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Dover: Lock and Key of the Kingdom

Dover Harbour - The Train Ferry Dock

In 1933 work started on the construction of the new train ferry dock to the east of the Admiralty Pier. The dock was built like a large lock because the linkspan which connected the train ferry to the land  had to be more or less level to operate. A large steel gate was  raised from the floor of the dock once the ferry had entered and the water in the dock pumped to the required level. The Southern Railway built three train ferries to operate in  conjunction with the new dock, the “Hampton Ferry”, “Twickenham  Ferry” and “Shepperton Ferry”. On 28th September 1936 the  “Hampton Ferry” was manoeuvred into the dock and the first  railway freight trucks were shunted aboard. The dock was used mainly for freight but carried one passenger  service daily in each direction - the famous “Night Ferry” London to  Paris sleeping car service. The old dock was closed in 1988 when a  new train ferry dock was built on the Admiralty Pier extension.  
Aerial view of the new Train Ferry Dock c.1936.  The 'Twickenham Ferry' is in the dock. The 'Hampton Ferry' about to leave the dock, showing the hinged outer dock gate being lowered outwards to rest on the floor of the dock. The 'Shepperton Ferry' leaving the dock and passing the Pump House. On the left is the ramp used for loading cars on the upper deck of the ferry. Back to Harbour Index