Manx Heritage Transport Festival 2016 Review

2016’s annual Manx Heritage Transport Festival took place between the 27th and 31st of July, featuring a wide variety of enthusiast-based events on the Manx Electric Railway.

This years events incorporated the busy Timetable F alongside an intensive M.E.R. services on Sunday as well as several other special events and tours recorded below. A gallery of photos featuring the Manx Electricover 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 the gallery)



Tuesday 26th July

As per usual before the transport festival, the Isle of Man 50 Group undertook three private hire workings across the day; starting with the unusual combination of Car No.16/Winter Trailer No.58 to Groudle Glen and return. Following this, Car No.1/Trailer No.60 ran a special to Laxey and return, following later in the afternoon with the blue and white pairing of Car No.7 /Trailer No.48 working to Ramsey and return.

Prior to working the usual ‘1893-car’ diagram, Car No.2 also worked a 10:00 special single-motor from Derby Castle to Laxey and return, following heavy loadings on the previous 09:40 service. Total car sets in use on this day were as follows:


  • D1: Car No.21/Trailer No.40
  • D2: Car No.6/Trailer No.46
  • D3: Car No.22/Trailer No.56 (first round trip, then swapped for Trailer No.46)
  • D4/D5: Car No.2/Trailer No.47
  • L1: Car No.5 (0955 LX-DC, then picked up Trailer No.44)
  • Special: Car No.2, Car No.16/Trailer No.58, Car No.1/Trailer No.60, Car No.7/Trailer No.48



Wednesday 27th July

The event kicked off proper with Timetable F coming into operation for the next four days – which saw a requirement for six sets each day. In addition, the green matching pair of Car No.16 and Van No.16 worked a series of five shuttles to Groudle across the morning and mid afternoon, with the third extended to Laxey. In the evening, the newly illuminated and repainted Car No.9 worked a series of shuttles from Derby Castle to Groudle and return.

Car No.7/Trailer No.48 were also in use on a Ultimate Driving Experience working, Car No.7 working a round trip to Ramsey with Trailer No.48, and a single-motor journey from Ramsey to Laxey and return.

The Open Evening saw the rostering of Cars No.32 and No.33 to the evening’s timetabled service, with Car No.33 rostered to work the 15:40, 18:40 and 21:55, and No.32 the 17:10 and 20:55. A rostering clash which required higher enclosed capacity for dining passengers saw Car No.32/Trailer No.57 swapped at Derby Castle prior to the departure of the 20:55, and replaced with Car No.22/Trailer No.40 as far as Laxey.

Upon arrival, passengers transferred in both directions, with Car No.33 working onward single-motor to Ramsey as the 21:25 from Laxey, and Car No.22/Trailer No.40 back as the 21:25 to Derby Castle. Departing Ramsey at 22:25, Car No.33 collected Trailer No.41 at Laxey, arriving back at Derby Castle at 23:40.


  • D1: Car No.6/Trailer No.46
  • D2: Car No.21/Trailer No.44, Car No.32/Trailer No.57 (1710 DC-RM, 1840 RM-DC), Car No.22/Trailer No.40 (20:55 DC-RM as far as Laxey), Car No.33 (21:25 LX-RM, 22:25 RM-LX), Car No.33/Trailer No.41 (23:10 LX-DC)
  • D3: Car No.22/Trailer No.40
  • D4: Car No.19/Trailer No.43
  • D5: Car No.2/Trailer No.47
  • D6: Car No.33/Trailer No.41 (15:40 DC-RM, 17:10 RM-DC, 18:40 DC-RM, 20:40 RM-DC as far as Laxey), Car No.22/Trailer No.40 (21:25 LX-DC, 21:55 DC-LX, 22:40 LX-DC)
  • UDE: Car No.7/Trailer No.48, Car No.7
  • Special: Car No.16/Van No.16, Car No.9



Thursday 28th July

The only wet weather of the five day period occurred in the morning, but did not dampen spirits for the Works and Wires tour – which saw the return to operational use of Tower Wagon No.1 following a period of storage at Derby Castle. The wagon worked with Car No.2 on a special trip from Derby Castle to Dhoon Quarry and return (organised by Manx Electric Railway Online), with photo-stops undertaken at various locations – proceeds from the trip going to the ongoing restoration of Ratchet Car No.14.

A pair of workings with Mail Vans were rostered for this day, titled Mail by Rail – the first a special trip with Car No.19/Trailer No.40/Van No.4, working from Derby Castle to Ramsey at 17:10. On the return, the special paused for photo-stops at the various lineside letterboxes, with the crew posing for photographs.

The other was a conventional run on the 17:10 service car, with Van No.16 tagging onto the back of Car No.22/Trailer No.47 for a return trip to Ramsey, arriving back at 19:55.


