Car No.20 (1899)

Car No.20 at Bulgham Head, May 2018 © Andrew Scarffe

Operational In Service M.E.R Red/White/Teak

Car No.20 was the second of four ‘Winter Saloon’ Motors delivered from G.F.Milnes for the opening of the full Ramsey extension in 1899. The design was much larger than any previous M.E.R closed car, allowing space for 48 passengers. Although originally delivered with Milnes Series 3 trucks (fitted with E.C.C Motors), in 1904 No.20 gained the more powerful Brill 27CX trucks (with four 25hp motors) from under Car No.28, at the same time gaining its air braking equipment.

Car No.20, in common with the other three ‘Winter Saloons’, revolutionised the M.E.R passenger operation, running almost daily throughout the year, and indeed throughout it’s existence (excepting times when under overhaul and works attention). It has only had a small number of modifications – losing its wooden seats for cushions in 1932 (however being unique in retaining its original seat frames) No.20 was also repainted into ‘Nationalised’ Green livery in 1958 but had been repainted back by 1961.

For the next thirty years, Car No.20 lived a mundane, if busy, existence, having carried several variations of the ‘standard’ M.E.R livery of red, white and brown/teak depending on corporate standards. Unfortunately during August 2003 No.20 was involved in a collision with a lorry at Baldrine which caused significant damage, it being overhauled again at Derby Castle Car Sheds, re-emerging during July 2004. During October 2007 it derailed at Little Egypt (Pole 386) whilst heading to Ramsey, and returned once again to Derby Castle Car Sheds. No.20 returned to traffic during May 2010, after repairs and various storage periods during 2008/09. The car underwent a full repaint during Winter 2013, retaining the M.E.R lettering, being returned to its full 1970s livery in early 2018 as part of the M.E.R. 125 celebrations taking place that year.

No.20 is usually in regular service and forms the mainstay of the M.E.R fleet alongside the other three ‘Winter Saloons’.



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