Towing the line – tugs on the Thames


Historically the Thames has been a major supply route carrying cargo and people and this continues to this day – in fact the Thames is Britain’s busiest inland waterway and, according to Port of London Authority, handles over 2 million tonnes of goods and materials per year.

The bulk transportation of building materials in to London has already been covered in another blog post and a future article will cover other types of bulk cargo that are handled at the Thames Refinery wharf.

GPS Vincia @ Gallions Reach 04-06-13

This article focuses on the regular cargo operations undertaken by tugs with barges rather than the ship manoeuvring tug services.

Busy River @ Gallions Reach 06-05-14

Cory Environmental have a base at Charlton in SE London and from there they undertake the bulk transport of refuse from numerous pickup points along the river across central London. Cory operate a fleet of 5 tugs and 47 barges with each barge being able to carry 300 tonnes of refuse.

Reclaim @ Gallions Reach 05-06-13

Walsh Marine Services also have a varied fleet of tugs, barges and pontoons which they use for the transport of building materials and equipment and for the removal of spoil.

SWS Breda (2) @ Gallions Reach 21-11-13

GPS Marine has one of the larger fleets of tugs and barges and they have a mooring facility at Victoria Gardens in North Woolwich. GPS transport materials and spoil as well as other specialist towing tasks – see here.

GPS Anglia (1) @ Gallions Reach 06-05-14

There are numerous other tug operators on the Thames including:

General Marine:
Revenge + Tilly + Barge @ Gallions Reach 19-02-13

Livett’s Group:
Steven B @ Gallions Reach 20-06-12

Thamescraft:
Devious (5) @ Gallions Reach 07-09-13

Thames Towage:
TT Dockman & Viking II @ Gallions Reach 23-08-12

More pictures of tugs operating on the Thames can be seen here.

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One thought on “Towing the line – tugs on the Thames

  1. Pingback: Bulk cargo on the middle Thames | Dock, Lock and River

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