Manx Electric Railway Society News

M.V. Balmoral Cruises

Jurby Transport Museum

Government Restructure

Bus Network Review

C.A.M.R.A Charters

Homefield Emptied

The Ultimate Driving Experience

Demonstrator Arrives on the Island

MER/SMR/IMR Timetable 2009

Great Laxey Mine Railway Timetable 2009

Orchid Line Timetable 2009

MER/SMR/IMR Timetable 2008

MER Laxey - Ramsey Closure 2008

Great Laxey Mine Railway Timetable 2008

Provisional Enthusiast Events List 2008

MER Conversation Policy Under Threat - July 2007

MER/SMR/IMR Timetable 2007

Winter Timetable 2006

MER/SMR/IMR Timetable 2006

Great Laxey Mine Railway Timetable 2006

MER/SMR/IMR Timetable 2005

Winter Timetable 2004

MER/SMR Summer Timetable 2004

Winter Timetable 2003

How not to Cure Chronic Toothache

Cornaa Shelter

Mad Sunday Campaign Aims to Attract Riders...

Historic Conservation Policy

Cable Tram Relics Unearthed...



Below are News Items Taken from the Manx Transport Review

Manx Transport Review No.40 Summer/Autumn 1983

Manx Electric Railway

The Snaefell Mountain Summit Hotel, which was destroyed by fire on the night of 5th - 6th August 1982 is expected to be completely rebuilt in time for the end of the season. The contractors expect work to be completed by about mid September. To avoid disrupting the normal seasonal passenger service on the Mountain line, a new siding was constructed at the Bungallow, to permit wagons to be loaded with construction materials without fouling the main line. Two wagons were constructed on the original Milnes truck frames of Snaefell cars, replaced by replicas built by London Transport to accommodate the ex Aachen equipment. Snaefell No.4 has been in use as a works car.

With activity concentrated on Snaefell, the diminished funds and interest available for the remainder of the system led to minimal Winter works being carried out : some lengths of track were relaid at and near Scarffe's Crossing, scene of many derailments, whilst further work was carried out at Garwick. Paddleboxes 16 & 27 were engaged on Winter works duties throughout the period. Cars 6, 7, 26 & 32 have seen little or no service this season. Car No.1 of 1893 has been out of service for some time, reputedly suffering from blown traction motors. Car No.27 was noted in traffic with trailer 60 (an unusual combination) on July 16th.

The plan to site a new vicarage on the Laxey Station is running into serious difficulties. Sir Charles Kerruish is to chair a joint meeting between the Laxey Village Commissioners and the Lonan Commission, and members of the Lonan & Laxey Parochial Church Council. A public requistion meeting to organise opposition to the IoMPTB proposals is to be held shortly. The scheme has been described as 'rediculous and stupid' and 'unacceptable' and threatens the entire nature and character of the present station.

Douglas Corporation Horse Tramway

 The Horse Tramway appears to have enjoyed a reasonably good season, although the early part of the year was exceedingly slow to pick up. As a result of the evaluations carried out during last Winter, the Corporation Tramways Department scrapped its former geographical fare stage system and introduced a flat fare of 25p (15p for children/senior citizens) for any distance. Pre-printed tickets have been re-introduced to implement the new system.

Car Nos. 21,29,32,34,35,36,37,38,39 & 40 were at last given a thorough repainting during the Winter, whilst car 29 was also given a heavy overhaul. The result of these efforts was the most presentable fleet of horse cars seen in recent years, whilst the overhaul programme went some way to catching up on the backlog of deferred maintenance.

Car No.1 which was loaned to Sealink for publicity purposes last Winter and shipped to Heysham on October 8th 1982, returned to Douglas on March 15th. The car has been repainted by Lancaster City Transport Department at their former Morecambe Transport Depot in an overall Sealink livery. The car has been exhibited at various Sealink-Manx Line promotions in London and elsewhere, before re-entering service in Douglas still in its Sealink garb.

Manx Transport Review No.42 - Spring/Summer 1984

Manx Electric Railway

Ballure Viaduct at Ramsey was at last equipped with derailment guard rails to the tracks - fully six years after their provision was agreed with the Board's 'Chief Executive' to be a matter of paramount importance.

