The following is an April Fool posted on the site on 01.04.11 – everything below may not be what it seems!
It has been announced that the M.E.R’s historic 1893-built Car No.1, the oldest electric railway vehicle operating on it’s original line, is in reality none other than ‘long-scrapped’ sister Car No.3.
Routine maintenence has been taking place on both 1893-built Motors (see Winter Fleet Update) to eradicate the weak axles issue that plagues the historic pair. During a body lift to access the trucks, an original G.F.Milnes plate was uncovered on the underside of the Saloon referencing the Works Number of Car No.3.
Car No.3 has, until now, been known as a victim of the fire at Laxey Car Shed on April 5th, 1930, along with Car Nos. 4, 8, 24 and six Trailers. Records of the time state that No.3 had seen major works attention throughout the winter of 1929 however was not ‘fit for traffic by February 17th of that year’. No.1 however, although operational, had not seen works attention since 1926.
The above information allows speculation that No.1 was used to transfer stock for storage at Laxey instead of the incomplete No.3, and that ‘No.3’ was quoted to the insurers for a potential higher insurance payout considering it’s more recent overhaul and therefore superior condition to Car No.1. No records of such exist, however with ‘No.1’ recorded as undergoing overhaul throughout Summer 1930, it is now certain that this was instead the completion of No.3s overhaul, with the Car being renumbered as her pioneer sister that perished in the shed fire.
Regardless of the reason, No.3 has now been renumbered to it’s original identity and was displayed at a small ceremony at Derby Castle on Tuesday 29th March. However a source close to the M.E.R stated that the reinstatement would only be for the 2011 season, after which the Car would see a repaint and return to the guise it has carried for the last eighty years.
Should No.3 carry its original number, or retain the identity it has carried for the majority of its life?