  • D1: Car No.19/Trailer No.43 (swapped out after first trip by Car No.6/Trailer No.43)
  • D2: Car No.22/Trailer No.47
  • D3: Car No.21/Trailer No.44
  • D4: Car No.7/Trailer No.48
  • D5: Car No.5/Trailer No.41
  • D6: Car No.9/Trailer No.46
  • Special: Car No.2/Tower Wagon No.1, Car No.19/Trailer No.40/Van No.4



Friday 29th July

Six hourly tours of Derby Castle Car Sheds were ran by members of Manx Electric Railway Online in association with the workshop staff at Derby Castle from 10:15 to 16:15, participants enjoying a lineup on the shed fan including the stored Ratchet Car No.18.

Van No.4 made an additional appearance carrying limited edition stamp covers between Derby Castle, Laxey and Ramsey, running on the 08:40 from Derby Castle behind Car No.22 and Trailer No.40 to Ramsey, and the 10:10 return to Laxey. The van later returned to Derby Castle behind Car No.19 and Trailer No.43.

‘Illuminated’ Car No.9 worked a series of motorman taster lessons titled ‘Drive the Lights’ between Laxey and Garwick, participants handing over at Fairy Cottage in each direction.

A illustrated talk, titled ‘A Feat of Engineering’ on the overhaul to Ballure Bridge was given at Ramsey by Jeremy Reece, chief engineer on the project. For this, the newly repainted pairing of ‘Illuminated’ Car No.9/Trailer No.58 worked a special service to and from the event, including talks and photostops on the various viaducts en route at Groudle, Laxey and Ballure, leaving Derby Castle at 16:50, and arriving back 22:30.


  • D1: Car No.22/Trailer No.40
  • D2: Car No.2/Trailer No.44
  • D3: Car No.19/Trailer No.43
  • D4: Car No.21/Trailer No.46 (Car No.21 on last trip)
  • D5: Car No.7/Trailer No.48
  • D6: Car No.5/Trailer No.41 (Car No.5 on last trip)
  • DE: Car No.9
  • Special – Car No.9/Trailer No.58


Saturday 30th July

Although the day had no scheduled M.E.R events, both No.32 and No.33 were used in traffic! Car No.33 worked three round trips to Ramsey with Trailer No.46, swapping out prior to the 19:40 Derby Castle to Ramsey with an enclosed set. The other event of note was Car No.20 returning to traffic following electrical damage suffered in June, working with Trailer No.41 and beginning with the 11:10 to Ramsey. Car No.5 was also in use single-motor on a Ultimate Driving Experience trip, working between Laxey and Ramsey.

At 16:55, Car No.19/Trailer No.44 headed empty to Laxey Car Shed, prior to the following days intensive service which required a Laxey starting car. Their place was taken by Car No.32/Trailer No.57, which worked two return trips to Ramsey at 17:10 and 20:55.


  • D1: Car No.21/Trailer No.43
  • D2: Car No.19/Trailer No.44
  • D3: Car No.22/Trailer No.40
  • D4: Car No.33/Trailer No.46 (first three trips), Car 22/Trailer 40 (last trip)
  • D5: Car No.20/Trailer No.41
  • D6: Car No.7/Trailer No.48
  • UDE: Car No.5



Sunday 31st July

Today saw an intensive service with 9 car-sets rostered for service running a all day 15 minute timetable to Ramsey, with a on the day total output of 11 cars and 11 trailers. The final set out – Car No.7/Trailer No.48, suffered from brake-gear problems on the 11:25 Derby Castle-Ramsey, which was curtailed at Laxey, No.7 receiving repairs in the Station Siding and picking up its return working at 14:10. Car No.5/Trailer No.40 were swapped out prior to the departure of the 12:40 Derby Castle to Ramsey with Car No.33/Trailer No.56 due to access requirements, the pair staying out on service thereafter.

Car No.19/Trailer No.44 were swapped out for Car No.20/Trailer No.43 at 12:40,. However at 15:30 No.20 suffered a hot box at Laxey – the decision was taken to move the set to the Car Shed with Trailer No.43 for repair (and following completion the car-set could become the Laxey starter for the next morning).

With this set stabling, Car No.16/Trailer No.60 worked an additional balancing working from Laxey-Derby Castle at 17:40 – meaning the final three departures of the event from Laxey were all Crossbenches! Car No.33/Trailer No.56 arrived at Derby Castle at 18:55, bringing the event to a close.


  • D1: Car No.32/Trailer No.57
  • D2: Car No.5/Trailer No.40 (first round trip), Car No.33/Trailer No.56
  • D3: Car No.16/Trailer No.60
  • D4: Car No.21/Trailer No.41
  • D5: Car No.2/Trailer No.46
  • D6: Car No.1/Trailer No.51
  • D7: Car No.9/Trailer No.58
  • D8: Car No.7/Trailer No.48 (first Laxey-Ramsey-Laxey part of diagram cancelled due to failure)
  • L1: Car No.19/Trailer No.44 (0955 LX-DC, first round trip), Car No.20/Trailer No.43

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