St. Lawrence Seaway, Spring 1959.
A fantastic project --- a super water highway from the heart?
St. Lawrence Seaway, Spring 1959.
LS Hamburg harbour.
MLS Pan ships in Hamburg harbour.
MCS Crane, zoom back to LS.
LS Volkswagons being loaded onto Transquebec.
CS Crane operator.
CS-LA Volkswagon lowered into hold.
CS Foreman watches.
MCS Worker securing car in hold.
MS Cars in hold.
MS Oldest dock worker.
MCS Captain Kuppe checking course on map.
MAP (Hamburg to Quebec)
LS Ship on its way.
MS Transquebec passengers on deck.
MLS Pentland Firth rocks.
MLS Ship in Atlantic, seaman climbs down from crows nest.
MS Captain on bridge joined by first mate.
CS Captain looks through binoculars.
LS Dark storm clouds on horizon.
HA-MLS Captain on bridge, tilt up to heavy fog.
CS Seaman bundled up against cold and fog.
CS Ship's wake, tilt up to horizon.
MCS Two crew members sight Gaspe coast.
MCS Crew member points.
LS Father Point, ran to St. Lawrence.
MLS Pilot boat approaching.
CS Pilot boat alongside.
MS Pilot comes on board Transquebec.
MAP (Quebec, through locks to Lake Ontario).
MS Ship, pan to rugged shores of St. Lawrence.
MS Wake, tilt up to " " " "
MS Ship passes behind Transquebec.
MCS Captain Kuppe with first mate and engineer..
MS Transquebec, Montreal in BG.
MLS Transpacific docked at Montreal.
MS Line thrown ashore.
MS First mate directs activity on board.
MS Seaman pulling cable.
MS Activity on board as ship ties up at Montreal.
MCS Canadian flag.
MS Unloading is begun.
MS-HA Volkswagon raised from hold.
CS " swung across to shore.
MS Volkswagon moved into warehouse.
LS Transquebec at dock.
MCS Seaman on board Transquebec.
MS Ship moving towards Jacques Cartier bridge.
CS Mast, as Transquebec passes under Jacques Cartier bridge.
LS Aerial, Montreal, pan to show Jacques Cartier bridge, Victoria bridge, St. Lambert lock.
MS Transquebec in channel.
LS Looking towards St. Lambert lock & Victoria bridge as ship approaches.
MS Men working on board.
LS Seaman running along shore.
CS Captain Kuppe and pilot.
CS Lift bridge is raised.
CS Ship passes under bridge.
MS Ships in St. Lambert lock.
MS Transquebec moves forward to pass under second bridge.
MS Transquebec leaves St. Lambert lock.
Ls Aerial, channel around Laprairie Basin to Cote St. Catherine lock.
MLS Ship passes dredges.
MS Ships in Lake St. Louis.
MS Seaman painting.
MS Transquebec approaches Snell lock.
MS Seaman swung over to pier to tie up ship.
MCS Captain Kuppe descends ladder with camera.
MS Captain Kuppe takes picture of Transquebec.
Aerial, Snell lock.
L???-MS Transquebec moves into Snell lock.
MS Lock gates.
LA-MLS Worker walking along side of lock.
MCS Tilt up lock wall.
MS Pan Transquebec and Catherine Sartori in lock.
LA-MLS Captain looks over side.
MCS Lock gates open.
MS Fender is raised.
MS Transquebec leaves Snell lock.
MS Ship passes hydro towers.
MS Ship in Lake St. Lawrence passes Morrisburg.
CS Canadian flag is raised. (Leaving American section
MS Captain and first officer watch as Canadian flag raised.
LS Approaching Iroquois dam and locks.
MCS Captain as ship reaches Iroquois locks.
MCS Iroquois dam.
MCS Ship enters lock.
MS Ship moving into Iroquois lock tilt up to raised gate.
LS Ship in Iroquois look tilt down to wake.
Aerial Iroquois dam, lock, tilt up towards lakes.
MLS Dredges in Prescott area.
MS Grain elevators.
MS From Transquebec -- Catherine Sartori close behind.
MS Passing through Thousand Islands area.
CS Passing cottage, Thousands Islands.
LS Transquebec enters Lake Ontario.
MLS Transquebec against Toronto skyline.
MLS-HA Pan Toronto to dock, ships tied up.
MCS Transquebec at Toronto dock.
MLS-HA Cargo lifted from hold.
CS Winch operator.
MS Another load swung over.
CS Worker gives directions.
MS Cargo moved to warehouse.
MAP (Toronto to Lakes and American ports)
MS Ships waiting to enter Welland canal system.
