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ISLE OF MAN DATA FILE

 
 

 

   
 

Following two highly enjoyable visits to the Isle of Man in 2012 and 2013, my good friend Malcolm Bell offered me the benefit of his accumulated knowledge of the island and its railways, which I offer here as a companion piece to the two existing - and any future reports - of my own.

 
 

 

   
  Following two highly enjoyable visits to the Isle of Man in 2012 and 2013, my good friend Malcolm Bell offered me the benefit of his accumulated knowledge of the island and its railways, which I offer here as a companion piece to the two existing - and any future reports - of my own.  
 

 

   
  BACKGROUND  
 

 

   
  The Isle of Man is 33 miles long by 12 miles wide at its widest point.  Its highest point is the summit of Snaefell (Norse for Snow Mountain) which is  2 036 feet above sea level.  The capital is Douglas and the population is just over 64 000 - less than that of Cheltenham.

Although recognising Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch, the island has its own parliament - the Tynwald - with elected members taking seats in the House of Keys.  New laws only come into effect after being read in both Manx and English from Tynwald Hill on Tynwald Day - 5 July each year.

There are 86 known former rail systems on the Isle of Man ranging from simple farm tracks through the Laxey Mines Railway to the line that once brought lead ore to St Johns from Foxdale.  Of these, five unique Victorian railways and tramways  still run today largely as they were in 1900.

 
 

 

   
  BALDWIN RESERVOIR  
 

 

   
  The building of the large Baldwin Reservoir to serve the expanding town of Douglas necessitated the movement of large quantities of spoil.  A 3' gauge line was worked by three locomotives to achieve this before the railway was dismantled in 1905.  
 

 

   
  The building of the large Baldwin Reservoir to serve the expanding town of Douglas necessitated the movement of large quantities of spoil.  A 3' gauge line was worked by three locomotives to achieve this before the railway was dismantled in 1905.  
 

 

   
  DOUGLAS CABLE TRAMWAY  
 

 

   
 

Built in 1896 to serve the rapidly expanding upper areas of the town, the 3' gauge cable tramway carried passengers from the harbour to the hilly outskirts.  It was sold to Douglas Corporation in 1902 and ceased operations in 1929, falling victim to road transport.  A car was rebuilt from parts of original Milnes cars 72 and 73 in 1973 and is now preserved at Derby Castle depot as the only bogie cable tramcar outside San Francisco.

 
 

 

   
  Built in 1896 to serve the rapidly expanding upper areas of the town, the 3' gauge cable tramway carried passengers from the harbour to the hilly outskirts.  It was sold to Douglas Corporation in 1902 and ceased operations in 1929, falling victim to road transport.  A car was rebuilt from parts of original Milnes cars 72 and 73 in 1973 and is now preserved at Derby Castle depot as the only bogie cable tramcar outside San Francisco.  
 

 

   
  DOUGLAS HEAD INCLINE RAILWAY  
 

 

   
  This steep funicular railway provided a link between Douglas Town and the heights of Douglas Head, the foot of the incline being near Port Skillion lighthouse and the station at the top of the cliffs giving panoramic views of the harbour and the Tower of Refuge.  The Douglas Head Incline Railway ceased operations in 1953.  
 

 

   
  This steep funicular railway provided a link between Douglas Town and the heights of Douglas Head, the foot of the incline being near Port Skillion lighthouse and the station at the top of the cliffs giving panoramic views of the harbour and the Tower of Refuge.  The Douglas Head Incline Railway ceased operations in 1953.  
 

 

   
  DOUGLAS HEAD AND MARINE DRIVE ELECTRIC TRAMWAY  
 

 

   
 

This three mile long electric tramway opened between Douglas Head and Port Soderick in 1896 and was owned by a J.P. Morgan controlled company with American management.  It was notable for its scenic coastal views, the sheer scale of the bridgework involved and the fact that its open top double-decked tram cars ran on a track of 4' 81/2" gauge, making it unique among Isle of Man Railways.

 
 

 

   
  This three mile long electric tramway opened between Douglas Head and Port Soderick in 1896 and was owned by a J.P. Morgan controlled company with American management.  It was notable for its scenic coastal views, the sheer scale of the bridgework involved and the fact that its open top double-decked tram cars ran on a track of 4' 81/2" gauge, making it unique among Isle of Man Railways. 

