Groudle Glen Railway

Steam locomotives ANNIE and SEA LION ready to depart from Sea Lion Rocks station


Timetable 2012

Train Services for 2012 will operate on the following days: -

Regular Services


May 13 to September 23

11am to 4:30pm


July 11 to August 29

7pm to 9pm

(in conjunction with Manx Electric Railway tram Services)


Special Events

To buy discounted advance tickets for Special Events please visit the Groudle Glen Railway website (see link below)

Events marked * denote special fares may apply.



Easter Sunday & Monday, April 8 & 9

Take a steam train trip through the glen out to see the Easter Bunny on the cliff tops who has Easter Eggs for all.
Also if you can spot the Easter Eggs along the line you could win yourself your own Easter Bunny
and a Car and 4 people return ticket with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company



May 20

A rare opportunity of a day of trains hauled by the Island’s only battery-electric locomotive
POLAR BEAR and the Isle of Man’s oldest working diesel locomotives DOLPHIN and WALRUS



May 27

Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the restoration of the Groudle Glen Railway. Celebrations all day along
with tickets at 1982 prices....and a piece of birthday cake as well


June 17

Treat your dad for Father's Day with a day out at Groudle Glen Railway.
All dad's accompanied by their child/children travel for free



June 24

A fun filled day of fundraising for the Manx Radio Dreamcatcher Appeal.
All proceeds from the railway and the special events and entertainment to go towards granting wishes to other
charities and individuals across the island



(in conjunctioin with Manx Electric Railway Services)

June 20 & 27 - Booking recommended
(Services 7pm to 9pm)

An evening trip on the Manx Electric Railway from Derby Castle to Groudle, enjoy a guided tour of the Glen
from celebrated local historian Peter Kelly. Then have the rare chance to board the vintage train of restored
1890s coaches for Sea Lion Rocks station and tea rooms.
Tours start at 7pm and 8pm from the Groudle Hotel / MER station.
Booking recommended via the online ticket office.



July 22

Catch the Jester Express to Camelot Station for a fun filled day with Merlin the wizard and the Court Jesters,
entertainers, the Bouncy Castle, the Stocks, Medieval Refreshments and join the search for Excalibur
for your chance to win your own Merlin the Wizard and flights with



July 28 & 29

In conjunction with Isle of Man Heritage Railways' Enthusiasts Festival.
Visit the railway to see a host of different locomotives and carriages in operation,
and also take the opportunity to maybe look behind the scenes in the sheds and workshops of the line.



August 12

A day of FREE musical concerts out on the clifftops supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council.
Enjoy a steam train trip to Sea Lion Rocks Tea Rooms to be serenaded in beautiful surroundings by the best
Manx Musicians and bands throughout the day.



December 16, 22 & 23
(Services 11am to 3.30pm)

Take a trip on the train from the festive North Pole Halt to see Santa in his grotto in the winter
wonderland of Santa's Halt. Ticket includes return train trip, refreshments for all including
Mulled wine for adults, and a present for every child.



Boxing Day, December 26
(Services 11am to 3.30pm)

Relax following all the over indulgence of Christmas Day with a seasonal trip on the Groudle Glen Railway
from North Pole Halt. Ticket includes return train trip and refreshments for all, including Mulled Wine for Adults.


Fares for the 2012 season:

Return: Adult £4; Child £2
Single: Adult £2.50; Child £1.50
All Day Fare: Adult £6; Child £3
Dogs: 50pence
Joint Discount Fares, inclusive of Manx Electric Railway return fare from Derby Castle
(Only available from Derby Castle MER booking office on Groudle Railway operating days)
Adult £7.00
Child £3.50
Please Note: Special fares apply on Special Event Days marked *
(See Groulde Glen Railway website for full details)
Island Explorer & Residents tickets not valid for travel on Groudle Glen Railway Services


The Groudle Glen Railway is operated by volunteers from the Isle of Man Steam Railway Supporters
Association. Further details of the Association and Groudle Glen Railway can be found on the website

The line is situated a few miles north of Douglas, Isle of Man and can easily be reached by car or,
from Douglas, Laxey and Ramsey, by Manx Electric Railway tram services.

