The pre Euro Tunnel train to Paris...

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Ziv

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What a brute! It always amazes me that the engineer (and the fireman or brakeman on the other side of the loco?) had such horrible visibility in some of the older locomotives.
But this one looks like it could tow Victoria Station to Gare du Nord! LOL! I never got to ride on a CIdWL train, but they just seem like the old Europe to me, and I mean that in a very good way.
 

cirdan

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What a brute! It always amazes me that the engineer (and the fireman or brakeman on the other side of the loco?) had such horrible visibility in some of the older locomotives.
But this one looks like it could tow Victoria Station to Gare du Nord! LOL! I never got to ride on a CIdWL train, but they just seem like the old Europe to me, and I mean that in a very good way.
Oliver Bulleid was a bit of a lose cannon when it came it locomotive designs. But he was also a genius and designed with mathematical vision.

All that boxwork around the boiler is actually cladding to improve its thermal efficiency, and also streamlining at the same time.

There were two high quality trains between London and Paris. The day train was the Golden Arrow / Fleche d'Or which was all Pullman. Passenger would change and catch the ferry and a different consist would pick them up on the other side. At times the Golden Arrow had through cars to other European destinations.

The night train was the Night Ferry. The entire consist was actually loaded onto the train ferry so as not to have to wake passengers and make them change. The train ferries otherwise only carried freight, this being the only passenger train ever to have used a train ferry from a British port.

The Night Ferry was discontinued in the early 1980s when the CIWL cars were life expired and nobody wanted to pay or new ones. One car survives in the National Collection and is AFAIK presently on display in Shildon.

The Golden Arrow died a slower death, losing many of its perks over time and finally becoming a normal train like any other
 

Ziv

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I realize that todays Western world is a great deal more egalitarian, but everyone in this photo just seems to look a bit higher class than those on any form of transportation today. Heck, even the porter is better dressed than most of the people sitting in First Class on most of my flights...
And I am talking about the mode of dress, and perhaps the "posture", not the color of the characters. LOL!

On edit:
Rats, anumberone's platform photo didn't show on my post. I think I may have messed it up by trying to make it smaller. Let me try to put it back in...

Image 11-2-21 at 1.42 PM.jpg

 
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jis

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The famous Merchant Navy Class Bulleid Pacifics of Southern Railway.

View attachment 25320

Sad to have missed this, but pleased to avail of Eurostar nowadays!
I had traveled from London to Paris by train and ferry before Eurostars came about. It was London Victoria to Dover Western Docks, then ferry to Boulogne-sur-Mer and then train from there to Paris Gare du Nord. Quite an interesting journey that took what seemed like forever. But quite enjoyable. It was electric to Dover and AFAIR diesel in France, for what reason I don't recall.
 
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cirdan

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I had traveled from London to Paris by train and ferry before Eurostars came about. It was London Victoria to Dover Western Docks, then ferry to Boulogne-sur-Mer and then then train from there to Paris Gare du Nord. Quite an interesting journey that took what seemed like forever. But quite enjoyable. It was electric to Dover and AFAIR diesel in France, for what reason I don't recall.
In the days of the Night Ferry the route was Dover to Dunkirk. I guess because Dunkirk was the only port that could land a train ferry. Daytime connections were mostly to Boulogne or Calais. The Calais line was electrified but the Boulogne line remained diesel worked until quite late. The fastest connection was by hovercraft which landed at Boulogne hoverport which had a train station of its own. From there you were whisked to Paris in one of the RTG / Turbotrains which were similar to Amtrak's Turboliners.
 

jis

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There was and I believe still is a train - ferry - train service connecting UK with the Netherlands. The ferry crossing is by Stena Lines today between Harwich to Hoek van Holland IIRC.

A "Boat Train" connecting to the ferry is run by Greater Anglia from London Liverpool Street. At the Netherlands end NS runs a connecting service from the port to Amsterdam Centraal. Unfortunately I have never had an opportunity to ride this, though I have actually ridden the through Eurostar service from London St. Pancras to Amsterdam Centraal.
 

caravanman

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There was and I believe still is a train - ferry - train service connecting UK with the Netherlands. The ferry crossing is by Stena Lines today between Harwich to Hoek van Holland IIRC.

