||This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2010)|
A train ferry is a ship designed to carry railway vehicles. Typically, one level of the ship is fitted with railway tracks, and the vessel has a door at the front and/or rear to give access to the wharves. In the United States, train ferries are sometimes referred to as "car ferries", as distinguished from "auto ferries" used to transport automobiles. The wharf (sometimes called a "slip") has a ramp, linkspan or "apron", balanced by weights, that connects the railway proper to the ship, allowing for the water level to rise and fall with the tides. For an example of a specialized slip to receive railcars see ferry slip.
While railway vehicles can be and are shipped on the decks or in the holds of ordinary ships, purpose-built train ferries can be quickly loaded and unloaded by roll-on/roll-off, especially as several vehicles can be loaded or unloaded at once. A train ferry that is a barge is called a car float or rail barge.
In 1833 the Monkland and Kirkintilloch Railway operated a wagon ferry on the Forth and Clyde Canal in Scotland. In April 1836 the first railroad car ferry in the U.S., the Susquehanna entered service on the Susquehanna River between Havre de Grace and Perryville, Maryland. The first 'modern' design of ferry, the Leviathan, was designed in 1849 by Thomas Grainger for the Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee Railway to cross the Firth of Forth between Granton and Burntisland. The service commenced on 3 February 1850. It was intended as a temporary measure until the railway could build a bridge, but this was not opened until 1890, its construction delayed in part by repercussions from the catastrophic failure of Thomas Bouch's Tay Rail Bridge; Bouch designed the ferry loading mechanism.
The largest train ferry ever built was the Contra Costa, serving the mainline of the Central Pacific (later assumed by its affiliate, the Southern Pacific) at the Carquinez Strait in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Its sister ship, the Solano (built before the Contra Costa) was the second largest train ferry ever built.
The Dundee ferry was also called the "Floating Railway".
The Japanese train ferry Toya Maru sank during typhoon Marie on 26 September 1954, killing more than a thousand. Four other train ferries, Seikan maru No.11, Kitami maru, Tokachi maru and Hidaka maru also sank on that day; the loss appeared to be of about 1,430 people.
In those days, Japanese train ferries did not have a rear sea-gate, because engineers believed that inrushing water would simply flow out again quickly and would not pose a danger. However, when the frequency of waves bears the wrong relationship to the length of a ship, each wave arrives as the water from the previous wave is trying to leave, causing water to accumulate on the ship. After the accidents, all Japanese train ferries were retrofitted with rear sea-gates and weather forecast technology was greatly promoted.
The Norwegian train ferry Skagerrak, built in 1965, sank in gale force winds on 7 September 1966 on a journey between Kristiansand, Norway and Hirtshals, Denmark, when the rear sea-gate was destroyed by heavy seas. One person subsequently died of injuries, and six freight cars and a number of automobiles sank to the bottom with the ship.
The Canadian train ferry MV Patrick Morris sank on 20 April 1970 while assisting in a search and rescue operation for a sinking fishing trawler (M.F.V. "Enterprise") off the northeast coast of Cape Breton Island. The ferry was trying to maintain position to retrieve a body when her stern gates were overpowered by 30-foot (9 m) waves; she sank within 30 minutes taking several rail cars and 4 crew members, including the Captain, to the bottom of the Cabot Strait. There were 47 survivors.
Train ferries rarely sank because of sea-hazards, although they have some weaknesses linked to the very nature of transporting trains "on rail" on a ship.
These weaknesses include:
- Trains are loaded at a rather high level, making the ship top-heavy.
- The train deck is difficult to compartmentalise, so that sloshing flood water can destabilise the ship.
- The sea doors where the trains go in and out are a weakness, even if placed at the rear of the ship.
- The train carriages need to be strongly secured lest they break away and roll around, particularly on long, open-water routes.
