Friday, March 25, 2016

train ferry 'SS City of Midland 41'

This served the ports of Ludington, Michigan, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and Kewaunee, Wisconsin, for the Pere Marquette Railway and its successor, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway from 1941 until 1988. The ferry was named after the city of Midland, Michigan.

The 41 obviously was the year of entering service.


Unknown said...

The City of Midland 41 was NOT named for the year she was built, but for the class of powerplant installed. The original ferries had triple expansion engines and were named Pere Marquette with a sequential number. They were numbered in the teens and 20s,

Later vessels built in the late 20s were given more modern steam turbine engines and were named after Michigan cities (Saginaw and City of Flint) and were also numbered in the 30s (31 & 32) to designate the new type of propulsion. This was typical American Railroad practice, designating different styles of locomotives with different series fleet numbers.

With Skinner Uniflow engines, the City of Midland 41 was the first vessel in the 40 class, equipped with uniflow power. Sadly, WWII prevented further vessels in the class from following until long after war’s end.

By the 1950s, the Chessie System had taken over the Pere Marquette. The next two ships, the Spartan and Badger were also uniflow powered, and though their fleet number was not included in their registered names as had been the policy on previous ferries, they were always known by the shorthand references of 42 and 43.

Dan Bissell said...

The number did not represent the year she entered service, It represented a new type of engines that she had, that being 2 5-cylinder Uniflo steam engines. When the City of Saginaw 31 & City of Flint 32 were built they had different engines than the previous Pere Marquette boats. (Steam powered turbo electric) That is why they were numbered 31 & 32. The Pere Marquette numbered boats were built with reciprocating steam engines.