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Ferry in the Fog Rail cars and the Viking Ferry

Ferry in the Fog rail box cars

and the

Viking Ferry in 1978

This page started with a 'ferry in the fog' logo on a former Ann Arbor boxcar seen in 2001, near Plover, Wisconsin.

This page is a re-post in 2023 of my 2009 page of my 2001 page.
I have 2 more new pictures this year. The old pages disappeared from defunct web hosts many years ago
and I brought them all back here.

Five years ago, I got my first 'Ferry in the Fog' HO-scale model boxcar.
I had first seen it at an Artic Run model railroad show at a used equipment vendor sale, but I didn't buy it then.
And about a year later, I saw it at an area estate sale, and then I bought it.
and I keep it running on my little rail empire.

My next used car came from the 2023 Artic Run show. This one is a genuine Roundhouse product.
Sliding door type.

So, I looked real close at my old car, in the top picture,
and see it was a custom decaled Ferry in the Fog, actually a really profession job, and I like the logo better.
I don't know if it was a one-of-a-kind model, or if it would have been some club or historical society effort.

I also did an Internet search and see Intermountain has a new 40-footer for sale in2023. But I like these 50' better.


Here's a note from Nick T. (in 2009)

While searching through the boxes of model railroad rolling stock and building kits tonite,
I came across my AA boxcar. It is actually made by Roundhouse (not Athearn)
The description on the side of the box is 50' PS Rib Side Box Car 1910 Ann Arbor RWY
(I believe that 1910 is the Roundhouse part number as the model itself is numbered AA 5016).
I do recall seeing an Athearn one at a swap meet somewhere though. Nick Trimberger

Here's more information from Evan Garrett, in 2009
As to your questions regarding the Ann Arbor (Michigan Interstate Rwy boxcars,
probably the best source of information would be Craig Wilson's Freight Cars of the Ann Arbor Railroad, 1947-1985, published in 1989 and available from the Ann Arbor Railroad Technical & Historical Association, P.O. Box 151084, Grand Rapids, MI. 49515-1084. Craig is a long-time modeler of the Ann Arbor, a devoted 'rivet counter', and both edited and wrote the modeling column in the AARRT&HA bulletins for years.

The 'ferry in the fog' scheme began to appear on freight equipment with the lease of 20 hi-cube boxes for auto-parts service in 1979.
Shortly thereafter, the AARS started to take delivery of what would eventually number ca. 250 50' boxes in orange with the 'ferry' logo (at least the first 100 were 'Hecho en Mexico).
By the mid-80s, as the MIRC was embroiled in a legal dispute with the State over its status as operator of the state-owned line (Michigan picked it up from the bankrupt AA during the Conrail reorganization), the leases were reassigned to other reporting marks (e.g., LRWN, GBW), although many of the cars continued to be used to serve local customers for some time.
By the late-80s, as TSBY and the 'new' AA (Toledo-Ann Arbor) took over operations, the cars dispersed to new owners. I noticed quite a number had gone to the QC, which used them for a while without painting out the 'ferry'. By now, the only quick clues that still remain as to the cars' former identity are the orange paint and the black/white stripe on the left side of the door. At that, I've seen such cars reasonably frequently passing through southern Michigan/northern Ohio, usually as individual components of CP, CSX, and NS freights.

....thanks for the link to the AATTW page. The next set of images on the Photo Gallery page will probably be from the early AA-TSBY era, with 'ferry in the fog' boxes strewn around the background -- check it out in a couple of months. Evan

(in 2001) I scanned these old slides of a December 1978 Ann Arbor 'Viking' ferry trip across Lake Michigan.
(in 2009 and 2023, I didn't take time to re-scan them to any better quality.)
I put this page back on my web space now that I have have enough free space for it.
Slides from 40 years ago !


Kewaunee, Wisconsin, map dated 1982 from Terraserver web site.

I don't know if this map will appear on Android phones, it's a gif file, not the more typical jpg.

It always amazed me how small the turning basins are on Lake Michigan ports.

And when the ferry went out the channel, it seemed as if it was pushing a a half foot of water out with it.
Watch the water level along the piers and shore.



Concern over excessive lean on the loading apron and a near de-railment.

They pulled and pushed entire tracks in one bunch.

'Must not have read Jack Armstrong's track planning book on keeping ferries balanced by only pulling a few cars at a time.'



(hey, Jon and Keith, that's Larry on the right)


All these cars came off the ferry.

The Boat Train

Stack has the ferry in the fog logo.
. . .

Unloading in Frankfort, Michigan, at night, four hours after leaving Wisconsin
I remember something about them loading rail cars until just enough space was left for the autos.
This day there was space for everything, otherwise some low-priority rail cars would be left for another trip.

Below are 2011 sources of info. Some links won't work anymore.

In 2001 there was a club site by Evan Garrett for the Ann Arbor (Michigan), 'Train & Trolley Watchers' (AATTW ?) but the original web page from then doesn't link now in 2009.

And somewhere from the ship watcher's websites, there's a half dozen links to ferry sites.

And from the yahoo GBW group I copied this ferry message from 2007, and I didn't check to see if all the links work yet, and I didn't write the code to click on them. You can copy and paste or search.

Here are some links about carferries you might want to check out:
S.S. City of Milwaukee:

Carferries of Ludington:

S.S. Badger

Lake Michigan Car Ferries

Grandpa's Carferry page

Lake Michigan Carferries

Grand Trunk Carferries

Tim Vermande's Carferry and Train Photos

Trackdog's Michigan Railroad Car Ferry Page

Ann Arbor Railroad Car Ferry Page

The Ludington Carferries

Chief Wawatam

Sainte Marie

Rail-Marine Group:

All the Best ! from Roger K, Morton, Il..


And I have pictures of car ferry Chief Wawatam, see the topic on bottom of my index page.
to My Main Index Page on the TrainWeb site.

This page was made in February 2023