A cable ferry is guided and in many cases propelled across a river or other larger body of water by cables connected to both shores. They are also called chain ferries, floating bridges, or punts.
Early cable ferries often used either rope or steel chains, with the latter resulting in the alternate name of chain ferry. Both of these were largely replaced by stronger and more durable wire cable by the late 19th century.
There are three types of cable ferry: the reaction ferry, which uses the power of the river to tack across the current; the powered cable ferry, which uses an engine or electric motors (e.g., the Canby Ferry) to wind itself across; and fast disappearing is the hand-operated type, such as the Stratford-upon-Avon Chain Ferry in the UK and the Saugatuck Chain Ferry in Michigan, USA.
Both of the last two types use powered cogs or drums on board the vessel to pull itself along by the cables. The cables or chains have a considerable amount of slack built into them, in order that they sink below the surface as the ferry moves away, allowing other vessels to pass without becoming grounded, snared or trapped. Where a ferry carries both passengers and vehicles the car deck occupies the centre (helping to balance the vessel) and two passenger areas are at the sides, over the tunnels for the chains and the engines. As the ferry cannot steer a ramp is built at both ends, and there is usually a set of controls facing in either direction.
Ferries are common where there is little other water-borne traffic that could get snagged in the cable or chains, where the water may be too shallow for other options, or where the river current is too strong to permit the safe crossing of a ferry not attached to the shore. Alignment of the platform at each end of the journey is automatic and, especially for vehicle ferries, safer than a free-moving ferry might be in bad conditions.
Cable ferries have probably been used to cross rivers and similar bodies of water since before recorded history. Examples of ferry routes using this technology date back to the 13th century (Hampton Ferry in England).
Cable ferries were particularly prominent in early transportation in the Sacramento Delta of California. At one time, cable ferries were a primary means of automobile transportation in New South Wales in Australia. In Tasmania, for a century before 1934, the Risdon Punt at Hobart was the only fixed method of crossing the Derwent River within Hobart city limits.
In the early 1900s a cable ferry designed by Canadian engineer William Pitt, was installed on the Kennebecasis River near Saint John, New Brunswick in Canada. There are now eight cable ferries along the St John River system in southern New Brunswick.
Most of the road crossings of the Murray River in South Australia are cable ferries operated by the state government using diesel engines. The platforms at the ends can be moved up or down according to the water level.
In Canada a cable ferry is proposed to transport automobiles across the Ottawa River in Ontario. There are several in BC: two on the Fraser, one at Lytton, one at Big Bar, three on Arrow Lakes. A suspended cable ferry worked until the 1980s in Boston Bar. A small seasonal cable ferry carries cars across the Rivière des Prairies from Laval, Quebec (Sainte-Dorothée neighbourhood) to Île Bizard (part of Montreal). Dozens of cable ferries operated on the Columbia River in the US northwest, and most have been rendered obsolete by bridges. A suspended cable ferry for railway cars crossed the American River in Northern California.
List of cable ferries
Current cable ferries include:
- Björkölinjen, across Björkösund strait between the islands of Korsö (in Kumlinge municipality) and Bockholm (in Brändö m.)
- Embarsundlinjen, across Embarsund strait in Föglö municipality, between the islands of Finholma and Jyddö
- Töftölinjen, across Prästösund strait between the islands of Töftö (in Vårdö municipality) and Prästö (in Sund m.)
- Seglingelinjen, across the strait between the islands of Seglinge and Snäckö (both in Seglinge village in Kumlinge municipality)
- Simskälalinjen, across the strait between the islands of Alören and Östra Simskäla (both in Vårdö municipality)
- Ängsösundlinjen, across Ängösund strait between the islands of Lumparland (in Lumparland municipality) and Ängö (in Vårdö m.)
