Canadian Corner: Great Lakes Car Ferries Chronology

DETROIT – US 201607
296’x 64’1x 18.1′ – Built: Great Lakes Engineering Works 1904, Hull #2 – 2,220 GRT – Engines: Four fore and aft compound 24”x 48”x 33 – 3600 HP – Each engine drove propellers – 2 forward and 2 aft.
Boilers – Two double ended and two single ended scotch boilers built by Lake Erie Boiler Works. As Built (for NYC) three tracks, 24 cars. Rebuilt for Wabash – Four tracks, 32 cars. Disposition – Scrapped LaSalle, Ontario in the last five years after sitting at Nicholsons in Detroit in ½ sunk condition for about 10 years.

294’x 41.3’x 13′ – Built: Jenkins Brothers, Walkerville, Ontario 1873, Iron Hull – 1,222 GRT – Engines: 2 x horizontal low pressure 50”x 108”- 1360 HP – Built by E.E. Gilbert & Sons Montreal, Quebec. Capacity – 2 tracks, 16 cars. Disposition – converted to barge to carry containers, then converted to a restaurant beside Cobo Hall in Detroit. Scrapped in Buffalo three years ago. Photos of engine attached prior to the scrapping.

263.3’x 45.6’x 15.3′- Built: Detroit Dry Dock Company 1884 – Iron Hull #65 – Two horizontal condensing engines – two cylinders each 28”x 48”- 1,200 HP – Four fire box boilers – 75 psi – Three tracks, 21 cars. Once the tunnel across the Detroit River was completed the NYC ferries were surplus. Sold to Kelly Island Lime and Transport Co. Resold August 1923 to TL Durocher and reduced to barge. Foundered near Cockburn Island October 27, 1926.

Built: Detroit Dry Dock Company 1880 – Iron Hull #34 – Two horizontal condensing engines – two cylinders each 28”x 48”- 575 HP – Four fire box boilers – 65 psi – Three tracks 21 cars. Sold to Wabash Rwy 1912 – same name in service. Sold to John Rosen Steamship Co., reduced to barge in 1933. Foundered September 22, 1942 near Eagle Harbor, Michigan.

History courtesy of “The Great Lakes Car Ferries” by Hilton.

All photos courtesy of

Rock on Trains © 2019, Tom Rock + T.D.R. Productions. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Tom Rock is strictly prohibited.

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