Needles Ferry

The Needles Ferry is a cable ferry across Lower Arrow Lake in the West Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia. Linking Needles and Fauquier, the ferry, part of BC Highway 6, is by road about 135 kilometres (84 mi) southeast of Vernon and 57 kilometres (35 mi) southwest of Nakusp.

Needles Ferry
Needles Cable Ferry.jpg
Needles Ferry
LocaleNeedlesFauquier
WaterwayLower Arrow Lake
Transit typePassenger and vehicle ferry
Carries Hwy 6
OwnerBC Ministry of Transportation
and Infrastructure
OperatorWaterBridge Ferries Inc.
System length0.9 km (0.6 mi)
No. of lines1
No. of vessels1
No. of terminals2
WebsiteNeedles Cable Ferry
Needles Ferry is located in British Columbia
Needles Ferry
Needles Ferry

TimelineEdit

1913: Farmers built the first vehicle ferry using Ford Model T parts.[1][self-published source] Apart from a reference to a rudimentary raft in 1922,[2] no evidence exists of a service most years.[3]
1924: Government ferry launched, which comprised a log raft pushed by a launch.[4] This free service, had a one-car capacity.[5]
1928: Larger boat introduced.[5]
1931: Wooden hulled cable ferry installed,[4] having three-car capacity.[5] Crossings were hourly.[4]
1941: Upgraded to eight-car capacity.[5]
1952: Upgraded to 16-car capacity.[5]
1955: Service increased from 12 to 24 hours per day.[5]
1967: Replacement bridge confirmed, but never eventuated.[6]
1968: Both terminals rebuilt on submerging by the reservoir for the Keenleyside Dam.[7]
1969: Diesel-powered Needles with 28-car capacity introduced.[4]
1990: Needles relocated to Upper Arrow Lake Ferry route. Replaced by a 40-vehicle, 150-passenger cable ferry. At 1,500 metres (5,000 ft) was longest haul cable in North America.[4]
2002: Service reduced to 17 hours per day.[8]
2004: Western Pacific Marine became the service contractor.[9]
c.2013: WaterBridge Ferries became the service provider.
2019: Ferry crew observed a submerged pickup truck just off the Needles ferry landing.[10]

PatronageEdit

Prior to 1960
Patronage (1924–1947)a (Double these numbers for single trips)
Type Year Page Round
Trips
Motor
Vehicles
Horse-
drawn
rigs
Passengers Freight
(tons)
Livestock Total
Vehicles
Power boat 1924–25 Q38 01,008       256     30       2,186 00682         36        286
1925–26 Q38 01,852 002,557     56       4,037       42       100 002,613
1926–27 P46 02,264 001,604     44       6,004       46         96 001,648
1927–28 U52 07,138 001,530     40       5,162       39         41 001,570
1928–29 S61 02,155 002,442     38       5,972       89         86 002,480
1929–30 T74 02,155 002,366     79       5,899       68         87 002,445
Power cable 1930–31 G50 04,102 004,790 0231 0011,354 00340       172 005,021
1931–32 M40 04,117 005,244 0385 0011,836 00582       159 005,629
1932–33 Q36 04,049 004,438 0369 0013,203 00503       135 004,807
1933–34 O32 04,675 004,740 0510 0014,827 00784       259 005,250
1934–35 T37 05,427 006,181 0700 0018,449 00719       605 006,881
1935–36 I44 05,637 006,882 0661 0018,834 00820       239 007,543
1936–37 X52 05,992 007,733 0825 0019,804 00998       355 008,558
1937–38 X55 06,823 009,046 0911 0022,305 01,292       228 009,957
1938–39 Z56 06,580 009,188 0758 0020,605 01,830       262 009,946
1939–40 P56 07,220 009,346 0541 0021,324 01,938       310 009,887
1940–41 O47 07,109 010,237 0359 0018,403 01,181       360 010,596
1941–42 T52 06,628 010,894 0229 0020,010 02,116       590 011,123
1942–43 O52 05,764 008,318 0316 0014,367 03,525       441 008,634
1943–44 Q52 04,984 007,359 0225 0012,679 01,730       426 007,584
1944–45 O51 04,985 007,284 0074 0014,699 01,814       217 007,358
1945–46 Q58 05,426 008,620 0264 0014,037 01,707       330 008,884
1946–47 P47 07,262 011,971 0088 0027,079 07,416       345 012,059

^a . Extracted from the respective Ministry of Public Works annual reports.