A "Boat Train" connecting to the ferry is run by Greater Anglia from London Liverpool Street. At the Netherlands end NS runs a connecting service from the port to Amsterdam Centraal. Unfortunately I have never had an opportunity to ride this, though I have actually ridden the through Eurostar service from London St. Pancras to Amsterdam Centraal.
You are quite correct Jis, I have enjoyed this crossing myself a couple of times. The combined ticket is sold as the "Dutch Flyer", not to be confused with the flying dutchman!
Back when I worked for BR in the early 1970's the Boat Train was a big deal, our top link at Stratford depot. Diesel hauled, with slam door side corridor stock. Steam heated in winter. All very nostalgic. Last time I took the route, it was just an electric commuter train, no glamour at all!
One can travel from any Anglia station on the Dutch Flyer ticket, and the Netherlands ticket allows travel to any Dutch station. It is actually a Dutch all day pass, so one can use it for several rides!
Day crossings don't require a berth on the ferry, but for the night one a cabin is compulsory, at extra cost. (The combined train -ferry-train ticket including a night cabin, was around £85 last time, from memory...)
A similar service operates to Dublin, known as Rail-Sail...
 

cirdan

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Hasn't the rail station at Hoek van Holland (The Hook) been closed some years back and the line rebuilt as a metro? (The Hook is essentially a suburb of Rotterdam)

I remember the days when on arriving at The Hook you had a choice of international expresses lined up, going to destinations all across Europe. Having to catch a metro to Rotterdam Central and then changing to a train there is not quite the same and does make the journey more cumbersome.

Dover and Folkestone have both lost their dock stations so if you want to combine the train with a ferry today you either need to take a longish walk or catch a bus or use a taxi. The ferry companies are also not especially interested in working with the railways and combined tickets no longer exist on these routes AFAIK.

The ferry from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight still connects directly with trains at both ends, and combined train ferry tickets are available. I think some of the routes to Ireland may still do that as well but I'm not sure. Otherwise that sort of thing is rare these days, in the UK that is.

My favorite route to the continent was always the Dover to Oostende route, maybe because of childhood recollections. The ferry followed the Belgian coastline for a sizeable part of the trip which I found much more entertaining than striking straight out to sea as on other routes. Unfortunately this route is no longer operated. The station in Oostende was and still is a marvelous building.
 
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JontyMort

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The famous Merchant Navy Class Bulleid Pacifics of Southern Railway.


I had traveled from London to Paris by train and ferry before Eurostars came about. It was London Victoria to Dover Western Docks, then ferry to Boulogne-sur-Mer and then train from there to Paris Gare du Nord. Quite an interesting journey that took what seemed like forever. But quite enjoyable. It was electric to Dover and AFAIR diesel in France, for what reason I don't recall.
That would be right. I seem to recall that the lines to Boulogne and Calais weren’t electrified until about the time of the Channel Tunnel project. On the English side the electrification to the coast was done by about 1960 - it was (and is) third-rail, of course. Your journey from London to Dover would have been by EMU. The Night Ferry in the 1960s and 1970s would have been loco-hauled:


The third-rail locomotives were quite beefy for their size.
 

caravanman

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When I last used the service, it was a normal local train link and change at Rotterdam. I think the lack of ferry foot passengers , just a handful, probably caused the line to be given over to a light rail system? Looks like a bus link at the present time?

rot.jpg
 
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JontyMort

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The famous Merchant Navy Class Bulleid Pacifics of Southern Railway.
As cirdan says elsewhere in the thread, Bulleid was something of a maverick, but you have to experiment. His Pacifics were fine machines, but the valve-gear wasn’t perfect, and they used more coal in consequence. Most of them were rebuilt in the 1950s, lasting until the end of steam in 1968. The rebuilt versions looked like this (caught “out of position” in York a couple of years back).
30CEE0F1-F0F4-4E31-8684-6C4CD875F43F.jpeg
Before he went to the Southern, Bulleid was Gresley’s deputy at the LNER, a great partnership.
 
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Palmland

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This discussion prompted me to pull my notes from a 1989 trip. We boarded the ‘Colonia Express’ in Cologne about 6pm. As I recall by the time we arrived at the Hook about 10pm there were few passengers but it was an easy walk to the Night Ferry and our cabin with 4 berths (ours sons first trip to Europe). We arrived Harwich at 6:45 and we’re in our way at 7:45 on the ‘Benjamin Britten’. London arrival was at 9. Travel was so easy with our Eurail pass.
 

cirdan

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That would be right. I seem to recall that the lines to Boulogne and Calais weren’t electrified until about the time of the Channel Tunnel project. On the English side the electrification to the coast was done by about 1960 - it was (and is) third-rail, of course. Your journey from London to Dover would have been by EMU. The Night Ferry in the 1960s and 1970s would have been loco-hauled:


The third-rail locomotives were quite beefy for their size.
The electrification of the main lines into Kent was done as part of the BR modernization program. Initially BR wanted to electrify a whole range of main lines but the bean counters got in the way and ultimately only two projects got funded. One was the West Coast Main Line which was electrified with overhead AC at 50Hz, French style, and the other project was the Kent Coast line which was electrified with third rail DC to be compatible with the extensive commuter system emanating from the south of London.