MLS " " " " " "
MS Ships in Well and canal (2-way traffic)
CS Operator opens lock gates.
MS Ships move out of locks.
CS Captain Kuppe gives orders.
MS American flag raised.
LS CS Cleveland skyline.
MCS Ship approaches Cleveland docks.
MS Unloading at Cleveland.
LS Transquebec at Cleveland dock.
LS-HA Cleveland, pan to Transquebec leaving.
LS Detroit skyline, ship passes in FG.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: St. Lawrence Seaway, Spring 1959.
A fantastic project --- a super water highway from the heart of North America to the world --- the St. Lawrence Seaway is a reality!!
Four and a half years of construction --- 475 million dollars in money expended --- 2400 miles from the ocean to the most inland port --- more than 22,000 men to do the job --- 23 million tons of cargo to move through the system annually building up to double that figure by 1965. These figures are real! The Seaway is a working reality -- an outstanding example of international team work.
A system of locks and canals that overcome a series of rapids in the mighty St. Lawrence river, the Seaway actually starts at Montreal and provides a waterway with a minimum depth of 27 feet between Montreal and Lake Ontario, the most easterly of the five Great Lakes. Seven big new locks replace 22 small ones in an outmoded system of locks and canals which provided only for very small ships. Today ocean vessels from all over the world are making their way up to the Great Lakes with every imaginable sort of cargo.
Hamburg, Germany, a magnificent harbour in the heart of Europe -- a mecca for ships from every nation -- is the start-off point of our seaway story. a German Poseidon Line ship, the Transquebec, was chosen as the Queen of our saga. Five thousand two hundred and forty tons, the Transquebec is an average size ocean freighter -- a ship carrying general cargo on her first voyage to the lakes. Her captain, Werner Kuppe, is a veteran of the Great Lakes trade. He has sailed for three years from Hamburg to Chicago through the old canal system on a smaller freighter and can evaluate and navigate the new seaway with his experience from the previous voyages.
Having picked up cargo at Antwerp, Rotterdam and Bremen, regular ports of call for this ship, the Transquebec took on her final load in Hamburg harbour with the giant cranes that are unique to the continental ports. TV tubes for Toronto, Volks-wagons for Toronto, Montreal and American ports, general cargo for Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee and Chicago, made up the cargo list.
Headed across the Atlantic at a speed of 13 knots she sailed via the North Sea, around northern Scotland past the famous Pentland Firth rocks, and into the North Atlantic. Ten days later and on schedule despite high seas and dense fog for days off Newfoundland the Transquebec arrived at the mouth of the St. Lawrence river and sighted the still snow-covered hills of the Gaspe coast. First stop in 11 days was at Father Point to pick up the St. Lawrence river pilot who takes the ship up river to Quebec City. First port of call is Montreal, where Volkswagons are unloaded and the ship checked by seaway authorities to make certain she has all the equipment essential to go through the new locks. Seaway regulations, instructions and bulletins are issued to the captains of ocean vessels to keep them up to date on all changes affecting this river highway.
Passing under the Jacques Cartier bridge, one of three bridges in the Montreal area which head to be raised in order to give 120-foot clearance to the bigger ships, the Transquebec makes her way into the first of the seven new seaway locks -- St. Lambert. Here it was necessary to overcome a difference of 15 feet between the level of Montreal harbour and Laprairie Basin. At each end of St. Lambert lock there is a lift bridge. As the ship enters the lock the bridge is raised to let her pass and traffic is diverted along the dike to cross the lift bridge at the opposite end of the lock. This system ensures the uninterrupted flow of traffic across one of the main arteries connecting Montreal island to the mainland. The Catherine Sartori, a German freighter which followed the Transquebec, is locked with her into the 860-foot lock and the two ships are comfortably accommodated in the lock together.
From the St. Lambert lock ships proceed around Laprairie Basin ten miles to Cote St. Catherine lock, similar in design to St. Lambert. This second Montreal area lock raised vessels 30 feet -- the difference between the basin and Lake St. Louis, and bypasses the violent Lachine rapids. Through Lake St. Louis and past dredges still chewing away at the channel bottom, ships enter the Beauharnois section where the second set of twin locks bypasses a treacherous drop of 82 feet of fast water and rapids. (We don't show these locks -- the ship passed through at night. However they are similar in dimension and structure to those in the Montreal area).