Patronage (1947–1960)b (Double these numbers for single trips)
Type Year Page Round
Trips
Passenger
Autos
Passengers
(Drivers
excluded)
Trucks Trailers
& Semis
Buses Motor-
cycles
Horse-
drawn
rigs
Freight
(tons)
Livestock Misc.
Veh.
Total
Vehicles
Power
cable
1947–48 N56 07,435       6,759       30,300 004,466 01,426 01,625 0020 0146 02,750       163 014,442
1948–49 O60 09,953 0010,558       49,803 006,427      394 01,787 0029 0164 06,361       170 019,359
1949–50 Q74 12,928 0015,311       60,151 009,970      433 01,737 0019 0071 06,798       140 027,541
1950–51 N77 14,437 0016,854       60,045 011,635      208 01,450 0018 0074 06,179       174 030,239
1951–52 P83 12,868 0012,758       52,322 010,200      372 01,535 0010 0045 04,614         99 024,920
1952–53 O85 12,738 0013,662       50,004 009,071      852 02,067 0030 0063 05,317       136 025,745
1953–54 M93 16,009 0019,216       60,776 011,911      544 01,997 0063 0018 04,560         84 033,749
1954–55 K95 15,506 0017,828       55,003 011,733      558 02,035 0026 0025 04,891       110 032,205
1955–56 N88 14,601 0016,783       48,373 010,947      379 01,661 0011 0026         67 004 029,811
1956–57 J100 15,326 0018,103       52,668 013,254      601 00919       4 0031         60 032,912
1957–58 G53 15,428 0020,400       56,907 013,420      528 00720 0010 0012         71 006 035,096
1958–59 G36 14,226 0018,863       53,049 010,515      515 00870 0012       104 030,775
1959–60 F41 15,226 0020,939       53,077 011,450      561 00718 0010       8         82 033,686

^b . Extracted from the respective Ministry of Public Works or Ministry of Highways annual reports.

OperationEdit

The ferry operates under private contract with the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and is free of tolls, as are all inland ferries in British Columbia.[11]

Departures are every thirty minutes, from the first at 5 am until the last at 10 pm, with a crossing time of about five minutes. The ferry has capacity for 40 vehicles and 135 passengers.[12]

The ferry is diesel powered and pulls using a winding drum on a pair of 1-inch-diameter (25 mm) cables, plastic coated to prevent wear, which are suspended in the lake. The crossing is about 0.9 kilometres (0.6 mi) in length.

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Marquardt, Riel (2006). The Backroad Chronicles: Adventure & History in British Columbia. Vol. I. Trafford Publishing. p. 101. ISBN 978-1-4120-5903-9.
  2. ^ "Daily News". www.library.ubc.ca. 29 Sep 1922. p. 5.
  3. ^ "Daily News, 1 Sep 1919". www.library.ubc.ca. p. 3.
  4. ^ a b c d e Clapp, Frank A. (1991). Ministry of Transportation and Highways, Lake and River Ferries. Ministry of Transportation and Highways. pp. 32–33. ISBN 0-7726-1364-8.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Edgewood History Book Committee (1991). Just where is Edgewood?. E. G. Milne. p. 59.
  6. ^ "Nanaimo Daily News, 6 Jun 1967". www.newspapers.com. p. 14.
  7. ^ "Nelson Star, 30 Jan 2016". www.nelsonstar.com.
  8. ^ "Vancouver Sun, 9 Apr 2002". www.newspapers.com. p. 20. The Needles Ferry across Lower Arrow Lake….will also operate a maximum of 17 hours per day instead of the current 21.5 to 24 hours per day.
  9. ^ "RFP 12-06-2010" (PDF). www.bcferries.com. p. 6 (4).
  10. ^ "Nelson Star, 10 Dec 2019". www.trailtimes.ca.
  11. ^ "Inland Ferries". www.gov.bc.ca.
  12. ^ "Needles Cable Ferry". www.gov.bc.ca.

ReferencesEdit

Coordinates: 49°52′22″N 118°05′23″W / 49.87278°N 118.08972°W / 49.87278; -118.08972