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Isle Of Man Steam Railway

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

  1. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    It continues to be a very busy season on the IMR and on certain days we have struggled to provide enough carriages despite adding F62 last year and F15 this year both of which have been totally rebuilt after decades out of use. Yesterday, one of our oldest carriages F11 returned to Douglas having been rebuilt by contractors on-Island. Sister 'small F' F10 left on the same low-loader for a similar rebuild. The unique Foxdale brake F39 left the paintshop yesterday on accommodation bogies so, hopefully, one step closer to a return to service. Elsewhere 'Pairs' carriage F63 is at Stanegate having a full restoration.
    Ray.
    IMR F11 returns to Douglas 10.8.22 IMR Online.jpg
     
  2. Mike Buttell

    Mike Buttell Member

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    No11 Maitland on duty for a Cruise Ship Special 14/08/22
    Our specially commissioned headboard in use for the first time. The small semaphore flags under the main title read “Isle of Man Railway “
    542D2C66-A21A-4FE4-8131-4199B185ABDE.jpeg
     
  3. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Fantastic photo from @Mike Buttell and great to see the cruise ships back. May there be very many more (at known intervals would be nice .... but a few days notice at a pinch!)

    Since the news coming from Mona's Isle is among the most positive anywhere at the moment .......

    According to the Wiki page for IMR stock, carriages over and above those either in traffic or under active restoration, plus NOT falling into the "Dear Peter, remember those six IMR carriages we were going to burn which you bought for preservation ..... ? " category are as follows:

    F21, F25, F43 stored at Port Erin (some with optional woodworm)
    F66, F67, F74 stored at Jurby
    'Empress' F28 is listed as stored at Douglas, though quite what use the line may have for it*, I'd not be too certain and in any event, I still favour a K wagon recreation per train for rowdy sprogs

    Does that sound about right? OK, so there's no realistic way they can be dealt with on a whim, but all the same, that's a heavy train's worth right there, if traffic continues to develop as we all hope it does.

    Given previous 'recreations' have already been undertaken, from the various other repurposings over the years, are there any other surviving carriage frames with further useful life in them? Or metalwork / fittings etc. which survived the bonfires over four decades ago? I ask, as it's genuinely beginning to sound as if demand dictates the long stored kit is going to have to find it's way back into traffic.

    Are any additional stray bogies and/or wheelsets kicking around in need of gainful employment?

    *does the dining set have enough seats?
     
  4. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Howard. I'll try to answer your questions in the order in which you asked them. Of the three stored in Port Erin carriage shed all are restorable but F21/5 are on 120+ yr. old wooden underframes (with all that entails) as are all the 'Small F's'. F21 was originally sold to the WHHR (along with F3 later scrapped) by the 'old' IMR Co. and returned to us via Dromod where some restoration had been carried out. F25 is as it came out of service in 1998. F42 could be a very useful 'Half Brake'. It is on a steel underframe and had some work done many years ago. The 26 'Pairs' were made up of pairs of 1870's 4wh. carriage bodies mounted on steel underframes with plate frame bogies between 1909 and 1926. Lord Ailsa stripped a dozen of these in late 1967 (without permission IIRC!) for his ill fated 'Mantainor' scheme and 11 were later sold to the F.R. and one scrapped locally. Several more were later stripped for 'runners' of which 4 or 5 remain plus the ballast hopper. Other frames have been scrapped over the years after component recovery. The 3 'Pairs' in the hangar at Jurby aren't much worse than F62/3 were but have no bogies as these were used to replace the diamond frame bogies on the dining set as these pressed steel ones ride better. One 'runner' still has its original bogies but the others have cascaded diamond frame ones which have wooden bolsters. F28 is in very poor condition as is the wooden underframe from the original F27. The current F27 was a new-build on a galvanized steel underframe, one of a pair, supplied by the F.R. It has been suggested that this second frame could be used for a fully accessible, second service car for the other end of the dining set. There is also a steel underframe and bogies from a further 'Half Brake' F33 in use as a runner. There are a number of spare wheelsets but most are in scrap condition having been replaced by new cast steel sets with roller bearings as part of an on-going upgrade. I think I mentioned a while back that the aim is to have three 6 car sets available plus the dining set (currently 5 + service car) - and "no" the latter is often fully booked. At the end of the day it all comes down to money. Hope this helps.
    Cheers,
    Ray.
     