Services were not resumed after closure during the Second World War but Brush-built tramcar number 1 of 1896 was rescued in June 1951 and is now preserved at Crich.

 
 

 

   
  DOUGLAS HORSE TRAMWAY  
 

 

   
 

Douglas Horse Trams have worked along the sweeping curve of Douglas Bay since 7 August 1876, making the Douglas Horse Tramway the World's oldest horse drawn tramway.  It has only stopped operating due to World Wars and is now the last operating horse tramway in the British Isles with the largest fleet of horse drawn tram cars in the World.

 
 

 

   
  Douglas Horse Trams have worked along the sweeping curve of Douglas Bay since 7 August 1876, making the Douglas Horse Tramway the World's oldest horse drawn tramway.  It has only stopped operating due to World Wars and is now the last operating horse tramway in the British Isles with the largest fleet of horse drawn tram cars in the World. 

40 horses and 23 roller bearing fitted tram cars now run the service along nearly two miles of 3' (914mm) gauge route between the Horse Tram depot at Derby Castle and Douglas Sea Terminal.  The first open "toast rack" cars came into service in 1884 and double-deck cars ran until 1948.  However, 1883 vintage double deck car 14 has been preserved for use on special occasions.

Started as a single track tramway, it was extended and doubled to its present length by 1890 and was purchased by Douglas Corporation in 1901.  Winter services were replaced by motor buses in 1955 but the tramway still carries half a million passengers each summer with 20 cars operational at any one time and a tram departing every two minutes at peak periods at the end of a 6 mph journey.

Within the current single deck fleet ,trams 32-37 and 43-45 are roofed with cross benches; 21, 38-40 and 42 are open "toast racks" while 27-29 are Saloons. These were all built between 1890 and 1909 by Milnes except 1, 42-45 (Milnes Voss) and 43 and 44 (United Electric Cars)

 
 

 

   
  THE FOXDALE RAILWAY  
 

 

   
 

Although nominally an independent line opened in 1886, this was in reality worked as a 2/12 mile extension of the Manx Northern Railway from the thriving lead and silver mines at Foxdale to the station at St John's - pictured above.  However, after the mines closed in 1911 the line fell into disuse, passenger traffic ceasing in 1943 although freight continued until 1960.

 
 

 

   
  Although nominally an independent line opened in 1886, this was in reality worked as a 2/12 mile extension of the Manx Northern Railway from the thriving lead and silver mines at Foxdale to the station at St John's - pictured above.  However, after the mines closed in 1911 the line fell into disuse, passenger traffic ceasing in 1943 although freight continued until 1960.  
 

 

   
  GREAT LAXEY MINING COMPANY TRAMWAY  
 

 

   
 

Restoration of part of the former mine tramway was proposed by the Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust in May 1998, as a project to celebrate the new millennium and after much site clearance and track laying replicas of "Ant" and "Bee" were ordered from Great Northern Steam Ltd.  A new engine shed was built on the exact footprint of the old shed and an order was placed with Alan Keefe Ltd of Ross on Wye for a small carriage.

 
 

 

   
  Despite its relatively small size, the Isle of Man was extremely rich in lead and zinc. During mid Victorian times, the island produced a significant proportion of the United Kingdom's output of these ores. 

Mining began at Laxey in about 1780 and for the next forty years the mine was worked with little success by small groups of speculators. In 1822, the Kirk Lonan Mining Association was formed to work the mine and by 1833, when a profit was made for the first time, over 200 people were employed.

 In 1849 the Mining Association was reformed as the Great Laxey Mining Company. By this time the lowest workings were constantly being troubled by floodwater. It was decided to build a massive waterwheel, the biggest in the world, to power new pumps. On 27 September, 1854 the 72' 6" diameter waterwheel christened the "Lady Isabella" was set in motion for the first time.

In 1862 the company became the Great Laxey Mining Company Ltd. Despite two bitter strikes in the 1870s, the output of the mine remained very impressive and in 1875 production peaked. In that year, 2400 tons of lead ore and 11753 tons of zinc ore were mined, the latter being almost half of the United Kingdom's output.

 

By the mid 1880s the British mines were competing with of ores imported from overseas at a much cheaper cost. At Laxey the quality and value of the ore being mined was diminishing and machinery which was once at the forefront of mining technology was worn out; the money required to replace it had been paid out in large dividends. A gradual decline now began which was only brought to an end in 1903 when the company was restructured as Great Laxey Ltd. With new capital, the machinery was replaced but the company went into liquidation in 1920.