The Ann Arbor Railroad of Michigan developed a system of making cars fast that was adopted by many other lines. Screw jacks were placed on the corners of the railcar and the car was raised slightly to take its weight off of its wheels. Chains and turnbuckles were placed around the car frame and hooked onto the rails and tightened. Clamps were placed behind the wheels on the rails. Deckhands engaged in continual inspection and tightening of the gear during the crossing. This system effectively held the cars in place when the ship encountered rough weather.
Several train ferries—the SS Milwaukee, SS Pere Marquette 18, and SS Marquette & Bessemer No. 2—were lost on the Great Lakes. These losses, though causes remain unconfirmed, were attributed to seas boarding the unprotected stern of the ship and swamping it in a severe storm. As a result, seagates were required on all new ships and required to be retrofitted on older vessels. In addition, two wooden crosslake railroad ferries were burned.
Some accidents occurred at the slip during loading, when stability was a major problem. Train ferries often list when heavy cars are loaded onto a track on one side while the other side is empty. Normal procedure was to load half of a track on one side, all of the track on the other side, and then the rest of the original track. If this procedure was not followed, results could be disastrous. In 1909, the SS Ann Arbor No. 4 capsized in her slip in Manistique, Michigan when a switching crew put eight cars of iron ore on her portside tracks. The crew got off without loss of life, but salvage operations were costly and time-consuming.
Nine train ferries were used between 1907 and 1990 to cross the Paraná river and join the Buenos Aires province (the main state in Argentina) and the Entre Rios province (the entrance to the Mesopotamian region), until new bridges were built over the rivers they crossed. They were the Lucía Carbó (1907), the María Parera (1908), the Mercedes Lacroze (1909) (three ferries that operated between the ports of Zárate and Ibicuy (Entre Rios), crossing the Paraná at the northwest of the Buenos Aires province). Then were added the Roque Saenz Peña (1911) and Ezequiel Ramos Mejía (1913) paddled train ferries at Posadas (crossing the Paraná river in the southwest of the Misiones province, at the north of the country, in the frontier with Paraguay).
Three other train ferries were added later: the Dolores de Urquiza (1926), the Delfina Mitre (1928) and the Carmen Avellaneda (1929) to cover the service in the Zárate-Ibicuy crossing. The María Parera had a collision with the Lucía Carbó at km. 145 of the Paraná river, and it sank in less than 15 minutes on June 30, 1926. Two of the most modern still serve as floating piers in the Zárate region, and one of the first group was sunk during a storm at the Buenos Aires port in the eighties. The two northern paddled ferries still remain at Posadas, and one of them holds a model railway museum inside. All the eight old ferries were built by the A & J Inglis Co. Ltd., in Pointhouse, Glasgow, Scotland for the Entre Rios Railways Co. in Argentina. The ninth ferry, the Tabare, was built in Argentina by Astarsa (ASTilleros ARgentinos S.A.) in 1966 at Astillero Río Santiago Río Santiago Shipyard near to La Plata city. It was the largest train ferry that operated in Argentina, with a deck more than 100 meters long. The Tabaré is still floating, but not operating, at the old south docks of Buenos Aires port, near the Puerto Madero zone.
- The Port Lincoln division is isolated from the main system by desert and is very roundabout, and rolling stock is transferred as required by ship or by road low loaders.
- Baku - Türkmenbaşy (Russian: Krasnovodsk) (Паромная переправа Баку — Туркменбаши), connecting Azerbaijan with Turkmenistan across the Caspian Sea since 1963. In May 2008 they decided to buy a new longer ferry.
- from Balashi Ghat to Bahadurabad Ghat - 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) gauge.
- across the Brahmaputra River in Bangladesh - superseded by Jamuna Bridge, 2003; dual gauge
- The Varna-Odessa (Ukraine) train ferry line served by 4 boats (13,000 metric tons deadweight (DWT) each, carrying 108 loaded railroad cars) opened in 1978, bypasses a break of gauge. Later, the service was extended to include lines to Poti and Batumi, Georgia. Boats can carry trucks and passengers as well.
