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Night Ferry


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Does anybody know the train formation for the old London - Paris night ferry service ? 

The British locos are easy enough to find but are the suitable French stock avaliable from European model firms ?

Any ideas anyone, just one of those silly projects that enter your head when you have nothing to do !

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I  can remember the Golden Arrow during the day when I was a kid. Spam can loco and Pullman carriages. I can remember the French wagons lit in the carriage sidings at Victoria during my commuting days. They don't seem much different to our Pullmans apart from the livery. 

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The only thing l can discover was that the SNCF vehicles were specialy built for the British loading gauge in the fities. There were sleeping cars (wagon lit) and day cars, normal coaches on the train and one or two luggage vans with birdcage style roofs. There was also an advertised resturant car for sleeper passengers and buffet car for the plebs.

I know at one stage they used Southern utility vans on the service instead of French one. Would this have been the only instance of UK vehicles being used in Europe at that time?

Apparently the service was often double headed in steam days due to the weight of the train. It took eleven hours London to Paris, 9pm departure London arriving at 9am Paris time. Now you can pop over for lunch and be back home for supper.

The Golden Arrow was the daytime version of the service, all British Pullmans, and passengers alighted at Dover for the ferry rather than the train going on the ferry its self. 

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Thanks for the link Roddy, very interesting.

Followed the link to ls models in Belgium as well but the google translate does not understand railway talk very well ! Trouble being that everything is HO anyway. 

Its an interesting train service that l have never seen modeled here. Probably  to much of a niche market for commercial production as well.




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Fortunately there's an excellent online index to articles in Model Rail magazine at  http://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk/ModelRail  .  

Entering "Night Ferry" in the search box gives the following results:-

2004 72
32 Night Train to Paris, Ferry Trains Prototype info on the 'Night Ferry' sleeping car express to Paris Prototype upto 1980 3-7 Prototype Information
2004 73
42 CIWL Class F sleeping car Modelling train ferry traffic with the Model Rail 'Night Ferry' kit 4mm 00   5-7 Modelling-Coaches
2004 74
66 Building the Night Ferry Kit - 2 Completion of the Class F sleeping car Model Rail 'Night Ferry' kit 4mm 00   5-6 Modelling-Coaches
2006 97
56 Fourgon Conclusion Complete your 'Night Ferry' set with these new SNCF luggage vans 4mm 00 1970s-1980s 7-8 Modelling-Wagons
2007 107
36 Continental Baggage Building the latest 4mm scale brass kit in the Southern Railway 'Night Ferry' range from MARC Models. 4mm 00 1930s 3 Modelling-Wagons

Now all you have to do is find those issues!



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Marcs models still do the sleeping cars and forgons as unbuilt kits or they can supplied built, both either challange my kit building skill or my wallet so it looks like one of those "if only " projects.

Still it was an interesting to do a bit of research on it. 

In my minds eye a bit like the Orient Express l imagine spies in dinner jackets and glamours women in evening gowns although in fact it seems far from that and being woken up in the middle of the night by burly dockers chaining the coaches down on the ferry and again at the other side probably did'nt make it the most restfull a nights sleep either.

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