Leeds nostalgia: Channel ‘train ferry’ plan

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Concerns were raised in Leeds over the length of full council meetings, which at that time began at 11am and sometimes did not finish until 5pm.

The main area of concern was an increase in workload for councillors, who it was said had responsibility for people ‘from cradle to grave’, which some argued meant they were ‘overburdened’.

Possible solutions to the problem, proposed at the time, included holding a second meeting the following day to conclude business, guillotining speeches or, perhaps the least favourite option, the ‘lock in’, which would mean councillors staying until the business of the day was done, come what may.

There was also talk in Parliament of creating a train ferry from Dover to Calais.

A report in the Yorkshire Post reads: “The purpose of its promoters is to secure continuous physical communication between the railway systems of Great Britain and the Continent and thus to do away with the double trans-shipment which is inevitable under present conditions for both passengers and goods.”

It went on: “Were such a train-ferry in operation passengers might enter a sleeping car in London and not leave it till they reached Paris the next morning and through carriages could be run, if found desirable, between important centres like Manchester, Leeds or Glasgow and nearly every part of Europe.”

The ambitious plans included the creation of a marine station in both ports, where the transfer of vehicles from railway lines would be effected by use of lifts and windlasses, resulting in vehicles being moved from road to boat in no less than four minutes.

The whole scheme was said to be costing £1m, with funding already secured.