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London & North Eastern Railway
Harwich Services
This page is devoted to postcards and photographs of the Harwich services of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER). An alphabetical list of ships shown on this page is shown below. The Table beneath gives links to complete history pages on selected individual ships. Below the table is a Fleet List in chronological order.
Ships on This Page:-
Amsterdam (2) - (1930-1941 - 4220 grt)
Arnhem - (1947-1969 - 4891 grt)
Prague - (1930-1947 - 4220 grt)
Vienna (2) - (1929-1941 - 4227 grt)
Essex Ferry (1) (1924-1957 - 2683 grt)
Train Ferry No. 1 (1924-1957 - 2683 grt)
Train Ferry No. 2 (1924-1940 - 2678 grt)
Train Ferry No. 3 (1924-1945 - 2672 grt)

Associated Pages:-
British Railways - Header page for all UK railway-owned Services
British Railways/Sealink - Page 8 - Harwich Services
Great Central Railway - East Coast Services
Great Eastern Railway - Harwich Services
Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway - Page 2 - East Coast Services
SM "Zeeland" - Services to the Netherlands from Harwich, Queenborough, Folkestone etc
Ferry Postcards
Cruise Ship Postcards
Ocean Liner Postcards
Simplon Postcards Home Page
Merchant Fleets No.25 - Britain's Railway Steamers by Duncan Haws (1993)
Railway & Other Steamers - by Duckworth & Langmuir
Train Ferries of Western Europe - by P.Ransome Wallis
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Table of Ship Histories
Other names
 Duke of York (1)  Peel Castle
 Duke of Cornwall  Rushen Castle

LNER Harwich Fleet List

Train Ferry No. 1 - Essex Ferry (1) (1924-1957 - 2683 grt)
Train Ferry No. 2 (1924-1940 - 2678 grt)
Train Ferry No. 3 (1924-1945 - 2672 grt)
These three train ferries were built as part of the WW1 war effort in 1917 to operate from Richborough Military Port (in Kent) to Dunkirk. Despite attempts to interest the local railway companies in continuing the service from Richborough, the ferries were laid up. In 1922. the Great Eastern Railway considered using these ferries from Harwich. The Belgians were the most interested in providing a continental terminal, and two companies were formed in 1923, Great Eastern Ferries Ltd and Le Société Belgo-Anglaise Des Ferry-Boats SA, although the Great Eastern railway itself had become part of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) by this time. In 1924 a new Harwich-Zeebrugge route was started, using original original gantries and linkspans from Richborough and Southampton. The three wartime ferries were refitted for service, retaining their names Train Ferry No.1, Train Ferry No.2 and Train Ferry No.3, henceforth referred to as TF1, TF2 and TF3. The service was operated by the LNER for freight only. Great Eastern Ferries Ltd went into liquidation in the depression in 1932, and its assets were purchased by the LNER.
During WW2, the three ships were requisitioned by the Royal Navy, TF2 was lost off Saint-Valéry en Caux June 13th 1940. In 1940 TF1 and TF3 were renamed HMS Princess Iris and HMS Daffodil, after the ex-Mersey ferries used in the famous WW1 Zeebrugge raid. In 1941 HMS Princess Iris and HMS Daffodil were converted into Landing Craft Carriers. Both ships were modified with their twin funnels trunked into one, slightly improving their ungainly appearance. HMS Daffodil (ex-TF3) was lost off Dieppe on March 18th 1945, leaving only HMS Princess Iris (ex-TF1) to survive the war. She returned to civilian use in 1946, and was renamed Essex Ferry (1), running three return trips a week to Zeebrugge. She was joined by new ferries Norfolk Ferry and Suffolk Ferry in 1951. Essex Ferry (2) joined them in 1957, and Essex Ferry (1) was briefly renamed Essex Ferry II before being broken up in Grays.
There are a lot of conflicting details of these ferries in published works. Some sources, including H.T.Lenton, list TF2, not TF3, as becoming HMS Daffodil. Other sources suggest that HMS Princess Iris was briefly named HMS Iris, or that HMS Daffodil was later renamed HMS Princess Daffodil.
Train Ferry No.2 at Zeebrugge.
Train Ferry No.3.
Train Ferry No.3 at Harwich.
Train Ferry No.3 at Zeebrugge.
Train Ferry at Harwich, showing crossed-cables between funnels
Click to open larger image in new window

Vienna (2) (1929-1941)
1929 Harwich-Hook of Holland, 1941 sold to Ministry of War Transport became troopship. 4,227
Amsterdam (2) (1930-1944)
1930 Harwich-Hook of Holland, 1941 sold to Ministry of War Transport, 1944 mined and sunk off Normandy. 4,220

Prague (1930-1947)
1930 Harwich-Hook of Holland, 1939-1945 requisitioned, 1947 burned out and sank while being refitted. 4,220grt

to be added

Arnhem (1947-1969)
Launched in 1946 and completed in 1947 for the LNER. Acquired by British Railways in 1948 and served until 1968. Scrapped at Inverkeithing in June 1969.

Postcard of Arnhem at the Hoek van Holland

British railways official postcards of Arnhem
These images link to larger copies

Arnhem - harwich-HookArnhem - harwich-HookArnhem - harwich-HookArnhem - harwich-Hook

Arnhem in Sealink colours

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