  5. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Many thanks for a most comprehensive reply Ray. Three six car sets, plus the dining train ..... how recently would that have sounded like barking over-optimism, eh?

    When it comes to wooden frames specifically, I find myself wondering how the IWSR's new-built laminated example (on the restored 1860s IWR Oldbury) has acquitted itself. If I've understood the underlying principle correctly, there's a great deal to be said for the design and I'd love to know how it's fared in service. Without making any suggestions I'm utterly unqualified to make, I'm merely thinking aloud here, as there's a big difference in the sound and feel of the ride between timber and (iron or) steel framed stock.

    A different flavour of restoration was the Knotty Coach Trust's route, to clad a structural steel frame, giving the impression of timber, with the advantages of steel which sounds closer to what was adopted for the IMR's F28 reconstruction. As I've heard zero reports of catering services cancelled due to the kitchen car sulking, I take it the reconstruction has been judged a success?

    Interesting you mention a role for F28. I'm guessing the saloons can be mucked out and prepared for a next sitting a sight faster than the kitchen car can be cleaned down and re-provisioned, so .... could a second kitchen vehicle permit more rapid turn around times between services? To judge by reports of how far in advance it's necessary to book catering services (let alone developing additional charter markets, now the population has rediscovered the gem on it's doorstep), that's perhaps not as crazy a question as it might sound.

    On the 'runners', though I've seen images of some very much in use on PW trains, I'm largely ignorant of their disposition. Watching a clip from the VoR a few days ago, I noticed ex-SAR DZ wagons have quietly found gainful employment on another line. I wonder whether that was to release aged historic stock for more sympathetic treatment, or the DZ design just happens to be way closer to what today's PW teams actually need for the job? Wrong gauge for the IMR of course (not aware of any having been regauged elsewhere, but surplus 2ft gauge bogies have value too .... just saying!), but with things getting busy on the line, I do find myself wondering if the PW wallahs necessarily appreciate the heritage aspect of their kit in their battle to keep it all fit to operate?

    Accepting that the only realistic reason for significant expenditure (re)expanding the fleet has to be traffic demand (which sounds as if it's not far off being a live issue) are a few sets of bogies for currently grounded stock a show stopper?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2022
  6. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    Looking good. I'm over next week to wave a flag and get bitten by midges. Is there any specific day you'd reccomend taking off for the steam railway (and the tram if you have any info).
     
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  7. Mike Buttell

    Mike Buttell Member

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    Haven’t got next weeks info in yet, if there’s anything out of the ordinary I’ll try and let you know. You’d be advised to get to Douglas early if you are intending to get a ticket or use your go card on the 09:50 from the station, it tends to get full rapidly although there may not be so many coach groups during GP week. Anything on the Diner needs to be pre booked to ensure a place, it is usual practice to include a coach for non diners on the pie and mash Thursday evening train. But this isn’t always guaranteed. Caledonia is back in the works lessening the chances of seeing that loco in action
     
  8. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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    I found there was an "extra" from Douglas on the MER as far as Laxey at around 09.20 - ie before the first scheduled public departure - which was aimed at Coach Tour Groups - though it was open to "normal" passengers if there was space available. I used that on one occasion back at the beginning of July to get to Laxey, which then connected with an earlier "extra" for the same reason up Snaefell. I did note that blackboards were regularly displayed at Douglas/Laxey/Ramsey regarding normal services up Snaefell being "fully booked" at stated times due to the aforementioned coach tour groups.
    Hopefully you will find that the oldest stock - ie 1, 2, 6, 7, 9 is out on the MER which is what I found on every day of my visit, though I did score an extra bonus on the Laxey Mines Railway as battery loco "Wasp" had to substitute for an ailing "Bee" when I went for a ride there!
    If you are there on a Sunday, the (enthusiast run) Transport Museum at Jurby is well worth a visit and you can get there by a direct bus from Ramsey as well. Worth going for the Thornycroft and the Leyland Lion alone....
    Don't know what the other (commercially run) museum (Isle of Man Motor Museum) a bit further along the same road is like though, as I didn't bother going there.
    Several pubs over there were suffering from a lack of Chefs, so places like the Laxey Mines Tavern, by the tram station, do not do food at the moment, so don't get caught out like I did! The Terminus pub by the Douglas MER station does and the food is very good. Same goes for the Creek Inn, Peel, Bay Hotel, Port Erin and The Sidings, Castletown, all of which do good beer and food....
     
