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. I’m writing an article to be published in our magazine (Honourable Company of Master Mariners) about Railway Ferries and my time with Sealink. Provision was made for locking the vessels to the link bridge with a steel pin located at the stern of each vessel and for pumping water into the dock bringing the vessel up to a level where the train could be shipped. With UK Government planning approval A new overhead walkway for passengers was constructed from the Dover Marine Station to the train ferry dock. 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. search. P&O operate ferries from Dover to Calais, while DFDS Seaways offers a service to both Calais and Dunkerque. Help and advice with train travel in the UK . Unfortunately, fissures in the chalk percolating through the bottom caused significant leakage. 2,839 tons each, they were coal-fired and had an average speed of 15 knots. Route to avoid the expensive Eurostar train. We recommend booking.com. 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. I was attached to the Southern Region District Engineer’s office at Ashford for several years between September 1961 and November 1967. 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. Direct trains to and from London Victoria or London Charing Cross stations to Dover Priory take around 1 hour 45 minutes each way. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Designed to accommodate vessels of 23-metre beam it could be modified to allow ships of 30 metres beam. Von Calais in Frankreich nach Folkestone, bei Dover, in England, weniger als 2 Autostunden von London entfernt. Dover, bringing new investment into the area. Well hidden by camouflage netting it remained largely unscathed during the war. They were hinged at the bottom to fall to a horizontal when opened, to rest on the dock floor. Journal of Institute of Civil Engineers, Vol 7 1937. When open they would lie at the bottom of the lock to allow access and egress of the train ferry. blog written by Peter.Freisberg . The final British-built train ferry, Vortigern entered service in the summer of 1969. The Dover–Dunkerque train ferry was one of two regular rail freight train ferries that operated between the United Kingdom and Europe. The train ferry dock, meanwhile, was used to house motor torpedo boats. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF). • Creation of greater space within the Eastern Docks for ferry traffic; and York Museum 2010. 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. The area is now Cruise Terminal 2. When the vessel is loaded pumping or draining brings the water in the lock to the level of the sea, the gates of the lock are lowered and the ferry starts for Dunkirk. On the train deck of the ships was a system of jacks and chains, the former to take the weight of the carriages off their own springs, the latter to hold each carriage securely in position. The Nord Pas de Calais (NPC) was the only designated ferry. 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. The return journey was equally as disruptive. Building the Train Ferry Dock. However, the Great Storm of 1987 reaped havoc on the construction time. 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. A caisson, weighing 525-tons was floated down from the Tyne and positioned within the concrete walls. 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. 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. Among these was the rejected 1930 Channel Tunnel Project. 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. 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. All trademarks featured within are and remain the property of their respective owners. At the time, there was thick fog and along with Dover Lifeboat, the crew of the train ferry searched for survivors. On September 28th 1936 the HAMPTON FERRY was first of the trio to pass through into the new dock and overnight October 13th – 14th 1936 the inaugural passenger party travels from Paris to London in two trains of six sleeping cars. Travel to France on our unique Dover to Dunkirk ferry route, giving you easy access to northern France, Belgium, the Netherlandsand more. He was amongst the first to get soaked when the back of the van I was driving hit the fire sprinkler system. “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). The town is the administrative centre of the Dover District and home of the Port of Dover. 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. Dover ferry port in England is served by a number of ferry routes with crossings to Calais & Dunkirk available. The time it takes a ferry to sail to Calais from Dover can vary. 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 bottom was then covered with thick concrete laid by divers in strips of 80-feet x 5-feet. Your email address will not be published. War was declared on 3 September and the Royal Navy requisitioned, for mine laying, the two British train ferries as HMS Hampton and HMS Shepperton. Adapted for the British loading gauge, each overnight train carried up to five and occasionally six, sleeping cars and because of their weight, the train was double-headed. Train Ferry under construction c1933. There are two ferry operators running ships from Dover; P&O Ferries and DFDS Seaways. It had been agreed that Southern Railway would provide three purpose built ferries. 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 garage, on the top deck was fire proofed, and motorists were able to leave petrol in their tanks. 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. It was, however, successfully sunk, only one-tenth of an inch out of true. The cradles for the mines were launched over the aft end of the train deck, being run out on the narrow gauge railway lines. Learn how your comment data is processed. This area of the Port will soon see further extensive development as a part of the Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) project. Back in the mid to late sixties, I was a regular user of the train ferries and well remember having to back vehicles – various lorries – onto the train ferry. I have many memories of those times- e.g.I must be one of very few drivers to have had a collision with a ferry and come off best! Not only has it a special place in Dover’s maritime history, but the design was revolutionary at the time and served as a prototype for the Thames Barrier. 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! 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. It was agreed that a site, lying between the South Pier and the base of the Admiralty Pier, would be suitable. Pylons were erected, transformer houses built and a cable supply was specially laid to operate the pumps costing £1,065. was not faced with the problems experienced at Dover. With ships becoming much larger only vessels built up to and before the early 1970’s could fit into the original train ferry dock. By Train. With a selection of up to 50 Sailings Daily, the port of Dover connects England with France. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. 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. Sir Herbert spent a good deal of time formulating his plans, and Dunkirk was chosen as the French terminal. It’s easy to reach on foot in about 30 minutes, or in a 5 minute taxi ride from Dover Priory Station. She was replaced by the Vortigern. Designed to accommodate vessels of 23-metre beam it could be modified to allow ships of 30 metres beam. The original Dover Train-Ferry dock closed on 8 May 1987 and the area used as a depot for importing aggregates for road making. All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. Was amazed that the French and Belgians loved Whitbread Tankard. Divers laid more foundations, and the twin 30-ton lock gates built and installed in a pontoon. 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. Each ship was designed to take 12 sleeping cars, 500 passengers during the day, or approximately 40 goods wagons. • Much needed quality employment opportunities for local people. High speed travel from Dover to London could mean people reach the capital in less than an hour. The motorist usually has no extra costs with one person more or less in the car. In 1933 Southern Railway undertook to order three new train ferries and to construct a ferry dock at Dover. 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