An eventful week on the Manx Electric Railway has called for a special ‘news roundup’ for the middle of March 2014.
With Wagon No.10 returning to M.E.R. metals on Wednesday 12th (as reported previously), operations on the line continued with the first passenger services of 2014 in operation the following day. Private services ran between Derby Castle and Laxey for visiting coach parties, utilising Winter Saloon Cars 21 and 22. As the Laxey station is still undergoing work as part of this winters track relay, services to Laxey terminated at the Laxey Car Shed stop (the site of the original 1894 Laxey terminus) where a bus ferried passengers into Laxey village.
Work at Laxey has continued, with the whole of the station area now ballasted and awaiting a finished surface dressing. A second crossover was installed on Saturday 15th March between the first two road crossings north of Laxey to accomodate shunting of trailers outside the station area. Ballasting of this area and that of the second crossover and loading siding (formerly the site of Dumbells Row stop) had commenced at the time of writing.
Reports of flood damage at Ballaglass causing a delay to the reopened of the line to Ramsey for the 2014 season have proven unfounded after the Manx Government have confirmed that the landslip will be repaired in time for the start of 2014 season. A report released at the same time confirmed that passenger numbers on both the Snaefell Mountain Railway and the M.E.R. were 13% up on previous figures in 2013.