Thursday, March 24, 2016

Rail Ferry Operations in Mackinaw City

This ferry operation was the northern terminus for Pennsy's Grand Rapids & Indiana branch.
Dave Gottschalk posted
Detroit and mackinac 974 works the Chief in Mackinaw City. No date and I don't know who the photographer was for credit. I'm assuming late 70's early 80's.
Steve Hunter I had the pleasure of watching the Chief Wawatam being unloaded/ loaded in 1981... it was a huge pleasure as it brought me back to childhood memories of another steam carferry very close to my heart, CNR's SS Prince Edward Island. Thanks for posting!
Dave Gottschalk posted
I don't remember where I bought this slide at or who the photographer was to give credit too but here are a couple Detroit & Mackinac crews working Mackinaw City. I think this would be 1981 or 82.
Brandon Beaudoin Looks like an excursion train!
Dave Gottschalk If I remember correctly. was a special train for a candidate for governor.
Richard Fiedler I vacationed here around 1980 and was not aware of the ferry. I woke up I the morning went out of my motel room and saw bellows of black coal smoke. I'll never forget the Chief Wawatam and watching it get switched.
Dave Gottschalk Mackinac to st. Ignace. 1911 till 1984 I believe
Dan Coburn The Chief and the St,Marie used to be contracted out by the Coast Guard for icebreaking. These ships were famous for their icebreaking abilities. They broke ice as far north as above the Soo Locks and South as Lake Erie.
Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad was one of the railroads that carried freight up Michigan to this ferry.

Greg Bunce posted
The railroad carferry Chief Wawatam ran between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace across the Straits of Mackinac between the two peninsulas of Michigan. It was the last hand fired boat on the Great Lakes. Coming into Mackinaw City August 1978.
Greg Bunce The engines are in the Maritime Museum in Manitowoc and the hull was cut down into a barge that worked out of The Soo. I was fortunate enough to be allowed down below when I worked for the Michigan Northern and it was like stepping in a time warp. Brass on everything in the engine room.
SS Chief Wawatam, Public Domain
Colorized postcard photo of the SS Chief Wawatam train ferry at Mackinaw, Michigan.
Mark Hershoren shared
Loading the Chief Wawatam with passenger cars bound for St. Ignace at Mackinaw City, Michigan.

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