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Isle Of Man Steam Railway

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by David Bigcheeseplant, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. David Bigcheeseplant

    David Bigcheeseplant New Member

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    I plan to visit the Isle of Man for the first time in the next month or so. I wonder if anyone can tell me what locos are in use at the moment.

    I have always been fascinated by the railway and the locos, so some pointers would be useful in where to go and what to see, for some reason I tend to prefer the early smaller boilered locos.

    David
     
  2. Mike Buttell

    Mike Buttell New Member

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    David
    In action regularly at present are No8 Fenella ( smaller loco) No10 G H Wood and No12 Hutchinson. No13 Kissack is currently out of action, but may be back quite soon. No4 Loch is out of ticket, No11 Maitland is being assessed for return to service, and N0 15 Caledonia ( the 0-6-0) is also awaiting repairs.
    In the museum you will find No6 Peveril and No16 Mannin
    Would recommend everything, Snaefell Mountain Dining, the steam railways dining train and if you have the cash to splash the driving experiences.
    The best time to visit would be the last week in July as the Heritage Transport Festival is on then, with lots of activities on all of the railways. Happy to give more info drop me a message, useful websites the official railways website at rail.im, also their Facebook page. I run Isle of Man Railway Walks, taking groups over the closed lines.
     
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  3. David Bigcheeseplant

    David Bigcheeseplant New Member

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    Thanks for the info, I'm over early to mid July plan to do all the railway related stuff if I can. We are hiring a car and staying in Laxey.

    Is there anyway of finding out on what days which locos will be on which trains?
     
  4. Mike Buttell

    Mike Buttell New Member

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    Not really, there are generally three locos in steam daily during July
     
  5. David Bigcheeseplant

    David Bigcheeseplant New Member

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    I understand No.3 Pender may have a leaky boiler!

    Looking forward to seeing the locos I have seen in photos and read about for many years.
     
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  6. Mike Buttell

    Mike Buttell New Member

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    Enjoy your visit. If I can help further please feel free to ask
     
  7. David Bigcheeseplant

    David Bigcheeseplant New Member

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    Hi Mike

    As I am only on the island for six days I just don't want to miss everything I want to see when is the museum at Port Erin open and can you look around the shed at Douglas?

    David
     
  8. Mike Buttell

    Mike Buttell New Member

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    Dave, the museum is open daily 10am until about half four, from July 14th it also opens on Thursday evenings for the special Night at the Museum events with the volunteer guides on hand. The guides are also there on Sunday mornings from 11 until 1pm. The electric railway museum opens on Sunday mornings.
    Shed tours only usually happen when there are events on.
     
  9. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

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    I've been on the island for the last 3 days and currently No.8 is the Port Erin based loco and both no's 12 & 13 have been used on the trains originating from Douglas.
    Don't forget the Groudle Glen either. Sundays and Wed evenings in the summer.
    Chris
     
  10. Respite

    Respite New Member

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    I visited the railway this Tuesday (August 23rd) for the first time in four years. I was delighted to find No.8 in steam on the 9.50am from Douglas and even more so when I found it was on a five coach train. This was due to the number of people from two coach parties. Unfortunately they had been reserved the front three coaches so I could only get as close to the loco as the front of the fourth coach. This was very frustrating as they would be unaware of the rarity of what was about to happen.

    The fireman told me he had fired No.8 on a five coach train twice before and recalled it required a stop for steam on one of those trips. The driver was more used to this load. He said No.8 was a lot better loco than it had been four years ago on account of a valve and piston exam and that the front end was far more steam tight. However it was designed for the Peel line which was easily graded. He said No.8 is best with main valve cracked on the regulator and notched up two. He would use the steam sanders to ensure no momentum was lost on the climb of Nunnery Bank.

    The engine made a good climb although speed did fall noticeably on two occasions. The sanders were just used from Douglas to the far end of Nunnery Bridge as they do use steam. No.8 never slipped but when speed fell towards the summit at Keristal the reverser was dropped forward another notch, there was 100lbs left on the clock at the summit. The engine did well. The fifth coach hadn't really been required so was dispensed with on the second round trip.

    The only other loco workable recently has been No.12 and this was the Port Erin on load 4. 13 was due back today having been out for repairs to the damper. The door had come off this meaning it was getting full draught all the time.
    No.10 had been suffering from leaking stays and tubes and its boiler is out but is expected back this season. Of the others No.4 is having a 10 year overhaul and disappointingly No.15's boiler has had to go to the Severn Valley railway, having only lasted just over a year since the engine emerged from overhaul in 2013.
     
  11. 7143

    7143 New Member

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  12. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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  13. js5646

    js5646 New Member

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    The revised timetable itself seems rather random with trains expected to depart Castletown (a lot now turning short & returning to Douglas) a the time they arrive and strange service patterns on other days.
     
