Isle of Man Railways have released details of the 2018 timetables for the Manx Electric Railway, Snaefell Mountain Railway, Douglas Bay Horse Tramway and, although out of our scope, the Isle of Man Steam Railway. The regular pattern of different timetables at different times during the years continues with the major noticeable differences being the diagramming of open motors at times on the MER whilst the horse trams will also see an evening service during the peak season.
The Manx Electric Railway will start its season on Friday 16th March with timetable B in operation (which sees seven departures from Derby Castle, six of which travel through to Ramsey). It will run every day until the end of September (with the exception of Monday 19th March) with the most intensive timetable, Timetable F again running during the TT period at the end of May and beginning of June and also during the Manx Heritage Transport Festival. The season will end on Sunday 4th November.
Possibly the most exciting development of 2018 will be seen when Timetable D runs as in addition to the diagramming of 1 or 2 on the 1340 Derby Castle to Ramsey and 1510 return (subject to availability) it is planned to use an open motor on a regular basis. The 1240 Derby Castle to Ramsey and the 1440 return will, subject to both availability and weather conditions, will see 16, 32 or 33 used. The Manx Electric Railway during non-enthusiast event periods can often see the same Winter Saloons or Tunnel Cars in use on a daily basis so for the use of a Crossbench on this timetable will hopefully be an added reason to visit the island in 2018. Timetable D is scheduled to run Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th, Thursday 24th to Monday 28th May, Friday 8th to Sunday 10th, Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th, Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th, Thursday 28th June to Sunday 1st July, Wednesday 4th to Sunday 8th, Wednesday 11th to Tuesday 24th July and then Sunday 29th July to Sunday 9th September (with exception of 6th/7th September which will see special timetables in connection with the 125th anniversary of the MER).
On the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway the season starts on Thursday 29th March and will continue until Sunday 4th November. The recent timetable pattern of the two tram timetable N and the three tram timetable P will continue with trams again not running every day throughout the season. The major change for 2018 will be the introduction of an evening on six days during July and August. Every Saturday between 21st July and 18th August and Thursday 26th July will see a 20 minute service between 1800 and 2000.
Meanwhile the Snaefell Mountain Railway is due to resume operation on Thursday 29th March.
With 2018 also marking the 125th anniversary of the Manx Electric Railway – with a week long event due to take place between 1st and 8th September – there is plenty to keep the tram and railway enthusiast interested on the Isle of Man so why not plan your visit now?!
* The 2018 timetables can be downloaded at on the Isle of Man Railways website.