It has been announced that Manx Electric Railway trailer 50 is to be restored to service after agreement was reached with Isle of Man Transport for a team of dedicated volunteers to work on the vehicle which last saw passenger use in 1978. This becomes the latest volunteer led project on the Manx Electric Railway in recent years as yet another long withdrawn vehicle is readied for its chance to shine once more.
50 was built in 1893 – just the second trailer to be built for the MER – by G.F. Milnes and was originally numbered 12. Since then it has carried no fewer than three further numbers with 50 being applied in 1903/4. Starting off life as a completely open trailer it received a canvas roof in 1894/5 and then in 1903 got a curved wooden roof. In the late 1930s it then received higher glazed end bulkheads added.
The trailer continued to be used on the MER up until the end of the main 1978 season at which point it was withdrawn and hasn’t run since. It was offered for sale at the time but there were no takers so it remained stored at Laxey Car Shed until 2002 when it was moved for further storage at the Homefield Bus Garage. Back on MER metals in 2009 it found itself at Ramsey Car Sheds but this home lasted just five years with it moved back to Laxey which is where it currently.
Preliminary work has already been started on 50 at Laxey and will continue over the coming months. It will be painted – initially at least – in the nationalised green and white livery as 50 was just one of three trailers to receive this colour scheme after the line was nationalised in 1957.