Two new rail ferries, the Maya and the Cherokee, will enter Gulf of Mexico service this year for CG Railway LLC (CGR), a joint venture of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. and SEACOR Holdings Inc.
CGR, which transports 10,000 annual carloads of diversified commodities from Mobile, Ala., to Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, is replacing its existing two vessels with 590-foot-long ships that can each carry 135 railcars, up from 115 railcars on the existing ferries, with a top speed of 14 knots, up from seven knots. Currently, the trip across the Gulf takes about five days, or half the time required for the overland route. The vessels’ additional capacity and faster speed could potentially boost annual carload capacity by 40%. William C. Vantuono and Heather Ervin, Editors-in-Chief of Railway Age and Marine Log, respectively, talk with CGR President Hoffman Lijeron about the company’s operations and the new vessels.