Click or flick across for photos of the Wymah Ferry in action over the past few decades.
MEMBER for Albury Greg Aplin today announced Wymah’s historic two car ferry has made its last voyage across the Murray River.
The cable ferry, which allows residents to cross from NSW to Victoria, completed its last journey at 8pm yesterday after 67 years of service.
Mr Aplin said the launch of a new ferry next week demonstrated the agency’s commitment to the residents of Wymah and the district.
“The Wymah ferry service originally started in the 1860s as a private ferry crossing,” Mr Aplin said.
“The ferry crossing was relocated to its present location in 1934 and the old ferry, which was the fifth vessel to be used as part of the service, has been servicing the site since 1946.
“In February 2003, the ferry sank after unexpected overnight high water. It was back in operation five months later after being restored and a new engine installed.
“In 2009 during drought conditions, RMS carried out work to improve access to the approach ramps so the ferry could continue to operate in low water levels.
“After a review of the service in 2008, a number of short and long term improvements were identified to increase patronage and minimise disruptions to the community.
“Some of the changes included continuous operation of the ferry between opening and closing times, the upgrade of existing signs and the installation of new signs on both sides of the river,” Mr Aplin said.
Michael Fabik has been the ferry master since 2009 and said ferry patronage had increased after RMS responded to suggestions from the community.
“The ferry carries an average of 600 vehicles a month, which is very pleasing,” Mr Fabik said.
“Although I am sorry to say goodbye to the old ferry, I am looking forward to the introduction of the new three-car vessel and the opportunities it will offer ferry users.”
Mr Aplin said the new ferry would have a much larger load capacity.
“This larger capacity will be of enormous benefit to the community as it will allow larger vehicles, such as fire trucks, to be transported across the river if required,” Mr Aplin said.
The new Wymah ferry is expected to be operational by Monday.
In the interim, detours over the Murray River can be made at the Bethanga or Jingellic bridges.
The old ferry is expected to be dismantled, with some parts recycled.
The Wymah ferry is jointly funded by the NSW and Victorian governments under the Murray River Crossings Agreement.
It is one of only two ferries that remain on the Murray. The other is the Speewa ferry, near Swan Hill.