May/June 2013 News Roundup

Laxey Station in late May, with the TT season in full swing. © David Lloyd-Jones

Laxey Station in late May, with the TT season in full swing. © David Lloyd-Jones

Typically two of the busiest months on the M.E.R., May and June have been no different in the lines 120th Year.

Rolling Stock
A full fleet update for the period can be found HERE.

Timetable and Services

  • A further bus strike took place over the TT period, resulting in an augmented service on the M.E.R. for the third such time this year. The fourteen day strike did not result in the complete cancellation of bus services on the east of the Island, however the M.E.R. was called on to run an enhanced version of the familiar ‘F’ timetable over the period, including early morning school trips on three days. Full details can be found HERE.  On most of the days, heavy volumes of passengers flocked to the line, resulting in a number of additional ‘specials’ being operated to cope with demand, although on the busier days such as Ramsey Sprint Day and ‘Mad Sunday’, demand outstripped supply.
  • A small number of private hires operated in late May and mid-June for passengers visiting the island on luxury cruises and yachts.
  • Services in late June were affected by the high winds on the island, with a tree falling on the line at Glen Mona curtailing services on the morning of the 24th.

On The Line

  • Continued work on the rewiring and stabilisation at Ballure was completed in time for the start of the enchanced TT period Timetable on the 25th May.
  • The relay of the Harbour Road level crossing in Onchan was completed at the start of May.
  • The Weedkilling Train has made its annual visit to the line between the 13th-18th June, with the consist again formed of the Yellow Simplex and Wagon No. 8, the weedkiller tank being mounted on the wagon for the duration.
Queues at Derby Castle during the TT Period. © Andrew Scarffe

Queues at Derby Castle during the TT Period. © Andrew Scarffe

Special Events

  • The second ‘Swinging 60s’ Weekend was held at Laxey over the 18/19th May. As per 2012, several family activities were laid on, including the appearences of Doctor Who and the Cybermen alongside hippies and vintage displays. Trailer No.56 was in use as a craft workshop in the Laxey Transfer Siding.
  • The two busiest days of the TT Period were the Ramsey Sprint Day 4th June and ‘Mad Sunday’ 2nd June. As part of the events, the M.E.R. took up it’s usual role of providing frequent services for the thousands of people travelling to the northern end of the line. The annual events usually see most, if not all, of the M.E.R. fleet in operation, with this year being no exception.Combinations in use on both days were as follows.

Mad Sunday

  • 6 + 51
  • 1 + 59
  • 16 + 60
  • 9 + 47
  • 5 + 41
  • 33 + 40
  • 21 + 44
  • 7 + 48
  • 20 + 46
  • 32 + 58

Ramsey Sprint Day

  • 5 + 44
  • 32 + 58 (swapped to 43 for last journey)
  • 7 + 48
  • 16 + 60
  • 6 + 41
  • 20 + 47
  • 2 + 51
  • 9 + 40
  • 19 + 57
  • 1 + 59
Unusual combination of the year? Car No.20 hauls Trailers 47 and 59 past Ballabeg, 30.05.13. © Andrew Scarffe

Unusual combination of the year? Car No.20 hauls Trailers 47 and 59 past Ballabeg, 30.05.13. © Andrew Scarffe

Miscelleneous

  • One of the most unusual combinations of the year (if not the most!) took place on the 30th May. Following a fault on Car No.9, its Trailer (No.59) was added to the 17:40 service from Ramsey (formed of No.20 and Trailer No.47) which worked all the way to Derby Castle. It is believed that this is the first time a Winter Saloon has hauled Two Trailers on a public service in their 114-year history.

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