The Project:

Since 1993, Foss has safely guided the world’s largest railcar barge, the Aquatrain, for the Canadian National Railroad (CNR) between Prince Rupert, B.C., to Whittier, Alaska. Foss tugs, the Justine Foss and the Barbara Foss, tow the 100 by 400 foot barge on a 12-day cycle, 30 times a year, where it links with the Alaska Railroad for daily service to Anchorage and Fairbanks. The route is the shortest water route to Alaska by 600 miles, compared to southern ports. The CNR has offered this year-round service since 1962, with Foss assuming operations in 1993 with the purchase of Portland-based Brix Maritime.

Services Provided:

  • Project Logistics
  • Voyage Planning
  • Harbor Services
  • Ocean Towing


  • Both the 116-foot long Justine Foss and Barbara Foss are rated at 4,300 horsepower.
  • The barge is 400’ by 100’ with a capacity of 45 rail cars.
  • The Aquatrain barge was built in 1982 by Shin-A shipbuilding in South Korea and is the world’s largest railcar barge.
  • Railcars can travel intact from origin to destination on one bill of lading.
  • The service has operated for more than 50 years.