Goods

The initial service was provided with the construction and delivery of Open Wagons No.1 and No.2 during 1893-94, and Vans No.3 and No.4 from G.F Milnes during 1894-95. Van No.11 and No.12 followed from the same supplier during 1898-99.

1900s

From the 1900s onwards (with the opening of the Dhoon and Ballajora Quarry Sidings) the Open Wagons were used mainly on stone work, but made the odd appearance on goods traffic. Small Vans No.13 and No.14 were built by G.F Milnes in 1903/04, entering traffic on the M.E.R during the same year.

In July 1904 former 1895-built Passenger Car No.11 was rebuilt as a Freight Car, allowing for full dedicated goods trains to be ran.  The M.E.R then built two larger Vans in-house at Derby Castle during 1908, numbered 15 and 16, which were lettered with ‘G.R Royal Mail’ on the sides. Car No.11 then had it’s traction motors removed during 1911 (presumably due to them wearing out), and was re-classified as a Freight Trailer, renumbered to No.21 . During 1918, 1895-built Passenger Cars No.10 and No.13 were sent from storage at Laxey Car Shed to Derby Castle Car Sheds for rebuilding as Freight Trailers, being outshopped later in the same year as No.26 and No.23 in the wagon numbering scheme.

1920s/1930s

Freight Trailer No.21 was withdrawn from traffic and scrapped during 1925, donating it’s trucks to the construction of a new Dreadnought Stone Wagon. Freight Trailer No.23 was renumbered to No.22 during March 1927 (allowing Locomotive No.23 to regain it’s numbering place post-rebuild), lasting three more years in traffic until withdrawl in 1936, and deployment at Dhoon Quarry as a mess-hut and store. Freight Trailer No.26 was similarly stored in 1930 at Derby Castle Car Sheds.

1940s/1950s

Van No.15 was destroyed during a breakaway accident near Ballaglass during 1944, and was not replaced. During the same year, Freight Trailer No.26 was officially written-off and placed in storage at Laxey Car Shed. Nationalisation during 1957 saw overhauls to the remaining freight stock, Open Wagons No.1, No.5, No.7 and No.8 returning to traffic on the Goods Service, and Vans No.3, No.4, No.11, No.12 and No.16 out of the Van Stock.

1960s/1970s

The life-expiry of the road vehicles owned by the M.E.R caused collection and delivery of wagon-hauled goods to cease from March 31st 1966, but station-to-station deliveries were still offered to the customer. This included contracts such as with Clucas Laundry in Ramsey, where items for washing/cleaning were moved to and from the departure stop at Derby Castle and Ramsey by Motor Vans.

Van No.16 was stored at Ramsey from 1975 onwards, kept at the north end of the station area. The closure of the Laxey-Ramsey section dealt a severe blow to the companies using the M.E.R, and as a result usuage dropped. Van No.12 was taken out of goods use in preparation for the 1977 full-line reopening, being fitted with a tower platform for use on Permanent Way/Overhead Line work, remaining with the departments after completion of work. Vans No.3 and No.13 were stored during late 1978 and 1979 respectively, No.3 at Laxey Car Shed and No.13 at Derby Castle Car Sheds (presumably due to defects or lack of use), leaving just Vans No.4, 11 and 14 in traffic.

1980s

During the early 1980s the traffic was starting to wane, and, as an initiative to counter this, Van No.14 was repainted in 1982 at Derby Castle Car Sheds into Red and fitted with advertising hoardings for the service at both ends. Van No.4 was withdrawn from the fleet in 1986, serviceable Vans thereafter being 11 and 14. Van No.11 was overhauled and repainted into a darker version of Freight Grey during the late 1980s at Derby Castle Car Sheds, re-entering traffic shortly after. During the late 1980s, Van No.14 was stored at Derby Castle Car Sheds (later Ramsey), leaving just Van No.11 in service.

1990s-2000s

The last to be used on such traffic, No.11 was used on station to station deliveries throughout the mid-1990s, which included equipment (e.g exhaust pipes) for a garage in Ramsey, which was delivered to Derby Castle for onward shipment. The service was finally withdrawn in 1997, as No.11 was stored, and then moved (alongside No.13 and No.16) to Homefield Bus Garage, Upper Douglas for off-railway storage in January 2001.

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