A railbarge is a variation of a train ferry that consists of barges pushed by a tug.
In use 
- Prince Rupert, British Columbia - Whittier, Alaska (AquaTrain)
- Delta, British Columbia - Nanaimo, British Columbia (E and N Railway)
- Matane, Quebec - Baie-Comeau, Quebec (COGEMA)
Former car floats 
- lakes of British Columbia Okanagan, Arrow, KootenayLakes (CN and CPR)
- Port Maitland, Ontario - Erie, Pennsylvania (TH&B Railway)
- Port Burwell, Ontario - Ashtabula, Ohio (CN)
- Cobourg, Ontario - Rochester, New York (Ontario Car Company) ran from 1905 to 1950
- Sarnia, Ontario - Port Huron, Michigan - rail-barge - (CN, until the opening of the Paul Tellier Tunnel)
- Windsor, Ontario - Detroit, Michigan (Grand Trunk, CN, CPR, Michigan Central, Wabash, until 1980s)
- BC Rail. until 1952 railcars were barged from North Vancouver to Squamish.
- A large number of isolated BC pulp mills had chemicals and freight moved by railbarge.
Former train ferries 
- Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick - Borden Carleton, Prince Edward Island (Canadian Government Railways, CN, CN Marine, Marine Atlantic), using the MV Abegweit and MV John Hamilton Gray. Service ended when rail service on Prince Edward Island was discontinued in 1989. See Prince Edward Island Railway for more information.)
- Mulgrave, Nova Scotia - Point Tupper, Nova Scotia (Intercolonial, CN, until the opening of the Canso Causeway in 1955)
- North Sydney, Nova Scotia - Port aux Basques, Newfoundland (CN, CN Marine). Service commenced in 1965 carrying standard-gauge rolling stock. A dual-gauge yard in Port aux Basques was used for classification and rolling stock had trucks exchanged with narrow gauge trucks. Service ended when the Newfoundland section of Canadian National Railway was closed in 1988. See Newfoundland Railway for more information.)
- Lake Superior, Thunder Bay - Superior, Wisconsin.
- Sarina, Canada - Port Huron, United States - replaced by tunnel under St. Clair River c1891. 
In use 
- Guangdong–Hainan Ferry: The Yuehai (粤海, i.e. Guangdong-Hainan) Ferry across Qiongzhou Strait, between Zhanjiang, Guangdong and Haikou, Hainan. The line has operated since January 2003, carrying both freight and passenger trains, enabling direct train service between the mainland and the cities of Haikou and Sanya on Hainan Island. As of the late 2010, two ferry boats were in operation; the third boat, Yuehai No. 3, was launched in Tianjin in September 2010, and was going to be delivered to the ferry company in December 2010.
- Bohai Train Ferry: Yantai in Shandong Province to Dalian in Liaoning Province. This short-cut line, operated by Sinorail, has been running since November 2006. As of 2011, it is freight-only service.
- Jiangyin Train Ferry on the Xinyi–Changxing Railway (freight only). Trains are carried from Jingjiang on the northern side of the Yangtze River (terminal at ) to Jiangyin on the southern side (terminal at ). A pair of ferries make 48 trips per day across the river.
- Yangtze River in Wuhan before construction of the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge. Hunslet Engine Company built two extra heavy 0-8-0 locomotives for loading the train ferries.
- Yangtze River in Nanjing on Jinghu railway, 1933–1968.
Note: all auto and rail ferry services have been suspended between the United States and Cuba due to the ongoing United States embargo against Cuba.
- Palm Beach - Havana, Cuba.
- Miami - Havana, Cuba
- New Orleans - Havana, Cuba
- New York - Havana - Seatrain Lines
In use 
- Frederikshavn - Göteborg, Sweden, 1987 -, freight only
- Rødby - Puttgarden, Germany across Fehmarn Belt. 1963 -, serves 6 passenger trains/day, Vogelfluglinie. To be replaced by Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link in 2021. Not used by night and freight trains since 1997; they go over the Great Belt Bridge instead.