The above dates and times of operation have been taken from the Groudle Glen Railway published
timetable, any query regarding the services, or to check for up to the minute details of
operations, should be directed to the Groudle Glen Railway at the above website.


It was the popularity of the Isle of Man as a Victorian tourist resort with vast numbers of visitors, largely thanks to better social conditions and transport links both within the United Kingdom and to and from the Island, that caused numerous attractions to be constructed, each in their own way catering for the addition to the Manx economy. One such project was sited at Groudle Glen, just north of Douglas and which soon proved popular enough to warrant the need for some form of system to transport the crowds through the glen.

In 1896 a steam-operated railway line was constructed linking the inner glen at Lhen Coan with the attractions on the coast at Sea Lion Rocks, a distance of approximately three quarters of one mile. Despite the relative short length of the new line, a vast array of different scenic vistas was offered to the passenger, ranging from charmed inland glen views, which becmae very wooded in appearance as foliage became more established, through to spectacular coastal scenery, much beloved during the Victorian era.

Two stations were provided, one at each end of the line - Lhen Coan and Sea Lion Rocks - whilst track was of 2' gauge comprising lightweight falt bottom rails. Single-line throughout, a passing loop was later installed on the headland, about two-thirds of the way along the line, which allowed the simultaneous operation of two trains. An initial 2-4-0 tank locomotive was purchased from the engineering works of WG Bagnell and was given the name SEA LION after one of the animal attractions found at the coastal end of the line. Patronage soon increased to the point that a second similarly constructed locomotive was added in 1905 and named POLAR BEAR. Aside from a short period during the early 1920's, when motive power was provided by two battery-electric locomotives, these two steam engines continued to operate peacetime services until the railway closed.

With the Manx tourist industry coming to an abrupt halt as a result of the Second World War services were suspended for the duration and when the railway reopened afterwards it was operating over a shortened section between Lhen Coan and the Headland. Throughout the 1950's both the Glen and railway, in line with the Manx tourist industry generally, fell prey to diminishing numbers of visitors and by the early 1960's it had become uneconomic, despite strenuous efforts by management and staff to see it continue. Attempts to repairs POALR BEAR, by then the sole operataional engine - or find a suitable replacement for the 1963 season failed and the line effectively closed at the end of the 1962 summer season, after which it was largely dismantled.

Some twenty years after the line closed the Isle of Man Steam Railway Supporters Association were seeking an avenue to channel its energies and, after looking at a number of options, the decision was taken to try and restore the line at Groudle. From 1982 the former track bed was cleared and in October that year eight 4-wheel former RAF bomb wagons were acquired for various uses during the line's reconstruction. Track laying started in May 1983 over the Headland - Lhen Coan section and two second-hand Hudson-Hunslett diesel locomotives & other items of rolling stock were purchased from a closed line at Doddington House, with the first passenger train being operated between Lime Kiln Halt & Headland during December. Reconstruction continued over the next couple of years and had reached a point that regular operation between Lhen Coan and Headland could recommence on Sunday, May 25, 1986. The following year saw the return of the railway's original locomotive SEA LION, which had undergone a complete rebuild by BNFL, Sellafield. Continued efforts saw the line extended to its original length, with the Headland - Sea Lion Rocks section being re-opened in May 1992.

Improvements to the railway and its facilities are continually being undertaken and it has been host to a range of visiting locomotives, including former GGR engine POLAR BEAR, now resident at the Amberley Chalk Pits Museum. Santa & Mince Pie special trains are amongst the annual railway calendar, indeed this was the first line on the Island to offer the facility and trains normally operate on each Sunday and certain Saturdays daytime/Wednesday evenings throughout the summer.

Details of the Isle of Man Steam Railway Supporters Association can be found at

More details of the Groudle Glen Railway can be found at: