TT practice week 1979 coincided with the 'Vintage Transport Week' organised by Isle of Man Railways. The week consisted of a series of events for enthusiasts and others, and a special ticket, valid for travel over MER, SMR, IMR and DCTD lines was available. The most interesting event was the 'Centenary of Electric Traction” procession, held on Thursday May 31st. This took place at Laxey and the cars were paraded along the line through Laxey Station, running southbound on both tracks.

Prior to procession the cars had been stacked along the line at Little Egypt curve, just north of Laxey public level crossing No.3.

(Photo: Ray Wilson)

Cars were fitted with a small oval headboard , featuring the Millennium of Tynwald badge, the '100 years of Electric Traction' symbol and the MER board's badge. These headboards were fitted only to the south end clerestories of the cars. Shortly after 11.00am with clouds and scattered showers, the cars began to make their runs, one by one through the station. The precise order of appearances in this remarkable procession was as follows:-

Car No.1 with Trailer 49 fully restored as 'Douglas & Laxey Coast Electric Railway' (1893); Car No.9 with Trailer 37 'Douglas & Ramsey Electric Railway' (1899); Car No.19 fully restored to 'Manx Electric Railway Co. Ltd' (1938). All the foregoing cars were exquisite testimonials to the MER craftsman of Derby Castle Car Works. Then followed Car No.32 with Trailer 62 painted in the ill-fated and short-lived green and white livery; Car No.5 with Royal Trailer 59; Car No.18 with Trailer 60 and Van No.4; Car No.20 with Trailer 45; Car 27 with Trailer 43; Car No.31 and Trailer 56; Car No.22 and Trailer 57; Car No.33 and Trailer 61; Car 14 and bogie flat with Challenger cranes; Car No.2 with the Tower Wagon No.2; Car 26 and Freight Car 26 (ex passenger Car 10); Car No.29 dragging Locomotive No.23; Car No.16 and Trailer 44.

All normal traffic on the line was suspended for the period of the parade.

(Photo: C. Bond Collection)

(Photo: Ray Wilson)

After the procession, the very unusual combination of Car 31 & Trailer 56, both built in 1904 by Electric Railway & Tramway Carriage Works Ltd of Preston, returned to Douglas in normal passenger service. (Photo: C.Bond Collection)

During lunchtime and early afternoon various cars moved north to Ramsey in preparation for the opening of the 'Electric Railway Museum' which took place later the same afternoon. MER Locomotive 23, Freight Car 26 and Royal Saloon Trailer 59 all became exhibits in the new 'Museum'.


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