Spurred by the success of Captain Townsend’s ‘Forde’, the Southern Railway ordered their own purpose built car ferry. The ‘Autocarrier’ entered service on 30 March 1930, leaving the Admiralty Pier a few minutes before her rival from the Camber on the eastern side of the harbour, just as the ‘Forde’ was about to make her first run of the season.There was special lunch for the VIPs on board on arrival at Calais and the Southern Railway representative took the opportunity to have a sly dig at Townsend’s service. The ‘Autocarrier’ was, he pointed out, not second hand, and would stay on the service whether it was profitable or not. Brave words, but in the light of the increase in such traffic, not with much risk attached. There were already two other Southern Railway services carrying cars to and from the Continent, a midnight cargo boat to Calais and the return 4am sailing. The ‘Autocarrier’ was the first railway owned cross-Channel car ferry and could carry 307 passenger and 26 cars. In the summer she operated Dover to Calais, switching to Folkestone to Boulogne in winter. In 1940 she was at Dunkirk rescuing troops, then later became a recreation ship for men of the Royal Navy, complete with a large cinema and canteen.After refitting in 1945, the ‘Autocarrier’ ran first as a cargo ship from Southampton, returning to Dover in 1946. She operated on a number of routes in the following years, including between Southampton, St Malo and Le Havre. She was finally withdrawn in July 1954.