MER 3 rises from the dead!

Just a few days after Halloween, a long-lost electric tramcar made a return to prominence. The vehicle in question was Manx Electric Railway 3, a tram which was tragically lost in the depot fire some decades ago. So, how did a tram that no longer exists come to play a starring role at an enthusiast event on Saturday 2nd November? Well, the reality wasn’t so much of a trick, but it was definitely a treat for those who saw it! Billed as the ‘Winter Photography’ day on the Manx Electric Railway and organised entirely by dedicated volunteers, the day’s events began with a parallel run featuring pioneer 1893 built trams 1 and 2, with the latter hauling the unusual enclosed Royal Trailer 59. These trams are the survivors of a once three-strong class, so to represent the lost third sister, car 2 was temporarily renumbered for the day’s next activity, becoming car 3 thanks to the use of stickers applied to both of its dash panels, and duly recreating a lost piece of the island’s transport history! The car then performed a full length journey along the picturesque line, with a number of photo stops provided for passengers, before it was then posed with various works vehicles, including tower wagon 12 which rarely appears in the open air. At this point the stickers were peeled off revealing 2‘s real identity again, which was considered more appropriate as this particular tram had served the engineering department for part of its lengthy working life.

Unfortunately it is understood that the MER Santa Specials which had been due to operate during December have had to be cancelled; however this fantastic day of unusual photo opportunities and tram tours was undoubtedly a great way to draw the 2013 season for this system to a close. Appearances by cars 1 and 2 are a rare treat these days, more so this late in the year, so the chance to savour both trams in their native line’s 120th anniversary year was much appreciated by all who attended this well-organised event.

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