Heavy haulage climax to Manx steam festival

ISLE OF MAN Railways is to host a Festival of Steam at Easter – a 10-day event which will take place from Friday, April 14 to Sunday, April 23.

The event will feature all of the island’s railways with many volunteer railways getting involved in the event as well. One of the highlights will be a dramatic traction engine road train consisting of three iconic Fowler road locos – Atlas, The Duke of York and The Great North hauling the Great Dorset Steam Fair’s twin-bogie trailer, atop which will be the Isle of Man Steam Railway’s locomotive No 8 Fenella.

On the Thursday following Easter, the road train will assemble at Douglas station, travel north along the promenade and then closely follow the Manx Electric Railway route from Derby Castle, through Laxey and Maughold to Ramsey where it heads inland to the Isle of Man Motor Museum. Arrival at the museum will coincide with the conclusion of a steam car tour with all the cars being present as the road train arrives.

On Friday, the road train will depart from the Motor Museum and head south to join the world famous TT circuit at the Ginger Hall, continuing through Ramsey and then to Douglas via Snaefell Mountain and the daunting Mountain Road. This will involve a climb of 1800 feet between Ramsey and the road’s summit and a crossing of the Snaefell Mountain Railway’s line at Bungalow. Following descent of the Mountain Road, the road train will continue to Port Erin station.

A vintage bus will shadow the road train on Thursday and Friday, giving unique photographic opportunities as the bus repeatedly stops and overtakes the ensemble. As travel on the vintage bus will be limited, advanced booking is recommended (www.rail.im) or tel. 01624 662525.

The festival is being supported by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Coy. A special holiday package is available for visitors, which includes ferry crossing, accommodation, entrance to Isle of Man Motor Museum and travel on Isle of Man Transport rail and bus services. Further details are available at www.steampacketholidays.com

The kind support of the Isle of Man Steam Packet is gratefully acknowledged by organisers, who thank Martin Oliver of The Great Dorset Steam Fair for the loan of the trailer.

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