MV Saint Germain (1951)

Saint Germain was a 3,492 GRT train ferry which was built in 1951 by Helsingør Skibs og Maskinbyggeri for SNCF. She served until 1988 when she was withdrawn from service and scrapped.

  • Saint Germain (1951–88)
  • Germain (1988)
Owner: SNCF (1951–88)
  • (1951–62)
  • Townsend Thoresen (1962)
  • (1962–88)
Port of registry: Dunkerque, France
Route: see text
Builder: Helsingør Skibs og Maskinbyggeri
Yard number: 303
Maiden voyage: 28 July 1951
Out of service: 16 May 1988
Fate: Scrapped
General characteristics
Class and type: Train ferry
Length: 115.80 metres (379 ft 11 in)
Beam: 18.60 metres (61 ft 0 in)
Draught: 4.1 metres (13 ft 5 in)
Installed power: 2 diesel engines by builder, 4,490 kilowatts (6,020 hp)
Propulsion: 2 screw propellers
Speed: 18.0 knots (33.3 km/h)
  • 36 sleeping cars and 2 PMVs or 36 railway wagons or 160 motor cars.
  • 850 passengers (1951–76), 1,000 passengers (1976–85)


Saint Germain was 115.80 metres (379 ft 11 in) long, with a beam of 18.60 metres (61 ft 0 in) and a draught of 4.10 metres (13 ft 5 in). She was powered by two 9-cylinder Burmeister & Wain diesel engines producing a total of 4,490 kilowatts (6,020 hp),[1] driving twin screw propellers.[2] These could propel the ship at 18.0 knots (33.3 km/h).[1]


Saint Germain was built by Helsingør Skibs og Maskinbyggeri, Helsingør, Denmark for SNCF.[1] Her port of registry was Dunkerque and she was allocated the call sign FNXF. She had a capacity of 36 sleeping cars and two PMVs or 36 railway wagons or 160 motor cars. As built, she had capacity for 850 passengers.[2] Saint Germain arrived at Dunkerque on 25 July 1951 and entered service three days later on the Dunkerque - Dover route.[1] On 11 December 1951, she collided with the pier at Dover, damaging her stern and was thus unable to transport the sleeping cars of the Night Ferry. On 6 September 1953, she collided with St. Jean whilst on a voyage from Dunkerque to Dover, but was able to complete the voyage.[2] In 1958, she spent five weeks on the Calais - Dover route.[1]

In August and September 1962, Saint Germain was chartered to Townsend Thoresen for use on the Dover - Calais route. On return to SNCF, she was put into service on the Dunkerque - Harwich route.[1] With the introduction of IMO Numbers in the late 1960s, Saint Germain was allocated the IMO Number 5305895. On 6 February 1967, she struck the lock gates at Dunkerque and was damaged.[2]

In 1976, Saint Germain was transferred to the Dunkerque - Dover route.[1] Her passenger capacity was increased to 1,000. On 21 February 1979, she collided with the Liberian bulk carrier Artadi, killing two people and injuring four more.[2] She was repaired at Dunkerque,[1] returning to service operating a reduced speed. From 20 February 1985, she was used solely as a freight ferry. On 8 July 1987, she damaged her bow in a collision with the pier at Dover.[2] Saint Germain was withdrawn from service on 16 May 1988. She was sold to Triton Ship Delivery, London on 21 July and renamed Germain. She arrived at Alang, India, on 11 August 1988 for scrapping by NCK Sun Exports.[1]



  1. "M/S SAINT GERMAIN". Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  2. Goodfellow, Ray. "MV Saint Germain, Past and Present". Dover Ferry Photos. Retrieved 10 January 2014.


  • Hendy, John (1990). Saint-Germain Vintage Train Ferry. Kilgetty, Pembrokeshire: Ferry Publications. ISBN 0951350633.
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