As part of a joint venture between subsidiaries of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. and SEACOR Holdings Inc., CG Railway launched the first of two new rail ferries.
The first vessel is expected to begin operations in the second quarter of 2021, with the second one expected in the third quarter.
The new 590-foot-long ferries are designed to carry 135 railcars each, up from 115 railcars on the existing ferries, with an expected top speed of 14 knots, up from seven knots, increasing CGR’s potential annual carload capacity by 40%.
“These innovative new vessels are purpose-built to provide increased reliability, speed and fuel efficiency and will materially expand the number of annual railcar spaces we can offer customers,” says CGR president Hoffman Lijeron. “Their capacity, efficient hull design, articulated rudders and modern, slow-speed engines will significantly reduce the vessels’ environmental footprint. In fact, compared with a traditional all-rail route from Mobile to Mexico City, shipping via the new CGR vessels and Ferromex is expected to provide a 44% reduction in CO2 emissions per ton/mile versus the all-rail route.”
- The new ships are said to be the first built with features designed to cope with a pandemic, including segregated passageways for local pilots and other visitors, as well as spaces with separate HVAC systems to quarantine crew.
"We’re trying to anticipate all the potential scenarios we could have in the next 20-30 years,” Lijeron explains. “If there is anything we’ve learned from the past year, it’s the value of protecting our customers’ supply chains from potential disruptions.”