The Preservation of a Unique Aspect of Laxey’s Industrial Heritage
To preserve and display the unique industrial heritage of the Manx Electric Railway's substation in situ.
The Laxey Substation Group is a small volunteer group made up of persons with experience and a proven record of delivering projects and preserving historic buildings and artefacts for the future.
We can draw upon a wider body of volunteers with experience in engineering, health and safety, and electrical engineering.
Within the old Laxey Substation is a collection of unique and well-preserved examples of early electrical traction engineering, complete with brass switch gear, marble control panels and of course two original rectifier bulbs.
Since the introduction of the new solid-state substation at Laxey, this equipment has lain dormant.
Our group feel we have a unique opportunity to preserve and display this equipment as an example of the Island's industrial and tourism heritage, and recent talks about the project with the Department of Infrastructure have been positive.
Using safe voltages and LED lighting techniques, we propose to bring the equipment back to life, incorporating an interactive visitor attraction and educational experience, explaining how and why the equipment worked, and how the Island was at the forefront of transport technology when the railway was built.
Along with an educational area where groups can learn about electricity, we hope in future to display additional electrical items including’ (in conjunction with the MER), the possibility of an original 1890's tram car motor which visitors can set in motion with an original controller.Future possibilities, again in agreement with the MER, could be a "virtual tram driving experience" providing revenue for the upkeep of the building.
The latest news is that we have been contacted recently by the Department of Infrastructure and we were delighted to be offered the equipment from the old Belle View Substation in the north of the Island. We will eventually display this along with any other donated items offered or recovered from other substations on the line as they are modernised and refitted.
Our first goal is to secure the future of the building and equipment within, ensuring that everything remains intact.
Once we have agreed the conditions in which we can develop our project, we can start to work on presenting the equipment and creating an engaging interactive display which both the MER and the Island can be proud of.
Using volunteers, we can open the display on a regular basis for the public and additionally for specialist visiting groups and railway events as required.
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