DOI chose to "look a gift horse in the mouth " by rejecting MERS offer to underwrite a Snaefell service

"A heritage railway group has accused the government of causing "incalculable harm" after it rejected financial help to run a 125th anniversary Snaefell Mountain Railway service.

Manx Electric Railway Society (MERS) offered £9,000 after it was announced the service would not run in 2020. The government said it did not consider it a "formal offer" and rejected it.

A MERS spokesman said the decision showed " little interest" in the island's railway history. The government had chosen to "look a gift horse in the mouth" and the lack of railway service in 2020 could have a detrimental impact on footfall when it did reopen, he added.

The mountain railway, which first opened on 20 August 1895, connects with the MER and operates between Laxey and the summit of Snaefell.

In July, Infrastructure Minister Tim Baker told Tynwald that the decision not to run the trams had been taken due to a lack of tourist season caused by the island's border restrictions.

A MERS spokesman said the government had "lost a unique opportunity" to publicise the mountain railway and the anniversary "should have been celebrated".

The Manx Electric Railway (MER) and the Isle of Man Steam Railway are currently operating on limited timetables following the reinstatement of the services in July."

BBC Isle of Man


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