In June 1843, because of difficulties with Dover harbour, the South Eastern Railway company developed Boulogne-sur-Mer-Folkestone route as an alternative to Calais-Dover. The first ferry crossed under the command of Captain Hayward.
On the day of the inauguration, a special train left London at 6 a.m. The distance of 82 miles from London to Folkestone was covered in 2 hours and 40 minutes. The ferry, under the command of Captain Hayward was boarded by the party which included several members of parliament and reached Boulogne at 12:30 p.m.
After a reception by the authorities in Boulogne, after 2 hours and 10 minutes the ferry left port still under Captain Hayward's command. The ferry reached Folkestone at 6:30 p.m. and the train arrived in London at 10:05 p.m.
The crossing is considered to be the first one day roundtrip from London across the English Channel.