From Locomotives and Railways Vol 1 pp56/8 1900 - published by John Heywood Deansgate Manchester


THE Manx Railway system, compared with that of other British Islands, is of a comparatively recent date.
The first railway, that from Douglas to Peel, 11½ miles, was opened on 2nd July 1873, and subsequently extended from Douglas to Castletown and Port Erin, 15½ miles, and opened on lst August, 1874.
These two sections, together 27 miles, form the present system of the Isle of Man Railway Company.
On 23rd September, 1879, a line was opened from Ramsey to St. Johns, a station on the Douglas and Peel Railway, and was subsequently extended south to Foxdale, a mining village, a distance of 3 miles. This 19 miles of railway is the Manx Northern system.
All the railway is single line, and laid on the narrow gauge of 3 feet.
This narrow gauge makes the rolling stock differ considerably from what is in use on the other railways of the United Kingdom and of sufficient interest to merit a short description.
The Isle of Man Railway being the premier company, first demands attention.

Douglas Station, Isle of Man Railway

The head-quarters are at Douglas. where they have a very handsome terminal station, and where the workshops for the repair and maintenance of the rolling stock are situated.
Under the care of the locomotive superintendent there are nine locomotives, all tank engines of practically one type, four coupled, with the leading end carried on a radial pony truck. The older differ from the later engines merely in capacity of tank and boiler pressure carried.

Their numbers and names are:­

No. Name. No. Name.
1 " Sutherland " 6 " Peveril "
2 " Derby " 7 " Tynwald "
3 " Pender " 8 " Fenella "
4 " Loch " 9 " Douglas "
5 " Mona "    

They were all built by Messrs. Beyer Peacock and Co., Gorton Foundry, Manchester, who have kindly given us their chief dimensions. Cylinders, 11in by 18in. ; driving wheels, diameter :3ft. 9in.; leading truck wheel, 2ft. ; heating surface firebox 43.28 sq. ft., tubes 348.7 sq. ft. -total, :391.98 sq. ft. ; 193 tubes, 15/8 in outside diameter; pressure (in latest engine), 160lbs. per sq. in. ; Capacity of tank, 385 gallons;; and weight in working order, 18 tons 4¼ cwt. The appearance of these engines, with their bright green paint, brass domes, and polished copper funnel caps, is remarkedly neat and handsome.

"Tynwald," No 7, Isle of Man Railway
[photographed at Peel]

The earlier carriages are short four-wheeled vehicles, 17ft 6in and 16ft 6in in length, and are now run close coupled in pairs. The more recent, however, are fine bogie cars 35ft in length, of which the company possess 29, and together with 59 of the smaller coaches, constitute the passenger rolling stock.

Passenger Coach, Isle of Man Railway
[photographed at Peel]

The illustration shows one of the former with part of one of the old four-wheelers.

Notwithstanding the narrow gauge the carriage bodies are of the usual width, and seat five passengers. To insure stability the centre of gravity is kept as low as possible, the cars running on wheels 2ft 3in diameter.

This low centre enables platforms to be dispensed with, passengers easily stepping into the compartments by the footboards.


[Manx Note Book]

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
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