July and August 2015 News Roundup


Car No.32, seen undergoing fitment of a new air tank at Derby Castle, 20.08.15. © Andrew Scarffe


Full reports and reviews of the Manx Heritage Transport Festival and the Snaefell Mountain 120th Anniversary will be available shortly.

Rolling Stock

  • July 7th saw an operational incident at Laxey involving Car No.20 and Winter Trailer No.58, resulting in the trailer derailing on the No.1 points north of the station during a shunt prior to working the 09:55 service to Derby Castle. In the event, the Trailer derailed onto its side, resulting in the suspension of services north of Laxey until the end of the day. Roadside cranes lifted No.58 back onto the rails in the evening, and the trailer was shunted to Laxey Car Shed for storage pending the start of repairs.
  • Trailer No.43 was withdrawn in mid-July for attention to its trucks and new wheelsets at Derby Castle. The 1903-built trailer spent the remainder of the month on jacks at the rear of the workshops, returning to service on test on the 5th August. Further work is still required before No.43 can make a full return to service.
  • Following an extensive mechanical and cosmetic restoration, Van No.16  returned to M.E.R. metals on the 22nd July following restoration in Laxey Goods Shed. The van was moved by hand from the isolated goods shed road to the seaside M.E.R. line and collected by Car No.5, being used on the evening service, before returning to Derby Castle. The 1908-built mail van joins Open Wagons 8 and 10 as the third such vehicle to be overhauled by members of the Laxey & Lonan Heritage Trust, with the vehicle formally re-entering service on the 28th July as part of the Manx Heritage Transport Festival events program.
  • Following use in passenger service during the Manx Heritage Transport Festival, Car No.32, usually rostered as the ‘Poles & Wires’ car outbased at Laxey Car Shed, Car No.32 is (at the time of writing) currently at Derby Castle Car Sheds being fitted with a replacement compressed air tank, with fellow 1906 Car No.33 stabled at Laxey for use by the engineering department.
  • Work on the volunteer-led restoration of Ratchet Car No.14 has continued with the majority of paintwork now removed from the vehicle revealing the original woodwork underneath. Work has also commenced on the Ramsey end of the vehicle with new metalwork being added to the frame – almost all of the original frame will be retained but small life-expired portions are being replaced.
  • Ex Bord Na Mona Locomotive LM344 ‘Pig’, owned by Manx Rail Projects, was returned to service following clutch repairs for the ‘Diesel Day’ of the Manx Heritage Transport Festival, working alongside visiting Simplex 40S280 and Trailer No.51. Following the event, the Simplex has remained at Laxey Car Shed, and LM344 has left the line for remedial work to its wheelsets to be carried out off island.
  • As part of the Snaefell Mountain 120th Anniversary events, Snaefell Car No.4 was fitted with illuminated lights for the first time in its history in the days prior to the event.



Work being undertaken on the renewal of the gravel surface in the Derby Castle station area, 04.08.15 © Alex Fairlie

  • Following the derailment at Laxey on the 7th July, the No.1 crossover to the north of the station was taken out of use until investigations had finished. With these completed, the points were brought back into use on the 20th July.
  • Overhead lines in the Derby Castle depot area were replaced and re-tensioned in late July.
  • Renewal work at Derby Castle has seen the replacement of the gravel surface between the rails between Poles 1 and 2 take place in early August.< Back to Latest News

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