- Berowra Waters Ferry, at Berowra Waters in New South Wales
- Cadell Ferry, across the Murray River at Cadell, South Australia
- Daintree River Ferry, across the Daintree River in Queensland
- Hibbard Ferry, across the Hastings River near Port Macquarie, New South Wales
- Lawrence Ferry, across the Clarence River in New South Wales
- Lower Portland Ferry, across the Hawkesbury River near the village of Lower Portland, New South Wales
- Lyrup Ferry, across the Murray River at Lyrup, South Australia
- Mannum Ferry, across the Murray River at Mannum, South Australia (two parallel ferries)
- Moggill Ferry, across the Brisbane River near Ipswich, Queensland
- Morgan Ferry, across the Murray River in Morgan, South Australia
- Mortlake Ferry, across the Parramatta River in Sydney, New South Wales
- Narrung Ferry, across the Murray River at Narrung, South Australia
- Noosa River Ferry, across the Noosa River in Queensland
- Purnong Ferry, across the Murray River in Purnong, South Australia
- Raymond Island Ferry, from Paynesville to Raymond Island in Victoria
- Sackville Ferry, across the Hawkesbury River near the village of Sackville, New South Wales
- Settlement Point Ferry, across the Hastings River near Port Macquarie, New South Wales
- Speewa Ferry, across the Murray River between New South Wales and Victoria at Speewa
- Swan Reach Ferry, across the Murray River in Swan Reach, South Australia
- Tailem Bend Ferry, across the Murray River in Tailem Bend, South Australia
- Ulmarra Ferry, across the Clarence River in New South Wales
- Waikerie Ferry, across the Murray River in Waikerie, South Australia
- Walker Flat Ferry, across the Murray River in Walker Flat, South Australia
- Webbs Creek Ferry, across the Hawkesbury River in the village of Wisemans Ferry, New South Wales
- Wellington Ferry, across the Murray River in Wellington, South Australia
- Wisemans Ferry, across the Hawkesbury River in the village of Wisemans Ferry, New South Wales
- Wymah Ferry, across the Murray River between New South Wales and Victoria
- Rollfähre Klosterneuburg, across the Danube River at Klosterneuburg
- Drahtseilbrücke Ottensheim, across the Danube River at Ottensheim
- Adams Lake Cable Ferry, across Adams Lake in British Columbia
- Belleisle Bay Ferry, across Belleisle Bay in New Brunswick
- Big Bar Ferry, across the Fraser River at Big Bar, British Columbia
- Bleriot Ferry, across the Red Deer River near Drumheller, Alberta
- Clarkboro Ferry, across the South Saskatchewan River near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- Country Harbour Ferry, across Country Harbour near Port Bickerton, Nova Scotia.
- Crowfoot Ferry, across the Bow River in Alberta
- Englishtown Ferry, across the mouth of St. Anns Bay in Nova Scotia
- Evandale Ferry, across the Saint John River in New Brunswick
- Finnegan Ferry, across the Red Deer River in Alberta
- Gagetown Ferry, across the Saint John River in New Brunswick
- Glade Cable Ferry, across the Kootenay River in British Columbia
- Glenora Ferry, across an inlet of Lake Ontario in Prince Edward County, Ontario[dubious ]
- Gondola Point Ferry, across the Kennebecasis River in New Brunswick
- Hampstead Ferry, across the Saint John River in New Brunswick
- Harrop Ferry, across the Kootenay River in British Columbia
- Kennebecasis Island Ferry, across the Kennebecasis River in New Brunswick
- Klondyke Ferry, across the Athabasca River in Alberta
- LaHave Cable Ferry, across the LaHave River in Nova Scotia
- Laval-sur-le-Lac Île-Bizard Ferry, across the Rivière des Prairies near Montreal, Quebec
- Little Fort Ferry, across the North Thompson River in British Columbia
- Little Narrows Cable Ferry, across the Little Narrows of Whycocomagh Bay in Nova Scotia
- Low Bar Ferry, across the Fraser River at High Bar, British Columbia
- Lytton Ferry, across the Fraser River at Lytton, British Columbia
- McLure Ferry, across the North Thompson River in British Columbia
- Needles Cable Ferry, across Lower Arrow Lake in British Columbia
- Riverhurst Ferry, across Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan
- Rosevear Ferry, across the McLeod River near Edson, Alberta
- Usk Ferry, across the Skeena River in Usk, British Columbia
- Westfield Ferry, across the Saint John River in New Brunswick
- Østre Ferry, across Isefjord between Hammer Bakke and Orø. Uses cables for steering, but propellers for propulsion.
- Udbyhøj Ferry, across Randers Fjord.
- Kavastu Ferry, across Emajõgi in Kavastu.