With electrification most services went over to multiple unit trains of new designs, predominantly the 4-BEP and 4-CEP that were based on the earlier DC commuter trains already in use but provided a level of comfort more suitable for an inter city train such as more comfortable seats, and corridors that ran the length of the train rather than individual doors for every compartment. They were thus the flagships of the southern fleet until the even more advanced 4-REPs were introduced onto the Bournemouth line some years later. As the name 4-CEP suggests they were 4-car sets but could be combined into 8 or even 12 car trains. Because there were gangways through the ends of the units you could walk between units. They could also be coupled mixed with other unit types. On the boat trains they typically ran with one or several MLV motorized baggage cars attached. Some of these trains were still in service on that same line when the Channel Tunnel opened, albeit refurbished and modernized.

The rolling stock of the Night Ferry and Golden Arrow were not replaced at the time of electrification and these were thus pulled by Class 71 DC electric locomotives based in part on a Swiss design and built under license in Britain. In later years the more versatile Class 73 electro diesels would also be used on these trains.
 

cirdan

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This discussion prompted me to pull my notes from a 1989 trip. We boarded the ‘Colonia Express’ in Cologne about 6pm. As I recall by the time we arrived at the Hook about 10pm there were few passengers but it was an easy walk to the Night Ferry and our cabin with 4 berths (ours sons first trip to Europe). We arrived Harwich at 6:45 and we’re in our way at 7:45 on the ‘Benjamin Britten’. London arrival was at 9. Travel was so easy with our Eurail pass.
The Benjamin Britten had the rare distinction that it was the only UK train that ever earned the Euro City branding.
 

JontyMort

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With electrification most services went over to multiple unit trains of new designs, predominantly the 4-BEP and 4-CEP…

On the boat trains they typically ran with one or several MLV motorized baggage cars attached. Some of these trains were still in service on that same line when the Channel Tunnel opened, albeit refurbished and modernized.

The rolling stock of the Night Ferry and Golden Arrow were not replaced at the time of electrification and these were thus pulled by Class 71 DC electric locomotives based in part on a Swiss design and built under license in Britain. In later years the more versatile Class 73 electro diesels would also be used on these trains.
If I remember correctly, these were Buffet Electro-Pneumatic [Brake], Corridor Electro-Pneumatic, Restaurant Electro-Pneumatic, and there were also Vestibule and Gatwick (more luggage space) versions - 4-VEP and 4-VEG. When I started work in 1980, the South London commute was on EPB suburban stock or even 4-SUB - designed by Bulleid (to bring the thread back to him).

As you say, the boat trains were very distinctive with the motor luggage vans leading - and the extra 500 hp must have given the trains a bit more grunt. My morning train was often held at the flat junction at Herne Hill while one of these came through.

As well as the 73s, in later years the power was sometimes a diesel 33. As you suggest, the problem with the 71s was that - excellent machines though they were - they needed to stay on the juice.

One of the 73s is preserved at the National Railway Museum.
 

Deni

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I think there are only two places in Europe to still be able to ride a train onto a ferry (Germany-Denmark stopped in 2019). Italy mainland to Sicily, and Germany to Sweden. I really want to do that before those last two disappear.
 
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cirdan

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Isn't Germany to Sweden via Copenhagen now a bridge as well?

Germany to Sweden by sleeper train : Snälltåget MAGICAL experience - YouTube
Indeed. There used to be a direct sleeper train from Berlin to Sweden that went via the Sassnitz to Trelleborg train ferry (Summer only). This continued even after the Malmo to Copenhagen bridge opened. It was only really killed very recently due to safety concerns over the ability to evacuate passengers from the sleeper cars in case of a maritime emergency. It has now been replaced by a sleeper train that goes the long way round using the land route via Denmark.
 

Ziv

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Paul Lucas has a really good video of the Milan to Palermo Train/Ferry trip. The part I liked is that a single occupancy sleeper compartment was just €89!
The part where the train is shunted onto the ferry starts at 20:35. Nice insider tip for viewing at 21:02.

I think there are only two places in Europe to still be able to ride a train onto a ferry (Germany-Denmark stopped in 2019). Italy mainland to Sicily, and Germany to Sweden. I really want to do that before those last two disappear.
 

Deni

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Indeed. There used to be a direct sleeper train from Berlin to Sweden that went via the Sassnitz to Trelleborg train ferry (Summer only). This continued even after the Malmo to Copenhagen bridge opened. It was only really killed very recently due to safety concerns over the ability to evacuate passengers from the sleeper cars in case of a maritime emergency. It has now been replaced by a sleeper train that goes the long way round using the land route via Denmark.
Ah, I didn't know that one had recently ceased as well. So now we're down to one I guess. I sent a client a couple years ago on the Sicily one, I really need to do that. I would guess that maybe that one will stick around? Hopefully?
 

JontyMort

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Ah, I didn't know that one had recently ceased as well. So now we're down to one I guess. I sent a client a couple years ago on the Sicily one, I really need to do that. I would guess that maybe that one will stick around? Hopefully?
I would think the Strait of Messina one will be around for the foreseeable future. Every so often the bridge or tunnel idea gets revived, but in that volcanic/earthquake region the question “what could possibly go wrong?” is particularly pertinent.
 
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