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Diego Delso CC BY-SA 3.0
Tilbury port information

OS map London S.E sheet 171 1946
Public Domain

Tilbury was originally a major passenger shipping terminal serving London, with a rail link right into the terminal.   It had its heyday in the 50's when London Transport recruited staff from Jamaica as they could not find enough workers from Britain during the post war recovery, (wikipedia).   It was over taken by events when cheap flights dominated the holiday market and the rail link was removed and the land sold for container handling.   The terminal has since been resurrected with the boom in cruising, as it is more convenient to London than Southampton, but you have to take a shuttle bus to Tilbury Town railway station now, or use a transfer direct from the port.   What was the rail terminus now serves as luggage reclaim park.

There were plans for a new cruise terminal for London and this was to be in time for the London Olympics.   They did experiment with some cruises at the old Greenwich pier but there were big problems; fresh water had to come by barge, and baggage via tenders was a nightmare.   I suspect the project collapsed due to the credit crunch, although the new port at Stanford-le-Hope is still going ahead.   The latest is that Greenwich pier is still operational (c.f. Port of London Authority) and the new cruise terminal is still planned (c.f. www.cruisebritain.org [undated]).   The old facility at Tilbury may not look much but it works; it even has a floating pontoon so the ship does not have to change the gangplank position as the tide comes and goes.

Although the terminal facilities are limited, passenger handling at Tilbury is very efficient and embarkation and disembarkation proceed smoothly and quickly.   The only downside with Tilbury is that it is hardly a tourist attraction.   It is possible to travel from London to Gravesend and then catch the ferry across, although this might give a problem if it was not running as a taxi from Gravesend to Tilbury will be expensive.   If you do go this route this is a map of how to get from the ferry to the terminal.

link description
maps.google.co.uk/maps Berth at Tilbury
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilbury Wikipedia.
www.whatsinport.com London City (Tilbury). Some interesting stuff but they are confused over Greenwich and Tilbury.   The Google map and hotels have not been updated since the terminal was at Greenwich.   The new Greenwich terminal is still on the cards but the principal terminal remains at Tilbury for now.
www.londoncruiseterminal.com London (International) Cruise Terminal web site
TOTW/Tilbury.htm Information on Tilbury from Top of the World, 2010
Triposo United Kingdom
cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/ TOTW 2010 thread on taking the train from Heathrow to Tilbury. Post #s 798, 801, 802, 803, 809 & 812.
til.png image from "Tilbury Town Station, onward travel information".
www.nationalrail.co.uk/posters/TIL.pdf Tilbury Town Station, onward travel information, current version.
www.partner.viator.com Transfer services from Tilbury
T/CarPark.htm Car parking at Tilbury
ThEst.png Map of Thames Estuary with sights locations.
TOTW 2010 2nd port day and sailaway
Lon.php Shared page about London for all ports that serve London

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