Dora was effectively made obsolete within a year by the arrival of the Great Western Railway's twin-screw vessels. She was built by R Napier and Sons of Glasgow, and was the first of the London and South Western Railway fleet to be lit by electricity. With a top speed of 16 knots, she remained in service until 1901, operating as a relief for large ships, when she was sold to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
On 15 May 1893 Dora struck the Balleine Rock off Guernsey en route from Jersey and was towed to St Peter Port by the Lynx with her engine room flooded. She also suffered an ignominious end when she collided with the Artemisia in the Mersey in 1923 and sank in 20 minutes.