British Railways Board (BRB)British Transport Commission (BTC)FerriesLondon & North Eastern RegionPast and PresentSouthern Region

MV Suffolk Ferry – Past and Present

MV Suffolk Ferry

© National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library

Suffolk Ferry © National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1947 at John Brown & Co., (Clydebank) Ltd (Yard No 638) for The British Transport Commission (L.N.E.R. Harwich) as a passenger and train ferry

Technical Data

  • Length: 123.30 m (overall) 115.83 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 18.75 m
  • Depth: 5.80 m
  • Draught: 3.696 m
  • Tonnage: 3134 gross/1427 net/1926t deadweight
  • Engines:¬†2 Oil 2SA 6-cylinder Sulzer (John Brown and Co) diesels
  • Power: 1999 kW/2680 BHP
  • Speed:¬†13.5 knots (service) 14.5 knots (max)
  • Capacity:¬†12 passengers, 39 International railway wagons
  • Call Sign: GCZN
  • IMO Number:¬†5343160
  • Official Number: 182200
  • Port of Registry: Harwich/UK
  • Sister Ships: Essex Ferry, Norfolk Ferry


May 6th 1947: Launched . First cost £380,772.0.

August 1947: Delivered to British Transport Commission, Southern Region, Harwich, England.

© National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library

© National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library

August 1947: Introduced between Harwich – Zeebrugge.

December 14th 1947: After the rebuilding of her stern to incorporate extra deck space she returned to service.

January 1st 1963: British Railways Board succeeded British Transport Commission.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

1964: Vessels painted in the new livery of British Railways, (blue hull and red funnels) and the ‚ÄúDouble – Arrow‚ÄĚ.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Hull, 18/06/1978)

Andreas Wörteler Collection  Andreas Wörteler Collection

Andreas Wörteler Collection (Zeebrugge)

© Ted Ingham

© Ted Ingham

August 1980: Sold to a Belgian breakers yard in Antwerp, Belgium.

November 25th 1980: Left the River Stour for the last time in tow of the tug ENGELAND bound for Belgian breakers.

April 1981: Scrapping began at Tamise, Belgium.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Ted Ingham, Simonwp and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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