Hi. New to this forum. Have been posting in the GE section. Here is a photo of one of the Moroccan SPV's being loaded aboard a ship at Philadelphia in late 1979 I believe. I was there.
http://s1355.photobucket.com/user/pjw19 ... n.jpg.html
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My company had made the booking with Budd for the 6 cars, and we showed up with a small heavy-lift ship. Each crane could lift 70 metric tons, combinable to 140 tons. You can see the special lift gear which functioned like tongs. Very efficient, but hard to unhook due to the swing area required. You will also notice there is cardboard taped to the windows of the unit being loaded.
We first loaded 3 units in the hold. We could only land in the center of the hold, so the crew used hydraulic jacks laid on their sides to push one under each coaming, leaving room in the center for the third. Just as we finished with the 3rd one and were about to put the hatch covers on, one of Budd's insurers came over to say they was no room underdeck for the remaining 3 cars. We said that's true, since they would go on deck. The guy started to panic, saying no one had told them the cars would go on deck. There is obviously a greater risk if that is done. So Budd and the insurer huddled for a bit and then came over to say it would be ok to load on deck if the windows of the 2 outboard cars were covered with cardboard, in case a wave hit the windows. I whispered to Budd that they should immediately agree, which they did. They took me aside and asked why I so quickly agreed. I said if that was all we had to do for the insurance to be in effect, we just dodged a bullet. If we got a wave high enough to hit those windows, the cars would likely be swept off the deck. So that night I went to a local supermarket and collected all the cardboard boxes I could. The end result of the effort is seen in the photo. Rumor had it that there was a solid gold potty installed for the King. Like Mel Brooks said "It's good to be the King".
But the story doesn't end there. After an uneventful trip to Morocco, the cars were unloaded directly to the rails. I don't remember which port. As everyone was gathered around the cars, supposedly a wiry old Moroccan railway employee took a giant "T" square to measure the height of the cars above the rails. He announced that they were 5 inches too high, and would hit the first bridge they came to. I don't know much after that. I heard Budd loaded a bunch of engineers into a plane to head over there to try to deal with the problem. I never heard if it was ever resolved.