Numbers Carried: No.8
Built: G.F Milnes, 1897–98
Classification: 6 ton open wagon, then generator van, then open wagon
Current Status/Location: In Service
Year Last Operated: In Service
Livery: Freight Grey
History: Wagon No.8, built by G.F Milnes of Birkenhead for the Manx Electric Railway arrived at Derby Castle for the construction of the extension to Ballure from Laxey in 1898. It was originally an open bodied wagon, gaining an overhaul during the Nationalisation period in 1957/58, usually seeing use thereafter with the Permanent Way Department.
The wagon was repainted in early 1983 in a darker version of Freight Grey with black numbering, and was used in demonstration freight runs during the May 1983/84 Vintage Transport Weekends with Locomotive No.23. No.8 gained another repaint in ‘as built’ condition with light Freight Grey and white numbering for the 1993 ‘Year of Railways’ event, operating again on demonstration runs, but reverting back to use with the permanent way department late in the year.
In Spring/Summer 1996, a ‘Atalanta’ diesel generator was mounted on the wagon, it being used during October 1997 to assist with a power cut on the Groudle-Baldromma section, propelling the day’s services. No.8 was rebuilt in early 1998 as a Van, with sides and a roof added to hide the diesel generator. It was then used to power Car No.33’s trips along the Isle of Man Steam Railway during 1998 and 1999.
After the ceasing of the events, the chassis was reverted for use as an open wagon, the diesel generator and van casing being removed and stored (later fitted onto the new Diesel Locomotive No.34 in 2003). It was intended to become the railway’s new Tower Wagon during Winter/Spring 2004 with the addition of a scissor lift, but this was passed onto Trailer No.52 instead. During the late 2000s and early 2010s, Wagon No.8 was based at Laxey Car Shed with the Permanent Way Department, seeing use on weedkilling duties. In Winter 2014/15 No.8 was restored by members of the Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust, returning it to as-built condition, with the fabrication of new sides and ends, and a full overhaul to the running gear.