appendix [ii] Year of the Railways 2023 Events
A splendid offer of events deserving great credit to all involved - sadly packed into just one week + two days.
Thus limited it would perhaps be impossible for so short a programme, however dense, to emulate success in terms of visitors, passengers and thus the income of its precursor of thirty years ago. Maybe next time?
150 years of steam
Saturday 1 July 2023
No.1 is our original locomotive that hauled the first service train on the 1st July 1873 between Douglas and Peel. It will be available to view in the Station sidings at Port St. Mary throughout the day.
Steam Exhibitions at Port St. Mary Station
We are grateful to The Manx Steam and Model Engineering Club operating one of their miniature locos on railway track panels built by school children of the Isle of Man over the last 10 years during educational visits by the Railways team into schools. Why not take the opportunity to see if you can find the sleeper you signed if you took part in one of the workshops when you were at primary school! Also on display the 1921 ‘ Fowler’ Highway Board Road Roller.
“G.H. WOOD” Dining Train
A Dining train in honour of our former Isle of Man Railway Company Secretary George Henry Wood who served on the company board from 1870 until his death at the age of 89 in 1925. Canapé Reception for 18:30 at Douglas Station followed by train departure at
19:00 to Port Erin. His Excellency and dignitaries will be on board for the occasion with a commentary on route recalling the early years of the I.M.R given by The Heritage Railway Volunteers. A delicious five course meal celebrating the best of Manx produce will be served en route.
Festival week: Sunday 23 July 2023
MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY PARALLEL RUN BETWEEN DERBY CASTLE & GROUDLE
Commence our eight day celebration festival with the traditional Manx Electric Railway Parallel Run using our original G.F Milnes Cars 1 and 2. Both cars have been painted into their original 1893 livery in recognition of the line’s 130th Anniversary.
Departs Derby Castle at 08:50. Both Cars will remain in service throughout the day.
MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY G.F MILNES BULK HEAD TRAILERS
To celebrate the line’s 130th Anniversary year our adapted Bulk Head trailers will be used on services today. Trailers will include No.49 the first trailer supplied to the Manx Electric Railway in 1893 being hauled by 1893 unvestibuled Saloon Car No.1. 1893 Trailer No.51 the third trailer supplied to the railway with 1894 Tunnel Car No.5. 1893 Trailer No.54 with 1894 Tunnel Car No.6. Also in service G.F Milnes Trailers No.37 from 1894 and No.60 from 1896 which will be used with 1894 Tunnel Car No.9 and 1898 Paddlebox No.16.
M.N.R NO.4 ‘CALEDONIA’ AT KNOCKALOE AND I.M.R NO.8 ‘FENELLA’ AT PEEL
This very special event will celebrate the long lost connections of two former railway lines. On 1st July 1873 the Isle of Man Railway line between Douglas and Peel opened for passenger service. After 95 years of service the line sadly closed in 1968. The Peel line was dismantled and scrapped over a period of time; however, to this day traces of the line and associated infrastructure that has been closed for 55 years can still be found! To celebrate Peel’s significant connection to the Isle of Man Railway No.8 ‘Fenella’ will be placed on the
|track panel adjacent to the sandstone platform and stone water tank for the day. A unique opportunity to view the locomotive alongside 2nd class brake coach C1 delivered for the opening in 1873 and looked after by The Manx Transport Heritage Museum.
For the first time in over 100 years M.N.R. No.4 ‘Caledonia’ will be exhibited in a static display at Knockaloe for two days in association with The Knockaloe Visitor Centre. Constructed specifically for the WW1 internment camp, the newly built Knockaloe railway line was brought into use in September 1915 in order to provide transportation of goods, including food and fuel, from boats moored at Peel Quay directly into the Knockaloe Camp which held up to 23,000 internees and 2,000 Guards at any one time. The 1 mile and 6 chains long Knockaloe railway line was funded by the British Government and was in use until 1920. ‘Caledonia’ was the Island’s only engine able to manage the line’s incline and, at the Camp’s peak, was making an average of 18 round trips per day.
MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY RE-LAUNCH OF G.F MILNES TRAILER NO.19
The official relaunch of 1894 Trailer No.19 into service, after an absence of over 50 years. Re-numbered as Trailer No.36 in 1898 the trailer has been fully restored to original condition with its original 1894 fleet number and lettering, last seen in 1898! Paired with 1894 Tunnel Car No.7, the tour will depart Derby Castle at 12.50 and return by 17.45, with numerous photo opportunities between Derby Castle and Ramsey.
GREAT LAXEY MINE RAILWAY
To celebrate this special occasion The Great Laxey Mine Railway will be open from 11:00 to 16:30 today .offering a fascinating insight into the industrial heritage of Laxey Village.
GROUDLE GLEN RAILWAY
The railway and tea rooms are open from 11:00 to 16:30 to welcome visitors to the celebration festival.
Day 2 - Monday 24 July 2023
MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY PARALLEL RUN BETWEEN DERBY CASTLE & GROUDLE
Crossbench parallel run using G.F Milnes 1898 matching Crossbench Cars No.14 and No.16. Departs Derby Castle at 08:50. Both Cars will remain in traffic throughout the day.
MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY TRAM AND TRAILER MATCHING COMBINATIONS
A selection of matching combinations will be in service all day on the Manx Electric Railway offering the chance to photograph trams and trailers in matching liveries where possible. Combinations will include; 1894 Tunnel Car No.7 with 1899 Trailer No.48. 1899 Winter Saloon Car No.20 with 1904 Winter Saloon No.57. 1906 Car No.32 with 1906 Trailer No.62. 1893 Unvestibuled Saloon Car No.1 with 1893 Trailer No.51.
DOUGLAS BAY HORSE TRAMWAY TOASTRACK SUNSHADES
Continuing with our showcase of D.B.H.T rolling stock our ‘Toastrack Sunshades’ will be in service throughout the day. 1896 G.F Milnes Car 36 will depart Derby Castle at 09:35, 10:05, 10:35, 11:05, 11:35 & 12:05. Also 1908 G.C Milnes Voss Car 45 will depart Derby Castle at 13:10, 13:40, 14:10, 14:40, 15:30, 16:00, 16:30 & 17:00. After your journey why not take the opportunity to take a look at The Stables adjacent to Summerhill. When staff members are available they will happily show you around and introduce you to our other horses.
MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY NO.34 DIESEL SHUTTLES
Laxey Station to Dhoon Quarry Shuttles using 1995 Manx Electric Railway Car No.34 ‘Maria’ and 1893 G.F Milnes Trailer No.49. Shuttles
|depart from Laxey Station at 09:50, 10:50, 11:50, 13:50 & 14:50. Each shuttle will include a photography stop around the spectacular Bulgham Bay. This is the first time that ‘Maria’ has undertaken passenger service duties since 2010.
Day 3 - Tuesday 25 July 2023
MER PARALLEL RUN BETWEEN DERBY CASTLE AND GROUDLE
2023 marks the 56th year since the Manx Electric Railways Government Nationalisation in 1957. Today’s parallel run will use 1899 Winter Saloon Car No.21 and 1906 Crossbench Car No.32 both painted in Nationalised liveries from the late 1950s. Departs Derby Castle at 08:50. Car will 32 will remain in service throughout the day with Trailer 62 following the parallel run.
MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY NATIONALISED SERVICE CAR
In recognition of the railways Nationalisation in 1957, 1906 Crossbench Car 32 and Trailer 62 both supplied by United Electric Car Company will be in service for the day. Both are painted in their Nationalisation green liveries and provide a splendid combination when partnered together.
DOUBLE HEADER DAY
A selection of ‘Double Header’ and ‘Banked trains’, the first being the 09:50 departure from Douglas Station. The lead engine will be suitably decorated with a shield and headboard in honour of one of our legendary drivers. The second engine will join the 10:27 departure from Castletown back to Douglas as a banked train. The 11:50 from Douglas will then operate as a second double header to Port Erin again decorated with a shield and headboard. The final 16:00 departure from Port Erin to Douglas will be a banked train. The day will present numerous photographic opportunities with many combinations.