  9. Chris_Sav

    Chris_Sav Member

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    Be heading over there with the classic bikes tomorrow.

    Marine Hotel, Peel has always had good ale and decent food, will be checking it out on Wednesday evening.

    Thursday will be Pie & Mash dining train.
     
  10. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I mentioned a role for F28... certainly didn't mean to infer one. The suggestion of a second service car in the dining set came about for several reasons. Firstly the only toilet is in F27(ii) and is a long walk if you're in the front carriage. Similarly for the servers having to walk through the entire train and a lack of storage space for crockery etc. As it is the train is not really wheelchair accessible either. A new-build service car at the front could, potentially, provide wheelchair accessible accommodation, a second toilet, additional storage and some extra covers. This is still firmly in the 'would be nice to have one day' list though.
    Cheers,
    Ray.
     
  11. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    My bad. Can't help feeling that'd make for one jolly heavy crockery rack and khazi! :)
     
  12. Mike Buttell

    Mike Buttell Member

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    Caledonia outside the works today (Wednesday) the work on this loco which has been ongoing from last November is hopefully almost complete and it is hoped that she will be out (on test at least) next week
    D6FCD162-3DDF-4B03-8A66-AFF5BD745A4A.jpeg
     
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  13. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    MNR No.4 Caledonia took out a test train yesterday evening. Seen below at Ballasalla leading fitter James Maddrell is going round the loco, presumably, feeling for anything running 'warm'.
    Ray.
    MNR No.4 at Ballasalla on evening test train 23.8.22 IMR Online.jpg
     
  14. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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  15. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Howard, F15's overhaul was a bit protracted and it only had its rebuilt bogies fitted earlier this season. It entered service a couple of months ago, IIRC I posted pics of it on here. I think what was said on the IoMSRSA fb page was that it was the first time F15 had been used as the train's brakevan. Many of the IMR carriages have a small guard's compartment with a brakewheel from the days when each train carried brakesmen i.e. before vacuum brakes were introduced after 1925.
    Cheers,
    Ray.
     
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  16. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Cheers for the clarification Ray. That's certainly one historic quirk of the IMR which stands the line in good stead when it needs as many revenue earning seats as can be fitted on a train.

    Question re: Cale please. I get the impression the loco has had rather more than it's fair share of attention from the shops since a pretty comprehensive renovation not too long ago. Surely it ust be in better nick than at any time at least since the IMR took over the Northern, over a century ago. Why the seemingly endless niggles?
     
  17. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    Caley was lifted last winter to fit new thrust faces to the axleboxes. IIRC it had lost one on the leading wheelset during the previous season which resulted in excessive sideplay. While it was up in the air the tyres were turned and the axleboxes re-metalled but, when No.11 came back and required attention, work on Caley slowed hence its late re-entry to traffic. It is not unusual for a loco to run hot after such work and she required lifting again to 'fettle' the bearings - not particularly serious but very irritating! Hopefully now all sorted.
    Ray.
     
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  18. Mike Buttell

    Mike Buttell Member

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    No4 Loch sits gleaming in the late afternoon sunshine at Port Erin, the loco a credit to its crew.
    EB3110BB-5A6B-4A21-BBF7-8B71ADA1CB0D.jpeg
     
  19. Mike Buttell

    Mike Buttell Member

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    After a few days out of service No13 Kissack returned tonight (Thursday) on the Pie and Mash evening dining train
    7CD9A78E-E10A-414B-A0F6-3A658D348DFD.jpeg
     
  20. Mike Buttell

    Mike Buttell Member

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    Another unusual working this morning (friday) No11 Maitland, based at Port Erin this week, has taken an extra departure at 08:30 to Castletown and back in time to work the 10:00 service train. The special was another cruise ship charter, the vessel being at anchor at Port St Mary.
    6AE05A62-2254-4A2D-A4A0-83292E6D9A39.jpeg
     

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