- Strib - Fredericia, 1872–1935, replaced by Little Belt Bridge
- Korsør - Nyborg (see Great Belt ferries), 1883–1997, replaced by Great Belt fixed link
- Oddesund Syd - Oddesund Nord, 1883–1938, replaced by Oddesund Bridge
- Masnedø - Orehoved, 1884–1937, replaced by Storstrøm Bridge
- Glyngøre - Nykøbing Mors, 1889–1977
- Helsingør - Helsingborg, Sweden, 1892–2000, since then car ferry only
- Copenhagen Frihavn - Malmö, Sweden, 1895–1986
- Gedser - Warnemünde, Germany, 1903–1995, replaced by car ferry Gedser - Rostock, Germany
- Faaborg - Mommark, 1922–1962, freight only
- Assens - Aarøsund, 1923–1950, freight only, narrow gauge (1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in))
- Svendborg - Rudkøbing, 1926–1962, freight only
- Hvalpsund - Sundsøre, 1927–1969, since then car ferry only
- Svendborg - Ærøskøbing, 1931–1994, freight only
- Gedser - Großenbrode Kai, Germany, 1951–1963, replaced by Rødby — Puttgarden Ferry
- Hirtshals - Kristiansand, Norway, 1958–1996, freight only
- Copenhagen Frihavn - Helsingborg, Sweden (Danlink) 1986–2000, freight only
In use 
- Mukran - Klaipėda, Lithuania, break-of-gauge, broad gauge on board, freight only (1986-)
- Mukran - Ventspils, Russia - Saint Petersburg, Russia, break-of-gauge, broad gauge on board, freight only (2007-)
- Mukran - Ust-Luga, Russia, break-of-gauge, broad gauge on board, freight only (2012-)
- Puttgarden - Rødby, Denmark, passenger trains only (1963-) Not used by night and freight trains since 1997 (they go over the Great Belt Bridge instead). To be replaced by Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link in 2021.
- Rostock - Trelleborg, Sweden, freight only (1994-)
- Mukran (changed in 1998 from the old Sassnitz port to the new port nearby at Mukran) - Trelleborg, Sweden, freight plus one daily passenger night-train. (1909-)
- Bodensee (1869–1976)
- Elbe: Lauenburg–Hohnstorf (1864–1878)
- Elbe: Köhlbrand, Hamburg (???–1974)
- Rhine: Worms – Rosengarten (1870–1900)
- Rhine: Bingerbrück–Rüdesheim (1861–1900)
- Rhine: Bonn–Oberkassel (1870–1914)
- Rhine: Rheinhausen–Hochfeld (1866–1874)
- Rhine: Ruhrort–Homberg (1852–1912)
- Rhine: Spyck–Welle (1865–1912)
- Stralsund - Altefähr/Rügen replaced 1936 by the Rügendamm.
- Wittow Fähre - Fährhof 1896–1968, operated by the Rügen Light Railway (750 mm).
- Wolgast - Wolgaster Fähre (Usedom), 1945−1990 (only freight)
- Grossenbrode - Fehmarnsund (1903–1963)
- Grossenbrode - Gedser (1951–1963)
- Travemünde - Turku (1975–2007), normal gauge on board, break-of-gauge in Turku, freight only
- Travemünde - Malmö
- Warnemünde - Gedser (1903–1995), replaced by car ferry Rostock - Gedser
- Mukran - Baltijsk, Russia, break-of-gauge, broad gauge on board, freight only (2007-2012)
- Russia to Georgia, bypasses Abkhazia.
Former service between India and Sri Lanka. (See Boat mail)
- In use
- Calabria-Sicily and vice versa: between the ports of Villa San Giovanni in the Region of Calabria and Messina in the Region of Sicily — passenger and freight service.
- Mainland to Sardinia: between the ports of Civitavecchia and Golfo Aranci - freight service only.
- Mainland to station and the factory in the city : between the station of Venezia Santa Lucia and the city - freight service only by barge.
