Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Where's my car dude ?

The Auto Port in Eastern Passage is a fascinating place.  It is the arrival point for cars imported from Europe.
They come on enormous ships that look more like massive floating boxes than something meant to slice gracefully through the water as it crosses the ocean.   One of those ships, the Wallenius Wilhelmsen arrives about every two weeks.  Because the Eastern Passage is not navigable from the open sea, the ship must travel up the western entrance to Halifax Harbour, loop around the north end of McNab's Island and then be assisted into position at the port by tug boats which help turn it around so it's facing out for the outward bound trip.

The vehicles, which could be cars, buses or even farm equipment, are driven off the back end of the ship (left side of picture above) and parked in one of several enormous parking lots to await the next step on their journey.

Some arrivals just have coverings on doors and more likely-to-be-scratched surfaces.  Others are totally "gift wrapped", with only strategic windows showing.  I learned from the Security Guard who came to check me out when I was taking photographs, that some of the cars are next-year's models and are literally being kept under wraps until they reach the show room floor.  I thought it amusing that he was troubled by my taking pictures, as anyone driving by can do so and the lot is clearly visible from Shore Road.

The cars that arrive here are loaded onto trains or transport carriers which take them on to their final
destinations across Canada. (If you enlarge the shot above, you'll see the cars being driven into the triple-decker train cars.)

Happily, this is not just a one-way proposition. The cars in the shot below are arriving at the Auto Port by train to be loaded onto the now-empty ship for their trip to show rooms in Europe.

It is a bustling place, with Jaguars and BMW's in one lot and Smart Cars and double decker buses in the next.


So now you not only know where your car is (don't you?), but how it got there.

1 comment:

  1. It's quite an awesome sight isn't it? To see so many cars in one place is pretty amazing. The size of the transportation vessels must be seen to be believed.

    Many of those rail cars have some remarkable graffiti on them. You can see them if you drive on the road that's behind the Tim's in that location.


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