Car No.1 (1893)


Car 1 at Bonner Corner, April 2022 © Andrew Scarffe

In Service In Service D&LCET Maroon/Ivory


Car No.1 was the first item of rolling stock supplied by G.F Milnes in 1893 for the Douglas and Laxey Coast Electric Tramway, entering service during September of that year. After performing regular duties for the next decade, it was re-equipped with more updated equipment as part of the fleetwide programme, with air braking fitted along with better riding bogies in July 1903.

Repainted in the full ‘The Manx Electric Railway Co Ltd’ company livery, No.1 performed as part of the active fleet until regular deployment with the Permanent Way department in the 1940s, whereupon it received a utility Maroon and White livery. From then on, No.1 spent most of the calendar year with the Permanent Way Department, returning to passenger service during the Summer as required!

The car received the short lived Nationalised Green livery in 1958, quickly reverting to the previously carried un-lettered Red and Teak  in Summer 1961. In 1970, the car was further modified for it’s regular off-season duties, with the fitting of end windscreens, to better protect the motorman during the harsher weather.

In Winter 1978 No.1 was given a reprieve, and was withdrawn for a full overhaul. It re-debuted in May 1979 for the Centenary of Electric Traction/Millennium of Tynwald Celebrations, in Douglas & Laxey Coast Electric Tramway Maroon and Cream, which was an approximation of the original livery carried. It carried variations of this paintwork until August 2004, where it was repainted into the more conventional fleet livery of Red. White and Teak, but still with the Douglas and Laxey lettering.

In October 2010, No.1 was withdrawn from service and underwent a full overhaul to it’s trucks at Derby Castle Car Sheds, which took place during the Autumn/Winter of 2011. During June 2012, it carried the Olympic Torch from Derby Castle to Laxey as part of the Manx Olympic Torch procession.

For the 2022 season, No.1 was returned to its original 1893 colourscheme to match Car 2, which had been repainted the previous year. The pioneer car of the M.E.R is now a common sight for enthusiast specials and occassionally timetabled service during the summer.

The car holds a place in the Guinness Book of Records as being the Oldest Operational Electric Tramcar in the World, still operating on it’s original line.



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