Luxury Paris-London Sleeper

Sunday 28th September 1936

The Port of Dover witnessed the dawn of a great transport. A new dock at been constructed in the Port which allowed railway carriages to be loaded directly onto ships, which would sail to Dunkirk to offload. The project involved the investment in separate enclosed docks with sea locks so as to keep the ferries at a constant level with the quay. Trains could not cope with the steep gradients between quay and ferry at low tides.

Special sleeper carriages were built to fit the different loading gauges both sides of the Channel, which allowed a luxury overnight service, the Night Ferry, to run between Paris and London. Passengers went to bed in one capital and woke up in the other one. At its peak the service ran to Brussels and to Basel for the Swiss ski resorts. The service ended in 1980, victim of high cost, cheap air fares and the imminence of the Channel Tunnel. 


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