SS Badger

Good day everyone.

I ventured out to MIchigan last week and rode the last coal fired, steam powered passenger/vehicle ferry in the US.


This could be her last season operating on Lake Michigan as a coal burner as the governmental agencies are not going to issue another waiver for her to dump ash into the lake.

There is talk of converting BADGER to natural gas, but frankly, I just don’t see that happening.

I have attached a couple of links to YouTube where you can view some of the video I shot. I’ll be adding more video along the course of the next day or so.

Enjoy and be sure to turn the volume up before viewing.

Thanks for the heads up. I knew they were trying to renew their coal ash dumping, but hadn’t heard if it had been granted. Sounds like I’ll need to get there this fall if I want to get a ride on it.

Had a chance to get a tour of the coal fired Chief Wawatam when she was laid up in Mackinaw City in 1984. What a treat.

Sounds like the S/S Badger will get a two year extension to operate on coal. They need to get through a 30 day public comment period first.

Would be fun to make a trip on it this this summer :smiley:

Looks like the SS Badger is having her coal ash disposal system brought into compliance with the EPA. Good to see that she will continue in operation.

I was in the Great Lakes area recently, and had an opportunity to do a crossing on the S.S. Badger. It was really a trip back in time.

Here are a few photos:

The car deck still had the railroad tracks from when it carried rail cars across Lake Michigan:

The builder’s plate:

And the stack:

It was worth the trip.

I have a friend who is an AB on there. He loves it.

Good old Skinner Uniflows. Those were the days, wish there were a few more of them still around and still operating.

From Workboat Magazine:

Car Ferry Badger gets landmark designation