Both Sicily and Sardinia services are operated by Bluvia that is a subsidiary company of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana. At present the link between Mainland and Sicily has a regular and frequent activity, while the link between Mainland and Sardinia is less frequent and operated basically day by day on the basis of the actual traffic demand.
An unofficial web page about the Italian rail ferries can be found at this link.
In Japanese, a train ferry is called "鉄道連絡船 tetsudō renrakusen", which means literally "railway connection ship". Therefore these ships can not carry railcars necessarily. A ship line that is connected with railways in schedule and fare system is called "tetsudō renrakusen".
Japan Railways would have had train ferries to link up the four main islands before these were replaced by bridges and tunnels. Currently, only one passenger ferry line is operated, though the line does not handle railcars.
In use 
- Miyajima Ferry connects Miyajimaguchi and Miyajima, both in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima. Miyajima pier is on Itsukushima island and there is no railway there. Miyajimaguchi pier is near Miyajimaguchi Station. The ferry is operated by West Japan Railway Company(JR West). Miyajima Ferry carries passengers and automobiles, but have never carried railcars.
Former train ferry 
There were three ferry lines that can load trains. Through operations of passenger trains using train ferries were conducted between December 1948 and 11 May 1955. However the service was canceled when the disasters of Toya Maru (26 September 1954, killed 1,153) and Shiun Maru (11 May 1955, killed 168) occurred. The operator, Japanese National Railways (JNR) considered it was dangerous to allow passengers to stay in a car deck. These three lines were replaced by tunnels and bridges.
- Seikan Ferry
- Seikan Ferry had connected Aomori Station and Hakodate Station, crossed over Tsugaru Strait, which means the ferry had connected Honshū and Hokkaidō. The line was opened on 7 March 1908 by two steamships but these could not load railcars. The first rail barge Shaun Maru started its operation on December, 1914. Shaun Maru was only used for carrying newly built cars that would be used in Hokkaidō, because in those days the railways in Hokkaidō employed Janney couplers but the railways in Honshū employed buffers and chain couplers. After the conversion of couplers in Honshū, a full-scale train ferry Shōhō Maru entered service on April, 1924. On 13 March 1988, Seikan Tunnel was opened and the ferry line was closed. The tunnel and the ferry line was operated simultaneously only on that day. Total 55 ferries (including one rail barge and 41 train ferries) were used.
- Ukō Ferry
- Ukō Ferry had connected Uno station and Takamatsu station, crossed over Seto Inland Sea, which means the ferry had connected Honshū and Shikoku. The ferry line had started service on 12 June 1910, and started carrying railcars on 10 October 1921. On 9 April 1988, Great Seto Bridge was opened and the last train ferry was operated on the previous day. After that, only passenger ships were operated by Shikoku Railway Company(JR Shikoku) on the line but this line was also halted on 21 March 1990, and was formally abandoned on 16 March 1991. Total 26 ferries (including two hovercrafts, two high-speed ships, 17 train ferries) were used.
- Kammon Ferry
- Kammon Ferry had connected Shimonoseki Station and Mojikō Station, crossed over Kanmon Straits, which means the ferry had connected Honshū and Kyūshū. The ferry line had started service on 27 May 1901. The first train ferries in Japan had started operation on 1 October 1911. Passenger ferries used piers at Mojikō station but train ferries used piers at Komorie station. Therefore strictly speaking, the train ferry line was called "Kanshin Ferry" and the passenger ferry was called "Kammon Ferry". After the completion of Kanmon Tunnel on 1 July 1942, the train ferry line was discontinued and the ferries were transferred to Ukō Ferry. However the passenger ferry line was operated until 1 November 1964 for the convenience of nearby residents.
Former passenger ferry 
There were many passenger ferry lines that were classified as "tetsudō renrakusen". Most ferry lines were operated temporarily until a railway line or a bridge was completed.
