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Since the closure of the train ferries Puttgarden–Rødby and Sassnitz-Trelleborg (at least for passenger trains), the only remaining train ferry for passengers in Europe sails between Villa San Giovanni and Messina. Going with a train on a ferry is an experience in itself, so such ferries can be of particular interest to tourists. Are there any other regularly scheduled train ferries left in the world on which passengers can travel? There is a list of train ferries on Wikipedia, but most of those seem to be freight only or unclear. For example, it would seem the Vanina-Kholmsk train ferry in eastern Russia is freight only.

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  • Possibly kiwirail? The same vessel at least carries passengers. Not sure about passenger trains
    – vidarlo
    Dec 21, 2023 at 10:01
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    @vidarlo Probably not; seat61 notes it's a long walk from the train station to the ferry terminal, and he surely would mention if passenger trains regularly got onto the ferry.
    – gerrit
    Dec 21, 2023 at 13:32

2 Answers 2

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Trains on the Guangdong-Hainan line in China use the Yuehai Railway Ferry service to cross the Qiongzhou Strait from mainland China to the island of Hainan. This is the only rail connection between the two and there are no serious plans to build a bridge, so it's likely to stay in use for the foreseeable future, and they've built four ferries to handle the load.

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The distance is around 30 km and the crossing takes about two hours, including loading and unloading. Alas, passengers stay on board the trains and are not allowed to disembark, and there aren't even any windows, so there's not a whole lot to see for them.

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  • That's a rather boring two hours, or is it a night train?
    – gerrit
    Dec 21, 2023 at 21:32
  • @gerrit Rome2Rio says there are ~4 trains in each direction everyday. rome2rio.com/map/Zhanjiang/Haikou#r/Train/s/1 Dec 21, 2023 at 21:35
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    Looks like three of those are night trains. The old Malmö-Berlin night train on a ferry also didn't allow people to leave, I think.
    – gerrit
    Dec 21, 2023 at 22:06
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There is a ferry in southeastern Turkey across Lake Van. It is on a rail route that connects Turkey to Iran.

The ferry route is 90 km long between Van and Tatvan. It has been operating since the early 1970s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Van_Ferry

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    Does it carry passenger trains? According to the man in seat61, only wagons are ferried across the lake, not passenger trains. Are you sure there have been any passenger trains on this ferry in the past years?
    – gerrit
    Dec 21, 2023 at 7:48
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    See also the Van Pier railway station Wikipedia article indicating that there are no passenger trains using this ferry.
    – gerrit
    Dec 21, 2023 at 8:01
  • NZ Cook Strait ferries carry passengers and trains, but, probably not passenger trains. Dec 21, 2023 at 12:10

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