The very last time it was used was during the overhaul of NORD PAS-de-CALAIS (between December 28th – 30th 1988) after which it was finally closed and the tracks were lifted. Unauthorised copying or reproduction of this website and any media contained within is strictly prohibited. The train used one of the three Southern Railway train ferries: SS Hampton Ferry, SS Twickenham Ferry and SS Shepperton Ferry, built in the mid-1930s by Swan Hunter in Newcastle. However, while work was taking place a steam railway crane toppled over the sea wall causing considerable damage. The Brett Hall aggregate yard has now closed with the area now having been cleared ready for the next chapter. Journal of Institute of Civil Engineers, Vol 7 1937. With a selection of up to 50 Sailings Daily, the port of Dover connects England with France. Sailing ships and channel ferries. In October, the American Loan crisis led to a complete ban on pleasure travel abroad and the service was severely reduced. TS Maid of Orleans (II) – Past and Present. Both ships were involved in bringing troops from the USA. Southern Railway, in the UK and the Société de Navigation Angleterre-Lorraine-Alsace (A.L.A.) Always remember the “Whitbread” tankers with their run London – Dunkirk – Brussels. A collection of historical articles from the town of Dover, England, by Lorraine Sencicle. You’ll find Dover’s Ferry Terminal towards the east of the town at the Eastern Docks. Travel to France on our unique Dover to Dunkirk ferry route, giving you easy access to northern France, Belgium, the Netherlandsand more. At the time, there was thick fog and along with Dover Lifeboat, the crew of the train ferry searched for survivors. At first, they were all under the British flag but in 1937, the Twickenham was sold to A.L.A for £150,000 and re-registered in Dunkerque under the same name and colours. Die Zufahrt um Eurotunnel Terminal auf beiden Seiten des Kanals ist gut an die nationalen Fernverkehrsnetze angeschlossen. Dover Port Calais Port Taking the ferry to France With up to 23 sailings a day at peak times, unbeatable on-board services, and friendly staff to help out every step of the way, it’s never been easier to get a ferry to France with our Dover to Calais crossing – so what are you waiting for? The ferry's registered tonnage is 3,550 tons, and it is 421 ft long. As the marine Station did not reopen, the bridges were cut up and sold for their recyclable metal value. Dover, bringing new investment into the area. The estimated cost at 1986 prices was £8.9 million. In 1933 Southern Railway undertook to order three new train ferries and to construct a ferry dock at Dover. There was also a small floor above the train deck to accommodate approximately 20 cars. Although the traditional “Night Ferry” service finally ended on 31st October 1980 the dock continued to be used for rail freight until its closure on May 16th 1988. The original train ferries were employed for this purpose but in order for them to operate on the far shore without normal terminal facilities they were fitted with overhanging stern gantries capable of unloading locomotives weighing up to 80 tons. This train journey takes passengers on the same line as the Eurostar from London St Pancras International, stopping at Stratford International, Ashford International and Ebbsfleet International along the way. Among these was the rejected 1930 Channel Tunnel Project. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. I remember seeing one of the gates being removed and towed round to the Wellington Dock and also assisting with an inspection of the pumping chambers. She was built at the same Swan Hunter Neptune yard on the Tyne that had constructed the original trio of Dover train ferries - the Hampton, Shepperton and Twickenham Ferries of 1934/35. She was designed to carry 600 metres of rail traffic on the lower deck and 690 metres of Ro-Ro freight vehicles above. With UK Government planning approval Dover faces the narrowest part of the channel, and on a clear day you can see France from the ferry port. After a “hiccup” with the new Admiralty Pier train ferry berth at the end of September 1988 the 52 year old installation was unexpectedly reactivated, staff were re-employed and two rail tracks were relaid. The Hampton, dressed overall with flags and bunting the official crossing was to Calais and back with many distinguished guests on board. I was a loco fireman at dover and was rostered at the ferry sidings many times, I was at dover 1956 to 1966, a very interesting area at the time, sadly all gone even tracks to the marine station have gone also, happy times and good memories, I now reside in Australia, regards to all. The night service between London and Paris was officially inaugurated by the French Ambassador on 5 October 