History – Amalgamation and Restoration – 1979-1993

The ‘Centenary of Electric Traction’ Celebrations were very successful for the Manx Electric Railway, with the restoration of Freight Trailer No.26 and Locomotive No.23 to display condition, the opening of the Electric Railway Museum in Ramsey Car Shed, and the Grand Cavalcade at Laxey, during which all the operational stock was exhibited to the general public. Car No.1 was also restored to operational passenger use, with Car No.2 following in Winter 1980/81.

The restored and repaints Cars No.1 and 2 outside Derby Castle Car Shed in the early 1980s. © Alan Spencer Collection

The restored and repainted Cars No.1 and 2 outside Derby Castle Car Shed in the early 1980s. © Alan Spencer Collection

During 1983 the Manx Electric Railway and National Transport Boards were amalgamated, to become the Isle of Man Passenger Transport Board, with Car No.6 receiving the title ‘Isle of Man Passenger Transport’ post-overhaul. During the same year, Locomotive No.23 was also restored to operational condition, receiving again trucks and equipment from Car No.33. It ran during the May 1983 and 1984 ‘Vintage Transport’ Weekends, being very popular for visiting and local enthusiasts. Further repairs were undertaken to areas of the Bulgham section of the M.E.R, with the northern section of the retaining wall (near today’s excursion platform) receiving attention.

Eskadale, 1984

Locomotive No.23 was restored to operation during this period, here passing through Eskadale on a demonstration freight in 1984. © Richard Lomas

In 1986, the Board system was scrapped and the M.E.R came under the control of the Department of Tourism and Transport (Today the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure).  Following two years of planning, the ‘Year of Railways’ was launched in 1993, with the Centenary of the Manx Electric Railway being the prime focus…

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