Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Container Cranes Arriving!

I just reported about the World Port Container facility recently opened in Prince Rupert, BC. The reason I am so excited about this development, is this is my connection with my teenage years growing up in Prince Rupert, and the beginning of my affection for railroading as a photographic hobby.

The area where this facility is constructed, south of town, was my favorite area for train watching, as the departing locomotives would be clearing their throats, and settling in for a long run through lonely Northern BC wilderness some 500 miles to Prince George, with a few widely spaced settlements such as Terrace, Smithers, Huston, Burns Lake, and Vanderhoof. The red "O" points to the original main line track alignment.

What an awesome sight! Here we see the 788' Chinese heavy lift vessel Zhen Hua 16 on the approaches to Prince Rupert Harbor. Prince Rupert is on Kaien Island, to the right, and just out of sight to the north.

As the vessel approaches the container terminal, we see a total of four cranes on her deck. The three blue cranes to be delivered here, the fourth red crane is destined for Vancouver Container Terminals in Vancouver, BC.

In the distance, you can see the white hull of the BC Ferry Queen of Prince Rupert, the replacement vessel for the Queen of the North witch hit a rock and sank off Gil Island last year. Just above the white hull, you can barely make out the twin towers of the CN car barge rail bridge, which I detailed in "Box Cars go to Sea."

Back in those days, that structure was all alone, south of town. There was a long curvature to Fairview Cannery, and then nothing for 10 miles to Port Edward. Now, as we can see, it's all filled in. In fact on the skyline is the 17-story Highliner Plaza Hotel and conference center - a sky scrapper in Prince Rupert!

The Zhen Hua 16 slowly passes the terminal, and executes a turn to bring her port side alongside the pier.

I don't care how many times you explain the principles of vessel buoyancy and stability, this simply just should not work! By the end of October, these giants will be setup, tested, and ready for the arrival of the first container ship, COSCO Antwerp, at the end of October.

There is a feature that has run for years in the Seattle Times entitled "Before and After" featuring photos taken from the perspective of old historical photos. The point being, to see the changes over the years.

That's what this means to me. I spent many an hour hiking down the railroad track with my pooch, out in the wilderness. Now it is a blacktopped modern edifice symbolizing the new growth potential for Prince Rupert!

See also:
* New Era
* Dedication
* First Ship - First Train

1 Comments - Click here:

Ron Prochot, Prince George, BC said...

Very intriguing. Thanks for sharing.

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