Event Preview: Manx Heritage Transport Festival 2016

The annual Manx Heritage Transport Festival takes place on the Isle of Man between Wednesday 27th and Sunday 31st July with the usual mix of transport action across the island. As usual the event features the Isle of Man Steam Railway, Manx Electric Railway and Snaefell Mountain Railway extensively and for the first time in many years the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway will also feature with varied trams in service. What follows is a list of all events taking place during the event not just those with a tram connection as we are sure there are many of you who head to the Isle of Man for the whole transport experience and not just the trams!

Wednesday 27th July

Douglas Horse Tramway

Standard service in operation using Timetable P.

Manx Electric Railway

Green for Groudle: Motor 16 and Van 16 will run shuttles between Derby Castle and Groudle (third trip will be extended to Laxey). Departing Derby Castle at 1055, 1155, 1300, 1455 and 1555

Illuminated Evening Trips: Illuminated car no. 9 will run a special Groudle shuttle in the evening departing Derby Castle at 1810, 1910, 2010, 2110 and returning from Groudle at 1828, 1928, 2028, 2128

Open Evening: Open cars 32 and 33 will be used on the evening timetabled service (subject to weather conditions). 32 will operate the 1710 and 2055 departures from Derby Castle returning at 1840 and 2225 from Ramsey with 33 operating the 1540 and 1840 from Derby Castle returning from Ramsey at 1710 and 2040 and also the 2155 to Laxey and 2240 return.

Snaefell Mountain Railway

Sunset Dinner: Departs Laxey for the Summit at 1815 and 1915 returning at 2050 and 2150.Pre-booking required.

In addition the Groudle Glen Railway will be in operation including the return visit of Polar Bear from Amberley and there will be a Guided Walk from St John’s to Ballaugh along the route of the Manx Northern Railway.

Thursday 28th July

Douglas Horse Tramway

Standard service in operation using Timetable P.

Manx Electric Railway

Mail by Rail: Mail vans 4 and 16 will both be in use. 4 will be attached to an additional Mail Special departing Derby Castle at around 1600 returning from Ramsey at 1750 stopping at points of interest and including mail collection demonstrations. No. 16 will be attached to rear of 1710 from Derby Castle to Ramsey.

Works and Wires: Special photography tour featuring newly reinstated Tower Wagon no. 1 and former Works Car no. 2. Departs Derby Castle at 1200 to Dhoon Quarry with photostops and informative commentary. Pre-booking highly recommended with tickets costing £5 from https://manxelectricrailway.co.uk/our-events/works-and-wires-28072016/.

On the Isle of Man Steam Railway there will be a Double headed “Boat Train” leaving Douglas at 0950 returning from Port Erin at 1445 to celebrate the 90th birthday of locomotive Mannin (which is on display at Port Erin Railway Museum). There will be a Model display at Port Erin Bus Shed and the Port Erin Railway Museum will be open between 1830 and 2100. Pie and Mash Supper will also be available on the Dining Car with pre-booking required.

In addition there will be a Southern Cruise aboard the M.V. Karina leaving Douglas at 1000 and sailing directly to Port St Mary.

Friday 29th July

Douglas Bay Horse Tramway

Stable Open Day: Open day at the tramway stables between 1230 and 1600.

Every available horse tram will be used in rotation.

Victorian passengers at Derby Castle terminus throughout the day

All operational trams on display outside the depot

Manx Electric Railway

Derby Castle Car Shed Tours: Including behind the scenes views showcasing the work carried out to maintain and operate the historic tramcars as well as displays of artefacts and rarely seen rolling stock including the ongoing restoration of Ratchet car no. 14. Tours are limited 10 each and start at 1115, 1215, 1415, 1515. £5 per person pre-booking recommended.

Drive the Lights – Motorman Taster Sessions: Illuminated car no. 9 will be in use on these taster sessions on one of the most scenic areas of the line between Laxey and Garwick Glen. Lessons start at 1015, 1115, 1235, 1400 and 1500 and cost £10 per person. Pre-booking recommended.

Stamps on the MER – Special postal service will operate from Derby Castle to Ramsey with a special Railway Letter Service operating from the Summit on the Snaefell Mountain Railway to Laxey. Limited edition covers can be pre-ordered or will be available on the day.

A remarkable feat of engineering: Inside story of the award winning restoration of Ballure Bridge and an update on Ramsey Interchange with Chief Engineer Jeremy Reece at the Methodist Church, Ramsey. There will also be a MER photographic exhibition. Connecting MER service departs Derby Castle at 1650, leaving Laxey at 1820 stopping at Groudle and Laxey Viaducts and Ballure Bridge en-route. Return departs Ramsey at 2115 arriving Derby Castle 2230. Pre-booking recommended.

A vintage bus tour of closed lines will also operated departing Douglas Railway Station at 1000 with tickets available in advance for £15.

Saturday 30th July

Douglas Horse Tramway

Trams operate an enhanced service from 1400 to 1530 with a tram departing every 10 minutes

Evening service until 2100. Last departure from Derby Castle at 2100 returning from the Sea Terminal at 2120.

Manx Electric Railway

A standard service will be in operation using timetable F.

Snaefell Mountain Railway

Sunset Dinner: Departs Laxey for the Summit at 1815 and 1915 returning at 2050 and 2150.Pre-booking required.

This day concentrates on the Steam Railway with:

Mixed gauge extravaganza at Douglas including Ant from the Great Laxey Mine Railway and Annie from the Groudle Glen Railway. Both will run short demonstration runs and will be displayed alongside no,8 which is being turned for the occasion. Brown Bear will also be on display. Other vintage vehicles will also be present for further photographic opportunities.

Douglas workshop, running shed and signal box tours

Travelling Post Office (the 1000 from Port Erin and 1120 from Douglas)

Curry Club on the Dining Car departing at 1900

Both the Groudle Glen Railway and Great Laxey Mine Railway will also be in operation.

Sunday 31st July

Douglas Horse Tramway

Double deck tram no. 18’s first outing of 2016 with a pair of horses. The tram will depart Strathallan at 0900 and return at 0920.

Procession of horse trams departing Strathallan at 1600.

Manx Electric Railway

Intensive service – An intensive service will operate between Derby Castle and Ramsey throughout the day including 21 departures from Derby Castle. The full timetable is available on the Manx Electric Railway.co.uk website at https://manxelectricrailway.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/mer-enhanced-timetable-310716.pdf.

In addition there is a vintage bus extravaganza with buses running from Ramsey to Jurby Transport Museum and a guided walk from Foxdale to Peel (at 1030). The Groudle Glen Railway will be enjoying a Gala Day with all locos in action and the Great Laxey Mine Railway will be in action again. The weekend concludes with a Film Evening at the Falcons Nest Hotel in Port Erin between 2000 and 2200.

The information provided is correct to the best of our knowledge but please check for further details if travelling for a specific event. Thanks to Isle of Man Railways, Manx Electric Railway.co.uk and the Friends of Douglas Bay Horse Tramway for the information above.


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