Details have now been revealed for the first special event of 2015 on the Manx Electric Railway. Rush Hour on the Railways takes place between Friday 3rd and Monday 6th April (the Easter weekend) and will see unusual combinations in service, shed tours at not only Derby Castle but also Laxey, extra services and various good vehicles in action.
The action will start off on Friday 3rd April when the normal timetabled service will be in the hands of rare combinations of Motors and Trailers and there will also behind the scenes tours of Derby Castle Car Shed. Four tours will be available (at 1200, 1300, 1400 and 1500) with rarely seen rolling stock put on display alongside other historic artefacts. And to add even more excitement to these tours you can travel to the car sheds on the Wickham shuttle which will depart Derby Castle tramstop 15 minutes before each tour begins. The evening will then see a slideshow at Manx Museum including images from both the Steam Railway and MER between Douglas and Ramsey.
Often on special events on the MER the two oldest trams in operation on their original system (1 and 2) take centre stage but on Saturday 4th April it is the turn of 32 and 33 – the newest operational trams on the MER – to take their role in the spotlight as they will both be used on the normal service. In addition it is planned that Mail Van 4, Wagon 8 and Wagon 10 will be included in combinations on the main service (it is planned that 4 and then 8 will run with 32 and 43 on the 0940 diagram and 10 will operate with 33 and 44 on the 1010 diagram – subject to availability). There will also be four chances to take a tour around Laxey Car Sheds (1030, 1130, 1300 and 1400) with several long withdrawn and unusual items of MER stock on show.
Sunday 5th April will see additional journeys run between Derby Castle and Laxey and there will be a rare non-stop journey between Derby Castle and Ramsey. This will be operated by 1 which will leave Derby Castle at 0930 and will also be joined by a selection of other vintage vehicles departing at the same time (including a Leyland PD2 bus). During the day Mail Van 4 will be out and about again and will be used on a special postal service which will include very limited edition covers.
The event ends on Monday 6th April when the two newest operational cars return into the limelight with 32 and 33 running in parallel between Derby Castle and Groudle. They will depart Derby Castle at 0900 and there will also be photostops on route. Once the pair have reached Groudle 32 will head back to Derby Castle but for 33 there will still be more excitement to come as it is being used on Motorman Taster Sessions. These will run between Laxey and Bulgham with eight lessons available to be booked (in advance from either Laxey Station or by phone on 01624 861 226).
* Please note the shed tours and Motorman Taster Sessions require booking at an additional cost (£5 for shed tours, £20 for the taster sessions). The Evening Slideshow and Limited Edition Covers will also cost extra. All other events are subject to normal MER fares.
Further information on Rush Hour on the Railways can be found at http://manxelectricrailway.co.uk/events/rush-hour-2015/.