'Folkestone Harbour', Kent, c 1850.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Newman showing a view overlooking the port of Folkestone with a steam locomotive pulling a train away from the harbour. The South Eastern Railway (SER) reached Folkestone in 1843. The company purchased the harbour, built a line down to the docks and began operating a steam ferry service to Boulogne where pasengers could resume their journey on the continent. On arriving in France travellers had to switch to road transport, as the railways on the French side of the Channel did not reach the coast until the early 1860s. The coming of the railways to Folkestone considerably increased the town's prosperity in the 19th century. Previously a quiet fishing port, Folkestone became a popular holiday resort as well as a gateway for travel to Europe.