From The Locomotive Magazine p201/2 Dec 1902


The railway system of the picturesque and interesting Isle of Man is for the size of the island both varied and extensive. The principal line Isle of Man Ry.- has a mileage of 27 miles of Single track on the 3-ft. gauge, this being the standard. Starting from Douglas, the first section construted was the line across the central valley to Peel, a distance of 11½ miles, opened for traffic July 2nd, 1873. The second portion, opened August 1st, 1874, serves the southern district of the Island. Leaving the Peel line just outside Douglas it runs via Castletown, Port St. Mary to Port Erin, 15½ miles.
Ramsey and the northern part of the island is served by the Manx Northern Ry., which connects with the Peel line of the I.M.R. at St Johns. From St Johns this line runs north and then eastwards along the foot of the maoutains through Michael, Ballaugh and Sulby to Ramsey a distance of 16½ , miles from St. Johns. This line was opened September 23rd, 1879. The M. N. R. has an extension 3 miles in length from St. Johns into the southern mountains to the village of Foxdale. Along the east coast of the island through communication by the electric railway between Douglas and Ramsey is now complete, the mileage between these towns by this route being only about 171 miles. Although this line is double throughout, the long gradients of 1 in 24 so seriously affect the running that the Manx Northern, with the assistance of the Isle of Man Ry., are still able to satisfactorily compete for the Ramsey traffic, the fast trains in connection with the steamers covering the 261 miles in 70 minutes over a very hilly road and single line throughout, including five minutes for changing engines at St. Johns.
There are two more electric railways in the island-the line from Laxey to the summit of Snaefell, and the Douglas Head and Port Soderick Ry.
In this article we shall confine ourselves to describing the rolling stock of the Isle of Man Ry., reserving the Manx Northern for a future occasion. The locomotives are nine in number, all built by Messrs. Beyer, Peacock & Co., Ltd., of Manchester, at different times between 1873 and 1899, and are practically all of one type four-coupled side tanks with a leading pony
truck and outside cylinders. 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 "    

The principal dimensions are as follows: cylinders 11-in. diameter by 18-in. stroke, driving wheels 3-ft. 9¼-in. diameter, pony truck wheels 2-ft. diameter, boiler pressure 140 lbs. per sq. in., except the latest engines, which work at 16o lbs. Diameter of boiler 3. ft. The tanks have a capacity of 38,5 gallons, except those of Nos. 1, 2 and 3, which are slightly smaller. The bunkers carry 1 ton of coal. Heating surface firebox 43.28 sq. ft., tubes 348.7 sq. ft., total 399.8 sq. ft. ; 103 tubes 1-5/8. outside diameter. Weight in working order 18 tons 4¼ cwt. Engines Nos. 5, 8 and 9 are fitted with steam sand gear. These locomotives are painted a bright green, of a shade similar to that adopted by the Great Western Ry., and striped with black bands having a fine, vermilion line inside and a white line outside. A smart appearance is enhanced by brass domes, copper chimney caps, and first-class workmanship adds to the excellent finish.
The cabs are roomy and comfortable considering the size of the engines, and from personal observation we can testify to their easy riding.
A peculiarity to be noticed is the canvas curtains They steam freely, and readily attain a fairly high rate of speed and have little difficulty in climbing the severe bank from Douglas to Port Soderick, nearly 3 miles long, an average rise of about i in 40 with a heavy load in 12 minutes, Welsh coal is used exclusively.
The shops for overhauling and erecting the rolling stock, as well as the stores and principal shed, are at Douglas, but sheds to hold one engine each are also provided at Port Erin and Peel. We give a view of the interior of the Douglas erecting shop. Mr. Jos. Sproat, formerly of the Maryport and Carlisle Ry., has been locomotive and carriage superintendent for the last 25 years, and under his able management the rolling stock is kept well up to modern requirements.
The latest carriages of the I. M. R. are 35-ft. long and run on four-wheeled diamond framed bogies having wheels 2-ft. 3-in. diameter, thus keeping the centre of gravity very low, and doing away with the need for high station platforms. The earlier cars, which were only 16-ft. 6-in. and 17-ft. 6 in. long, ran on four wheels, and are now run in pairs close coupled. There are only two classes-first and third-and in spite of the narrow gauge the latter class compartments seat
five passengers aside. The carriages are painted similar to the L. & N. W. R., with plum color for the lower and white for the upper panels. Electric light has been adopted as standard for the cars, and quite half the stock has already been fitted.
The goods stock is not very extensive, but comprises open, covered and cattle wagons, a selection being shown in one of our pictures. The wagons are all four-wheeled, the low sided ones carrying about 3 to 4 tons.
The Norwegian type of centre buffer and draw gear is adopted by the I. M. R., and works very satisfactorily. the Board of Trade having no jurisdiction in the working of this railway, continuous brakes are unknown. The traffic is worked on the staff and ticket system. Semaphore signals are employed, being raised and lowered by the old-fashioned wheel arrangement formerly used on the English railways. At Douglas Station a large cabin with the latest appliances has been installed.
The line is built in a substantial manner with flat-bottomed steel rails, but " bull-headed " rails and chairs are used on the curves, which are fairly easy, considering the difficult character of the country traversed.
We have to thank Mr. G. H. Wood, the energetic general manager of the I. M. R., and Mr. Sproat for facilities for taking the photos for our illustrations, as well as for most of the particulars given.


[Manx Note Book]

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
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