May & Early June 2014 News Roundup

Car No.6 at Laxey, 05.06.14. © Jon Wornham

Car No.6 at Laxey, 05.06.14. © Jon Wornham

Events

  • The first ‘Pie in the Sky’ event of the year ran on the 24th April, featuring the use of Car No.9 and Trailer No.59 conveying passengers to Laxey for events on Snaefell including viewings of Mars, Saturn and the Milky Way.
  • The M.E.R. once again featured as part of a historic relay event ( following the Olympic Torch proceedings in 2012 ) with the Queens Baton relay as part of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games travelling betweeen Derby Castle and Laxey on 1893-built Car No.1. Once in Laxey, the Baton was taken on both the Laxey Mines Railway and the Laxey wheel before travelling to the top of Snaefell on Snaefell Car No.5.
  • The annual Manx TT period saw seven days of intensive services at the start of June. As per most years, crowds of passengers travelling on the line on ‘Mad Sunday’ 1st June and Ramsey Sprint Day on the 3rd saw twelve Car sets in use to cope with demand. Unusually, a third day of 12 car operation took place on Thursday 5th due to high demands from attendees to Laxey Motorcycle show and racing that had been delayed until the day. Notable appearences during the period include the now-rare use of Trailer No.43 on Mad Sunday and the use of Cars 1, 2, 16, 32 and 33 over all three days.
Visitors view artifacts in the Derby Castle Car Shed museum. © David Lloyd-Jones

Visitors view artifacts in the Derby Castle Car Shed museum. © David Lloyd-Jones

On the line

  • The museum in the former Goods Shed at Derby Castle Car Sheds was formally opened on Sunday 1st June. The museum has been set up by M.E.R. workshop staff over the past year and, although has previously played a part in M.E.R. events at the 2013 Transport Festival and Rush Hour, is now fully open as a seperate attraction. The museum will be open to the public from 11am to 3pm on the second and last Sunday each month from 8 June to 26 October.
  • The 115-year old shelter at Baldrine was refurbished in late May. The shelter, often attended to and maintained by local residents, has been dedicated to Adrian Pilgrim, a local enthusiast who lived nearby.
  • New ‘rustic’ wooden fencing has been installed between the M.E.R. and the outside seating area at the Mines Tavern in Laxey.
Wagon No.10 on test at Derby Castle, 29.05.14 © Andrew Scarffe

Wagon No.10 on test at Derby Castle, 29.05.14 © Andrew Scarffe

Rolling Stock

  • Restored open Wagon No.10 undertook a test run to Laxey behind Car No.5 on the 29th May, following works attention and examination after arriving at Derby Castle in early March. Apart from its brief appearence at Laxey as part of last years Winter Photography event, this was the first time the wagon had been used on the M.E.R. since restoration in 2011, and is scheduled to make its formal debut as part of the 2014 Manx Heritage Transport Festival in late July.

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