The Logistics Terminal

London Cruise Terminal development continues

London Cruise Terminal development continues

The directors of the Tilbury on Thames Trust who have invested in the London Cruise Terminal have discussed the history of the station in its entirety – along with where they think the station has the potential of going in the near future with much development taking place in the area surrounding to extend the Port of Tilbury to take on more movement of goods and more ships arriving into the docks, including the cruises and other ships the station still often hosts.

The station was opened in 1854 named as the Tilbury Fort Station, it ran from Ilford to Tilbury – via the route of Barking and Purfleet, with links to the popular stop of Gravesend in that era. By 1882, development began for Tilbury Docks, opening in 1886 which also extended the rail line to Fenchurch Street, London. This meant rail freight from the capital became much easier to move to the Port.

Following World War 1 – there was an increase in passengers, with Tilbury becoming the biggest port for many passengers to London. The terminal had a landing stage developed – built to rise and fall with the tide. In 1985, then PM Ramsay MacDonald decided to rename the station to London Cruise Terminal. By 1990, the terminal has been closed. Eventually, in 1995 the terminal was re-opened solely as a facility for cruises.

Through history, the terminal has played host to many historical figures, such as: Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, Gandhi and George Orwell. During WW2, evacuees embarked from the terminal. Today, the terminal still holds host to huge cruises, the largest of which can carry 3500 passengers as well as crew.

As for the future, speaking on behalf of Tilbury on Thames Trust: Scott Sullivan said their focus is on the heritage found within the London Cruise Terminal. It brings people together and influences everyday life for locals as a symbol of the community. They are considering various options, including commercial use of the terminal – meaning goods would once again be able to move through the facility.

They described how the £1 million raised for the sake of keeping the terminal going will be put to use in carrying on its legacy – while they continue to work with the Port of Tilbury on future plans. The Heritage Lottery Fund also offers contributions, endorsing in further opportunities for jobs, transport and logistics.

The most recent investments into the terminal have led to a repaired roof, as well as hosting a training simulator in place of one of the terminal’s old cafes. This simulator supports ex-servicemen and women getting back into work through logistics.

With more initiatives set to launch meaning the terminal will be more active than it has been in years, it will certainly have a prominent part to play in the Port of Tilbury’s future as it continues to grow and become one of the UK’s industry leading locales.