2 – Sale and Expansion

After the first year, the whole line and stock was sold in December 1895 by the Snaefell Mountain Railway Association to the Isle of Man Tramways and Electric Power Company for £72,500. The line was certainly popular – up to 900 passengers a day took a ride up to the summit. For the feeding of coal to the power station (which was located in a remote spot), a Locomotive was built in 1896 using a G.F Milnes-supplied frame and local materials for the body, which was numbered 7. This was used during the winter period, borrowing trucks and electrical equipment from one of the passenger cars.


Work being undertaken to extend the line to Dumbells Row in 1897. © Website Collection

In 1897 the terminus of the line was moved from opposite the Snaefell Car Sheds down to a new station located opposite Dumbell’s Row. This was again temporary, and in 1898 the line was extended again to meet the M.E.R in the new combined ‘Laxey Junction’ station. Liquidation in Winter/Spring 1900, line allowed to keep operating in Summer 1900 under Joshua Shaw, the Company’s Engineer and Secretary. The Hotels were rented out for the period, and re-acquired when the line was passed (alongside the Manx Electric Railway) into the hands of the newly created Manx Electric Railway Co Ltd in November 1902. The line’s power station was linked up in 1904 to the M.E.R’s newly completed 7000-volt ac supply, meaning that it would only have to be steamed during the mid-summer.

Car No.4 ascending to the summit during 1905. © Website Collection

Car No.4 ascending to the summit during 1905. © Website Collection

A new Snaefell Summit Hotel was built and opened in 1906, replacing the original, and in 1907 the M.E.R Co purchased two charabancs, with the intention to run a tour road service between the Bungalow and Tholt-y-Will at the top of the Sulby Glen, where large tea-rooms were built, with services commencing shortly afterwards.

The Snaefell Car fleet lost the Blue/White livery during the late 1900s for the new corporate Red/White/Teak livery, similar to that carried on the Manx Electric, and after a short transition period, they carried the new ‘Snaefell Mountain Railway’ title, either upon complete repaint into the new scheme or by changing the letters on a temporary basis on the old.  Upon the outbreak of the first world war, the service on the line was suspended on the 9th of August 1914, the cars all being stored in the Snaefell Car Shed…

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