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British Industrial History

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Isle of Man Railway

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July 1923.

Transport Headquarters, Banks Circus, of Douglas, Isle of Man.

  • The Isle of Man Railway (IMR) is a narrow gauge steam-operated railway connecting Douglas with Castletown and Port Erin on the Isle of Man. The line is built to 3 ft 0 in (914 mm) gauge and is 15.3 miles (24.6 km) long. It is part of what was a much larger network that once served the westerly city of Peel, northern town of Ramsey and the small mining village of Foxdale and at one time the lines covered in excess of 46 miles which was a considerable amount on an island as small at the Isle Of Man. Despite now being in government ownership, it still uses the original historic rolling stock and locomotives and there are few concessions to modernity. [1]
  • The line from Douglas to Port Erin is the last remaining part of the former 46-mile (74-km) system owned by the Isle of Man Railway Company, formed in 1870. Its first line, from Douglas to Peel, was opened on 1 July 1873, and was followed by the Port Erin line on 1 August 1874. Initially the Port Erin line had been planned to terminate at Castletown however the construction of deep water docking facilities at Port Erin caused an extension to the line - a few years after completion, the dock was destroyed by heavy seas and the idea of deep water vessels abandoned there. A third line was built in 1879 by a separate company, the Manx Northern Railway which ran from St. John's to Ramsey. It was taken over and operated as part of the Isle of Man Railway in 1904.
  • The whole system closed after the 1966 season but was briefly revived when the Marquess of Ailsa obtained a lease and reopened all three routes for a final time. Both the Peel and Ramsey lines shut following the end of the Ailsa lease in 1968 and the permanent way on these routes as well as the Foxdale line was lifted in 1974. For some years after, the Port Erin line operated only from its southwestern terminus to Castletown but finally service through to Douglas was again resumed.
  • 1872 The company was incorporated.
  • 1908 The line is 46.75 miles in length. [2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Wikipedia
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908