The success of the year in general and many of the events in particular will be no surprise to readers of MTR or members of the MERS. The scenario of the years events, first published in ManxTransport Review No.58 back in 1990, highlighted the potential for all to see. After an interminable period when little if anything seem to be getting done and it seemed that if current progress were to be maintained, the event would have proved stillborn ( the saga of the logo was a classic example), sections of the Transport Tepartment suddenly galvanised themselves into action and seized the opportunities with both hands. Manx Transport Review has since not been unforthcoming with its praise, especially for events coordinator Alan Corlett. The program of events created by the Railways Department was universally hailed as success. Visiting journalists and enthusiasts raved about the opportunities the “Year" offered and as the weeks passed by, the satisfaction rating by departing Isle of Man visitors, can rarely have been equalled in recent times. The average Year of Railways visitor arrived, participated and finally departed in something close to an aura of delight in some cases bordering on ecstasy. What follows is a review of some of the main events connected with the Year. Most of those organised by the transport department were “winners" to a greater or lesser degree. Part II will deal with the losers and lessons for 1994 and beyond, where fine tuning might have made for an even more melodious outcome and how the success of 1993, might be built upon to ensure that the effects of the Year of Railways do have a worthwhile and lasting effect on mice tourism - and MER - for years to come.


TRAVELLING BUS

The concept of loading one of the MER’s original tramcars on a low loader and using it as a showstopping exhibit on the tour of Britain was an unfortunate early casualty on grounds of ‘cost’. Instead, the Department purchased an ex-Trent Leyland National, already partly equipped as a sales and disp…

VISITS BY THE RAILWAY MAGAZINE EDITORS

There can have been no railway enthusiasts worthy of the name didn’t know about the Isle of Man and its “Year of Railways”. As an Isle of Man press campaign aimed at attracting new visitors, it had no equal, and full credit is due to the Railways Department staff who shepherded the editors around a…

ILLUMINATED TRAMCAR

The concept of an illuminated tramcar was, like so much else, first mooted in the MER Society’s Centenary Proposal submission. It seems extraordinary that the MER have never had an illuminated tramcar of any sort – coronations, jubilees, victories and celebrations had come and gone, and the MER was…

DEPOT OPEN DAYS

Once upon a time, in the dark days of the Jackson regime, only the favoured few ever got to see past the gate, let alone inside any of the depots all workshops of the Island’s railway systems. Like the hallowed interiors of some secret Temple, the back of the Douglas Railway Station carriage shed f…

NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY

If any event staged during the Rear contrived to create the sort of ‘magic’ that for many characterised the “Year” it was this one. Simple in concept, the idea was to open the yard to the photographers shortly before dusk, with the shed door is open and a few suitably appealing tramcars strategical…

OLD HANDS’ DAY

Another innovative feature was a specific outing for former employees of the line. This event took place on August 28. Using Car No. 32, as the obvious choice of a vehicle in perfect mechanical and electrical condition, a substantial carload was taken from Douglas to Laxey with a ride on the SMR an…

TRAM LINE UPS

The MER went to considerable trouble to present a series of cavalcade displays on both tracks at Derby Castle. These tramcar lineups were carefully planned, using different cars and trailers so that almost all serviceable units got an airing. Because of traffic Operations generally, these displays…

DISPLAY OF DISUSED LOCOS

The IMR possesses a not inconsiderable number of disused locos and arrangements were made for those interested to photograph them wherever they lay. One outstanding contribution this respect was the general cleaning up and polishing of loco No.9 DOUGLAS which even featured smoke coming out of its c…

VISITORS CENTRE RAMSEY

This facility was based in the old goods shed at Ramsey station and consists of a display of various photographs, timetables, adverts and artefacts, notably including trailer Car 59 together with stuffed effigies of King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra and an MER man, featured against a substantial mur…

​CHARM SCHOOL – UNIFORMS

Amongst the more peripheral aspects which deserve some mention, was the organisation of a “charm school” for members of the railways’ staff. These took place on March 10/11 and attendance was mandatory. The course in “passenger care” was conducted by Mr David Smart of Tourism Quality Services Ltd.…

PHOTOGRAPHERS CHASING BUSES

One of the most exciting sports amongst local trainspotters has always been “chasing the train/tram” with a view to photographing it. Would-be filmmakers, keen to avoid the continuity errors so readily apparent to his merciless gricing audience, will pursue a train relentlessly from one end of the…

UNUSUAL CARS OPERATING ON MER

A visiting enthusiast, who had travelled across the globe to visit the Island for the “Year of Railways” asked if “the MER only had six trams that worked”. Having been on the Island for nearly a week, he had only seen, travelled on and been able to photograph motorcars 5, 6, 7, 19, 20, and 21. Sure…

CONCLUSON

The views and opinions expressed in this critique with those stated by various visitors, whose opinions in the final analysis are the only ones that really matter. The extent to which all concerned somehow contrived to produce a certain magic is not easily definable. Even on occasions when there we…

The Society

Originally formed in 1973, the MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY SOCIETY is charged with the express purpose of…

Manx Electric Railway

THE pioneer electric tramway between Derby Castle, Douglas and Groudle Glen opened on September 7,…

Snaefell Mountain Railway

The only vehicles that can reach the summit of the island’s highest peak and only mountain are the…

Douglas Tramways

The Douglas Bay Horse & Upper Douglas Cable Tramways.

DHMD Tramway

THE only Standard (4'-8½" 1435mm) tramway in the Island extended for four spectacular miles along t…

Isle of Man Railway

THE present 15.37-mile steam railway line from Douglas to Port Erin is the last remaining part of t…

Buses and Coaches

THE first motor char-a-bancs in the Island were operated by the Manx Electric Railway Co., which us…

Shipping

The shipping scene in and around the Isle of Man

Aviation

Air services to and from the Isle of Man

Other Manx Transport

Other Tramways, Railways and Transport Oddities

Contributors' Pages

A page designed for photographic contributions sent to the Manx Electric Railway Society website.

All About The Isle of Man

For quick though superficial reference to many of the aspects of the Island's history generally cov…

Year of Railways 1993

The success of the year in general and many of the events in particular will be no surprise to read…

Useful Addresses

Isle of Man Newpapers Publishing House Peel Road Douglas Isle of Man IM1 5PZ Email [email protected]

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