No fewer than 1,352 incidents and near misses have been reported on the heritage railways since October 2011, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

But the public transport director says statistics can paint a misleading picture if taken out of context.

The Manx Electric Railway Society lodged an FoI request on safety-related incidents after the recent runaway tram drama on the Snaefell Mountain Railway.

Passengers said they were terrified when the vintage tram lost power, braking and control shortly after leaving the summit.

It was brought to a halt using the manual fell brake but only after it had careered across the road at Bungalow. - Click HERE For Further Information.

The Department of Infrastructure’s response shows that between October 2011 and the end of June this year there were 1,352 incidents, near misses and hazard reports.

During that period, 37 members of the public were injured on the railways or their premises - 14 on the MER, eight on the SMR and 15 on the Steam Railway.

And 87 staff were injured - 50 on the MER, nine on the SMR and 28 on the Steam Railway.

There were 148 road traffic/crossing related incidents on the MER and 64 on the SMR, while there were 276 barrier related incidents on the Steam Railway.

There were 16 derailments on the MER, eight on the SMR and six on the Steam Railway.

There were 236 issues with the overhead equipment on the MER and 18 on the SMR.

Director of public transport Ian Longworth said: ’The department has a reporting system for the railways so we get a record of incidents and near misses.

’This is intended to highlight where we need to consider items such as operating procedures needing a review before there is a larger problem.

’An example is level crossing renewals where we note failures in order to have priorities for investment for renewals.

Read the full article on Isle of Man Newspapers website.

The Freedom of Information request lodged by the MERS and subsequent response can be read in full HERE.

A Freedom of Information request from a unknown third party, who sought maintenance details concerning the SMR's rolling stock, has been refused. The request can be viewed HERE.


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