Victoria to Dover Boat Train 1992

03_179

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Hi all,

Question regarding the above boat Train.
In June of 1992 we took the train to Austria.

Starting in Victoria about 8am we travelled to Diver Docks.

What would be the route?
Canterbury East?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Dr Hoo

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The whole point was that there were paths maintained via all three routes to cater for the exigencies of late-running boats, railway disruption and engineering work (especially during 1992 when the upgrades for Channel Tunnel trains had already begun).
 

yorksrob

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I think that Tonbridge was the preferred route due to the availability of loops etc.
 

30907

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Correct. Bat and Ball (ie Swanley-Sevenoaks) was another regular route. Via Canterbury East would only be used (by that date) if there was a blockage between Ashford and Dover.
 

nickw1

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I think that Tonbridge was the preferred route due to the availability of loops etc.

Certainly remember quite a few boat trains passing through Tonbridge one day in summer 1987. Was slightly puzzled when I saw the first one as they were not in the timetable, but quickly figured out what they were. Typically 12CEPs, I think, a few had a luggage van unit attached. There must have been one at least every two hours or so in each direction.

Meant that I went from seeing about 5 CEPs (from a previous non-rail-enthusiast trip to Canterbury) before this date to quite a significant number of them by the end of the day...
 

yorksrob

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Certainly remember quite a few boat trains passing through Tonbridge one day in summer 1987. Was slightly puzzled when I saw the first one as they were not in the timetable, but quickly figured out what they were. Typically 12CEPs, I think, a few had a luggage van unit attached. There must have been one at least every two hours or so in each direction.

Meant that I went from seeing about 5 CEPs (from a previous non-rail-enthusiast trip to Canterbury) before this date to quite a significant number of them by the end of the day...

Yes, I grew up in Ashford so used to see quite a few. They would make the old booking hall on the footbridge shake !
 

NorthKent1989

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We’re the boat trains non stop Victoria to Dover I take it? Sadly I missed these as I was too young to have ever seen them.
 

nickw1

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Incidentally did boat trains ever interwork with other services at Victoria? For instance, did a boat train of CEPs ever arrive at Victoria and then work a regular service train to Margate or Dover via Canterbury?

EDIT: actually probably unlikely, as the boat trains would be subject to boat delays.
 

BluePenguin

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Yes. Or Folkestone East reversing siding as the case may be.
That’s interesting. I wonder what was the quickest journey time from Victoria to Dover non-stop in those days? Around 1 hour I am assuming
 

30907

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That’s interesting. I wonder what was the quickest journey time from Victoria to Dover non-stop in those days? Around 1 hour I am assuming
Memory says 80min for 78 miles. Folkestone East was 72min for 72m so just crawled into the 60mph bracket when than was considered fast!
 

03_179

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Thanks all for the replies.
I can't remember the unit number either. Back in those days I rarely noted a SR EMU.

I was filling in my Rail Atlas and wasn't sure of the routing.
 

jfollows

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That’s interesting. I wonder what was the quickest journey time from Victoria to Dover non-stop in those days? Around 1 hour I am assuming
I have a 1973/4 working timetable, in which the timings seem to be as 30907 recalls:

(EDIT - I corrected the year above, and the extract is from the working timetable "South Eastern Division main lines via Orpington and Maidstone East 7 May 1973 to 5 May 1974")
  • 72m/1h12m Victoria to Folkestone East, 1h20 to Folkestone Harbour after reversing (10:00-11:12-11:20)
  • 80m/1h20m Victoria to Dover Marine (10:00-11:20) via Tonbridge, 90m/1h30m (10:35-12:05) via Maidstone East
EDIT See attached, 10:30 Victoria to Folkestone/Dover via Tonbridge, 10:35 Victoria to Dover via Maidstone East (these were easier to scan than the 10:00 departures from Victoria).
 

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BluePenguin

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Memory says 80min for 78 miles. Folkestone East was 72min for 72m so just crawled into the 60mph bracket when than was considered fast!
I am quite surprised actually. I thought it would be quicker than that.

Back in 2009 pre-HS1 it took 1 hour 22 minutes from Dover to Priory Charing Cross and that was with 4 stops!

