Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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MS Bilfergen

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JD 2019 Bilfergen.jpg

M/S "Bilfergen" was built by Johan T. Nerhus in Ølve in Hardanger in 1921. The name Bilfergen or Bilfærgen means 'car ferry'.

When the keel was laid in 1919 the vessel was intended to be a fishing boat, but it was decided to complete it as a passenger/car ferry - the first RoRo ferry in Norway. Up to three cars could be loaded (from the side). The name Bilfergen or Bilfærgen means 'car ferry'. 33 brt, 64 feet long. Two stroke, two cylinder Bolinder engine.

In 1923 the ferry was taken over by Møre og Romsdal Fylkesbåtar (MRF).

1934 Rebuilt to allow cars to drive onboard by both bow and the stern. In 1942 the wheelhouse was lengthened with a cabin.

The last major rebuilding was done in 1964. The wheelhouse was moved to starboard, and larger cars now could pass along the deck. The original Bolinder engine remains, dating from 1915.

"Bilfergen" was in service for MRF until 1960, with a break during WW2.

1960 Sold to Sund council, and in 1975 Søndeled Veteran-shipsklubb took over Bilfergen, and restored its appearance to that of the 1934-1942 era.

The ferry is now based at Aalesund and operated by MRF employees and pensioners.

See here for the source of this and additional information.

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