DOUGLAS BAY HORSE TRAMWAY TOASTRACKS
Today 1905 G.C Milnes Voss Toastrack No.42 will be in service weather permitting! Car 42 will be hauled by one of our Shire or Clydesdale Horses. Departs Derby Castle at 09:35, 10:05, 10:35, 11:05, 11:35 & 12:05, 13:10, 13:40, 14:10, 14:40, 15:30, 16:00, 16:30 & 17:00. After your journey why not take the opportunity to take a look at The Stables adjacent to Summerhill. When staff members are available they will happily show you around and introduce you to our other horses.
NO.34 AND TWO TRAILERS
An exciting opportunity to ride behind No.34 ‘Maria’ from Derby Castle to Ramsey hauling two trailers; G.F Milnes No.54 of 1893 and G.F Milnes No.60 of 1896. Photographic opportunities available en route. Departs Derby Castle 12:00, returning from Ramsey at 13:50 and arriving back at Derby Castle for 16:45.
Taking a bus we will follow a freight train consisting of M.N.R. No.4 ‘Caledonia’, F39 ‘Foxdale Coach’ ‘H’ Wagon and ‘G1’ on its short journey to Santon Station and out onto the Santon Burn. On route we will stop at Oakhill and Kerristal allowing for excellent photographic opportunities. At Port Soderick the train will do a run past for those who would like to film the train and on arrival at Douglas Station the train will run back up the track so that photographs and films can be taken of the train’s arrival in Douglas Station. Photography bus to depart Douglas Station at 17:30 following Caledonia’s departure at 17:25.
Day 4 - Wednesday 26 July 2023
DOUGLAS BAY HORSE TRAMWAY CAR 18
Our Double Decker MRC&W Co Ltd Car 18 dating from 1883 will be in service throughout the day. Car 18 will depart Derby Castle with one of our Shire or Clydesdale Horses at 09:35, 10:05, 10:35, 11:05, 11:35, 12:05, 13:10, 13:40, 14:10, 14:40, 15:30, 16:00, 16:30 & 17:00.
GROUDLE GLEN RAILWAY
Groudle Glen Railway opened on 23rd May 1896 after the successful construction of The Manx Electric Railway. Initially operated with a single locomotive, called ‘Sea Lion’, and three coaches the line connected the upper part of the glen, Lhen Coan, to the zoo at Sea Lion Rocks. The line became so popular that a second locomotive, Polar Bear and additional coaches were purchased. The railway has suffered uncertain times in years gone by, but today the railway is in safe hands being operated by passionate volunteers. The railway and tea rooms are open all day from 11:00 to 21:00.
MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY A HIDDEN HISTORY
Using Winter Saloon No.20 of 1899 and ‘Disabled Access’ Trailer No.56 of 1904 we will travel to Ramsey with Manx Electric Railway Volunteers. On-route we will stop at a number of locations including Ballabeg, Laxey and Bulgham where volunteers will provide a fascinating insight into the lost or otherwise unknown histories of the area. Departs Derby Castle 17:55, returns from Ramsey at 20:55 arriving back at Derby Castle for 22:10.
EVENING STEAM WITH CLEMINSON & FOXDALE COACH
The Cleminson Coach has been meticulously restored to the highest of standards by its owner, currently it resides on the railway and we are grateful to its owner for allowing us to use the coach dating from 1879. We will depart Douglas Railway Station at 17:25 being hauled by MNR No.4 ‘Caledonia’ to Santon Station. We will stop at Oakhill and Kerristal. At Port Soderick the train will do a run past for those who would like to film the train and on arrival at Douglas Station the train will run back up the track so that photographs and films can be taken of the train’s arrival in Douglas Station.
