Car No.29 (1904)


Car 29 in the early stages of restoration, Derby Castle Car Sheds, July 2019 © Website Collection

Under restoration, Derby Castle Car Sheds 1979 M.E.R Red/White

Car No.29 is the second of the four Crossbench Cars built for the M.E.R by E.T.R.C.W of Preston in 1904. The Car was delivered in July 1904 fitted with Brill 27cx trucks and air brakes, however had surrendered this equipment to the more commonly used Car No.19 by October the same year. No.29 gained the Winter Saloon’s less powerful Milnes E.C.C-motored trucks but gained no replacement for it’s air brakes, meaning crews had to rely on the Ratchet handbrake system, giving this series it’s nickname.

As common with all M.E.R crossbench cars, No.29s usage was seasonal, mainly operating specials between Derby Castle and popular tourist destinations such as Onchan Head, Garwick Glen and Laxey. Unfortunately the use of Ratchet cars fell out of favour during the 1970s, and No.29 made ever reducing appearances in service.

No.29’s last claim to fame was a starring role in the ‘Centenary of Electric Traction’ parade at Laxey in May 1979 hauling Locomotive No.23,  the Car being withdrawn from shortly afterwards in August. Following a lengthy period of store in Laxey Car Shed, No.29 was moved to the Homefield Bus Garage in Upper Douglas in June 2002, returning to M.E.R metals in November 2009.

In Spring 2019 the Car was selected for restoration, with work commencing at Derby Castle in the early summer.




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