The evening of Friday 1st August saw the fifth photographic tour operated by ManxElectricRailway.co.uk (in association with Isle of Man Railways). The tour combined staged photography at scenic locations along the line as well as visits to nearly all of the prominent items related with how the line has delivered goods throughout its over 120-year history. The tour used the combination of the M.E.Rs newest Car, Trailer and Van – Car No.33 hauling Trailer No.44 and Van No.16, the latter just re-entered traffic that day after a 3 year restoration by volunteers from the Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust. The tour was the vans first full round trip as part of a traditional ‘Car, Trailer and Van’ consist in over 40 years!
Departure from Derby Castle at 6:00pm saw the tours passengers initially visit Groudle station, where a briefing on the freight workings of the M.E.R was given by local historian and M.E.R Motorman Andrew Scarffe and webmaster David Martin to the participants, and a brief ‘thank you’ to those involved in Van No.16’s restoration.
The tour then continued onwards to the former Cattle Dock at Laxey for a brief photo-stop and talk, and to Laxey Goods Shed where a short break was taken. with an opportunity to view the interior of the Goods Shed and Vans No.3, No.11 and No.12 which are awaiting restoration. Leaving onto the northern section, further stops were taken at Dhoon Quarry, Ballaglass Power Station, Murrays Road and Ballajora (to show the surviving post-box at the location), and Ballajora Quarry. Sadly at this point the weather took a turn for the worse, with a period of long rain settling in.
Ramsey was reached at 20:25, with a prompt turnaround taking place before a southbound departure at 20:40. After a brief pause at Laxey, the tour arrived back into Derby Castle at 22:25. With many happy photographers and enthusiasts taking part in spite of the bad forecast, The ManxElectricRailway.co.uk team would like to take the opportunity to thank all those involved with the operation of the tour and to all who took part.