Day 5 - Thursday 27 July 2023
ULTIMATE RAILWAY EXPERIENCE TOUR
Our tour commences at Douglas Railway Station for 09:00. A bus will travel from Derby Castle to Douglas Station at 08:30 stopping at all stops along the Promenade to pick you up. We then travel to Port Erin via bus to catch the 10:00 train departure to Douglas Station. On arrival we proceed to Broadway to catch The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway connecting us to The Manx Electric Railway and onwards to Laxey Station to connect with The Snaefell Mountain Railway. We will take lunch at The Summit and descend 15:00 from the Summit catching a bus from the Bungalow to Ramsey Station where we will re-join The Manx Electric Railway back to Laxey Station. From Laxey Station we will travel by bus via the Promenade back to Douglas Station. En route The Heritage Railway Volunteers will offer guidance and insights into the heritage railways we use.
LEGENDARY ‘BOAT TRAINS’
Recreating the legendary ‘boat train’ spectacle often seen in the 1940s, 50s and 60s with a long train consisting of many coaches, leading loco and banking loco. Trains of this size were used to cope with the extra demand from passengers disembarking a Steam Packet ship into Douglas Harbour. The ‘boat train’ will depart Douglas Station at 11:20 and 16:00 with returns from Port Erin at 13:00 and 17:45.
NATS 4 AT LAXEY STATION
Wickham No.11730 otherwise known as NATS 4 will be on display on the ‘dual gauge’ siding from 09:00 until 16:00. No.11730 was built in 1991 for the National Air Traffic Services. It’s display offers the unusual opportunity for photographs with fellow Wickham No.7442 which is on duty to provide passenger trips between Laxey Station and The Car Sheds. Photographs with Manx Electric Railway and Snaefell Mountain Railway trams will also be possible. NATS railcars are used by the National Air Traffic Services to
maintain the vital aerial equipment located at Snaefell Summit when Snaefell trams are unable to operate.
MER FREIGHT TOUR
Using G.F Milnes Winter Saloon No.20 of 1899 along with G.F Milnes Mail Van No.4 of 1894, Manx Electric Railway constructed No.16 of 1908 and G.F Milnes Open Wagon No.10 of 1897 our photography tour from Derby Castle to Ramsey will stop at various location en route offering a wealth of unusual photographs of our ‘Freight Tram’. Departs Derby Castle 12:00, returning from Ramsey at 13:50 and arriving back at Derby Castle for 16:45.
Day 6 - Friday 28th July 2023
A TRIBUTE TO THE LATE ALAN CORLETT
Alan G Corlett 1951-2022 was instrumental in the organisation of railway events throughout the 1990s with 1995 being possibly the most impressive achievement with the return of the Steam Engine Caledonia to Snaefell Summit after 100 years. Today we will pay tribute to Alan’s life with a headboard that will travel the entire Isle of Man Railways network. Starting at Port Erin on the 10:00 departure the headboard will travel to Douglas. It will then be transferred to the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway to meet the 12:40 Derby Castle to Laxey departure. On arrival at Laxey the headboard will travel to Snaefell on the 13:45 departure. The headboard will make its decent back to Laxey where the 14:10 Laxey to Ramsey will carry the board for the final leg of its journey. We feel that this is a fitting tribute to Alan’s lasting legacy on the railways.
MER VICTORIAN & EDWARDIAN TRAM & TRAILER COMBINATIONS
A selection of Victorian and Edwardian combinations in service on the Manx Electric Railway featuring 1894 Tunnel Car No.6 with 1903 Trailer No.42. 1894 Tunnel Car No.7 with 1893 Trailer No.60. 1893 Unvestibuled Saloon Car No.2 with 1894 Trailer No.36. 1899 Winter Saloon Car No.20 with 1895 Royal Saloon No.59.
