FerriesPast and PresentSealinkSociété Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF)

MV Transcontainer I – Past and Present

IMO Number: 6904478

Mv Niobe I

ex Nour I, Transcontainer I

Matt Murtland Collection

Matt Murtland Collection

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1968 at Cons. Nav. & Ind. De la Mediterranean (CNIM), La Seyne , France (Yard No. 1381)as a passenger and train ferry.

Technical Data

  • Length: 104.20m (overall)
  • Breadth: 18.70m (moulded)
  • Draught: 5.20m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 2760 gross (1968), 2289 (1991)/759 net (1968)(1991)/1829 deadweight (1968)(1991)
  • Engines: Two 8-cylinder MWM diesels
  • Power: 4400bhp/ 3326kW
  • Speed: 16 knots
  • Capacity: 36 passengers (1968) 1,000 (1991), and 36 railway wagons
  • Call sign: FNZN, 3ETZ8
  • IMO Number:¬†6904478
  • Registry: Dunkerque/France 🇫🇷, Dieppe/France 🇫🇷, Panama 🇵🇦


November 30th 1968: Launched. Part container ship.

February 1969: Delivered to Societe Nationale de Chemins der Fer Francais (SNCF) and introduced into service between Dunkerque – Harwich.

March 11th 1969: Maiden voyage sailing halted by strike.

© Ted Ingham

© Ted Ingham

March 13th 1969: First sailing to Harwich.

© Brian Fisher  © Fotoflite  

© Brian Fisher (Left) © Fotoflite (Right)

© Ken Larwood  Courtesy of Michael Woodland  

© Ken Larwood (Left) Courtesy of Michael Woodland (Right)

1972/1973: All vessels were painted in the new house colours ‚ÄúSealink‚ÄĚ being added.

© Jim Ashby © Jim Ashby

© Jim Ashby

October 24th 1974: Re-entered service (on Dunkirk – Dover or Dunkirk – Harwich) having been altered to a train ferry.

© Fotoflite

© Fotoflite

November 10th 1974 – January 8th 1975: Operated between Calais and Dover switching back to Dunkerque – Harwich immediately afterwards.

© A G Jones  © A G Jones  

© A G Jones (both) (01/02/1975)

January 8th 1975: Inaugurated the new West Dunkirk (Gravelines) – Felixstowe 3 x weekly service.

© Peter Coupland  © Peter Coupland 

© Peter Coupland

January 9th 1978: Collided with STENA NORDICA, outside Felixstowe and was subsequently repaired in Dunkerque.

© Bob Scott

© Bob Scott (1980)

© Derek Sands

© Derek Sands (Parkeston Quay, 27/01/1984)

April 1984: Her loss making route was terminated.

© A G Jones  © A G Jones  

© A G Jones (05/12/1984)

1984 : Laid up in Dunkerque

March 9th 1985: Covered the Dieppe – Portsmouth route until her last run in October.

February 1986 – July 1986: Returned to Dover – Dunkerque.

1986: Sold to Pireo Cia. Nav. S.A., Piraeus.

1987: Operated between Piraeus – Ravenna .

1991: Sold to Corporation Trans. S.A., Panama, and renamed NOUR I when she was rebuilt as a passenger ferry in Jordan.

Bernt Anderson Collection

Bernt Anderson Collection

1991: Introduced into service between Acaba and Nuwaiba.

© Yvon Perchoc

© Yvon Perchoc (Suez Canal, 01/06/1995)

1995: Sold again to Kassimeris Arab Bridge, Panama (registered to Seatower Shipping Co. Ltd., Panama) and renamed NIOBE I.

  © Andreas Wörteler

Nigel Thornton Collection (Left) © Andreas Wörteler (Right)

December 1995: Sold to Rainbow Lines and rebuilt before serving between Otrantoi – Durres in 1996 then Brindisi – Durres and Igouenitsa in 1997.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Otrantoi, 13/07/1996)

1997: Laid up in Igoumenitsa before being introduced for Ikaria Lines between Brindsis – Otrantoi and Valona.

1998: Registered to Cascade Navigation Corp., Panama.

December 27th 2000: Reportedly arrived in Alang, India for scrapping.


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: Bernt Anderson, Jim Ashby, Peter Coupland, Brian Fisher, Fotoflite, Frank Heine, Ted Ingham, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Matt Murtland, Yvon Perchoc, Derek Sands, Bob Scott, Michael Woodland and Andreas Wörteler.

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

One Comment

  1. I was the guy in charge to sold the vessel! She was a very inbelievable ship!! Built to late for container Shuttle service with inappropriate scale for 20 or 40 feet units. The TC1 was a cancer in the sncf fleey. Kasimeris bought the vessel for nuts!

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