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Is anyone on here old enough to remember the night ferry train  from London that was loaded into the ship at Folkestone and taken off in Calais ? My parents lived in France when I was young and that was my preferred journey home. On stormy nights the carriages were shackled to the tracks in the boat with noises I can still remember. You were not allowed to leave your carriage in case you fell over the track or the chains, the carriages were not air conditioned and the sleeping compartments quite small so it used to get very hot. I don’t remember being sick but there were many who were. It was a very slick operation but I can quite see why it was abandoned. 

 

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Yes indeed. A wonderful service until the last days when catering became non existent.

The train was loaded onto the ship at Dover Marine - I do not believe that there was rail access at Folkestone, but I may be wrong.

However, the arrival port in France was always Dunkerque.

Sadly missed.

 

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1 minute ago, rogerpatenall said:

 

The train was loaded onto the ship at Dover Marine - I do not believe that there was rail access at Folkestone, but I may be wrong.

However, the arrival port in France was always Dunkerque.

 

You’re absolutely right Roger: Dover and Dunkerque. I’ve spent some time looking it up this afternoon and, 60 years on, have just today realised I’ve had it wrong all these years !  My only excuse was that, until the train started clanking and screeching before loading I was usually asleep , it was dark and the windows, in my memory anyway, were always filthy. I was only a little girl and I used to get seen on to the train by an aunt, put in the care of the guard and met in Paris by my Dad. Once  I got old enough to be trusted to change trains without getting lost I used to do the normal boat train to Folkestone and then the wonderful station at Calais with all the Wagon-Lit trains with exciting destination boards on their side. I was always told not to talk to any strange men and, boy ! were some of the men strange to a sheltered 10 year old !

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In the period before it was withdrawn the railway press was full of reports of cancellations and there was little if any will on the part of either BR or SNCF to replace the rolling stock to continue the operation. It is quite surprising to look back and note the amount of special boat train rolling stock the BR (SR) used to run all built specially - things like Class 419 Motor Luggage Vans and the fleet of electric locomotives - after the Kent Coast electrification scheme.

Edited by Millsy

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No real future in it really as the rolling stock had to conform to the more restricted  British loading gauge and nobody was going to sleep through the train being shunted onto the ferry.

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11 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

No real future in it really as the rolling stock had to conform to the more restricted  British loading gauge and nobody was going to sleep through the train being shunted onto the ferry.

If they did they would certainly not sleep through the chaining up of the train to the rails on the ship, or the football stadium intensity lights in the ship or the shouting of the crew or the smell of Gauloise and - my memory but I think it is right- stale urine or the incredible noise everything made if it was rough. Inside the train was clean and pleasant but my memory of the ship from looking out of the windows, was that it was very dirty inside.

Edited by Cassie

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I used the Night Ferry shortly before its demise.  1979?

By then, there were only 3 or 4 sleeping cars.  Quite frankly, it was pretty dire - an absolute certainty of being woken up when the sleeping cars were loaded on to to the ferry.

No catering whatsoever.  Bad news.

You might ask why on earth I used it?  Answer is that I needed to be in Dijon late morning that day + it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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15 hours ago, Millsy said:

In the period before it was withdrawn the railway press was full of reports of cancellations and there was little if any will on the part of either BR or SNCF to replace the rolling stock to continue the operation. It is quite surprising to look back and note the amount of special boat train rolling stock the BR (SR) used to run all built specially - things like Class 419 Motor Luggage Vans and the fleet of electric locomotives - after the Kent Coast electrification scheme.

On a family holiday (aged not more than 14), I remember walking around the railway yard at (I think) Dole one evening. I suddenly came across a van with the stencil 'not to be used between Tonbridge and Bo Peep Junction'. Quite incongruous, and has always stuck in my mind.

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I suddenly came across a van with the stencil 'not to be used between Tonbridge and Bo Peep Junction'.

That is the London to Hastings line. Some of the tunnel dimensions were smaller than on the rest of the network and the line had its own reduced size passenger trains.until 1988 following remedial works to bring the line up to the standard loading gauge.

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7 hours ago, cvabishop said:

That is the London to Hastings line. Some of the tunnel dimensions were smaller than on the rest of the network and the line had its own reduced size passenger trains.until 1988 following remedial works to bring the line up to the standard loading gauge.

The trains were built to a much narrower profile and felt quite different to sit in, they also had much stiffer suspension to damp sideways oscilation. They seldom escaped from the Hastings area but  in the seventies did work the SO Brighton Exeter which at that time was the only passenger train to regularly traverse the Northern side of the Hilsea triangle. 

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On 04/08/2019 at 14:42, Cassie said:

Is anyone on here old enough

Bet you weren’t expecting so many replies!  🤣

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33 minutes ago, Millsy said:

the Hilsea triangle

An area responsible for the loss of much youthful innocence, never to be seen again! Ed. 

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16 hours ago, Millsy said:

The trains were built to a much narrower profile and felt quite different to sit in, they also had much stiffer suspension to damp sideways oscilation. They seldom escaped from the Hastings area but  in the seventies did work the SO Brighton Exeter which at that time was the only passenger train to regularly traverse the Northern side of the Hilsea triangle. 

It is one of life's little mysteries to me.

Why did that innocent stencil when I was barely 12 years old (or whatever) always stick in my mind? Was it because between 1972 and 1984 I was destined to commute from Tunbridge Wells to London using the special stock that Millsy describes? or just coincidence?

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, rogerpatenall said:

It is one of life's little mysteries to me.

Why did that innocent stencil when I was barely 12 years old (or whatever) always stick in my mind?

 

Memory is a very odd thing. Why can we remember smells noises and sights from 50 years ago but not what we went upstairs to fetch just now ? !

I do remember, on one of the grotty French railways boats, settling down with my children in a lounge while they watched a cartoon and looking up from my book later to find them equally engrossed in a very explicit adult porn movie. Took a lot of promises of ice cream to get them away. 

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55 minutes ago, David Williams said:

I know, however I was trying for something clever including sea !

Bermuda Toblerone?????????

Alright I`ll get me coat

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Taking the thread back a bit ..... it's stugeron 15 for us also ..... can't remeber what the 15 means though .. Nice to catch up with all the different responses  ... relevant to the topic or not :D

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On 06/08/2019 at 11:33, Paully said:

Bermuda Toblerone?????????

Alright I`ll get me coat       b 

You appear to have (tri-)cornered the market in chocolate jokes. Ed. 

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If this is going to turn into another Marathon thread we need to milk it for all it's worth Ed....

Blame my mother for that one, Mars jokes are always the best....🤣

Chris

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On 06/08/2019 at 09:31, Gareth said:

You made it yourself!  Triangle - bakery products!  🤣

And as it happens the old Co-Op Bakery was just north at Station Road Farlington. Don't look for the station - it went years ago but was built to serve a racecourse that was once there. 

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