Event Preview: Rush Hour on the Railways – Isle of Man

Now an established part of the operating season across the Isle of Man’s various railways and tramways, Rush Hour on the Railways will once again be taking place over the Easter weekend. This time the four day spectacular will be followed the Festival of Steam which will include Heavy Haulage on Manx Roads.

Back to the main Rush Hour on the Railways event and this will take place between Good Friday 14th April and Easter Monday 17th April. Of most interest to this website the Manx Electric Railway will again be featured heavily with many of the cars repainted over the winter being included in the events whilst there will be the usual favourites of parallel runs, intensive services and nos. 1 and 2 in action. The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway will also be included in the fun with double decker no. 18 in service with two horses again and you can meet the Trammers in behind the scenes tours.

What follows is a complete list of events throughout the long weekend not just on the MER and Douglas Bay Horse Tramway.

Good Friday 14th April 2017

Manx Electric Railway

* MER Museum open 1000-1600

* MER Derby Castle Workshop Tours. Limited to 10 people per tour with tours at 1115, 1215, 1415 and 1515.

* MER Crossbench Colours. Chance to ride on newly repainted crossbench cars 16 (back in red) and 32 (in green). Both will operate special working including photo stops.

Easter Saturday 15th April 2017

Manx Electric Railway

* Cars 1 and 2 on timetabled service. 1 will depart Derby Castle at 0940 and 2 will leave at 1010.

Isle of Man Steam Railway

* Port Erin Station and Museum Tours

* Stamps on the Steam Railway

* Pie and Mash supper on the Dining Car. Departs Douglas at 1900 arriving Port Erin 2015 before departing again at 2115. Back in Douglas at 2230.

* A Night at the Museum. Films and audio/video presentations in addition to the usual exhibits.

Great Laxey Mines Railway

* In operation between 1100 and 1630.

Easter Sunday 16th April 2017

Manx Electric Railway

* Intensive service

* Stamps on the MER. Railway letter covers will travel on board Van no. 4 on the 0955 Derby Castle to Ramsey. Van 4 will then spend the remainder of the day at Laxey.

* Photography evening at Derby Castle Yard. Including specially posed vehicles and a wealth of photographic opportunities. Illuminated tram shuttles will also run to Far End for photographs of Douglas Bay. 1900-2100.

Douglas Bay Horse Tramway

* Meet the trammers at Douglas Trams Stables. Free guided tours at 1030, 1130 and 1230.

Isle of Man Steam Railway

* Dining Car Easter Sunday Lunch. 3 course Easter Sunday lunch departing Douglas at 1230 for Castletown. Returns to Douglas for 1430.

Great Laxey Mines Railway

* In operation between 1100 and 1630.

Groudle Glen Railway

* Easter Bunny Trains between 1000 and 1630.


* Vintage bus tour of the closed steam lines. Using a 1960s PD3.

Easter Monday 17th April 2017

Manx Electric Railway

* Car 32 will parallel the 0910 service from Laxey as far as Dhoon Glen. On the return trip 32 will pause at Bulgham Bay for photographic opportunities. 32 departs Derby Castle for Laxey at 0830.

* Motorman taster lessons. 32 will be used for this (subject to weather) between Laxey and Dhoon Quarry. Departs Laxey at 1030, 1130, 1330, 1430, 1530

Douglas Bay Horse Tramway

* Double decker no. 18 will be hauled by a pair of horses departing Derby Castle at 0900.

Isle of Man Steam Railway

* Engineering Train. Including very limited accommodation for photographers and enthusiasts leaves Douglas for Santon at 1015.

* Douglas Workshop, running shed and signal box tours. Tours at 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400.

The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway will also be running a normal service throughout the four days of the event. Full details of all events – including the intensive service – can be downloaded from the Isle of Man Transport website at https://www.gov.im/media/1355085/rush-hour-festival-of-stream-2017-dl-16pp-web.pdf.

Following Rush Hour on the Railways will be the Festival of Steam. This takes place between Monday 17th April and Sunday 23rd April and is split into two themes: Steam Car Tours (17th to 21st April) and Heavy Haulage on Manx Roads (20th to 23rd April). By far the biggest highlight of this will a road train consisting of three iconic Fowler road locomotives hauling the Great Dorset Steam Fair twin bogie trailer carrying Isle of Man Steam Railway Fenella. Full details of this whole event is also available on the link above.

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