I have a 1972 working timetable, in which the timings seem to be as 30907 recalls:
  • 72m/1h12m Victoria to Folkestone East, 1h20 to Folkestone Harbour after reversing (10:00-11:12-11:20)
  • 80m/1h20m Victoria to Dover Marine (10:00-11:20) via Tonbridge, 90m/1h30m (10:35-12:05) via Maidstone East
EDIT See attached, 10:30 Victoria to Folkestone/Dover via Tonbridge, 10:35 Victoria to Dover via Maidstone East (these were easier to scan than the 10:00 departures from Victoria).
Thank you for scanning these for us, these times look a little better. It’s funny to see mainline via Orpington and Maidstone East at the top. I noticed the DEMU service to Paddock Wood. I never knew these existed
 
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MotCO

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I took the boat train in 1990, and was surprised that it was (I think) only 4 coaches long, loco hauled.
 

jfollows

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I took the boat train in 1990, and was surprised that it was (I think) only 4 coaches long, loco hauled.
That was surprising.
I used the Folkestone boat train once in the 1970s or early 1980s I think, perhaps summer 1982 with the return trip being to Newhaven from Dieppe and Saint Lazare.
I came back from Moscow by train in 1984 so probably used the boat train from Dover Marine, but I don't remember.
First trip to France in 1975 was by hovercraft so we had to use a service train to Dover Priory for a bus connection.
 

Acey

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Drove a few to Dover Western Docks back in the early nineties ,all routed via Tonbridge /Ashford .
 
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eastwestdivide

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I took the boat train in 1990, and was surprised that it was (I think) only 4 coaches long, loco hauled.
Which boat train/to which port?
Loco-hauled boat trains (i.e. specifically for ferry passengers, non-stop London-Dover or Folkestone) would have been highly unusual on a railway built around EMUs. In the late 80s period and into 1990, there was a loco-hauled Intercity service (not specifically a boat train) to Dover from north of London (Manchester/Liverpool). Could that be what you were thinking of?
There were loco-hauled boat trains to Harwich from Liverpool Street, but possibly not as late as 1990. I caught a relief Harwich in 1981, 5 Mk1s and a 37 on the front.
 

MotCO

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Which boat train/to which port?
Loco-hauled boat trains (i.e. specifically for ferry passengers, non-stop London-Dover or Folkestone) would have been highly unusual on a railway built around EMUs. In the late 80s period and into 1990, there was a loco-hauled Intercity service (not specifically a boat train) to Dover from north of London (Manchester/Liverpool). Could that be what you were thinking of?
There were loco-hauled boat trains to Harwich from Liverpool Street, but possibly not as late as 1990. I caught a relief Harwich in 1981, 5 Mk1s and a 37 on the front.

Apologies - it was for the hovercraft, so I assume it was Dover, and I think it was from Victoria. Could it have been from Charing Cross? It was in December 1990. It was a timetabled train, but non-stop. I'm sure it was loco-hauled, and possibly older coaching stock.
 

eastwestdivide

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Apologies - it was for the hovercraft, so I assume it was Dover, and I think it was from Victoria. Could it have been from Charing Cross? It was in December 1990. It was a timetabled train, but non-stop. I'm sure it was loco-hauled, and possibly older coaching stock.
Victoria-Dover for the hovercraft would make sense. Could have been a 4-car EMU, some of which look pretty much like loco-hauled Mk1s...
 

Bigman

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I once did a day trip on the Manchester Piccadilly to Dover Western Docks, mainly to get some non-standard route mileage, such as Kensington Olympia (no Overground in those days). There were still the cut down 33's working the ro-ro's in those days.
 

Gloster

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In the early to mid-1990s I travelled on the train from Manchester as part of a Westbury-Dover journey with only a change at Reading. As far as I can remember it was composed of early Mark II stock, probably IIa-IIc.
 

MotCO

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Victoria-Dover for the hovercraft would make sense. Could have been a 4-car EMU, some of which look pretty much like loco-hauled Mk1s...

It's possible - it was a long time ago and my interest in trains was not so advanced then :'(. But I do recall it not being a standard train - the coaches seemed to be older than normal, and I thought there was a loco at the front, but who knows?
 

yorksrob

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I wonder if it was one of the refurbished TC units (can't remember exactly when they refurbished them for charter use).
 

BluePenguin

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This was the DEMU service to Hastings, which wasn't electrified at the time. I think you're mis-reading the timetable here.
Potentially, although I didn’t see any mention of Hastings on column I was looking at.

On another note does anybody remember any of his boat trains running from Cannon Street or Blackfriars during engineering works for instance? I’m interested to see what these trains used to look like if anyone has any photos they can dust of
 

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