Twenty five years ago...
...long before the Eurostar trains, if one wished to connect by rail from Bruges or other points in Belgium
to London, it meant traveling to Oostende Central Station, and continuing the trip by high speed water craft
or conventional ferry across the English Channel to Dover, where the trip by rail to London continued.
Not as fast or luxurious as the sleek Eurostar, but with a certain nostalgic charm...
This photo was taken in 1984 as our Jetfoil navigated through Oostende's harbor on its way to the Channel.
From a Perutz-64 transparency
Thomas Reitzel 20/12/2011 0:10Frankly, I always considered the Oostende - Dover trip as the least attractive of all possibilities to get to the island.
I much preferred the Hoek van Holland - Harwich night ferry. Much better ships, better comfort, smoother travel, and, last but not least, a much more inspring train connection to London Liverpool Street than from that drab Dover Western(or Eastern-)docks station on one of these ugly third rail-electrics to London Victoria.
But I mostly liked one occasion: A day trip on the Wien-Oostende-Express from Mainz to Oostende and the same day back, partly on the footplate of a belgian electric, which was made possible by a friendly young driver between Liège and Aachen, the most demanding part of the whole trip for the SNCB-electrics with 13 well-filled heavy cars(sleepers and couchette cars) in tow... a fondly rememered day in late August 1980...
- but this is a good and unusual view of the harbour!