"Fail-safe brakes are to be fitted to Snaefell Mountain Railway trams to prevent further runaway incidents."

"Director public transport Ian Longworth says that the new equipment will be fitted on the veteran trams over the winter.

He said: ’We realise that the current equipment does not meet modern standards and we are fitting a new fail-safe braking system to the trams this winter. In the event of a power failure or excessive speed, the brakes will simply lock on and the tram will stop.

’We hope to have this completed over the next few months and the railway will re-open, as advertised on March 29, 2018.’

Mr Longworth’s comments came as a Health and Safety at Work Inspectorate investigation continues into the runaway tram incident on August 4 this year when a vintage tram sustained brake failure after it left the summit terminus.It hurtled across the Mountain Road at The Bungalow before the crew finally managed to stop it using the hand-operated fell brake.

Miraculously, no one was seriously hurt and no traffic was on the crossing at the time. Earlier this month, Mr Longworth and two railway engineers travelled to the Alps to check out safety equipment used on mountain railways there and see if they could be adapted for use on the Snaefell Mountain Railway.

A spokesman for the public transport division said the trip, which cost just over £2,500, was a great success and had helped draw up a plan to secure the future of the Snaefell line.

Meanwhile, there has been further delays in fixing the trouble-prone diesel loco on the steam railway. The machine, which was bought from the US for £420,000 in 2013, has not worked since June 2015.

Repairs to its bogies are being carried out in the UK. But the public transport division said their return has been delayed because there is no space in the workshop until the new year.

A return date will be agreed at the beginning of the year when final tests will be carried out."


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