THE SNAEFELL MOUNTAIN RAILWAY
The Minister for the Department of Infrastructure appeared on Manx Radio news on Friday and seemed to suggest, (although without figures to justify this) that for reasons of cost the Snaefell Mountain Railway cannot run this year. This Minister's interview on Manx Radio is available to view HERE.
The Committee of the Manx Electric Railway Society has this morning unanimously voted to transfer £9000 to the Railways to permit them to operate the Snaefell Mountain Railway for three weeks for the 125th Anniversary Celebrations.
We believe that £9000 will be more than enough cover the costs of 4 weeks operation starting on the 125 Anniversary (21.08.20). It would be 15 days operation for 4 men if the forecast is bad and 6 men if the forecast is good. With 6 staff in every day that’s just 50 passengers to break even, a tram full. The weather is improving and there is good reason to believe that this will work.
The £9000 will be a backstop. If the trams run and do not cost the Government money then it can be used to restore a tramcar which is presently out of use and accordingly the gift will be consistent with our objectives as a charity.
Originally formed in 1973, the MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY SOCIETY is charged with the express purpose of protecting and promoting the retention and development of the MER and other Island tramways at a reasonable cost. It successfully campaigned for the reinstatement and re-opening of the Laxey - Ramsey section of the MER during 1975-77. The Society became a Registered Charity in 1978.
The Society proposed the 1993 "Year of Railways", a series of events to mark the Centenary of the MER. Initially brushed off by management who had planned "a special tram with some ham sandwiches", the Society persuaded politicians who in turn put pressure on Isle of Man Transport and the opportunity was eventually embraced, producing some 25,000 extra visitors during the year, and inspired a series of follow up events throughout what was left of the 1990s.
In 1999, the MER Society vigorously and successfully opposed a new bus service, the 11B, which would have followed the same route as the MER, leaving 5 minutes before every tram and charging bus fares at least half the price. This was seen at the time as the biggest threat to the survival of the railway since the Ramsey line closure in 1975.
Since its formation, the MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY SOCIETY has continued to offer help, advice and assistance to the railway, and remains as a resolute and constant guardian in an unpredictable and at times hostile world.
The MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY SOCIETY is the only Island based organisation concerned with all aspects of Island transport and pursues an active and direct interest through its comprehensive and fully illustrated magazine, MANX TRANSPORT REVIEW. This journal deals with road, rail, sea and air transport topics, and is distributed free to members. As well as a round up of news and comment, the magazine contains special features, historical and technical articles and forms a vital forum for the exchange of views.
In February 2015, the Society officially launched its new website, designed to complement the magazine with historical and political content aimed at promoting interest and retention of the MER, and featuring public and members only pages and online membership to extend further the reach of the Society to a worldwide audience.