Great Laxey Mine Railway
Laxey: the GLMR
© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2019
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
27 July 2019
It’s our last morning on the Isle of Man, and the only day on which this amazing little railway will be operating. So it’s last and least - at 19” gauge, the narrowest of the railways we’ve enjoyed this week, and the rolling stock is of particularly small dimensions. It’s a replica - the original railway ceased operation with the mines in 1929, and everything had gone by 1935. The two steam locomotives, Ant and Bee, recreate their original namesakes, right down to the worksplates - they were products of the remarkable Poole Foundry of Stephen Lewin. Their overall dimensions and shape were dictated by the mine tunnels they had to enter - hence the curious container in front of the smokebox - it’s the water tank. We took a ride, of course, through the tunnel under the main road (and the MER) and up the short line which follows the surface route of the mine tramway. Passengers enter the coach from its end, so that, if a train was to get stuck in the tunnel, they would be able to get out!
After the best part of a week exploring the more substantial railway attractions of the island, this visit was just the thing for a morning’s entertainment. All that remains for us is the tram-ride back to Douglas, and one last walk along the prom., via our hotel (to collect luggage), back to the ferry terminal. What a great week we’ve had! Link: Great Laxey Mine Railway
ANT is getting ready for his day's activity ANT and his shed It's the water tank! WASP (battery-electric) and coach no. 1 ANT is eager for some action ANT arrives with our train ANT at the other end - we've arrived! Arrival of WASP WASP and mine wagons We're off again... ... back through the tunnel ANT propels a train into the tunnel A portrait of BEE (not in steam today) A reminder of the location WASP emerges from the tunnel ANT emerges from the tunnel