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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 9 (January 1, 1928)

Trains at Sea

Trains at Sea.

Ocean-going trains have now become a familiar feature of railway operation. Successful operation of train-ferry equipment on the continent of Europe is responsible for plans at present under consideration for the opening up of a new train-ferry service between the east coast port of Harwich and the Danish port of Esjberg.

It is suggested that three train-ferries be introduced on this route. Each ferry would make two trips per week across the North Sea, the sea crossing being one of about eighteen hours. On each trip the ferry would convey about 250 passengers or 800 tons of merchandise. The most successful train-ferries at present operated in Europe are those linking Germany with Sweden, across the Baltic, and the Harwich-Zeebrugge ferry between England and Belgium. In the latter service three ferry steamers are employed. These vessels are 360 feet in length and 61½ feet in width; their cargo capacity is 850 tons, and their average speed 12 knots an hour. Two sets of railway lines connect with the rails at the ferry terminals on either side of the water, and on the deck of the ferry steamer four tracks are provided, having a total length of 1,112 ft. For the loading and unloading of the ferry about thirty minutes suffices, and through rail business is regularly passing via the ferry between Britain and the leading interior points on the mainland of Europe.