The first passenger runs of the Manx Electric Railway in 2013, and the first services in January since 2004, occurred on the afternoon of Thursday 17th January when a service was operated to cover the second bus strike on the Isle of Man. Five journeys were operated in each direction between Douglas and Ramsey with four different motors and three trailers used.
The timetable which was operated on this occasion was very much tailored towards the schools along the line to ensure that students having to take important exams could both get to and from their schools.
Tunnel Cars 5 and 6 along with Winter Saloons 19 and 20 were utilised on the services with trailers 57, 58 and 59 being used on selected services to ensure there was enough capacity. 5 ran solo on both its journeys with 6 being paired with 57 on the 1540 Douglas-Ramsey (it also operated the 1410 Ramsey-Douglas but this was sans the trailer) whilst 19
operated with 58 on both its journeys and 20 ran with 59 on all of its scheduled journeys.
For the second time in a month the Manx Electric Railway has shown that despite rapidly approaching its 120th birthday it can still provide a valuable service for the residents of the Isle of Man when other transport lets them down. No further strikes have yet been announced by the bus drivers but it is thought it is likely there will be some as negotiations between the two parties seem to have broken down so the MER may be called to save the day again soon!
Thanks to www.manxelectricrailway.co.uk for information in this article