Manx Electric Railway Wagon Restoration Group

Restoring a unique part of Manx History for future generations.

Laxey & Lonan Heritage Trust & with support from Isle of Man Railways & Isle of Man Post.


The Manx Electric Railway and its Wagons.

Often overlooked in the history books in preference to the lines passenger traffic, the M.E.R.’s wagon fleet is unique. No other tramway system in the world had the volume of freight traffic that operated on the M.E.R. in its heyday, with thousands of tonnes of stone a year being transported from the railways own quarries, all manner of livestock, and an officially licensed post service on behalf of the Isle of Man Post Office, requiring a fleet of over twenty-five Victorian & Edwardian wagons and vans of all shapes and sizes to handle any variety of traffic the line could carry.

With the freight traffic slowly passing into history by the 1970s, the majority of the Wagon fleet was stored or scrapped, however a volunteer-led program to preserve and document this important part of the history of the railway was formed.

The Story So Far…

The Manx Electric Railway Wagon Appeal was originally launched in 2011 by the Laxey & Lonan Heritage Trust & following the cosmetic restoration by the group of Open Wagon No.10 to fund the cosmetic restoration of Mail Vans Nos 3 & 16. Following four years work by volunteers and sponsorship by Isle of Man Post., as well as donations, Van No.16’s comprehensive restoration to active service has been completed, with additional items added to the collection for future restoration as time and funds permit. Further projects include the creation of an exhibition dedicated to the M.E.R.’s freght traffic at Laxey, where the project is currently based.

The Fleet.

Howstrake, 2015 Laxey Blacksmith's Siding, 2011 Laxey Blacksmith's Siding, July 2014 
Wagon No.8
Built in 1898, fully restored in the 2014/5 Winter to its original condition.
Vehicle Profle
Wagon No.10 
Sister to No. 8, restored from 2009 to 2014 to full original condition.
Vehicle Profle
Mail Van No.16 
Built by the M.E.R. itself in 1908 and fully restored to early 1970s condition 2011-15.
Vehicle Profile
Restoration diary
Laxey Blacksmith's Siding, 2015 Laxey Goods Shed, 2014
Mail Van No.3
A 122-year old mail van veteran, awaiting full restoration to service at Laxey.
Vehicle Profle
Goods Van No.11
Built in 1898 and the last survivor in original service until 1997, undergoing overhaul.
Vehicle Profle
Restoration diary
Tower Van No.12
A van with a twist! A former overhead line maintenance vehicle, M.E.R. Style.
Vehicle Profle


The current method of contributing is by cheque. Please send all cheques, payable to ‘Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust’  to

No donation is too small – all monies will go towards the restoration of unique items of M.E.R rolling stock!
All contributors will be acknowledged below and also on a sign in the exhibition at Laxey.

Andrew Scarffe is currently searching for appropriate photos to be used as part of the display, including

·         Vans in use

·         MER Conductors emptying line side post boxes

·         Bagged mail being either unloaded/loaded into road vehicles at Derby Castle or Ramsey

If you have anything suitable in your collection, please contact Andrew atwith details!

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