Manx Heritage Transport Festival 2015 – Review

Manx Heritage Transport Festival 2015 - Click Here for more info!

2015’s annual Manx Heritage Transport Festival took place between the 29th of July and August 2nd, featuring a wide variety of enthusiast-based events on the Manx Electric Railway.

This years events incorporated intensive M.E.R. services on the Thursday and Sunday as well as several other special events and tours recorded below. A gallery of photos featuring the M.E.R. over the Transport Festival period is available by clicking the thumbnails, and features work by the website team alongside several guest photographers. If you would like your photo included, please contact the web team via the Contacts page or our facebook page.

(Click the buttons below to view either the appropriate review page or gallery)


Tuesday 28th July

Although this day was outside the Transport Festival period, a day-long M.E.R event took place organised by the Isle of Man 50 Group as part of their annual charter week. These featured three photographic trips on the line, with the pairing of Car No.1 with Trailer No.47 making a return trip to Groudle, and the unusual combination of Car No.2 and Trailer No.60 working to Laxey in the late morning, and Car No.33 working to Ramsey with Trailer No.57 and Wagon No.8 in the afternoon.



Wednesday 29th July

The first day of the festival was kicked off by a parallel run of 1893-built Cars No.1 and No.2 from Derby Castle to Groudle Glen and return, pausing for photographs at both Lag Birragh and Groudle Glen. Car No.1 and Trailer No.51 were then placed on display at Derby Castle throughout the day, stewards providing information on the coming weeks events.

The Victorian Evening was rostered to include one round trip to Dhoon Quarry with two additional trips to Laxey. The evening’s action kicked off with Car No.1/Trailer No.51 working the first trip to Dhoon Quarry and return, with pauses for photography at Bulgham Head, south of Ballaragh and Bonner Corner. The second and third trips were operated to Laxey in fine weather by Car No.2, which had swapped out Car No.1 at Derby Castle, with a conclusion of events shortly after 10:30pm.


Thursday 30th July


A 15-minute frequency service was operated for most of the day using a total of 9 car sets. The following cars and trailers were in use:

  • Car No.1/Trailer No.47
  • Car No.2/Trailer No.51
  • Car No.5/Trailer No.40
  • Car No.16/Trailer No.60
  • Car No.19/Trailer No.46
  • Car No.20/Trailer No.41
  • Car No.21
  • Car No.22/Trailer No.44
  • Car No.33/Trailer No.57
    An additional trip to Laxey was also worked by Car No.32 in the afternoon, giving a total of 10 on service.

    ‘The Dhoon Quarryman’ Photography Tour was ran during the day by in association with Isle of Man Railways using Car No.32 and Wagons No.8 and No.10, and a separate review of this event can be found HERE.


    Friday 31st July

    Restored Mail Van No.16 made its debut in passenger traffic on the 09:40 from Derby Castle, operating to Ramsey and Laxey with Car No.21 and Trailer No.41, and then being placed on display in the Refreshment Siding at Laxey alongside Van No.4, where a ceremony was held to mark the completion of the restoration project.


    A series of diesel shuttles were operated between Laxey Car Shed and Dumbells Row, with Simplex 40S280 operating the four morning trips solo with Trailer No.51, joined by LM344 ‘Pig’ later in the afternoon to operate the remaining four top-and-tail, following repairs and movement from Dhoon Quarry to Laxey. Stewards from Manx Electric gave tours of the Laxey Car Shed in the morning and afternoon, with a rare opportunity to photograph Freight Trailer No.26 outside.


    Unfortunately the planned use of Car No.33 with Wagon No.8 on specials was cut short due to lack of an available crew – but in the event the set ran a Laxey to Dhoon Quarry and return trip in the afternoon. No.33 was first used to haul Trailer No.51 and Wagon No.8 to Laxey for use on the diesel shuttles, and later on to transfer the wagons and Trailer No.51 back to Derby Castle over two trips from Laxey, with Wagon No.8/Van No.16 on the first, and Trailer No.51/Van No.4 on the second.

    The ‘Delivering the Goods’ Photography and Historical Tour was ran during the evening by in association with Isle of Man Railways using Car No.33/Trailer No.44/Van No.16, and a separate review of this event can be found HERE.

    Saturday 1st August

    The Green Wrong Road Charity Railtour was ran during the day by, and a separate review of this event can be found HERE.


    Sunday 2nd August

    The final day of the Transport Festival saw an additional intensive service day between Derby Castle and Ramsey, The ‘American Day’ at Laxey and a car in use for motorman lessons.

    A 15-minute frequency service was operated for most of the day using a total of 9 car sets. The following cars and trailers were in use:

  • Car No.1/Trailer No.51
  • Car No.5/Trailer No.41
  • Car No.7/Trailer No.48
  • Car No.9/Trailer No.46
  • Car No.16/Trailer No.60
  • Car No.19/Trailer No.40
  • Car No.20/Trailer No.44
  • Car No.21
  • Car No.32/Trailer No.57

The planned use of Cars 2 and 33 on the timetabled service was curtailed due to the inclement weather. Car No.22 hauled Trailer No.56 and Van No.4 to Laxey for display in the early morning, returning in the late afternoon. In the interim, No.22 was used for four ‘Motorman Taster Sessions’ between Laxey and Garwick Glen from 10:15 to 13:15, with participants swapping over at Fairy Cottage. A number of classic cars with an american theme from the Isle of Man Motor Museum were on show at Laxey, in addition to an informative display detailing the M.E.R’s american influences and equipment within the station building.

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