A rare opportunity to ride on our Goods Train consisting of No.4 ‘Loch’ of 1874 hauling Brown Marshalls & Co. Ltd coaches F.15 and F.18 of 1894 with recently refurbished Closed Van G.1 Van of 1873, replica H.1 ‘Three Plank’ Wagon of 1998 and ‘Two Plank’ M.78 of 1925. The Goods Train will depart Douglas for Port Erin at 10:25. At 11:50 the train will depart Port Erin to Castletown retuning from Castletown back to Port Erin at 13:00. The final journey for the Goods Train will depart Port Erin at 14:45 back to Douglas. We are grateful to the Isle of Man Steam Railway Supporters’ association for undertaking the restoration of Closed Van G.1.
POWERING THE MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY
Using Manx Electric Railway 1995 Car No.34 ‘Maria’ and 1906 Trailer No.61 our tour will travel from Derby Castle to Ramsey stopping outside at each current and historic sub- station along the line with an overview of their history. Departs Derby Castle 17:55, returns from Ramsey at 20:55 arriving back at Derby Castle for 22:10. On route there will be numerous photographic opportunities available in unusual locations.
Day 7 - Saturday 29 July 2023
DOUGLAS WORKSHOP, RUNNING SHED AND SIGNAL BOX TOURS
The Heritage Railway Volunteers will be offering guided tours of the workshops, steam sheds and signal box to enable visitors and locals to get a glimpse behind the scenes to see how the Islands unique railways are maintained. Tours start: 09:00, 10:00, 11:00 & 12:00 (8 per tour). Wait at Douglas Station for your tour to start. Please ensure that you are wearing sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing for the conditions inside our sheds.
SNAEFELL MOUNTAIN RAILWAY WORKSHOP TOURS
Snaefell Mountain Railway boasts a fascinating history being built in just 8 months in 1895 by entrepreneur
|Alexander Bruce. Today we will host guided tours of the Snaefell tram shed giving a special opportunity to see behind the scenes at the workshop. When the line was first constructed the sheds acted as the terminus for the railway. Tours start at 09:30, 10:30 & 11:30. Please do not access the workshop by walking along the tram lines. Also note that no parking is available at the sheds. Please ensure that you are wearing sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing for the conditions inside our sheds.
GREAT LAXEY MINE RAILWAY
The Great Laxey Mine Railway offers a fascinating insight into the industrial heritage of Laxey Village and will be in operation between 11:00 until 16:30. The Railway was originally built in 1875 to serve the mine shafts of the Great Laxey Mine with the extraction of mineral ores and delivery to The Washing Floors where mineral ore washed and sorted. The railway closed in 1929 following the closure of The Great Laxey Mine. Following an extensive period of abandonment the railway re-opened in 2004 following a successful restoration by dedicated volunteers.
ISLE OF MAN STEAM RAILWAY SUPPORTERS’ ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING
This will take place at the Columba Catholic Club (on the corner of Circular Road and Bucks Road in Douglas) with doors opening at 19:30 for an 20:00 start; at the conclusion of the business meeting there will be a film and slide show, refreshments will be available. Everyone is welcome.
Day 8 - Sunday 30 July 2023
MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY
A large selection of combinations in service throughout the day on the Manx Electric Railway offering the opportunity to ride on many items of rolling stock including some of our more unusual pieces. Or why not take the chance to get on and off at
some of the Manx Electric Railways more unfamiliar stops!
MER DERBY CASTLE WORKSHOP AND YARD TOURS
An opportunity to visit the Derby Castle Yard workshops with The Manx Electric Railway Volunteers. Each tour will include a brief history of the Derby Castle yard, a look at different types of trams, how they work and are maintained. Items of rolling stock not currently in use will be displayed in the Depot and MER artefacts will be on display. Tours limited to 10 persons per tour. Tours start at 11:15, 12:15, 14:15 & 15:15 (Please meet at the MER Museum at the Derby Castle sheds for your tour to start). Manx Electric Railway Museum at Derby Castle open all day. Please ensure that you are wearing sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing for the conditions inside our sheds.
