Power, Poles & Platelaying, Keeping the MER on Track, by George Hobbs

Power, Poles & Platelaying, Keeping the MER on Track, by George Hobbs
Book published by Loaghtan in 2019, 104 pages. Paperback - c.21cm by 29.5cm (N7314)

Brand New Book

The book examines the engineering infrastructure behind these historic lines. The technologies involved in their creation, development, renewal and maintenance are examined and an eye cast on the long-term future for the systems.

When constructed, in the late Victorian era, the lines were in the vanguard of rapidly evolving electrical engineering technology. In the 125 years since the MER was built, developing technology in electrical power supply made successive installations obsolete. In the twenty-first century, efficient solid state equipment has largely superseded all that has gone before.

In parallel with the electronic revolution there have been major advances in permanent way which are leading to higher levels of passenger comfort and safety, with lower maintenance costs. The civil and structural engineering aspects have not been neglected either as improved coating techniques mean that the major steel structure at Ballure, like the Forth Railway Bridge, now needs attention on an extended thirty year cycle rather than every few years as before.

All these engineering developments have been taken in the shadows of the historic fleet of cars which continue to serve the island's population and visitors. Indeed many tourists will have little idea of the work which is carried out on the railways outside the holiday season: over the winter months, professional teams renew track, structures and overhead and are charged with completing repairs and improvements before the next season. This book provides enthusiasts and the merely curious with an overview of the processes at work in building and maintaining these historic railways.

From the rear side cover: The Manx Electric and Snaefell Mountain Railways are famed for being pioneering ventures in electric traction in the British Isles. Over the years their fleets of historic trams have continued in service with relatively few apparent changes. The infrastructure which supports their operation is a very different matter. Developing technology, modem techniques, and changing attitudes to the working environment have all affected the operation and maintenance of the heritage railways. The Victorian and Edwardian tramcars have changed little in appearance, but are now supported by twenty-first century railway practices. This book examines the civil, structural and electrical engineering needed to support the railways. It covers the railway as originally constructed, major upgrades and continuing maintenance, and includes some of the details of the changing circumstances and regulations in which these well-loved railways continue to operate.