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A railroad car float is an unpowered barge with rail tracks mounted on its deck. It is used to move railroad cars across water obstacles, or to locations they could not otherwise go, and is pushed by a towboat or towed by a tugboat. As such, the car float is a specialised form of the train ferry.

Until the post-World War II expansion of trucking, the railroads had 3,400 employees operating small fleets with 323 car floats, plus 1,094 other barges, towed by 150 tugboats between New Jerseymarker and New York Citymarker. Abandoned car float docks are preserved as part of Gantry Plaza State Parkmarker in Queens, and at North River Pier 66a, and New York Central Railroad 69th Street Transfer Bridgemarker.

New York Cross Harbor Railroadmarker formerly operated a car float service carrying freight cars between Brooklyn Army Terminalmarker in Brooklyn, New Yorkmarker and Jersey City, New Jerseymarker. This car float is now operated by the New York New Jersey Rail LLCmarker. Freight cars do not run in the former Pennsylvania Railroad, now Amtrak, tunnels under the East Rivermarker, Manhattanmarker and the Hudson River, in part due to inadequate tunnel clearances of the New York Tunnel Extension.

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