Just a few days after the commencement of services on the Manx Electric Railway for this year it was announced that Tynwald have given permission for the construction of a new substation at Laxey to replace the current equipment which dates back to the mid-1930s. This work is due to start shortly with full commissioning in time for the start of the 2013 season.
The MER 2012 season started on Saturday 17th March and services will operate from now through until the end of the first week in November, although there will be no services on Mondays and Fridays during March, the middle three weeks of October and the first week in November. The line is currently operating timetable A which has four journeys in each direction which will be replaced by timetable C on the last Saturday in March.
The replacement substation at Laxey is due to cost £274,000 and work is due to start by the end of this month with the new equipment in place by May. It is intended that the current substation remains in use for the majority of this year whilst the new equipment is fully commissioned and this is expected to take until the start of the 2013 season.
It is planned that the old equipment will be stored until such a time as it can be put on public display. This may be at a new heritage centre at Laxey but there is currently no funding for this – it is said to be a desirable project but not essential.