SMR Car 2 has been put through Derby Castle Car Works and is said to have had some pillars and panels renewed, the roof recanvassed and a repaint. Work also continued on No.9 and Trailer No.42. Car No.14 was noted on the Paint Shop road during February. Some spot resleepering of track has been carried out on the approach to Ramsey and at Ballamenagh whilst more fencing repairs have taken place in the Ballaglass - Cornaa - Ballafayle districts.

Douglas Corporation Horse Tramway

A total of nine horse tramcars have been put through a thorough overhaul and repaint during the past Winter and two additional cars have yet to be dealt with. Car No.44 has been equipped with new dash panels and Car No.42 has been rebuilt to prewar condition with the original destination plates fitted to overall hoops. The season of 1983 saw a significant drop in passengers owing to the enourmous drop in day excursion traffic to the Island, resulting from the drastic cutback in suitable sailings offered by the Steam Packet Co., with its much-reduced fleet of ships.

Manx Transport Review No.43 - Autumn/Winter 1984

Manx Electric Railway

Despite the poor season, traffic on the Manx Electric appears to have held up well, although as is usual nowadays precise figures are not published. Cars in use this season were: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23(Special), 25, 26, 27, 32, 33 and Trailer Cars Nos. 37, 40-49, 55, 56, 59(Special), 60-62. The Saloon Trailers Nos. 57-58 were repainted and 57 is to be lettered in 'Manx Electric Railway Co. Ltd.' style. Car 5 had its bizarre paintwork touched up and tidied during the Summer and was noted hauling Trailer 58 on a Private Hire on August 8th. Amongst the unusual combinations that were in service during the Season, Car 2 and Trailer 55; Car 6 ran at one stage with Trailer 60 and green Car 32 was seen running to Derby Castle with a red trailer; this did not, however enter service.

As is by no means unusual, the season saw a considerable number of derailments (sometimes two a day) with cars off the road at Douglas, Howstrake, near Groudle, and Ballabeg, at Laxey, Minorca, and elsewhere. The overall condition of the Laxey-Ramsey section is still far superior to the Laxey-Douglas lines. Derailments on the Snaefell section do not seem to have diminished in number and ought to give rise to grave concern.

The Snaefell Summit hotel, completely rebuilt after its disastrous fire in August 1982, was duly reopened at the beginning of the Season. The insurers now require the premises to be permanently occupied.

Douglas Corporation Horse Tramway

At the beginning of the season, Car 41 was renumbered Car 10 owing to a lack of plastic fleet numbers. Car No.1 still has no fleet numbers at all in default of the Corporation's own byelaws. The wet weather service was maintained by more open crossbench cars than normal owing to the fact that Saloon Car 29 has not been in traffic at all.

For the first time in many years, horse tram crews were provided with a uniform dust-coat which did not improve overall appearances. The MER Board style convict caps of some years ago have disappeared without trace and without any regret.



Aachen 1010

Could you please explain why and how it happened that Aachen 1010 was brought all the way from Germany to Douglas only to be used as a mess-room at the Derby Castle Works yard ? I know you did a cartoon about this tramcar's incredible journey, so you must know something we don't know about the most expensive tea hut in the world !

The arrival of this 20-ton tramcar at Douglas was a mistake. Aachen 1010 was brought over from Germany and delivered to Douglas aboard the LUNE FISHER, on November 12 1976 and was taken to Derby Castle Yard where it remained in use as a mess room for some years. The other Aachen cars purchased for the MER Board were delivered to London Transport's Lots Road Power Station yard, and all had arrived by November 26th.
The original intention was that one of the Aachen cars would be loaded with all the spares and sundries associated with them, and that this car would be sent direct by road and sea from Germany to Douglas. Unhappily the organisation was such that the wrong car was picked up and brought over, loaded with nothing at all. London Transport, as the MER's 'Consultants' in this project, arranged for MER staff to go down to Lots Road at a later date to retrieve the spares-an expedition that was noted in this journal at the time.