1936. The maximum difference between high and low tides at Dover is some 23-feet; however, by the 1920s advances in technology appeared to make such a service possible. Dover Ferry Photos is the copyright © of Ray Goodfellow, Nigel Thornton and its named contributors 2003-2021. Divers laid more foundations, and the twin 30-ton lock gates built and installed in a pontoon. Of interest on this point, Adolph Hitler (1889-1945) had given the order, before the Battle of Britain in 1940 that the port was to remain serviceable as he planned to cross the Strait by sea to receive Britain’s surrender from George VI (1936-1952). It was agreed that a site, lying between the South Pier and the base of the Admiralty Pier, would be suitable. The shortest duration of a ferry crossing takes 90 minutes. Gates of the “box” type permitted the entry of ships, and to assist berthing a 362-foot long pile and concrete jetty was built outside the dock. The Shepperton went to a breakers yard in Bilbao, being replaced with the freight carrier Anderida. It was driven onto the Shepperton Ferry with the Mayor of Dover, Alderman George Norman and Gilbert Szlumper, General Manager of Southern Railway, as passengers. Train Ferries – 1944 gantry superstructure to carry locomotives – David Collyer. A new overhead walkway for passengers was constructed from the Dover Marine Station to the train ferry dock. While waiting for the dock to be finished the Twickenham and Hampton were berthed in the Wellington Dock and the Shepperton was sent to Southampton for use by the Army. IN THE TIDAL DOCK AT DOVER the train ferry is raised or lowered to the level of the railway lines on the quay. Of the original three old ladies, the Hampton, was taken out of service in 1969, re-fitted on the Clyde and towed to Greece, where she operated for 2 years but was sold for scrap in 1973. “The scene in Ferry Dock showing some of the Royal Naval Coastal Force Ships, consisting of MTB’s, MASB’s, and RAF HSL’s.”, © IWM (A 7443)(Left) © IWM (A 7444)(Right)(11/02/1942). Required fields are marked *. and distribution centre; The motorist usually has no extra costs with one person more or less in the car. The Dock cost £231,000. The journey now involves a taxi or long walk between the station and the ferry terminal in both Dover and Calais, so a train-ferry-train journey that took only 7 or 8 hours in the 1930s (or for that matter, the 1980s) takes 10 hours today. Agreement reached after 48 hours of disruption at Dover leaves thousands of lorries queuing She was replaced by the Vortigern. The town is the administrative centre of the Dover District and home of the Port of Dover. There are … These dimensions would give a maximum 30 minutes delay for berthing. By early 1945, both vessels were crossing the Channel regularly for this purpose, mainly to Calais, where the rail connection was almost intact. Then, passengers were required to catch the train in London, alight in Dover, embark on the night sleeper ferry, disembark at the Continental port and then catch a train to Paris or Brussels. Water was then pumped out and the dock built. Clarence Quay was widened by 20 feet and two existing footbridge over the railway line closed. Following an explosion in her boilers, the St Eloi – later renamed Channel Entente, replaced the Twickenham in 1975 – operating the Dover-Boulogne service as well as the Dunkerque route. It had been agreed that Southern Railway would provide three purpose built ferries. Sir Herbert spent a good deal of time formulating his plans, and Dunkirk was chosen as the French terminal. Following repatriation, in 1947, all three ferries were fitted with oil-fired boilers and the Train Ferry service resumed in May that year. The regular crew that had been called up for National Service elsewhere were replaced by Clyde Division RNVR personnel from Scotland. John Mowlem & Co. along with Edmund Nuttal, Sons & Co. were given the contract and work started in August 1933. The cradles for the mines were launched over the aft end of the train deck, being run out on the narrow gauge railway lines. Facilities for the shipment of motorcars to and from the Continent by the train-ferry service were inaugurated on 28 June 1937, when a ramp connecting the shore with the steamer was used for the first time. The summer of 1936 saw the work completed. In Dunkirk the Berthing Master (French) insisted that I reverse right to the back of the train deck, I stopped as I knew I was too high to ho any further, but he insisted and I had no alternative than to obey. in Belgium agreed to build a train ferry dock in Dover, outside the Tidal Basin, between South Pier and Admiralty Pier. As the war clouds gathered, the ‘Night Ferry’ made the last crossing on the 25/26 August 1939. The service was resumed between Dover and Dunkerque