- Klaipėda, 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 5⁄6 in) - Mukran, Germany, 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) (1986-). Freight only. Bogie exchanges take place in Mukran.
- CG Railway, connecting the Port of Mobile, Alabama, USA and Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. It is served by the Burlington Northern Railroad, Canadian National Railway, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern Railway, and the Norfolk Southern Railway.
The Netherlands 
New Zealand 
- The Interislander operates two train ferries (called rail ferries locally), Arahura and Aratere, across Cook Strait between Wellington and Picton, carrying both road and rail cargo on separate decks. Kaitaki also operates on this route, but carries road vehicles only.
- A temporary ferry was used at the crossing of the Niger River due to delays finding foundations for a bridge.
- Historically the lake Tinnsjø railway ferry (1909 – 1991) linked Tinnosbanen and Rjukanbanen, transporting goods to and from Rjukan and the Norsk Hydro heavy water factory, as seen in the movie The Heroes of Telemark, starring Kirk Douglas.
- Hirtshals, Denmark, - Kristiansand, Norway, 1958–1996, freight only
Encarnacion — Posadas 
- Link with Bolivia across Lake Titicaca. The car float Manco Capac has dual gauge tracks for both Peruvian 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge and Bolivian 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) meter gauge. There are small stretches of dual gauge trackage at Puno in Peru and Guaqui in Bolivia. Car loading and unloading are done at docks. The British-built steamship Ollanta is no longer maintained, but PeruRail, in charge of the vessel, is trying to develop a tourist project soon.
Black Sea 
- Port Kavkaz to Port Krym (Ukraine), across the Kerch Strait. Operated from 1953 to 1993. In 2004, service restored as a car ferry so far; possibility of carrying rail cars is studied as well.
Pacific Ocean 
- Vanino - Kholmsk, connecting Sakhalin Island with the mainland. (Since 1973). The ferry line is operated by the Sakhalin Shipping Company. Since Sakhalin railways use the Japanese gauge of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in), the railcars coming from the Russian mainland need their bogies changed; this is done in Kholmsk.
Caspian Sea 
The Caspian Shipping Company (Caspar) has 7 train ferries and is building two more.
Baltic Sea 
- A train ferry operated on Lake Baikal in the early 1900s between Port Baikal and Mysovaya, filling a gap in the Transsiberian Railway before the completion of the Circum-Baikal Railway around the lake.
A ferry, though not necessarily a train ferry, links the 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) gauge network of Egypt and the 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) network of Sudan, across the Nile River.
In use 
- Ystad – Świnoujście, Poland (1974 -)
- Gothenburg – Frederikshavn, Denmark (1987 -)
- Trelleborg – Rostock, Germany (1996 -)
- Trelleborg – Sassnitz (Mukran port), Germany, (1998-) operated by Scandlines
- Helsingør, Denmark – Helsingborg (1892–2000)
- Copenhagen, Denmark – Helsingborg (1986–2000), freight only
- Copenhagen, Denmark – Malmö (1895–1986)
- Saßnitz, Germany – Trelleborg, (1909–1998)
- Trelleborg – Gdansk, Poland (1946)
- Trelleborg – Gdynia, Poland (1947–1950)
- Trelleborg – Świnoujście, Poland (1948–1954)
- Trelleborg – Warnemünde, the GDR (1948–1953)
- Bergkvara – Mörbylånga, normal gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) between 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) in Bergkvara and 891 mm in Mörbylånga (1953–1955)
- Kalmar – Färjestaden, narrow gauge 891 mm (1957–1962)
- Stockholm – Naantali, Finland (1967–1972)
- Malmö – Travemünde, Germany (from mid 80s until a few years after 2000)
- Stockholm – Turku, Finland (SeaRail, ended 2012, normal gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in))
- Bosphorus: train ferry connects the European railway network with main connections from Thessaloniki, Greece and Bucharest, Romania terminating at the Sirkeci Terminal to the Asian network terminating at the Haydarpaşa Terminal. This train ferry is for freight. Passengers use passenger ferries. The current Marmaray project, expected to be complete in 2015, will replace the ferry connection with an underwater railway tunnel running between the two sides.
