Having had to take a break since 2019 due to global events the long Easter weekend saw the triumphant return of the Isle of Man’s Rush Hour on the Railways. As with all transport events on the Isle of Man it featured what you would expect – lots of photo opportunities, parallel runs, intensive timetables and behind the scenes tours. Whilst the Steam Railway did feature in the events the bulk of what happened seemed to be on the Manx Electric Railway as this review shows us.
Day One – Friday 15th April
The whole weekend got underway with the perennial favourite – a parallel run between Derby Castle and Groudle. Originally due to be Winter Saloons 20 and 22 they were replaced by original motors 1 and 2 – not bad replacements really are they?! The pair left Derby Castle at 0900 and then returned south in number order before both entered service for the rest of the day.
A normal four set service ran on the day with 1+51, 2+60, 19+59 and 32+57 running as booked. In addition Tunnel Car 7 was used on Motorman Tasters between Laxey and Lewaigue.
A key milestone was also the reopening of the seaside line between Ramsey and Belle Vue for the first time since 2019 after the completion of repairs.
Day Two – Saturday 16th April
There was the chance to visitors to see behind the scenes at Laxey Car Sheds which included views of Trailer 50 currently undergoing restoration. Also on show were Freight Trailer 26 and Car 34. Works car 34 is stored at the moment awaiting repairs which will take place later in 2022.
Another standard four set service ran with 6+54, 7+59, 21+46 and 2+47 all in action. The Motorman Tasters were in the wheels of Winter Saloon 19 which also ran a special from Laxey to Derby Castle after these duties ended.
Day Three – Sunday 17th April
The highlight of many visitors to these events is the intensive service day with eight sets in action throughout the day. Things started off with 1+49, 2+54, 5+48, 6+37, 7+59, 14, 19+42, 32+57 in service. Winter Saloon 21 replaced 2 at 1300 after the latter suffered a compressor fault. Mail Van 4 travelled between Derby Castle and Laxey with 7+59 on the 0925 departure.
Day Four – Monday 18th April
The highlight of the final day were the Derby Castle Shed Tours. Participants were allowed around both sheds as well as the newly refurbished MER museum.
It was another four set timetable using 7+59, 21+42, 5+54 and 19+48.
- A big thank you to Manx Electric Railway Online for their help in compiling this article. To keep up-to-date with everything happening on the MER head over to their regularly updated Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/manxelectricrailway – and that will include the Manx Heritage Transport Festival which takes place 27th to 31st July.