Winter 2016/17 News Update

The Line

Works underway at Ramsey Car Shed, with the demolition of the building and the replacement of the point with plain track. © Andrew Scarffe

Works underway at Ramsey Car Shed, with the demolition of the building and the replacement of the point with plain track. © Andrew Scarffe

Relaying of the seaside line between Howe Road and Harbour Road, using concrete sleepers, has been completed.

Contractors are currently reconstructing the level crossing at Baldromma adjacent to the junction between the Groudle Road and the main Douglas to Laxey Road.  This work involves the removal of the previous crossing, excavation, creation of a new concrete base and relaying of both tracks.

The railway’s own permanent way staff are have removed the crossover at Garwick and currently replacing it with plain track.  Work has just commenced on the removal of the Scarffes Crossing crossover which will be similarly relaid with plain track.  A new crossover will be installed to the Laxey side of Ballameanagh.

Demolition of the Ramsey Car Shed commenced on 23rd November. Once completed, the contractors will similarly demolish the former goods shed in the station area.  Permanent way staff have replaced the facing points leading from the seaside track into the car shed with plain track.

The wire team have renewed the pole arms and fittings above lines between Scarffes Crossing and Baldrine, new wires will be strung in the New Year.  The wire team are currently renewing the wire and fittings above both lines between Minorca and the Ramsey side of Bonner Corner.

On Snaefell a major relay has commenced on the down line between Canada and the Car Shed points. which is believed to be the longest relay on the railway in its history.  The points leading from the single section onto the double line at the vicarage wall are scheduled for replacement.

A full gallery of the works being undertaken over the Winter 2016/17 Period is available HERE.

Fleet

Car No.32 and Trailer No.62 side by side in the Top Shed at Derby Castle on the 29th of November 2016. © Steve Hall

Considerable work is being carried out to the M.E.R fleet, consisting of the usual winter servicing and repairs and repaints.  Following servicing, Cars No.7, No.9 and Trailer No.48 were moved to Laxey car shed for winter storage. Van No.4 and Wagon No.8 have similarly been moved to Laxey Car Shed while Van No.16 and Wagon No.10 have been moved to the Laxey Goods Shed siding. The latter pair were moved by road.

In preparation for a return to service next year, after an absence of nine years from traffic, work has been carried out to the bogies of Trailers No.61 and No.62.  The wheel sets are shortly to be removed for re-profiling.

A considerable number of repaints are scheduled to be carried out during the winter period, including Car No.s 6, 16, 21 & 32 and Trailers No.s 46, 60 & 62.  As to the liveries, watch this website and our facebook for further updates! Work is currently being carried out the landside lower panelling on Car No.6 prior to repaint.

Photo Galleries for the Works being undertaken on the various cars and trailers are available below:

Car No.6

Car No.16

Car No.21

Car No.32

Trailers

Volunteers continue to work on the restoration of ‘Ratchet’ Car No.14.  Work is currently concentrating on the roof clerestory and ceiling and the reconstruction of the 48 clerestory window sashes.  The car has been lifted from the trucks and the four motors have been sent to four UK specialists for assessment.

Work continues on the major refurbishment of Snaefell Car No.4.

Car No.20 shunts one of the trucks destined for Ratchet Car No.14 in the yard at Derby Castle. © Andrew Scarffe

Car No.20 shunts one of the trucks destined for Ratchet Car No.14 in the yard at Derby Castle. © Andrew Scarffe

2017 Events

Rush Hour 2017 will take place over the Easter Weekend, Good Friday 14th April to Easter Monday 17th April. Immediately following Rush Hour, the Island will be hosting the “Festival of Steam” which will be held over the period 18th to 23rdApril and include visiting steam cars and traction engines. Three iconic Fowler road locomotives, The Great North, the Duke of York and Atlas, will form a road train which will haul Isle of Man Railway’s locomotive no 8 Fenella on the Great Dorset Steam Fair twin bogie trailer.  The road train will travel over the Island and will climax with a climb up the Sloc, the steepest and longest graded road on the Island. M.E.R events for the event are in the process of being finalised, further details will be available shortly..

Heritage Transport Festival 2017 will be held from Wednesday 26th July to Sunday 30th July. The theme this year will be “Go Green” and will celebrate fifty years of the takeover of the Isle of Man Railway by Lord Ailsa and sixty years of the nationalisation of the Manx Electric Railway.  Highlights on the M.E.R will include rolling stock newly repainted into historic liveries; return to service of trailers 61 and 62; a guided tour and walk around Bulgham Bay fifty years after the “Bulgham gap”; the “nationalised navigator” tour of the M.E.R; open cars on evening service; intensive timetables; motorman taster lessons and much more.  Further details will be available shortly.

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