Sailing through Lake St. Louis our ship follows the same shipping route as in past years until Cornwall is reached. Here formerly a series of small outmoded Canadian locks bypassed the magnificent Long Sault rapids. However today the traffic moves to the American side and goes inland through Snell and Eisenhower locks in order to bypass the dam and international powerhouse which was built from the Canadian side at Cornwall, Ontario, to the American side at Barnhardt Island. This powerhouse which we have shown being built in many previous stories doubles as a dam and generating station. Behind this Canadian-American powerhouse is a 25-mile long, 4-mile wide man-made Lake St. Lawrence --- tranquil and slow-moving, which besides being a power tool is a magnificent shipping lane.
In order to get up to this lake twin 45-foot lift Snell and Eisenhower locks were built by the American engineers. These locks differ slightly from the Canadian locks in construction, but not in size. Rounded steel bumpers line one side of these locks and the ships rise to the top sliding on these ribbons of steel.
Of course every captain is proud of his ship and Captain Kuppe is no exception. Waiting for down-bound traffic, our ship ties up alongside the waiting pier for her turn to enter Snell lock. The Captain has his men put a ladder over the side, and camera in hand descends to photograph his little beauty.
The Transquebec moves through Snell and Eisenhower locks into the quiet of Lake St. Lawrence, riding over areas where two years ago old St. Lawrence villagers were thriving communities. These villages were all moved into model new communities situated on the edge of the new lake.
At Iroquois at the upstream end of the lake the Seaway once again is routed through Canada. Fast Iroquois dam, the upstream control dam for Lake St. Lawrence, ships enter Iroquois lock -- the last of the new Seaway locks. This lock has a maximum lift of six feet. Like the others, Iroquois is 860 feet in length and 80 feet in width with over half a mile of approach wall on the upstream and downstream side.
The Seaway now is old hat to skippers who have been up the St. Lawrence and into the Great Lakes, but they will see 16 dredges at work above Iroquois deepening the channel. They will pass landmarks now famous around the world -- the grain elevators at Prescott where formerly the big lake boats had to discharge their cargo into as many as seven smaller ships to carry the grain to the port of Montreal. Now these huge carriers can travel all the way from Port Arthur and Fort William to Montreal and beyond.
Up the St. Lawrence and through the Thousand Islands to Lake Ontario, the Transquebec reaches the new seaport of Toronto. Toronto, like all other inland seaports, is having growing pains, and port officials are planning big expansion of docking facilities to accommodate the influx of foreign vessels.
Leaving Toronto, ships must now pass through the Welland canal, and here we have a tie-up where ships have been held up for several days for varying reasons. Some foreign vessels do not have all of the necessary equipment and are slowing traffic through the famous Welland canal and locks. Also, with the unbelievable popularity of the Seaway there are just not enough pilots available to take the ships through, and for the safety of the vessels no foreign captain is given permission to take his ship up unless he has been through these locks several times before. Due to Captain Kuppe's experience on smaller ships through these locks for the past three years, he had no difficulty in piloting the Transquebec through, becoming the first foreign captain to pilot his own ship.
With the tremendous amount of traffic both up-bound and down-bound, all hitting the Welland locks at the same time, the situation at the moment is one of waiting in turn. This situation will be alleviated as shipping schedules become regulated. The first big rush has caused the big tie-up.
On to Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago, Duluth, Port Arthur and Fort William go the traders of the world --- the workhorses of the sea --- bringing ore and coal, newsprint, grain and gasoline and an endless variety of products of other continents to the heart of America.
No voyage from Europe to the Lakehead ever becomes routine. The ocean traders battle the unreasonable seasonable changes of the Atlantic. It is with pleasure they said the St. Lawrence and with keen excitement pass through the new seaway, always on the alert in navigating this brand new man-made route. The Great Lakes -- the largest inland seas in the World -- can be more turbulent even than the Atlantic --- a challenge to every skipper.
Since the Seaway opened, to date 553 ships have passed up-bound through the Seaway and 400 down-bound. Of these up-bound ships, 238 are of foreign registry. Ocean going ships capable of carrying up to 9,000 tons will be able to trade at most ports in the 2400-mile network of rivers, lakes and locks, as compared with a ship carrying 3,000 tons on the old system.
The Seaway will be paid for on a toll basis at the rate of six cents a ton on the ship's tonnage plus 95 cents a ton on general cargo and 42 cents a ton on bulk cargo. This payment system is designed to amortize the cost of building the seaway in 50 years.
The Seaway is complete. The areas around the locks and the new lake will be beautified and parks will accommodate tourists by the thousands who will come to see ships of every nation bringing their goods to America and taking back the produce of this continent.
Many new industries will flourish because of the Seaway. Many cities will extend their port facilities. Water is the cheapest form of transportation.
The Seaway is another step in paving the way to a new economic era in North America --- one where Canada played a principal part.