A rare chance to look inside the Laxey Substation and view the Mercury Arc Rectifiers is available on the 13th and 14th October.
As part of an Island-wide ‘Heritage Open Days’ scheme, members of the public are allowed into the building, constructed in 1934 to convert AC electricity from the Manx National Grid into 550V DC for use on the Manx Electric. This was carried out by the two Mercury Arc Rectifiers in the building which are now the only two that remain in use on the line, although four similar substations existed at Derby Castle, Groudle, Ballaglass and Belle Vue, along with another example on the Snaefell line.
Over the years, the systems have been removed (Groudle and Ballaglass) or replaced with solid-state units (Derby Castle and Belle Vue) and with a new, modern, Laxey substation under construction, this could be one of the last opportunities to view the historic systems in full operation (although it is understood that current equipment is to be preserved).
The Substation will be open from 11am until 2pm on both days. The substation is located next to the ‘Laxey Car Shed’ M.E.R. Stop (please ask the conductor when boarding!) although it is possible to walk from the main Laxey station itself.