One thing you can always be sure of nowadays is that the planned timetables for the main three tramways and railways on the Isle of Man will be released nice and early and that is certainly the case again with 2020’s version available for download from the Isle of Man Railways website.
2020 will mark the 125th anniversary of the Snaefell Mountain Railway and to mark this the cover star of the timetable leaflet is Snaefell Mountain Railway 5, a rare change from the Steam Railway or Manx Electric Railway. Staying with the Snaefell Mountain Railway its season is due to start on 24th March and should continue running until 1st November 2020. Apart from Mondays 23rd and 30th March, Friday 27th March and four Fridays in October (9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th) a service will run up the mountain every day during the season, including evening services on some days during the main season.
Moving on the Manx Electric Railway and the season starts on 13th March and will also run through until 1st November. A very similar service pattern will run in 2020 to that in 2019 and it will run on most days during this period apart from Mondays 16th, 23rd and 30th March, Fridays 20th and 27th March and then Fridays 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th October.
The most intensive service – timetable F – will again operate from Monday 1st to Thursday 11th June during the TT and is also due to run during the Manx Heritage Transport Festival on Wednesday 29th July to Saturday 1st August (the festival itself continues until Sunday 2nd August with the MER due to run an intensive service on the final day).
Timetable D runs throughout the main summer season once more with the 1040 Derby Castle to Ramsey and 1240 return being scheduled to be operated by the “World’s Oldest Trams”, as it is marketed. This will be a choice of either 1, 2 or Crossbench cars 16, 32 or 33, so not quite necessarily the oldest tram after all!
As for the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, it should start to run on 20th April and will operate a service through to 21st September, another shortened season but understandable considering the ongoing Prom reconstruction works. It is certainly fair to say 2019 wasn’t the most stellar of years for the horse tramway with its limited operation for a short length of track but Isle of Man Transport remain determined to operate a service because of the number of group bookings who go to the island with the horse trams part of the overall package. It is expected that horse trams will be able to run between Derby Castle and approaching Broadway but details of operating days and hours will follow in 2020.
And just to complete the Isle of Man Railways offering, the Steam Railway will start on 6th March and run until 1st November (as on the leaflet, 5th November on the webpage!).
* To see the full Isle of Man Railways timetable for 2020 visit the Isle of Man Transport website.