Badger-componentAWRwy_c1951. jpg

Enjoy!
Andy L.
Cedar Rapids, IA
 




Tim O'Connor
 


Anyone recognize the gondola? I see what looks like a plain white
circular herald. Could it be a DM&IR mill gondola?

Tim O'



Let's take this SS Badger discussion full circle back to this list.  Here is a photo that I uploaded to the Group Files from the Mailer-Luedke Collection showing a component of the Skinner Unaflow engines being shipped to Christy Corporation in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc on the Ahnapee & Western Railway. The trailing gondola has some steel sub-assemblies that look an awful lot like boat parts as well.  Christy was building the Badger and the Spartan at the time of this incident. The load met with some discomfort in a curve near Forestville, Wisc and ended up as shown. 

https://xa.yimg.com/df/STMFC/Badger-componentAWRwy_c1951.jpg

Enjoy!
Andy L.
Cedar Rapids, IA


https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/STMFC/files


tbarney2004
 

To be fair, the load is marked "Do not hump", doesn't say a darn thing about not wrecking it.

Tim Barney

On 8/14/2017 8:19 PM, Charles Peck lnnrr152@... [STMFC] wrote:
Andy, is "some discomfort" your euphemism for claim agents nightmare?
Nobody is happy when the big hook has to roll.
Chuck Peck 

On Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 4:59 PM, andy.laurent@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 

Gents,
Let's take this SS Badger discussion full circle back to this list.  Here is a photo that I uploaded to the Group Files from the Mailer-Luedke Collection showing a component of the Skinner Unaflow engines being shipped to Christy Corporation in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc on the Ahnapee & Western Railway. The trailing gondola has some steel sub-assemblies that look an awful lot like boat parts as well.  Christy was building the Badger and the Spartan at the time of this incident. The load met with some discomfort in a curve near Forestville, Wisc and ended up as shown. 

https://xa.yimg.com/df/STMFC/Badger-componentAWRwy_c1951.jpg

Enjoy!
Andy L.
Cedar Rapids, IA