Car No.17 (1898)

Car No.17 stored inside the Derby Castle Top Shed, July 2013. © David Hennessey

Stored, Derby Castle Car Sheds 1973 M.E.R Red/White


Car No.17 was the fourth of five Crossbench open Cars built by G.F.Milnes and delivered to the M.E.R in 1898. The Motor was delivered with Milnes Series 3 Trucks (Powered by E.C.C Motors) which it retained throughout it’s working life, and as a result No.17 never received air brake equipment, having to rely on the Ratchet braking system. It regularly gave up it’s trucks during the winter months to Locomotive No.23 from it’s construction in 1900 till January 1914, when it suffered a collision and it was later rebuilt. (No.17 was stored on barrels when this exercise occurred) It also received G.E K12 Controllers in 1935-36, replacing the previous G.E K11 units.

Compared to the other Cars of the fleet, No.17 was used lightly, appearing usually on shuttles from Derby Castle to Onchan Head, Howstrake, Groudle and Garwick Glen. After withdrawl from service in July 1973, it was kept in the Derby Castle Bottom Shed, later moved to Laxey Car Shed during late September 1977 due to space being required for the Aachen re-equipment of the Snaefell Cars. It was offered for sale in 1978 alongside other stored Motors and Trailers, but this did not come to pass and sale could not be agreed. During 1978/79, No.17 was moved back to the Derby Castle Bottom Shed, presumably to donate further parts.

In September 1990, it was partly scorched whilst opposite No.22 in the Derby Castle Bottom Shed (which was awaiting repairs from a failure earlier in the day, and was gutted by fire). No.17 was later hauled to Laxey Car Shed in 1992, after donating it’s motor-powered Milnes Series 3 trucks to Locomotive No.23, gaining a set of Milnes Series 1 trailer trucks in exchange. It also suffered damage to the Ramsey-end dash panel in a shunting accident with Car No.14 in October 1997, during the movement outside of the stored stock during the Derby Castle Top Shed rebuild.

It was stored in Laxey Car Shed until April 2002, when it was moved to Derby Castle, with its trucks removed and was transported via low-loader to Homefield Bus Garage in Upper Douglas. On delivery, No.17 was accidentally dropped off the transporter, suffering further damage to the formerly Ramsey-end dash panel. Following seven years in store away from the M.E.R, No.17 returned in November 2009, being re-trucked this time with a pair of Milnes Series 3s. It is currently stored in Derby Castle Top Shed in a heavily stripped state.




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