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Friday 28 November 2014

Fact 47. Railway Dock was the first in Hull to have direct rail access.

Junction had been opened in 1829 completing a ring of docks around the centre of Hull. The Old Dock was first accessed from the River Hull. Then came Humber Dock with a lock into the estuary and then Junction Dock that linked the other two and completed the circle. However trade was still increasing and with threats from Goole, Selby and other inland ports more accommodation had to be made. The next project was a branch dock off Humber Dock and was to be the smallest of the Town Docks. The Bill passed in the Houses of Parliament in 1844. This same Bill provided for the building of a dock to the east of the city also.

The engineer was J.B. Hartley who was the son of the builder of many of the Liverpool Docks and the first full time professional dock engineer in the world. The original plan was extended and the finished dock was 218 x 50m and extended to the west from Humber Dock. The build cost was £106,000. The main purpose of the dock was to act as a transhipment base for cargoes to and from the new railway system. Many warehouse were built around the Dock.
About 1905 showing the warehouses on the south side of Railway Dock.

The Hull and Selby Railway had been completed in 1840 with the terminus station being just to the south of Railway Dock and fronting on Humber Dock It was called Manor House Street Station. By 1845 they built lines to join with the new Railway Dock makinbg it the first in Hull to have direct connections with the railway system. The lines were also extended to Humber Dock.

In 1968 Railway Dock, along with the other Town Docks, were closed. The Old Dock, by then called Queens Dock after a visit by Queen Victoria had been filled in. The Hull Corporation bought the docks for around £500,000 and Railway and Humber Dock became the Hull Marina with berths for about 270 opened in 1984 

Railway Dock about 1970 after it had closed. You can see that a middle section of the warehouses had already been demolished. This main block was also to be taken down later.

The view of Railway Dock from the Holiday Inn Hotel that was built on the north side of the dock. The warehouse opposite in Warehouse 13 and houses apartments and restaurants and is the only survivor of the warehouse and can be seen as the tall three ridge warehouse in the middle of the first picture.

Rail Tracks still visible on Kingston Street that runs to the south and parallel to Railway Dock.

This is the entrance to Railway Dock from Humber Dock. This is one half of the bridge that carried rail lines to the north side of the dock. there is a mirror image of it on this side and they meet in the middle.

Just to the south of the last photograph on Railway Street are these refurbished lines and turntable. The trucks would have been moved about the system by hand or horse I suspect. The boats are in Humber Dock and Railway Dock entrance is top left of the picture. Manor House Street station would have been facing Humber Dock further to the right of this picture.

The Town Docks delineate the centre of Hull as surely as the old City Walls did in there day. The docks give the character to the city centre and the two docks making up the Hull marina and the waterfront are a popular venue for walks and concerts and the Shanty weekend. The area is to become even more busy and desirable once the Fruit Market are is developed to the east of these docks. I real draw for visitors to the city by City of Culture 2017 we hope.

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