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Dartmouth - Kingswear 

The short crossing of the River Dart from the railhead on the east bank at Kingswear to the main resort town of Dartmouth, famous for its Royal Naval College was established to link the new railhead at Kingswear after the Dartmouth & Torbay Railway were granted powers to run a ferry in 1857. The railway company became part of the Great Western Railway and operation was leased to the Dartmouth Steam Packet Company until 1872.

Louisa (1864-1870)  Originally built in 1856 for J Moody & Co of Dartmouth
Perseverance (1864-1869)
Newcomin (1864-1880)
Dolphin (1869-1908)

Dartmouth - Kingswear (Higher Ferry)

A second ferry service operated slightly upstream, originally chain-drawn, first operated in the 1820s. It was of modest success and for a time the chains were powered by horses. Steam was restored in 1867. Closing again in 1908, it reopened in 1912 under new ownership, wire guided. Local shipbuilders Philip & Son took over the service in 1918 and put in service a new paddle-powered but wire-guided vessel. This was replaced by a diesel-electric paddle vessel which served from 1960 to 2009 before replacement by a screw propelled ferry.


Above : Photo taken from the Dartmouth side in 1967. The statically moored paddle steamers Totnes Castle and Consul can be seen. Photo from an unknown photographer purchased by Istvan Radi and shown by kind permission

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