In 1922 the mine was purchased by a local businessman Robert Williamson who was able to carry on mining until 1929, when the once proud Great Laxey Mine closed for the final time. It was the last mine in operation on the Island and its closure brought to an end the once prosperous Manx mining industry.

Scrap merchants quickly removed the mining machinery but the Lady Isabella was to escape the cutters torch at the eleventh hour when a Laxey builder Mr Edwin Kneale bought and restored the waterwheel. In 1965 the Lady Isabella was purchased by the Isle of Man Government.

Today, it is owned and maintained in full working order by Manx National Heritage. Visitors can climb the 96 steps of the spiral staircase to the top platform and view the magnificent scenery of the Laxey Valley. A short section of the underground workings and the mining trails can also be explored.

 

The Great Laxey Mine was formed on a mineral deposit known as a lode which runs in a north-south direction beneath the Glen Mooar Valley, a tributary of the main Laxey Valley. The workings eventually extended to a depth of 2200 feet underground. As a comparison, the height of Snaefell, the Islands only mountain, is 2036 feet.

The main shafts were the Engine Shaft which contained the pumps connected to the Lady Isabella waterwheel; the Welsh Shaft which contained the Man Engine, a water powered lift installed in 1881 use to lower and raise the mines into and out of the mine, and the Dumbell's shaft, which was the deepest at the mine.

Underground a labyrinth of workings and levels extended outwards from the shafts along the mineral vein. The most important level was known as the Adit which entered the hillside below the Laxey Wheel and extended for nearly 1 miles, connecting in turn with each of the main shafts. A tramway, dating to 1823, ran the entire length of the Adit and was used to carry the mined ores out of the mine.

At first the single wagon was pushed by hand but in 1827 a pony was purchased. Over the years, as the Adit and tramway were extended, additional wagons and ponies were added. By the 1870s huge quantities of ore were being mined. In the six months prior to August 1873, 27,528 wagons of ore were brought out of the mine on the tramway, equivalent to 177 a day. This meant that each of the nine horses now used on the tramway brought nearly 20 loaded wagons of ore out of the mine each day. Shortly afterwards, it was decided to replace the horses with steam locomotives.

One potential problem was that the smoke from steam engines would fill the mine. In order to find out if this would happen in practice, bonfires were lit in the Adit level and kept burning for several days. The results were acceptable (at least by the standards of the time!) and two small steam locomotives were ordered. Named Ant and Bee, they were constructed to the unusual gauge of 19 inches by Stephen Lewin, of Poole, Dorset (works numbers 684 and 685) and were delivered to the mine in April, 1877. By 1905, following continual intensive use, they both were worn out. Quotations for replacements were obtained from several manufacturers including Kerr Stuart and W G Bagnall Ltd. However, the cost proved to be prohibitive and both engines were refurbished and fitted with new boilers supplied by W G Bagnall Ltd.

Following closure of the mine in 1929, Ant and Bee were locked away in the engine shed for several years before being cut up for scrap in 1935. The surface section of the tramway was ripped up although the rails and sleepers still remain in situ underground along the length of the Adit.

Restoration of part of the former mine tramway was proposed by the Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust in May 1998, as a project to celebrate the new millennium and after much site clearance and track laying replicas of "Ant" and "Bee" were ordered from Great Northern Steam Ltd.  A new engine shed was built on the exact footprint of the old shed and an order was placed with Alan Keefe Ltd of Ross on Wye for a small carriage.  Motive power and rolling stock arrived in 2004 and the formal opening of the Great Laxey Mine Railway, as it was now known, took place on Saturday 25 September as part of the sesquicentenary anniversary celebrations for the Laxey Wheel.

Construction of a carriage shed began in October, 2006 and a second carriage was delivered from Alan Keefe Ltd, in August, 2007.

The two steam locomotives were joined by a battery loco in May 2009. Built by Clayton in 1973, the locomotive was refurbished and re-gauged by Alan Keef Ltd and named "Wasp"

 
 

 

   
  GROUDLE GLEN RAILWAY  
 

 

   
 

Groudle Glen Railway - the railway that goes uphill to the sea - is located in Groudle Glen in Onchan on the east coast of the Isle of Man. Owned and operated entirely by volunteers the Groudle Glen Railway was originally built in 1896  to serve a seaside zoological exhibit but was unfortunately closed and scrapped in the 1962.

