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Port of Dover

The Port of Dover is the cross-channel port situated in Dover, Kent, south-east England. The port has been owned and operated by the Dover Harbour Board, a statutory corporation, since it was formed by Royal Charter in 1606 by King James I. During it’s existence the Dover Harbour Board has owned/operated numerous vessels in support of it’s activities and thats why it has it’s own special category on the website.

Dover Port News, Roy Thornton Collection

Admiralty Pier Train Ferry Berth

With ships becoming much larger only vessels built up to and before the early 1970’s could fit into the original train ferry dock situated within Dover’s Western Docks. The new generation of ships that were then being developed were twice the size in terms of size and capacity and they could make up to five round trips of the busy Dover Straits each day. The train ferries that were in service at this time could only manage three round trips at best, this in part due to the time taken to adjust the water level within the train ferry dock to the sea level outside within the harbour.

Dover Train Ferry Dock

Dover Train Ferry Dock

Between 1884 and 1914 several attempts were made to get a train ferry service between Britain and France. Among these was the rejected 1930 Channel Tunnel Project. As a result Sir Herbert Walker, General Manager of the Southern Railway, was authorised by his Directors to plan a cross-channel train ferry service. In 1933 Southern Railway undertook to order three new ferryboats and to construct a ferry dock at Dover. It was agreed that a site, lying between the South Pier and the base of the Admiralty Pier, would be suitable.