early in December for cargo trains only but in time for Christmas, on 16 December, the sleeping car service was restarted. sorry i have no photo,s of it but it was an amazing feat of engineering. Dover is a town and major ferry port in Kent, South East England. Pylons were erected, transformer houses built and a cable supply was specially laid to operate the pumps costing £1,065. High speed travel from Dover to London could mean people reach the capital in less than an hour. Two rail-lines were laid to connect the dock to the main rail-line at the same time, William Arrol & Co. erected a link span to connect the rail-lines to the ships. He had also brought the train ferries from the builders’ yard to Dover and was the Captain on Monday 12 October when the formal crossing was made. 2,839 tons each, they were coal-fired and had an average speed of 15 knots. August 2017: Work Continues with the “Dover Western Docks Revival”. This area of the Port will soon see further extensive development as a part of the Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) project. Of the Sabac crew of 33, only five survived. The ferry can accommodate eighteen all-steel coaches or thirty-two freight wagons. Train Ferry – Night Ferry c 1960s. There is a taxi rank outside the Passenger Terminal building where taxis will be waiting when you arrive. This computer of mine can’t spell, I will contact you direct so please also monitor your spam and trash boxes. A 362-foot approach jetty, against which ferries could be warped before entering the dock, was also built. The pump house was to have three sets of vertical spindle centrifugal pumps of 230 hp, together able to move 720,000 gallons per house. Following D-Day (6 June 1944), large gantries, weighing 258-tons and capable of lifting 84-tons were fitted to both ships above their aft superstructure. The train left Victoria Station at 22.00hrs and arrived in Paris at 08.55hrs the following day. Well hidden by camouflage netting it remained largely unscathed during the war. Train Ferry – loading goods wagons c 1960s. The gates were 60 feet high, and the pontoon weighed 440 tons without its concrete filling. Travel to Dover – the gateway to mainland Europe and gaze out to France and Belgium. Train • 3h 28m. Courtesy of Ron Akines. William Arrol & Co. – leading Scottish civil engineers made the Gates, and each one weighed more than 300-tons. Approximately 300 mines and 300 bags of coal were taken on aboard at Dover every three days. When the train deck is at this level an adjustable bridge is fastened to the ship by a socket which fits over a steel pin fitted in the stern. The length was 359-foot; 63-foot 9-inch beam and 12-foot 6-inches draft. Planen Sie Ihre Reise durch den Ärmelkanal und entscheiden Sie sich für eine 90-minütige Überfahrt von Dover nach Calais. The Nord Pas de Calais (NPC) was the only designated ferry. From Dover (UK) to Calais (France) by ferry. Designed to accommodate vessels of 23-metre beam it could be modified to allow ships of 30 metres beam. To position them a steel pontoon, weighing 400-tons was built adjacent to the dock with the gate hinges on its base. blog written by Peter.Freisberg . It faces France across the Strait of Dover, the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury and east of Maidstone. There are two ferry operators running ships from Dover; P&O Ferries and DFDS Seaways. I’m writing an article to be published in our magazine (Honourable Company of Master Mariners) about Railway Ferries and my time with Sealink. Further along the coast from Dover, lorry drivers have been urged not to travel to Newhaven Port, as all ferries leaving there before Christmas are fully booked. The final passenger service, on the St Eloi, was on 27 September 1985. Not deterred a fresh approach was adopted and 25-feet concrete walls were built on a foundation of pre-cast concrete blocks, each weighing 7-tons. • Much needed quality employment opportunities for local people. Bis zu 50 Überfahrten am Tag, mit bis zu 4 Überfahrten in der Stunde zu Stoßzeiten. When the train deck is at this level an adjustable bridge is fastened to the ship by a socket which fits over a steel pin fitted in the stern. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: The Port of Dover, Colin Clifton, Ian Lilford, Ken Larwood, Mike Jackson and Bob Richards for their assistance in producing this feature. * Dover Train Ferry Dock by George Elson. Book your next trip today! Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window). It is recommended to ask motorist at the checkout of the ferry terminal if you can join them in their car (your name has to be on the motorists ticket then). Two ships were normally in service with the third as a spare. I was sorry to see it go and i was part of the crew that demolished it. The CAMBRIDGE FERRY and CHARTRES were speedily brought back into service, the second closure occurred on October 13th 1988. Learn how your comment data is processed. The Western Docks today showing the Aggregate yard © Ray Goodfellow, The entrance to the old train ferry dock © Ray Goodfellow, South Pier Boarding Station (HM Customs) © Ray Goodfellow, Sand Fulmar discharging aggregate on the Dunkerque Jetty, the site of the former train ferry dock © Ray Goodfellow. Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner. As a result Sir Herbert Walker, General Manager of the Southern Railway, was authorised by his Directors to plan a cross-channel train ferry service. However, the Great Storm of 1987 reaped havoc on the construction time. This facility, if I had my way, would include a section on the Train Ferry Dock. Nigel Von Calais in Frankreich nach Folkestone, bei Dover, in England, weniger als 2 Autostunden von London entfernt. Laying the dock sill and fitting the two gates posed more problems. I’m doing a paragraph about Dover train ferries and problems Southern had with tides and need to construct the old enclosed train ferry dock. Other ships sailing the route were the St Germaine and the Chartres. The gates were then sunk and the hinges secured. Refurbished to carry about 300 mines, narrow gauge railway lines were welded between the existing railway tracks on which the mines were carried in cradles to be launched at the stern from the train-deck. During 1987/88, a new Train Ferry Berth on Admiralty Pier, costing £2.8m, was constructed by W A Dawson. Following the closure of the train ferry service the dock was infilled and was eventually occupied by Brett Hall Aggregates who maintained a marine terminal where they processed marine dredged aggregate. Unfortunately, fissures in the chalk percolating through the bottom caused significant leakage. Dover is the most popular port in England, and the gateway to France for many British tourists. Train Ferry Dock, mishap during building when crane fell over. These were to manoeuvre dismountable platforms that could be used as a bridge between the vessel and shore. A tender of £231,000 for construction of the special dock at Dover was awarded in early August to John Mowlem & Co., and Edmund Nuttall, Sons & Co., (Joint) both of Westminster and specified a concrete dock 415 feet long and 72 feet wide, and having a depth of water varying from a minimum of 17 feet to a maximum of 36 feet. The time it takes a ferry to sail to Calais from Dover can vary. and supported by a mix of private finance and European Union grant funding, DWDR Dover Library. I worked on the repair and maintenance of the pumps and gate valves at the train ferry dock when I was an apprentice marine engineer at the Packet Yard 1966-1971 and then sailed on the Shepperton Ferry 1971 as 4th Engineer,Vortigern 1976 2nd Engineer and Cambridge Ferry 1985 Chief Engineer all operating out of the train ferry dock. Dover ferry port in England is served by a number of ferry routes with crossings to Calais & Dunkirk available. I also was part of the team that built the sand and gravel plant that still stands there today. I could go on.. They worked on horizontal hinges fixed below the dock sill. Dover Library. Tenders for the engineering works were invited in the summer and orders for the ferries were place in June with Messrs. Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd., Walker-on-Tyne. The only special need was the provision of an adjustable bridge and motor ramps. The Train Ferry Dock was remarkable too have survived the second world war, I would have thought that it would have been a priority too destroy, with what was being transported to help the war effort. Tunnel examinations were another interesting activity, particularly Shakespeare tunnel with its very tall single-track bores, and also the ‘original’ Channel Tunnel. was not faced with the problems experienced at Dover. On 2 June 1957, a ‘Night Ferry’ service was introduced to Brussels and in 1961-62, the electrification of the line to Dover was undertaken. A train ferry was used between Dover and Dunkirk to convey passengers as they slept. Initially a cofferdam was to be built using piles of sheet steel within which the dock was constructed. Because of this, its traffic woes lend itself to the port area. With up to 24 departures a day, and a crossing time of just two hours, Dover to Dunkirk is perfect for a day trip or as the starting point for a fantastic holiday in Europe. Route to avoid the expensive Eurostar train. Trains to Dover . On 28 September 1936, the first trains were shunted aboard the Hampton; at the helm was Captain Len Payne. It was expected that most of the Channel Continental port facilities would have been sabotaged so the platform was to be used to discharge locomotives on to purpose-built hards with railway connections. It’s easy to reach on foot in about 30 minutes, or in a 5 minute taxi ride from Dover Priory Station. In 1932, Dover council decided to take electricity from the Grid to try to ensure a stable supply. He was amongst the first to get soaked when the back of the van I was driving hit the fire sprinkler system. Tenders for the engineering works were invited in the summer and orders for the ferries were place in June with Messrs. Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd., Walker-on-Tyne. Work began in 1933 with the building of a sheet metal cofferdam to be backed with an earth embankment, but during storms of the following winter, this was washed away. Wonderful pictures. It contained three sets of centrifugal pumps, each of 270 horsepower and collectively capable of moving 120,000 gallons of water a minute! The ramp enabled motorists to drive direct into a steel garage with room for 25 cars. Building the Train Ferry Dock. Taking The PRINS PHILIPPE Sealink/RMT ferry from Ostend, Belgium to Dover and then a coach trip from Dover to Folkestone. Dover’s ferry terminal has closed to “all accompanied traffic leaving the UK” after France moved to shut its border. However, a crossing using Eurotunnel takes just … Train ferry dock steel pontoon being put in place c1934. By Train. The last Dover to Dunkerque wagon-freight ferry service became redundant upo… All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. In 1950, the ships were fitted with additional flooring on the train deck to allow them to take approximately 100 cars and also lorries. This has made day trips to Dover from London a great option for families who want to explore the White Cliffs of Dover and get there faster than by driving or taking a normal speed train. Ferry travel information for Dover (United Kingdom): overview, schedules, ferry routes and port/terminal information. When open they would lie at the bottom of the lock to allow access and egress of the train ferry. The pontoon was then sunk across the entrance between guides to ensure accuracy and filled with concrete. Sorry, name is Tinney not Tinnry. Together with sleeping car and goods wagons each ferry had an upper garage deck which could accommodate 25 cars, although cars could not be driven on or off the vessels until a concrete side ramp was finished in June 1937. … Dover Library. It was agreed that a site, lying between the South Pier and the base of the Admiralty Pier, would be suitable. Sailing durations ranging from 1 hour 30 minutes on the Calais service to 2 hours on the Dunkirk service. Each ship was designed to take 12 sleeping cars, 500 passengers during the day, or approximately 40 goods wagons. For sidings, 1.8 acres of land was reclaimed and named Clarence Quay. Dover Library. The return journey was equally as disruptive. The Twickenham underwent sea trials in June 1934, the other two shortly after. To run a service where that passenger could stay in the same compartment between London and a Continental capital without alighting was problematic due to Dover’s tides. Like many other local historians in Dover, I feel strongly that there should a special place set aside to show aspects of Dover’s sea-going history. The first car to be placed on the ramp was an 1898 Benz, a member of the Veteran Car Club that had been loaned for the occasion by Major Allday. Need a cheap place to sleep? Hampton Ferry – Dropping Mines WWII. Watch the video guide. From Dover station to … The surrounding chalk cliffs are known as the White Cliffs of Dover. She was designed to carry rail wagons as well as cars and lorries. Between 1884 and 1914 several attempts were made to get a train ferry service between Britain and France. The original Dover Train-Ferry dock closed on 8 May 1987 and the area used as a depot for importing aggregates for road making. For the careening of the gates the only suitable equipment conveniently available was the patent slipway, belong to the Dover Harbour Board and situated in the Wellington Dock…….In the event the inner gate was removed, repainted and returned between March and June 1946,and the outer gate between April and June 1947”, “Maintenance Operations 1946-47 on the Box Gates….” The Institute of Civil Engineers, Maritime and Waterways Engineering Division (Session 1948-49). There are 7 ways to get from Dover to France by train, bus, night bus, car ferry, car, car train or plane. The Dover–Dunkerque train ferry was one of two regular rail freight train ferries that operated between the United Kingdom and Europe. Thanks for your memories which reminded me to add further photos from Ian Lilford! The overhead link from the Marine Station was dismantled and the link-span removed. Between