Nord Pad-de-Calais /
Seafrance Nord Pas-de-Calais /
As simply Nord Pas-de-Calais this vessel was the very last train ferry ever built for Cross-Channel service. So large was she, an expensive linkspan was constructed along the Admiralty Pier at Dover to accommodate her. The tidal basin used by her predecessor, Saint Eloi, was far too small. Nord Pas-de-Calais was delivered in late 1987 and was initially used on Dover/Calais freight sailings carrying lorries only. Only once the new berth at the Western Docks was completed was she able to commence service as a train ferry. She was operated by S. N. C. F./French Railways and was the only French flagged vessel at the time not to wear the Sealink livery. She took rail wagons on her enclosed deck and lorries above. The opening of the Channel Tunnel was to render the train ferry surplus to requirements, despite controversial plans to keep her going for the transit of nuclear waste. This could never justify her regular operation and she was decommissioned before the end of 1995. She was not mothballed for long as her owners had already decided to set up a rival firm in competition with their former allies, Stena Line. Having been renamed Seafrance Nord Pas-de-Calais, she initially took a small quantity of tourist traffic in addition to lorries until the arrival of Seafrance Monet later in 1996. She since continued as a freighter on the Dover/Calais route. Her rails were filled with tar since she was never expected to carry trains again.
Upon the cessation of Seafrance sailings in November 2011, Seafrance Nord Pas-de-Calais was stranded at Dover for some days whilst the management of the Company deferred a decision on what to do with her. After rumours of food supplies on board running out she was despatched to lay-up at Dunkerque. She was eventually acquired by a newly formed subsidary of Eurotunnel in June 2012, with the intention of leasing her to a co-operative of former Seafrance workers trading as MyFerryLink. She received an extensive overhaul at Dunkerque during which her paintwork was entirely stripped and replaced. She reverted to her original name of Nord Pas-de-Calais and returned to service in late November 2012.
M. S. Nord Pas-De-Calais
Builder: Chantiers du Nord et de la Mediterranee, Dunkerque.
Yard number: 325.
Dimensions (length, breadth, depth): 150 x 22.4 x 5.44 metres.
Gross tonnage: 13,727.
Engines: Two Sulzer diesel.
Power: 24,000 kW.
Speed (knots): 21.5.
Passenger certificate: 80.
12.12.1987: Delivered to Soc. Nationale des Chemis de Fer Français.
1.1988: Entered service Calais/Dover road freight only.
9.5.1988: Opened new train ferry berth at Dover Western Docks, sailing to Dunkerque.
1989: Transferred to S. N. A. T. (Société Nouvelle d' Armement Transmanche).
22.12.1995: Dunkerque/Dover Western docks train ferry service closed.
7.1.1996: Renamed Seafrance Nord Pas-De-Calais. Transferred to Calais/Dover Seafrance services.
14.11.2011: Seafrance services ceased. Laid up at Dunkerque.
6.2012: Sold to Eurotransmanche (a subsidiary of Eurotunnel). Renamed Nord Pas-de-Calais.
27.11.2012: Resumed service on Dover/Calais for MyFerryLink.