Stone

Traffic was ran between Derby Castle (outside the departure stop), and Dhoon or Ballajora Quarries. This was handled during the Winter by Locomotive No.23 in it’s original form from 1900-1914, hauling one or two Open Wagons from the 5-10 class, which was augmented in 1912 by the introduction of Wagon No.17 and No.18 during 1912 from Milnes and Voss (the successor to G.F Milnes), and the construction of bogied Open Wagons (known as ‘Dreadnoughts’) No.19 and No.20 by the M.E.R at Derby Castle.

During a trip in January 1914, No.23 (at the time using the trucks from ‘Ratchet’ Car No.17) was wrecked in an accident when descending from Skinscoe towards Laxey, when approaching the Bonner Curves. Traffic out of the period where No.23 was required, and from 1914 onwards, would’ve most likely been handled by Cars No.32 and No.33. During 1924, the ‘Sheep Trailers’ Nos 24 and 25 were rebuilt to specification similar to Nos 19 and No.20 in March and April respectively. Locomotive No.23 eventually returned to traffic in 1926 after a rebuild fitting it with wagon bodies on a longer frame, and it using the trucks from Car No.33 during the Winter/Spring of each year. Finally, ‘Dreadnought’ No.21 emerged from Derby Castle during the same year, using trucks from the scrapped Freight Trailer of the same number.

After the closure of both the Dhoon and Ballajora Quarries to M.E.R traffic the work ceased, but during World War 2 traffic of a sort resumed, stone waste from Laxey being tripped to Ramsey for onward conveyance to Jurby and Andreas airfields for construction and resurfacing of runways, and for the highways board’s resurfacing projects alongside the line and to Derby Castle Departure Stop for the promenade. It is assumed that Locomotive No.23 would not have been able to handle this traffic alone, and probably ran alongside the Winter Saloons and No.32 (all having the most powerful equipment on the line, No.23 using No.33’s trucks at the time).

After the completion of this work in 1944, No.23 was stored in Derby Castle No.6 Car Shed. The Open and Dreadnought Wagon fleets were also stored at various locations, some returning to traffic after overhauls during the Nationalisation of the M.E.R during 1957, and being used by the Permanent Way department, and occasionally on Goods.

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