The veil of secrecy that surrounded the reason for the arrival of Aachen 1010 in Douglas successfully avoided adverse publicity; both this MER Board and London Transport were under heavy criticism at the time, and the allegations made by the Island's MER Society to the effect that the rebuilding of the ex-Aachen equipment into the old Milnes plate frame trucks for Snaefell was completely impractical, was entirely borne out and the re-equipped Snaefell cars run on modified replicas built at Acton by London Transport. The substantial cost over-run on this ill-conceived scheme was borne by the unfortunate ratepayers of the GLC. London Transport's inefficiency and extravagance was under investigation by Sir Horace Cutler who is said to have found the ill-fated LT involvement in this and other projects to be 'significantly indicative.'

Manx Transport Review No.44 Spring/Summer 1985

Manx Electric Railway

Only a limited amount of Winter work has been carried out on the Manx Electric Railway with the main effort being concentrated on track renewals and general upgrading on the IMR. Repairs to the Northbound track at Lamb's Crossing have been carried out and substantial remedial work has been effected to the appalling stretch of track along King Edward Rd, Onchan. A substantial number of traction poles have been painted up to just below cross arm height and every fifth pole now carries its number. Cars dealt with in Derby Castle Works include the two saloon trailer cars 57 & 58, Cars 7 & 25 and Trailer Car 42. Snaefell Car No. 1 has also received attention at Derby Castle.

The Board has invited applications from anyone interested in developing the Dhoon Glen Station cafe site. It is envisaged that the developer would demolish the exhisting kiosk, shelter and toilets and then incorporate these facilities in a new building to provide refreshments and souvenirs. All proposals for the site, which has mains electricity and a septic tank for sewage disposal, will be subject to planning permission and the approval of the IoM Forestry Board as owners of Dhoon Glen.

Douglas Corporation Horse Tramway

The 1985 season's operation was inauguarated on May 1st by Dr R. Earle, president of the Newcomen Society which was holding its annual convention in Douglas. The Horse Tramway will continue to operate until September 28th.

The Transport Committee has considered a report on the condition of the horse tram tracks, prepared by Holmes Grace & Partners of Douglas. Mr John Grace of the firm is one of the multiplicity of government inspecting officers appointed under the terms of the IoM Passenger Transport Act of 1982. The report is understood to list the defects that required remedial work prior to the commencement of the present season particularly in respect of the worn road surface.

The future of the Horse Tramway, with its increasing heavy deficit, has been the subject of comments by the Borough's Treasurer, and it is hoped to deal with the overall decline in financial performance with this undertaking in the next issue of Manx Transport Review.

Manx Transport Review Spring/Summer 1986

Manx Electric Railway

1906 Crossbench Car 32 which has lost the dreadful green livery applied in 1979, has emerged from Derby Castle Carworks not only in proper MER livery, but also features only the correct Manx Electric crest, and without the unfortunate fairground-style botch up badge produced by the MER Board in 1978. Trailer Car 47 which has also recently been through Derby Castle paint shop is also restored to full MER livery and lettering.

Winter Saloon Car 21 of 1899 brought down the overhead wires at Pole 59 whilst working the 5pm ex-Douglas on Easter Saturday. Further examination revealed that the overhead equipment was defective and suitable repairs were later made.

During the past Winter season, limited track repairs have been carried out near Bulgham top, with appropiate single line working between the crossovers at Dhoon Quarry and Ballaragh. Buildings at Dhon Glen have been demolished.

Douglas Corporation Horse Tramway

The Douglas Corporation Horse Tramway service opened for the season on May 1st, with Mayor of Douglas, Cllr Mrs Audrey Ainsworth performing an opening ceremony. She then drove Car No.44 a short distance. The service will continue until 27th September.

Car 44, the Royal Tram has been beautifullypainted in a completely bogus livery to commemorate Douglas Corporation Buses or Manx Heritage Year. Some signwriting is in Manx Gaelic.

Car No.1 of 1913 which was given an overall Sealink-Manx Line advert livery by Lancaster City Transport in 1982 prior to being placed on exhibition in London and elsewhere, has now been painted in traditional Douglas Corporation Tramways livery.