One of the highlights of 2019 on the Manx Electric Railway looks set to be the return to service of three trailers – including 54 which last ran in passenger service back in 1971, by our calculation that’s 48 years ago! Also due to return are 37 and 49 which last ran in 2009 and 2008 respectively.
54 is enjoying a high quality volunteer led restoration at Laxey Car Sheds which will see the trailer returned to use in a new coat of red, white and teak as per the livery it last operated in. The restoration started back in June 2018 when 54 was towed from Derby Castle to Laxey for the work to begin and excellent progress has been made in the intervening period. After repairs were made to the panelling and significant attention to the seats as well as to the wiring for lighting a start was made on repainting the trailer at the start of March. This has progressed and the first coat of red has recently been added with the Douglas end panelling now back in place following the conclusion of rewiring. The underframe and bogies have also now enjoyed their first coat of black and there is also plenty of white paint on the seat frames and support pillars. It is planned that 54 will be ready for a return to service in time for July’s Manx Heritage Transport Festival.
And that is also exactly the same timeframe that it is planned that 37 and 49 will be back in service too. Work is now underway on repainting 37 with the trailer initially stripped of its all paintwork – an exercise which revealed various different livery styles under the newer coats of paint – with the seats receiving undercoat and attention also turned towards the end dashes. 37 will be retaining its current livery.
Meanwhile, 49 has been enjoying a bogie overhaul with the car recently being lowered back onto its wheels to allow further work to take place ahead of its own return to service.
Another trailer is also enjoying some workshop attention with 36 being worked on at Derby Castle. However, you will have to wait a little bit longer to see that trailer back in service as that isn’t planned to be until the 2020 Heritage Transport Festival.
Elsewhere on the MER although the service has resumed for another year there has been continued track replacement work – necessitating single-line working – on the landside track between Laxey Station and Laxey Car Sheds.
* Don’t forget the only way to keep regularly updated with everything happening on the Manx Electric Railway is by checking the Manx Electric Railway.co.uk Facebook page.