A second period of strike action by bus drivers on the island saw the Manx Electric Railway run Bus Replacement services again on the afternoon of Thursday 17th January. With drivers striking in a five-hour period between 1pm and 6pm, the M.E.R. saw just over five hours use between 13:10 and 18:25, with five journeys operating in each direction from Derby Castle and Ramsey. These trips saw the first M.E.R. services in January since 2004.
The timetable (available HERE) and Car/Trailer allocation was based mainly on the requirements of the various schools along the route, some of which were holding exams. With this as a priority, the following sets saw operation on the following services.
- Car No.5 – 14:10 Derby Castle to Ramsey, 15:55 Ramsey to Derby Castle.
- Car No.6 – 14:10 Ramsey to Derby Castle, 15:40 Derby Castle to Ramsey (with Trailer No.57).
- Car No.19 (with Trailer No.58) – 14:40 Derby Castle to Ramsey, 16:10 Ramsey to Derby Castle.
- Car No.20 (with Trailer No.59) – 13:10 Derby Castle to Ramsey, 15:10 Ramsey to Derby Castle, 16:40 Derby Castle to Ramsey.
Car No.33 also put in a brief appearence at Derby Castle in the morning; the open Car having been fitted with temporary cabs (similar to those fitted to Car No.27) however the Car did not work in service.
Despite grim weather with sleet and freezing temperatures, and a shorter period of operation, the services were well patronised allowing the M.E.R. to show its usefulness as a ‘people mover’ for the second time in two months.