- Alassalmi Ferry, across Alassalmi strait on lake Oulujärvi between Manamansalo island and mainland
- Arvinsalmi Ferry, across Arvinsalmi strait between the municipalities of Rääkkylä and Liperi
- Barösund Ferry, across Barösund strait between Barölandet and Orslandet islands
- Bergö Ferry, in Bergö
- Eskilsö Ferry
- Hanhivirta Ferry, in Enonkoski
- Hirvisalmi Ferry, across Hirvisalmi strait between the mainland and Paalasmaa island in Juuka
- Hämmärönsalmi Ferry, across Hämmärönsalmi strait (Rimito-Hanka) in Rimito, Nådendal (part of r. road 1890)
- Högsar Ferry, between Högsar and Storlandet islands in Nagu, Väståboland (part of r. road 12019)
- Karhun Cable Ferry, between the mainland and the island of Karhu, Ii
- Keistiö Ferry, between Keistiö and Iniö islands in Iniö, Väståboland
- Kivimo Ferry, between Roslax on mainland Houtskär and Kivimo islands in Houtskär, Väståboland
- Kokkila Ferry, between Kokkila on the mainland and Angelniemi on Kemiö island (part of r. road 1835)
- Kyläniemi Ferry, between Utula and Kyläniemi
- Lövö Ferry, between Kasnäs and Lövö islands in Hitis, Kimitoön (part of r. road 1830)
- Mossala Ferry, between Björkö and Mossala islands in Houtskär, Väståboland (part of regional road 12003)
- Pellinki Ferry, between the mainland and the island of Pellinki
- Pettu Ferry, between Pettu and Utö islands in Finby, Salo
- Pikkarala Ferry, across Oulujoki river in Pikkarala, Oulu
- Puutossalmi Ferry, in Kuopio
- Saverkeit Ferry, between mainland Houtskär and Västra Saverkeit islands in Houtskär, Väståboland (part of r. road 12005)
- Skagen Ferry, between Jumo and Iniö islands in Iniö, Väståboland (part of r. road 12230)
- Skåldö Ferry, between Degerö and Skåldö islands in Ekenäs, Raseborg
- Tappuvirta Ferry, Tappuvirrantie
- Vartsala Ferry, between Vartsala and Kivimaa islands in Gustavs (part of r. road 192)
- Vånö Ferry, between Vånö and Attu islands in Pargas, Väståboland (part of r. road 12027)
- Aken Ferry, across the Elbe at Aken in Saxony-Anhalt
- Barby Ferry, across the Elbe at Barby in Saxony-Anhalt
- Caputh Ferry, across the Havel at Caputh in Brandenburg
- Coswig Ferry, across the Elbe at Coswig in Saxony-Anhalt
- Ferchland Grieben Ferry, across the Elbe between Ferchland and Grieben in Saxony-Anhalt
- Ketzin Cable Ferry, across the Havel at Ketzin in Brandenburg
- Kiewitt Ferry, across the Havel at Potsdam in Brandenburg
- Maintal–Dörnigheim Ferry, across the Main near Maintal in Hesse
- Friesenheimer Insel - Sandhofen Ferry, across a old arm of the Rhein in Mannheim
- Pritzerbe Ferry, across the Havel between Havelsee and Kützkow in Brandenburg
- Rathen Ferry, across the Elbe at Rathen in Saxony
- Räbel Ferry, across the Elbe between Räbel and Havelberg in Saxony-Anhalt
- Rothenburg Ferry, across the Saale at Rothenburg in Saxony-Anhalt
- Sandau Ferry, across the Elbe at Sandau in Saxony-Anhalt
- Straussee Ferry, across the Straussee at Strausberg in Brandenburg
- Teterower See Ferry, to an island in the Teterower See in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
- Veckerhagen Ferry, across the Weser between Veckerhagen in Hesse and Hemeln in Lower Saxony
- Westerhüsen Ferry, across the Elbe at Magdeburg in Saxony-Anhalt
Hong Kong, China
- Nam Sang Wai Ferry, at Nam Sang Wai in northwestern New Territories
- Tai O Ferry, at Tai O on Lantau Island
- Ferry across Shire River, 37 km south of Malawi's southernmost border
- Espevær Ferry, in Bømlo
- Adelson Ferry, across Lake Mälaren from Munsö to Adelsö
- Ivö Ferry, across Ivö Lake between Barum and Ivö Island
- Gräsö Ferry, between Öregrund and Gräsö in Östhammar
- Butts Ferry, across the River Exe in Exeter, Devon
- Cowes Floating Bridge, across the River Medina on the Isle of Wight
- Dartmouth Higher Ferry, across the River Dart in Devon
- Hampton Ferry, across the River Avon near Evesham in Worcestershire
- Hampton Loade Ferry, across the River Severn in Shropshire
- King Harry Ferry, across the River Fal in Cornwall
- Reedham Ferry, across the River Yare in Norfolk
- Sandbanks Ferry, across the entrance to Poole Harbour in Dorset
- Stratford-upon-Avon Ferry, across the River Avon at Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire
- Torpoint Ferry, across the River Tamar between Devon and Cornwall
- Trowlock Island Ferry, to Trowlock Island in the River Thames
- Windermere Ferry, across Windermere in Cumbria
- Akers Ferry, across the Current River near Salem in Missouri
- Avoca Island Ferry, across the intracoastal waterway to Avoca Island near Morgan City in Louisiana
- Buena Vista Ferry, across the Willamette River in Oregon
- Canby Ferry, across the Willamette River in Oregon
- Los Ebanos Ferry, across the Rio Grande between Los Ebanos, Texas and Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Tamaulipas