DOUGLAS BAY HORSE TRAMWAY TRAM & TWO HORSES
Car 18 dating from 1883 along with two of our Shire or Clydesdale horses pulling it will depart from Derby Castle at 12:30. Perfect for photographers who want to capture an unusual sight. For those who wish to ride on board a limited number of tickets are available, but must be pre-booked using the details below.
STEAM EXTRAVAGANZA AT DOUGLAS RAILWAY STATION
A wonderful extravaganza to celebrate our 150th Anniversary year showcasing all our available locomotives. The extravaganza will also include a selection of goods stock including the ‘H’ wagon and ‘G1’. Coaches including the ‘Cleminson’ and ‘Foxdale’ will also be on display. The rolling stock will be lined up along the platforms at Douglas Railway Station allowing for a most impressive photographic opportunity. Gates open 18:00 with a BBQ at The Tickethall at 19:00. Access to the platform will remain open until 20:30.
Sunday 10 September 2023
A special commemorative day to mark 130 years of the unique Manx Electric Railway
On Thursday 7th September 2023 the Manx Electric Railway will officially turn 130 years old. The line first opened from Derby Castle to Groudle Glen on Thursday 7th September 1893. On Sunday 10th September we will officially celebrate the 130th Anniversary.
Throughout the day a number of special events and family activities will be held to celebrate this significant occasion. Join us at Laxey Station for a plaque unveiling by a special guest, visit the Laxey and Snaefell Car Sheds, take part in the family fun at Laxey Station or why not have a go at driving one of our tramcars!
130th Anniversary Plaque Unveiling
We are delighted to invite our special guest to unveil a new commemorative plaque at Laxey Station marking the 130th Anniversary. Our guest of honour will depart Derby Castle at 09:40 on Manx Electric Railway Car No.1. Car No.2 will parallel run alongside in service. On arrival into Laxey Station our guest of honour will officially open the Victorian Fayre at 10:15.
|The new plaque will be unveiled at 11:00 and we invite you all to join us at the Station for this occasion.
Standard tram fares apply to service trams. Plaque unveiling FREE for all to attend.
Victorian Fayre at Laxey Station
Our family day Victorian Fayre will officially open at 10:15. There will be a selection of stalls, food and vintage displays with entertainment for all the family. Don’t forget to wear your best Victorian dress or gentleman’s attire for the occasion!
130th Anniversary Parallel Run
Festivities today will commence with a parallel run between Derby Castle and Groudle Glen the lines original 1893 terminus point. G.F Milnes Unvestibuled Saloon Cars No.1 and No.2 from 1893 will be used for the occasion. Departs Derby Castle 08:50, returns by 09:30.
Snaefell Mountain Railway Workshop Tours
Snaefell Mountain Railway boasts a fascinating history being built in just 8 months in 1895 by entrepreneur Alexander Bruce. Today we will host guided tours of the Snaefell tram shed giving a special opportunity to see behind the scenes at the workshop. When the line was first constructed the sheds acted as the terminus for the railway. Tours Start at 10:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00 & 15:00. Please do not access the workshop by walking along the tram
|lines. Also note that no parking is available at the sheds. Please ensure that you are wearing sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing for the conditions inside our sheds.
Laxey Car Shed Tours
Guided tours by The Manx Electric Railway Volunteers around Laxey Car Shed, located on Lower Rencell Hill, giving an opportunity to view items of stored rolling stock including Locomotive 23 and freight trailer 26. Tours begin at 10:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00 & 15:00. Please use the tram or walk along the main road to access the shed; do not walk along the tram line. Please ensure that you are wearing sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing for the conditions inside our sheds.
MER Motorman Taster Lessons
Under the tuition of one of our qualified Motormen Try your hand at driving 1894 Tunnel Car No.7 between Laxey and Lewaigue, passing along the cliff tops 588 feet above the sea at Bulgham Bay and through the scenic farmland of Maughold Parish. Car 16 departs Laxey at 08:50, 10:50, 13:50 and 15:50. Participants must be aged between 21 and 75. Proof of age may be required. Four participants per return trip.