The Anonymous Widower

Gulf Of Mexico Train Ferry Fleet Renewal

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette International.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The first of two train ferries ordered for CG Railway’s route across the Gulf of Mexico has been launched by CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Co in China.

The CGR joint venture of Genesee & Wyoming and SEACOR Holdings transports 10 000 wagons/year between Mobile in Alabama in the USA and Coatzacoalcos in Mexico.

I was surprised about this article, as between the US and Mexico wasn’t where I would expect to find a train ferry.

But it obviously makes sense as two new ships don’t come cheap.

Some other points from the article.

  • The two new ships will increase capacity by forty percent.
  • There will be a 44 % reduction of CO2 emissions compared to the all rail route.
  • The ships are designed to be pandemic proof.
  • The ships take five days for the trip, which is half the time of the all-rail route.

I can see this investment being copied in various places around the world.



March 15, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , ,


  1. How wonderful to hear about new train ferries – a highly endangered species. I’m not sure there will be a flood of orders for more, however, as both TFs and their shoreside infrastructure are so specialised and expensive. My own experiences of TFs – none of which now operate – are limited to the Great Belt (Englandaeren boat train from Esbjerg to Copenhagen), the short but busy Helsingor-Halsingborg crossing, Dover-Dunkerque (the never-to-be-forgotten Night Ferry) and the remarkable TF Ammonia (1929) on Tinnsjø, Norway – the world’s last steam-powered train ferry.

    Comment by Stephen Spark | March 15, 2021 | Reply

    • There are quite a number of freight train ferries, but a very few (maybe only one) passenger train ferries left (where passengers coaches are transported and potentially the passengers can stay on the train, as opposed to train ferries that take foot passengers but not coaches).

      Potentially the last one is between Calabria and Sicily. (I went to check my recollection about that one on Wikipedia, where there is a long list of current and defunct train ferries but appears very few current train ferries take passenger coaches anymore).

      Comment by MilesT | March 15, 2021 | Reply

  2. Genesee & Wyoming also own Freightliner, who operate trains in the UK, Poland, Netherlands and Australia (along with a slab of “short lines” in the US). Full details on wikipedia, Because of the Channel tunnel, unlikely to see a cross channel train ferry any time soon; although it might be an interesting alternative to the “Boris Burrow” across the Irish sea, certainly far cheaper, for freight, passengers, or a mixture (possibly including trucks). That said, if the scope was intermodal containers, then specialised ports with train lines right to the dock and small fast container ships (a train at a time) might work just as well

    Comment by MilesT | March 15, 2021 | Reply

    • I think the ports are up to something and was just talking to a Scottish friend about it.

      He said that there may be a plan in Scotland to bring freight into Leith by ferry and then over to Ireland by Stranraer-Larne,

      Holyhead and Felixstowe have just released big hydrogen plans and could we she a couple of trains per day speeding freight across the country.

      Comment by AnonW | March 15, 2021 | Reply

  3. How do you get a job on one?

    Comment by Phil Codd | March 22, 2021 | Reply

    • No idea!

      Comment by AnonW | March 22, 2021 | Reply

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