- Black Sea: Ilyichevsk, Ukraine to Derince, Turkey bypasses a break of gauge
- Black Sea:- Samsun, Turkey to Kavkaz, Russia: Launched in December 2010
- Lake Van - Tatvan — Van. The Istanbul — Tehran and Damascus — Tehran passenger trains operate from each terminus to the ferry ports. Only the luggage van takes the ferry, the passengers have to change at both ends. The Lake Van ferry is part of the planned Trans-Asian Railway, Istanbul — Singapore. A scheduled freight train runs from Istanbul to Kazakhstan. The train ferry was established to avoid an expensive railroad line along the mountainous southern shore and may be replaced when traffic increases sufficiently; there are reports of financing discussions between the governments of Turkey and Iran. The ferry route is 96 km long while a rail alternative on the north side would be 250 km long in mountainous terrain. There are two ferries each of 16 coach capacity capable of making three trips per day.
- M/F Erdeniz is a train ferry that carries wagons between Eregli and Zonguldak ports. The vessel operates every day except Sunday. The vessel is operated by ALYANS - TEMPO GROUP.
- A train ferry on Lake Victoria links the 1000 mm gauge network of the Uganda Railway at Port Bell with the 1000 mm gauge network of Tanzania at Mwanza. In June 2008, the Ugandan budget allocated $US8.5m for an additional train ferry for Lake Victoria to replace one that sank after a collision.
- Black Sea - see above
United Kingdom 
- Harwich to Zeebrugge, Belgium - ceased in 1987.
- Dover to Dunkerque, France - ceased in 1994 due to the opening of the Channel Tunnel. The last Night Ferry passenger train ran on 31 October 1980.
- Langstone to Bembridge. A short-lived route of the 1880s operated by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, using the former Tay ferry Carrier to link with the Isle of Wight Railway.
- The Firths of Tay and Forth in Scotland were crossed by train ferries (Tayport-Broughty Ferry and Granton-Burntisland) until their replacement by bridges 
Proposed but never implemented 
- The Act of Parliament for the Bristol and South Wales Union Railway authorised the use of a train ferry across the expansive Severn Estuary, but a conventional passenger ferry was used, later replaced by the Severn Tunnel.
United States 
For international Great Lakes ferries see Canada.
In use 
- New York New Jersey Rail, LLC (replacing the New York Cross Harbor Railroad), transferring freight cars between Jersey City, New Jersey, and Brooklyn, New York, run as needed. This car float still operates because rail cars with flammable and hazardous materials are not permitted in the former Pennsylvania Railroad, now Amtrak, tunnels under the East River, Manhattan and the Hudson River, and because the tunnel clearances of the tunnels are inadequate for most freight cars.
- The Alaska Railroad is connected to the rest of the North American rail system only via train ferries. The Alaska Railroad runs its own ferries from Whittier Alaska to Seattle Washington, and the Canadian National Railway operates its AquaTrain between Whittier and Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
- Central Gulf Railroad, connecting the Port of Mobile and Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. It is served by the BNSF Railway, Canadian National Railway, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern Railway, and the Norfolk Southern Railway.
- Chesapeake Bay - Bay Coast Railroad from Norfolk to Cape Charles, Virginia. The shortline railroad has two ferries (25 & 15 cars each) that cross the Chesapeake Bay about twice a week.
- US mainland to Puerto Rico
- Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal used car floats.
- Lake Michigan Frankfort, Michigan to Manitowoc, Kewaunee, Marinette, Wisconsin or Manistique, Michigan was the Ann Arbor Railroad's Lake Michigan car ferry service that discontinued in the 1980s. Ann Arbor operated the Viking and Arthur K. Atkinson as the final ships on the fleet.
