deathtopumpkins wrote:The reason more transloading isn't/wasn't done between modes like you suggest is largely due to cost for freight. Every time you have to pay someone to unload a railcar and load a ship, and vice-versa, is extra money spent, which drives up the cost of shipping significantly versus just leaving it on one ship for longer.
For passengers, it significantly cuts into the time savings and passenger appeal. Every transfer requires time to unload and reload everyone and their luggage, and ideally has some fat built into it in case a connection is late. Most modern day long distance ferries, for example, require you to arrive as much as 3 hours before departure to get everyone loaded and clear customs/immigration (if applicable). So then to ensure the train doesn't regularly delay the ferry, you schedule the train to arrive 4 hours before the ferry. That starts to negate the time savings, and sitting around for 4 hours waiting doesn't really appeal to most passengers, especially if it's at an odd hour, and they have to do it multiple times in one trip. People also like to get settled into their seat/room/etc. People are willing to pay more and/or travel for slightly longer if they can do it in one seat instead of having to make multiple connections, especially if they plan on sleeping.
All valid points, for shorter distances, but I am thinking of inter continental journeys taking weeks/ months , in the early days.One early American example would be New York to California , via Panama. This was before the transcontinental railroad, and the Panama Canal.
AFAIK.Passengers would go by boat from NY to Colon, Panama, by train across to Panama City, then boat up to San Francisco. I don't know if a Train to Florida existed then , or from San Diego to San Francisco, but perhaps people did just prefer to stay on the boat as long as possible.
There are some examples , Europe to Japan , Many would take the Trans Siberian across to Vladivostok, then boat to Japan.
Moderator worldwide railfan
, Rail travel & trip reports
The only train trips I regret are the ones I didn't take.