 
 

 

   
 
Groudle Glen Railway - the railway that goes uphill to the sea - is located in Groudle Glen in Onchan on the east coast of the Isle of Man. Owned and operated entirely by volunteers the Groudle Glen Railway was originally built in 1896  to serve a seaside zoological exhibit but was unfortunately closed and scrapped in the 1962.

However, since 1982 the two foot gauge railway has been fully restored and now runs between Groudle Glen and the Sea Lion Rocks tea rooms which are located at the end of the line.  The railway operates steam, diesel and electric engines plus the original 1896 locomotive “Sea Lion” and a number of restored coaches from the 1890s.

Groudle Glen Railway’s main station, Lhen Coan, can be reached after a short walk through the beautiful Groudle Glen and features a replica of the 1896 building as well as the carriage sheds and workshops.  The Sea Lion Rocks tea rooms serve a variety of refreshments while the railway is in operation

2-4-0T "Sea LIon" carries William Bagnall's works number 1484 of 1896 while its fellow original GGR engine "Polar Bear" (Bagnall 1781 of 1905) has now been restored at the Amberley Chalk Pits Museum, West Sussex.

 
 

 

   
  ISLE OF MAN STEAM RAILWAY  
 

 

   
 

BEYER PEACOCK 2-4-0T LOCOMOTIVES

 

NUMBER NAME WORKS DATE

NOTES

1 Sutherland 1253 1873 Hauled first train from Douglas to Peel
2 Derby 1254 1873 Dismantled 1951
3 Pender 1255 1873 Sectioned exhibit, Manchester MSI
4 Loch 1416 1874  
5 Mona 1417 1874  
6 Peveril 1524 1875  
7 Tynwald 2038 1880 Frames now at Southwold Railway
8 Fenella 3610 1894  
9 Douglas 3815 1896  
10 G.H. Wood 4662 1905  
11 Maitland 4663 1908  
12 Hutchinson 5126 1908  
13 Kissack 5382 1910  
14 Thornhill 2028 1880 Formerly Manx Northern Railway 3
16 Mannin 6296 1926  
 
 

 

   
 

ROLLING STOCK IDENTIFICATION

 
A Four wheel First Class carriages
B Four wheel Third Class carriages
C Four wheel Third Class / Guard carriages
D Four wheel First /Third Class composite carriages
E Four wheel passenger brake vans
F Bogie stock, including pairs of A,B,C, D types on bogie chassis
G Goods vans
H Drop door open vans
K Cattle trucks
L Bolster wagons
M Dropside open wagons
N Ex Manx Northern Railway
 
 

 

   
 

PASSENGER ROLLING STOCK

 
NO TYPE FRAME BUILDER DATE REMARKS
F9 Third Timber Brown Marshalls 1881 Sea Terminal Enquiry Office
F10,11 Third Timber Brown Marshalls 1881 F9-12 Class
F15 Composite Timber Metropolitan 1894 First/Third /small Guard compartment. Last F13-15 Cl
F18 Guard Third Timber Metropolitan 1894 F16-18 Class
F25,26 Guard Third Timber Metropolitan 1896 F25-26 Class
F27,28 Luggage Timber Metropolitan 1897 F27-28 Empress Vans
F29,32 Third Saloon Steel Metropolitan 1905 F29-32 Corridors
F35 Composite Steel Metropolitan 1905 F35-36 First Third Buffet
F36 Composite Steel Metropolitan 1905 "The Queen's Coach" now in Port Erin Railway Museum
F39 Brake Composite Timber Oldbury 1886 Ex MNR 17 "Kitto's Coach"
F41 Brake Third Steel Metropolitan 1905 F40-44 Class.Wheelchair space
F43 Brake Third Steel Metropolitan 1906 F40-44 Class. Half brake.
F45-46 Guard Composite Steel Metropolitan 1913 F45-46 Class. Originally Brake 3rd
F47-48 Third Steel Metropolitan 1923 F47-48 Class
F49 TPO Third Steel Metropolitan 1926 F40-44 Class development
 

FOUR WHEEL CARRIAGES PAIRED ON BOGIE CHASSIS

 