December 1939 and May 1940, mines were laid in the Channel and southern North Sea by the two train ferries and two Royal Navy minelayers. P&O operate ferries from Dover to Calais, while DFDS Seaways offers a service to both Calais and Dunkerque. As the overhang of the gantries fouled the link span structure at the Dover ferry dock to an extent which prevented the ferry vessels from taking up their normal position in the dock, it was necessary to construct a temporary extension to the link span, and during this time the vessels were being used in this way, it was only possible to raise the outer of the two gates when the ship was in dock. This was followed by TWICKENHAM FERRY on October 6th and later, on November 14th, by SHEPPERTON FERRY. Dover Library, As there was talk of reopening Marine Station that had closed on 24 September 1994, the specially built bridge that connected with the ships was put in storage for a time by Dover Harbour Board. The new generation of ships that were then being developed were twice the size in terms of size and capacity and they could make up to five round trips of the busy Dover Straits each day. An electrically operated lifting bridge or 60 feet long link span long and wide enough to hold two lines of track was also to be built. United Kingdom From London to Paris by Eurostar Train, Bus or Ferry Travel by high-speed train or slower and cheaper by bus. However, the winter of 1933 was particularly rough and storms wrecked what work had been done. Advantage was taken of this by repairing installations at both Dover and Dunkerque docks. During 1987/88, a new Train Ferry Berth on Admiralty Pier, costing £2.8m, was constructed by W A Dawson. Featuring newly constructed, blue liveried, sleeping coaches from the French, Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits, it was nicknamed the Blue Train. The train ferry dock, meanwhile, was used to house motor torpedo boats. These gantries were also used for putting into position a portable link span over which rolling-stock could be run ashore on the continent. After the end of hostilities, the restoration of the normal ferry service depended on the reconstruction of the Dunkirk terminal and the reconditioning of the train ferries, including the removal of the special gantries. Dover. I worked in Dover for HM Customs & Excise in the early 1970’s – wonderful to see a shot of the South Pier Boarding office- happy days! Travel to France will resume for EU nationals with negative Covid tests. select city. The new berth would be capable of taking vessels up to 160m in length and 23m in beam with rail traffic being loaded on the lower deck and RoRo freight vehicles on the upper deck. Twickenham Ferryleaving port from advertising leaflet c1934. This service finished operating in 1994 with the opening of the Channel Tunnel. After an abortive attempt to rectify this, Elson decided to put the caisson across the mouth of the dock area to reduce the effects of tides and brought in a powerful dredger to remove the faulty chalk layer. The final British-built train ferry, Vortigern entered service in the summer of 1969. will deliver: Tickets for foot passengers became prohibitively expensive. It was, however, successfully sunk, only one-tenth of an inch out of true. This is a brief history of the famous ferry line between Dover and Calais. The counterpart left Paris for London and there was a daily goods service via the ferry, which allowed the commodities being consigned to and from any part of the Continent without transhipment. The gates, designed to operate singly to enable easy removal for maintenance without disrupting the service, were in place by the autumn of 1936. Thank you for taking the time to comment and for sharing your memory of the train ferry dock. At Dunkerque, A.L.A. In 1933 Southern Railway undertook to order three new train ferries and to construct a ferry dock at Dover. The original Dover Train-Ferry dock closed on 8 May 1987 and the area used as a depot for importing aggregates for road making. It was announced that between 1987/1988 a new Train Ferry Berth would be constructed on the Admiralty Pier extension. It was these three ships, along with SNCF's Saint Germain of 1951, which still maintained • Creation of greater space within the Eastern Docks for ferry traffic; and This, in turn, involved regular use of the outer strut gates every time it was necessary to maintain the level of the water in the dock above that of the tide. They were hinged at the bottom to fall to a horizontal when opened, to rest on the dock floor. AN AMERICAN TRAIN FERRY on the Southern Pacific Railway system operating across the Strait of Carquinez. Dock at Dover the train ferry dock at Dover the train ferry was between! 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