- Elwell Ferry, across the Cape Fear River in North Carolina
- Fredericktown Ferry, across the Monongahela River in southwestern Pennsylvania
- Hatton Ferry, across the James River in Virginia
- Ironton Ferry, across an arm of Lake Charlevoix in Michigan
- J-Mack Ferry, across an arm of the Sacramento River in California
- Merrimac Ferry, across the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin
- Merry Point Ferry, across the Corrotoman River in Virginia
- Parker's Ferry, across the Meherrin River in North Carolina
- Princeton Ferry, across the Sacramento River in California
- Sans Souci Ferry, across the Cashie River in North Carolina
- Saugatuck Ferry, across the Kalamazoo River in Michigan
- Sunnybank Ferry, across the Little Wicomico River in Virginia
- Sycamore Island Ferry, across the Potomac River in Maryland
- Ticonderoga Ferry, across Lake Champlain between Ticonderoga, New York and Shoreham, Vermont
- Upper Ferry, across the Wicomico River in Maryland
- Valley View Ferry, across the Kentucky River in Kentucky
- Wheatland Ferry, across the Willamette River in Oregon
- White's Ferry, across the Potomac River in Maryland
- Whitehaven Ferry, across the Wicomico River at Whitehaven, Maryland
- Woodland Ferry, across the Nanticoke River in Delaware
- Chambeshi Ferry, across the Chambeshi River near Mbesuma
- Kabompo Ferry, across the Kabompo River 80 km south-east of Kabompo
- Kafue Ferry, across the Kafue River 4.5 km west of the Zambezi
- ^ "Saint John, New Brunswick First". http://new-brunswick.net/Saint_John/sjfirst.html. Retrieved November 20, 2006.
- ^ "Vivar-Kanal". Wikipedia Deutsch. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivar-Kanal. Retrieved 2009-01-16.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Ferry Locations and Operational Status". Government of South Australia. http://www.transport.sa.gov.au/safety/marine/rec_boating/ferry_services_map.asp. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- ^ a b "Council rejects call to change ferry service management". ABC. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/08/05/2324144.htm?site=midnorthcoast. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- ^ a b "New Settlement Point Ferry". Port Macquarie - Hastings Council. http://www.hastings.nsw.gov.au/www/html/3676-9-april-2008-new-settlement-point-ferry.asp. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- ^ "Speewa Ferry - Murray River". New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority. http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/index.cgi?action=heritage.show&id=4301081. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
- ^ Dickinson, Alex; Earley, David (2008-09-25). "Moggill Ferry master saves man after Brisbane River mishap". Courier Mail. http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,24401934-3102,00.html. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- ^ "Walkabout - Meningie". Fairfax Digital. http://www.walkabout.com.au/locations/SAMeningie.shtml. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- ^ "Noosa North Shore Car Ferries". Noosa North Shore Car Ferries. http://www.noosacarferries.com/. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- ^ a b c d e f "Inland Ferry Schedules". Province of British Columbia. http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/marine/ferry_schedules.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
- ^ a b c d e "Government of Alberta Transportation Ferries". Government of Alberta. http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/1965.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-03.
- ^ "File:Adelson farja 2008.JPG". Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Adelson_farja_2008.JPG. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
- ^ "File:Linfärjan Karna, Ivösjön.jpg". Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Linfärjan_Karna,_Ivösjön.jpg. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
- ^ Hamill, Sean D. (2009-05-17). "Getting There From Here, Is It Better by the Ferry?". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/us/17ferry.html. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- ^ "The Cable Guy - Piloting the Delta's J-Mack ferry beats working for a living". Prosper Media, LLC. http://www.prospermag.com/article/280-157. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- ^ a b "Ferries". California Delta Chambers and Visitor's Bureau. http://www.californiadelta.org/ferries.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
- ^ a b c Shellenberger, William H (2001). Cruising the Chesapeake. McGraw-Hill Professional. pp. 236–237. ISBN 0071363718. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2AA3z7rFrzUC&pg=PA237&lpg=PA237&dq=cable+ferry.
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