NO ORIGINAL NOS BODY DATE CHASSIS DATE
F57 B16+B20 Brown M 1873-1874 Metropolitan 1919
F62 A1+B1 Brown M 1873-1874 Metropolitan 1926
F63 B6+B10 Brown M 1873-1874 Metropolitan 1920
F66 B11 + B15 Brown M 1873-1874 Metropolitan Originally 1920, later replaced by 1912 chassis ex F64
F67 B23+C14 Brown M 1873-1874 Metropolitan 1922
F70 B9+B14 Brown M 1873-1874 Metropolitan 1922
F74 A11+C11 Brown M 1873-1874 Metropolitan 1921
F75 A12 + C9 Brown M 1873-1874 Metropolitan 1926
F75 - "The Governor's Saloon" in Port Erin Railway Museum is a twin saloon vehicle while F57-74 are six compartment carriages.
 
 

 

   
  MANX ELECTRIC RAILWAY  
 

 

   
 

A pioneer in its field, the Manx Electric Railway today still operates the 17.75 mile route from Douglas (Derby Castle)  to Ramsey with a fleet of 18 trams built between 1893 and 1906.  Trams 1 and 2 are recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the World's oldest regularly operating electric trams.  The Douglas and Laxey Coast Electric Tramway was one of the first electric tramways to be built in the World and opened from Douglas as far as Groundle in 1893, to Laxey in 1894 and to Ramsey in 1898.  The company was later known as the Isle of Man Tramways and Electric Power Company but was taken over by the Manx Electric Railway Company after the collapse of Dumbell's Bank in 1902.  The 3' gauge double track Manx Electric Railway was sold to the  Isle of Man Government in 1957.

 
 

 

   
  A pioneer in its field, the Manx Electric Railway today still operates the 17.75 mile route from Douglas (Derby Castle)  to Ramsey with a fleet of 18 trams built between 1893 and 1906.  Trams 1 and 2 are recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the World's oldest regularly operating electric trams.  The Douglas and Laxey Coast Electric Tramway was one of the first electric tramways to be built in the World and opened from Douglas as far as Groundle in 1893, to Laxey in 1894 and to Ramsey in 1898.  The company was later known as the Isle of Man Tramways and Electric Power Company but was taken over by the Manx Electric Railway Company after the collapse of Dumbell's Bank in 1902.  The 3' gauge double track Manx Electric Railway was sold to the  Isle of Man Government in 1957.  
 

 

   
  MANX NORTHERN RAILWAY  
 

 

   
 

The Isle of Man Railway Company had completed lines from Douglas to Peel in 1873 and from Douglas to Port Erin in 1874 but no money was forthcoming to extend the lines to Ramsey.  The irate northern residents formed the Manx Northern Railway Company and the 16 1/2 mile line linking St Johns (an existing station on the Douglas-Peel line) to Ramsey was opened in 1879.

 
 

 

   
  The Isle of Man Railway Company had completed lines from Douglas to Peel in 1873 and from Douglas to Port Erin in 1874 but no money was forthcoming to extend the lines to Ramsey.  The irate northern residents formed the Manx Northern Railway Company and the 16 1/2 mile line linking St Johns (an existing station on the Douglas-Peel line) to Ramsey was opened in 1879. 

In 1904 the Manx Northern Railway was taken over by the Isle of Man Railway Company, which thereby acquired four locomotives, the first three of which were 2-4-0Ts.

MNR 1 Ramsey Sharp Stewart 2885 1879 Scrapped 1923
MNR 2 Northern Sharp Stewart 2885 1879 Scrapped 1912
MNR 3 Thornhill Beyer Peacock 2028 1880 Privately owned on IOM
MNR 4 Caledonia Dubs and Company 2178 1885 0-6-0T  Renumbered as IOMSR 15
 
 

 

   
  PORT ERIN HARBOUR OF REFUGE TRAMWAY  
 

 

   
 

One of the projects instituted by Governor Henry B. Loch was the erection of a breakwater at Port Erin, involving a temporary 7' gauge tramway and operated by a locomotive named after the Governor.  Brought across the sea by the contractors in 1864, this may well have been the first steam locomotive to work on the Isle of Man.  Sadly the breakwater later succumbed to the heavy gales of the Irish Sea and there is little evidence of its existence left at Port Erin.