  14. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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  15. marshall5

    marshall5 Member

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    Personally, I pay no attention to these anonymous, ill-informed, key - board warriors who'll have something else to spout about tomorrow. Firstly, one has to remember that the IMR is not a 'preserved' railway but a part of a publicly subsidised national transport system and to suggest that it could be funded by donations and run by volunteers "like the RNLI" is, frankly, absurd. I'm sure Mr.L is man enough to admit that, like the rest of us, he has made mistakes but he has had to make difficult decisions in a period of severe financial constraint. Remember that the IoM Gov. lost out to the tune of 200+ Millions as a result of the U.K. Gov's unilateral decision to alter the VAT sharing agreement - it might be a 'drop in the bucket' to them but it's a big shortfall to make up for an island of 85,000 souls. Despite this the Island's Heritage Railways now cover almost 1/2 their running costs, up from just 18% a few years ago. This has been achieved by cutting staff, reducing some services, and a general reduction in expenditure over a number of years. Unfortunately these economies can't go on for ever and this recent motive power crisis suggests, to me, that we've now reached the limit of cost-cutting. There are always those that say "scrap the lot and save the tax-payers' money" but it is estimated that the Heritage Railways bring in some 11million p.a. of spending to IoM PLC.
    We could argue for ever more that the 400,000+ spent on "The Cabbage" could have been better spent on the steam locos or that the changes to Douglas Station are unnecessary but that won't help the current situation. Hopefully, some extra funding can be found for repairs and the 'boys' in the steam workshops can be left to do their jobs.
    Ray.
    Please note that these are my personal views and not of any organization to which I belong.
     
  16. lostlogin

    lostlogin New Member

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    I am not so charitable as Marshall. Longworth the Isle of Man's Director of Transport appears to be not particularly popular in the IoM. He made a rod for his own back by wanting to introduce bendy buses and weightily or wrongly he is seen by some as seeing as getting his mates from across senior positions from the department and to be continually spending money unnecessarily when the IoM Govt is short of money. A huge amount of money was spent on new buses as apparently the previous ones were uneconomic at the end of their useful life but which having been refurbished are happily running in Blackpool. The spend on buses appears to continue. There were questions over the ticketing systems brought in and arguments used to acquire the diesel which does not work. The argument used was it was required for work trains and breakdown cover but I am fairly sure it has been said since it was wanted to run dining trains etc but they would not have had funding if they had said that. There is unrest about the cost to fit out the dining train and the lack of transparency over what if anything the caterer pays towards those cards.

    Some are unhappy with what they are doing with Douglas Station, when their are incidents the reports are kept confidential unlike in the UK.

    Longworth is also not helped by the fact that transport is within the Department of Infrastructure AKA Dept of Incompetence for many reasons from the Minister down and a common theme is that what Longworth wants to spend money on Longworth gets

    He has done some good thinks but many would happily see the back of him.

    Funding is an issue but the IoM could make better use of volunteers to reduce costs but how much cut backs is to do with recent incidents I do not know. You could also argue that if funding is an issue it would have been better to spend £500,000 on the railways rather than resurfacing a road which apparently did not require it because in the Ministers words, there was some spare cash in the budget and they had to spend it on something. For those who do a double take on reading that last sentence it was not an attempt at humour or a mistake, it is what the Minister said

    On more technical issues the radio interview with Longworth indicates that the issue is a spate of boiler problems. I am not an expect on such matter and this could purely be bad luck or is it more likely to be a question of boiler management, water treatment issues etc. e.g. one way of saving costs might be to cut down on water treatment, or start the staff a bit later and raising steam quicker so introducing more thermal stresses.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  17. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

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    She sure does stuck in the Manchester museum lol, it is a pity that volunteers are not encouraged to do more that they do, but I don't want to open up old wounds on this thread as some of you will be aware, but being the only working 3ft gauge steam railway, I would love to see some of the other stuffed and mounted 3ft gauge steam locos in the UK going over there and being used if it was possible, I am not including the Irish locos in this but the preserved Midland iron ore quarry locos as a suggestion, like handyman for instance.
     
  18. marshall5

    marshall5 Member

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    Colin, you may not be aware, that for the past year or so, a small group of us (as Heritage Railway Volunteers) have been carrying out a range of voluntary activities on the IMR in association with Isle of Man Railways. We maintain the Port Erin Museum, restore exhibits and are steadily improving the displays. We also act as stewards on special trains, guides on the workshop and signal box tours and provide guides for IoM Railway Walks. www.facebook.com/Isle-of-Man-Railway-Walks-370461246422515/
    A similar sized group work on the MER and are restoring tram No14 amongst other projects.
    Unlike 'lostlogin' I feel that, despite not always agreeing with some of the current policies, it is far better for the long term future of the IMR, to work with the Railway management than just sit back at a keyboard and spout the same negative rhetoric.
    Ray.
     
  19. lynbarn

    lynbarn New Member

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    More power to your elbow Ray well done, as you know it only takes one person to put everyone else's back up and then nothing gets done. I am very glad to hear about your efforts, I was trying to avoid opening this thread up to those criticisms against the IOMR, sure with all organisations, there is always going to be some one who disagrees with the management about what happens. But on the whole, everyone I have come in contact with about the IOMR, has been most helpful and also been over the top when it come to finding out information or photographs about the railway, as an example I have been researching both Peel and Ramsey Stations for possible OOn3 model layouts, I am glad to say that due to the kindness of Manx Heritage, and the IOMR supporters association, I have a lot more information now about both stations than I did, this time last year. What I hope to be able to do is to build models based on both stations that will be a reflection of them, they will not be dead scale models, as I have a few things I need to add as a bit of modellers license.
     
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  20. NUTSPLITTER2

    NUTSPLITTER2 New Member

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    Any horses available from Douglas?
     

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