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

The first of the two special events on Isle of Man Railways takes place over the Easter weekend – Rush Hour on the Railways. Featuring not only the Manx Electric Railway but also the Isle of Man Steam Railway this four day event it looks set to be a busy few days.

When is it?

Friday 19th to Monday 22nd April with events taking place throughout the day on all four days.

Where is it?

Isle of Man – its an island in the middle of the Irish Sea! Tram-wise the events will be centred on the Manx Electric Railway but other events will take place on the Steam Railway, Great Laxey Mines Railway and Groudle Glen Railway.

What Trams are in service?

There will be at least four car sets in service on each day with weather conditions likely to make decisions on exactly what will be in service. However, it is confirmed (subject to availability) that the following win run:

Friday 19th April

* Tunnel Car 9 will parallel the 0940 from Derby Castle to Laxey and will then be used on Motorman Taster Lessons.

* Tunnel Car 5 and wagon 8 will run the 0840, 1140, 1340 from Derby Castle

* Tunnel Car 7 and wagon 10 will run the 1040, 1410 from Derby Castle

Sunday 21st April

* Mail Van 4 will be used on 0910 from Derby Castle

No other specific combinations have been confirmed so it will be very much a case of wait and see!

What else is going on?

It is a packed four days across the island with the following events announced:

Friday 19th April

* Manx Electric Railway Parallel Run: 9 will parallel run with the 0940 from Derby Castle as far as Laxey.

* Manx Electric Railway Motorman Taster Lessons: Using 9 between Laxey and Lewaigue with departures at 1050, 1250 and 1450. Pre-booking require. £25 per person.

* MER Open Wagons: 5 with wagon 8 on the 0840, 1140 and 1340 from Derby Castle and 7 with wagon 10 leaving Derby Castle at 1040 and 1410.

* MER Museum Open

Saturday 20th April

* Named Trains: All locomotives on the Isle of Man Steam Railway will carry special headboards.

* The Works Vintage Bus Tour: Visiting Bus Vannin, Steam Railway, Manx Electric Railway and Snaefell Mountain Railway workshops. Meet at Douglas Railway Station at 0930 (return by 1600). Pre-booking required. £25 per person.

* Stamps on the Steam Railway: 0950 from Douglas and 1130 return from Port Erin will feature a TPO.

* Great Laxey Mine Railway in operation

* Groudle Glen Railway: In operation with Easter Bunny Trains and Easter Egg Hunt.

Sunday 21st April

* Manx Electric Railway Intensive Service: Running between 0840 and 1755.

* Stamps on the MER and SMR: Using Mail Van 4 on 0910 departures from Derby Castle. After visiting Ramsey the van will be on display at Laxey.

* Manx Electric Railway Photography Evening at Derby Castle Yard: Specially posed vehicles, cameo scenes and wealth of photographic opportunities between 1900 and 2100.

* Douglas Workshop, Running Shed and Signal Box Tours: Tours at 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300 and 1400 of the Steam Railway sheds. Pre-booking required at a cost of £6.

* Dining Car Easter Sunday Lunch and Afternoon Tea: On the Steam Railway with pre-booking required.

Monday 22nd April

* Manx Electric Railway Derby Castle Yard Tours: Tours of Derby Castle MER Yard at 1115, 1215, 1415 and 1515 for a look at different types of tram, how they work and are maintained. Items of rolling stock not currently in use will be displayed and newly refurbished horse trams will also be on display. Pre-booking required at a cost of £6.

* Copper Caps to Castletown: 0950 departure from Douglas will be banked with Goods stock as far as Castletown hauled by locos 8, 13 or 15. The Good stock and one loco will remain in Castletown for shunting and posed photography in the station.

* Groudle Glen Railway: In operation with Easter Bunny Trains and Easter Egg Hunt.

How much is it going to cost?

Standard fares apply to all events with exception of the Motorman Taster lessons, the Works Vintage Bus Tour, Douglas Workshop tours and Derby Castle Yard tours.

The best value ticket remains the Go Explorer ticket priced for adults at £17 for 1 day, £34 for 3 days, £41 for 5 and £48 for 7 days. An additional charge of £2 is added for the purchase of the re-usable smart card.

The weather

The latest weather forecast from the BBC for Douglas can be found here.

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