Car No.7 (1894)

Walpole Drive, 2016

Car No.7 on Walpole Drive, July 2016 © David Hennessey

CURRENT STATUS AND LOCATION YEAR LAST OPERATED LIVERY
In Service In Service D&LET Blue/White/Teak

History

Car No.7 was the fourth of six ‘Tunnel Cars’ (so named due to their long and slender interiors) built by G.F Milnes for the M.E.R in 1894. In line with the rest of its series, No.7 was delivered with Milnes Series 3 Trucks fitted with Mather & Platt motors, however this was replaced in 1903 with ‘Brush D’ Trucks and air brake equipment.

Compared to the rest of its series, No.7 underwent few changes in its first centenary, receiving K12 Controllers in 1946, replacing the previous K11 units,  losing it’s original ‘two piece’ windows in favor of the larger ‘one piece’ design in 1970, and the wrought iron gates at the top of the steps being replaced by the more familiar wooden doors.

No.7 was regularly used during the Winter by the Permanent Way Department during the 1990s and early 2000s, returning to traffic during the Summer. In the mid 2000s however No.7 was allowed to get into a deplorable state, being used exclusively by both the Overhead Line and Permanent Way departments following the withdrawl of Car No.27 during Winter 2001. It was regularly stabled outside at Dhoon Quarry or in the then-roofless Laxey Car Shed, and, following several complaints, and the emergence of a dedicated works vehicle (No.34), No.7 was allocated a well-earned overhaul which commenced in 2007. By 2009 progress had faltered, however a resurgence saw it’s body move to The Village Workshop in Laxey in January 2010 for refurbishment, with a large majority of woodwork being replaced.

Meanwhile back on the M.E.R, extensive work began on refurbishing trucks taken from No.27 for No.7, with the traction motors leaving the island for remedial work, and the body of the car returning to the M.E.R during June 2010. During it’s recent overhaul the Car has lost some of it’s original features, gaining a central partition and 2+1 transverse seating (as per Car No.5), returning to traffic during June 2011. No.7 was re-fitted with new trucks ex-Car No.26 during the Summer/Autumn 2012 period after a traction motor failure, returning to service in June 2013.

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