Trains...

CraigB

Ich bin ein Kartoffel
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There are ships that have rails in them. This one is trapped in the Great Lakes.


The Badger spent most of it's life transporting passengers, vehicles, and railcars loaded with coal across Lake Michigan. The coal was used at power plants in Wisconsin. Now it only does passengers and vehicles.

I got to sail on both the Badger and her sister ship, the Spartan as a kid.

The first time we visited the UP, we decided to take the Badger across lake Michigan. It was an interesting trip. Like a really short cruise, but your vehicle is aboard with you.
 

GRtak

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The first time we visited the UP, we decided to take the Badger across lake Michigan. It was an interesting trip. Like a really short cruise, but your vehicle is aboard with you.


The ship has changed a lot since I last was on it. I checked the website a few years ago and was impressed with what they have done to improve things. We took cards and I played arcade games. We also would walk on deck, weather permitting.
 

93Flareside

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The first time we visited the UP, we decided to take the Badger across lake Michigan. It was an interesting trip. Like a really short cruise, but your vehicle is aboard with you.

maybe our fins can shed light on these types of ferries. @public @DaBoom or @Galantti
 

calvinhobbes

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There are ships that have rails in them. This one is trapped in the Great Lakes.


The Badger spent most of it's life transporting passengers, vehicles, and railcars loaded with coal across Lake Michigan. The coal was used at power plants in Wisconsin. Now it only does passengers and vehicles.

I got to sail on both the Badger and her sister ship, the Spartan as a kid.
I read about that ship and it’s amazing that a coal-fired steamship whose technology was already old when it was built now plays an important role in the transportation of wind turbines.
 

GRtak

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I read about that ship and it’s amazing that a coal-fired steamship whose technology was already old when it was built now plays an important role in the transportation of wind turbines.


The Badger was built at a moment that it was still a more reliable way to Wisconsin than a car, and much cheaper than flying (probably safer at that time too). The reason for it being coal fired probably has to do with coal still being a major portion of the railroad(s) freight and thus an easy source of fuel to both obtain and profit from. My Dad worked for Chessie System, and he wondered why it wasn't at least fuel oil fired, or even diesel powered.
 

Matt2000

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So have you train nerds seen T-gauge models? I was looking at Z-gauge as that's the smallest you can get, or so I thought. T-gauge stands for Three, as in 3mm. These things are just incredibly tiny. I think @93Flareside might like this starter set:


Starter sets include the Inter-city 125, a personal favourite of mine in this livery.

br-inter-city-125-4-car-set.jpg


The site to check out is T-gauge.com. I'm blown away with what they can make, these things are honestly almost too small to even 3D print with DIY printers.
 

Dr_Grip

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maybe our fins can shed light on these types of ferries. @public @DaBoom or @Galantti
We have to distinguish between the traditional "car ferry" which for example serve the Travemünde-Helsinki or Rostock-Trelleborg routes, and the crazy new designs being run between Tallinn and Helsinki.

So a traditional car ferry has a Ro-Ro (Roll on, Roll off) setup for cars, and sometimes even whole trains. They then have cabins for people to sleep in and basic amenities for passengers: A restaurant, a café, of course a bar, and a small shop. Those serving Finland as a port of call also have a sauna. It's all very basic, not much to do, not much to see. These ferries are built around the needs of truckers and holidaymakers getting from A to B. On the 29 hour journey from Germany to Finland, these places get kinda boring.

GzV8BdiYPiwnpXlyk23jHcf6SG7wH56bdwYf5u-Vsuw.jpg


Then, there's the new "Megastar Class" of ferries serving Helsinki and Tallinn. While they also serve holidaymakers and truckers, the key target group clearly is Finns going to the Baltics to buy cheap alcohol, and other cut-rate services.
This means these ferries have:
  • Burger King
  • Starbucks
  • Two further bars and three further restaurants
  • An Arcade
  • A 2800m² duty free shop built from exactly the same modules used on airports
  • Parking spaces with direct connection to said duty free so you can load booze into the trunk easily (cost 10€ extra but you get them back with at least a 150€ purchase)
  • Plenty of luxury cabins
All for a two-hour journey. Its basically a floating shopping center catering to the needs of boozers.

EDIT: I just found out that the last train ferry route from Germany to Denmark ceased operation in 2019.
 
Last edited:

PelicanHazard

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Then, there's the new "Megastar Class" of ferries serving Helsinki and Tallinn. While they also serve holidaymakers and truckers, the key target group clearly is Finns going to the Baltics to buy cheap alcohol, and other cut-rate services.
This means these ferries have:
  • Burger King
  • Starbucks
  • Two further bars and three further restaurants
  • An Arcade
  • A 2800m² duty free shop built from exactly the same modules used on airports
  • Parking spaces with direct connection to said duty free so you can load booze into the trunk easily (cost 10€ extra but you get them back with at least a 150€ purchase)
  • Plenty of luxury cabins
All for a two-hour journey. Its basically a floating shopping center catering to the needs of boozers.
Sweet hell. Meanwhile the Alaska ferries between Bellingham and Ketchikan, which is a 38 hour journey, only have a generic cafeteria and a cabin that may or may not have a private bathroom.
 

93Flareside

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narf

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Then, there's the new "Megastar Class" of ferries serving Helsinki and Tallinn. While they also serve holidaymakers and truckers, the key target group clearly is Finns going to the Baltics to buy cheap alcohol, and other cut-rate services.
These are technically ferries too: https://www.colorline.de/ueber-uns/ueber-color-line/color-fantasy
Running Oslo-Kiel and back daily, those cruise-ferries are in operation for about two decades now, with special deals for two-night no-car immediate-return "mini cruises".
 
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