TYNE BUILT SHIPS
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Name: TRAIN FERRY NO 2
Type: Train Ferry
Launched: 12/09/1917
Completed: 11/1917
Builder: Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd
Yard: Low Walker
Yard Number: 922
Dimensions: 2678grt, 1106nrt, 350.5 x 58.7 x 15.5ft
Engines: 2 x T3cyl (18, 29 & 47 x 27ins), 403nhp
Engines by: Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Co Ltd, Wallsend
Propulsion: 2 x Screws, 12.0knots
Construction: Steel
Reg Number: 145207
History:
11/1917 War Office (British Army)
1921 Port of Queenborough Development Co Ltd, London
1923 Great Eastern Train Ferries Ltd, London
1924 London & North-Eastern Railway, London
13/06/1940 Abandoned
Comments: Designed to help alleviate the bottlenecks at the Channel ports during WW1.
Conventional ships were loaded with all sorts of heavy and bulky war materiel and then unloaded after a very short journey by sea. Roll-on roll-off train ferries were seen as a way round this problem. They were designed to be used from the new Military Port of Richborough in Kent but started service between Southampton and Dieppe as Richborough was not complete.
The War Office ordered three vessels despite the objections of the Admiralty about being a waste of time and effort and that they would not provide the service required. All the objections were disproved in practice and the first vessel entered service 11 months after Cabinet approval had been given for the project.
They had four sets of rails along the train deck & used a link span to load when in harbour. The greatest vindication for the design was the carriage of two siege guns each weighing 189 tons that were rolled onto the normal cargo deck.
Armed with 5 x 1 x 20mm guns
All three were laid up after 1922
1923: Used on the Harwich and Zeebrugge (and briefly to Calais) service
13/06/1940: Shelled off St Valery-en-Caux & beached. 14 crew killed


Above photo courtesy of Photoship

Above photo courtesy of Photoship

Above photo courtesy of Photoship

Above photo courtesy of Photoship

Above: One of the 3 ferries in 1919 showing that they could be used for road transport as well as trains