 
 

 

   
  One of the projects instituted by Governor Henry B. Loch was the erection of a breakwater at Port Erin, involving a temporary 7' gauge tramway and operated by a locomotive named after the Governor.  Brought across the sea by the contractors in 1864, this may well have been the first steam locomotive to work on the Isle of Man.  Sadly the breakwater later succumbed to the heavy gales of the Irish Sea and there is little evidence of its existence left at Port Erin.  
 

 

   
  QUEEN'S PIER TRAMWAY, RAMSEY  
 

 

   
 

The  2 245' long Queen's Pier at Ramsey opened in 1887 and was equipped with a 3' gauge tramway so that the luggage of passengers from the arriving steam ships could be moved landward on wagons pushed by hand.  The single track had a passing loop half way along and two ten-yard sidings at the seaward end.  At the landward end the tramway extended through the pier head buildings and on to the street to allow luggage to be loaded into motor vehicles.  There was also a siding here for storing rolling stock.

 
 

 

   
  The  2 245' long Queen's Pier at Ramsey opened in 1887 and was equipped with a 3' gauge tramway so that the luggage of passengers from the arriving steam ships could be moved landward on wagons pushed by hand.  The single track had a passing loop half way along and two ten-yard sidings at the seaward end.  At the landward end the tramway extended through the pier head buildings and on to the street to allow luggage to be loaded into motor vehicles.  There was also a siding here for storing rolling stock.

A bogie "toastrack" passenger coach arrived in 1937 along with Hibberd  "Planet" 4 wheel petrol mechanical locomotive 2027 and a 20 seat Wickham 4 wheeled diesel mechanical railcar ( 5763 of 1947) joined the tramway in 1950.

Unfortunately the last steamer docked at The Queen's Pier in 1970 and both pier and tramway shut in 1981 but the carriage and Planet are preserved at Jurby with other items at the Manx Electric Railway Visitor Centre, Ramsey.

 
 

 

   
  RAMSEY HARBOUR TRAMWAY  
 

 

   
 

The port of Ramsey handled a considerable amount of the Island's freight and mineral traffic.  The Manx Northern Railway lines were continued down the quayside so that cargo could be exchanged directly between rail vehicles and ships.  A peculiarity of this quay side line was the very short tramway type switch rails used for the short spurs to the ship berths.

 
 

 

   
  The port of Ramsey handled a considerable amount of the Island's freight and mineral traffic.  The Manx Northern Railway lines were continued down the quayside so that cargo could be exchanged directly between rail vehicles and ships.  A peculiarity of this quay side line was the very short tramway type switch rails used for the short spurs to the ship berths.  
 

 

   
  SNAEFELL MOUNTAIN RAILWAY  
 

 

   
 

The Snaefell Mountain Railway was built by a private consortium in just seven months in 1895 and was sold in the following year to the Isle of Man Tramways and Electric Power Company.  The five mile line -- starting from Laxey Village - was built to a track gauge of 3' 6" as opposed to the 3' of the Isle of Man Railway which had opened between Douglas and Port Erin in 1873.  To allow the Manx Northern Railway 0-6-0T locomotive "Caledonia" to haul rails to the summit, a third rail was installed, as it was again in 1995 for the Centenary celebrations which also saw "Caledonia" reach the summit once more.  The Snaefell Mountain Railway - including gradients as steep as 1 in 12 - is the only electric mountain railway in the British Isles and still uses the six original tramcars from 1895 - each fitted with a distinctive Hopkinson bow collector on the roof to make contact with the overhead catenary.  This wiring is taken down each winter to prevent frost damage, during which time a diesel railcar can still run to the summit.

 
 

 

   
  The Snaefell Mountain Railway was built by a private consortium in just seven months in 1895 and was sold in the following year to the Isle of Man Tramways and Electric Power Company.  The five mile line -- starting from Laxey Village - was built to a track gauge of 3' 6" as opposed to the 3' of the Isle of Man Railway which had opened between Douglas and Port Erin in 1873.  To allow the Manx Northern Railway 0-6-0T locomotive "Caledonia" to haul rails to the summit, a third rail was installed, as it was again in 1995 for the Centenary celebrations which also saw "Caledonia" reach the summit once more.  The Snaefell Mountain Railway - including gradients as steep as 1 in 12 - is the only electric mountain railway in the British Isles and still uses the six original tramcars from 1895 - each fitted with a distinctive Hopkinson bow collector on the roof to make contact with the overhead catenary.  This wiring is taken down each winter to prevent frost damage, during which time a diesel railcar can still run to the summit.