- Lake Michigan Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Kewaunee or Milwaukee, Wisconsin served by the Pere Marquette Railway and successor Chesapeake and Ohio or Chessie System with the ships SS City of Midland 41 of 1940, SS Spartan and the SS Badger, both built in 1953. The Badger is now used as an automobile ferry between Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and Ludington, Michigan and represents one of the last large coal-burning passenger-carrying steamers in the world.
- Lake Michigan Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Muskegon or Grand Haven, Michigan was the Lake Michigan car ferry service of the Grand Trunk Western Railroad which was run by its subsidiary company Grand Trunk Milwaukee Car Ferry Company. Its fleet included five ships including the SS City of Milwaukee, built in 1931.
- Straits of Mackinac: Mackinaw City, Michigan to St. Ignace, Michigan, performed by the SS Chief Wawatam at the Straits of Mackinac connecting Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas.
- San Francisco Bay - The San Francisco Belt Railroad had slip at Pier 43 which allowed interchange with the Northwestern Pacific, the Western Pacific, and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads.
- Carquinez Strait - The Central Pacific Railroad operated two train ferries (later assumed by its affiliate the Southern Pacific) between Benicia and Port Costa, California from 1879 to 1930. The Solano and Contra Costa were the largest train ferries ever built.
- New York City - Havana, Cuba
- Detroit Train Ferry Yard - Google Maps Aerial Photo of the former yard
- Mackinac Transportation Company
Proposed ferries 
The Trans-Asian Railway has proposed a few train ferries:
- between Sri Lanka and India - same gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) (Boat mail)
- Penang in Malaysia and Belawan in Sumatra, Indonesia - break-of-gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in)/1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
See also 
- portage railway (The opposite of a train ferry)
- Car float
- Ferry slip (includes examples of rail ferry and barge slips)
- SS Badger (for train ferry later converted to automobile and passenger ferry)
- List of road-rail bridges
- Special Hunslet locomotive for loading train ferries
- Night Ferry
- HMS Daffodil (1917) - Train ferry sunk during WWII
- Marshall, John (1989). The Guinness Railway Book. Enfield: Guinness. ISBN 0-85112-359-7.
- Subterranea Britannica
- Shipway, J.S. (2004). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.
- ["NEWS OF THE WEEK.". Bathurst Free Press (NSW : 1849 - 1851) (NSW: National Library of Australia). 10 August 1850. p. 3. Retrieved 21 August 2011. Bathurst Free Press]
- "Azerbaijan to Purchase New Train ferry in May". Trend News Agency (requires subscription). 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2009-12-24.
- News | TimesDaily.com | TimesDaily | Florence, Alabama (AL)
- Trains (Magazine) February 2009 p9
- "ST. CLAIR RIVER RAILWAY TUNNEL.". Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899) (Tas.: National Library of Australia). 31 December 1891. p. 3. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- "Train-ferry project making solid progress". By Xie Chuanjiao (China Daily). Updated: 2006-06-06
- Train Ferry across Qiongzhou Strait Launched at Tianjin Xingang Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co., Ltd 2010-10-12
- "Train ferry firm on IPO route"
- (Chinese) "新长铁路轮渡日运送千余车皮 有效分流沪宁铁路运输压力" Xinhua Sept. 9, 2009
- "Infrastructure". "Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce". Retrieved 2008-02-09.
- Southern Peru Railroads
- Rail ferries in the former USSR (Russian)
- Сахалинская узкоколейная железная дорога (The narrow-gauge railways of Sakhalin) (Russian)
- Photos of containers in Baku
- Gordon, William (1910). Our Home Railways 1. London: Frederick Warne and Co. p. 154.
- Searle, Muriel (1982). "Vehicles of Vectis". Lost Lines. Andover, England: Cavendish. p. 76. ISBN 0-904568-41-5.
- Trains May 2010
- Railway Gazette International January 2009, p54
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Train ferries|
- Video of a train ferry ride between Germany and Denmark
- Video of a train ferry between Italy and Sicily
- Mike's rail history
- LNER Train Ferries