Stops Along the Manx Electric Railway, by George Hobbs

Stops Along the Manx Electric Railway, by George Hobbs
Book published by Loaghtan in 2014, 140 pages. Paperback - c.21cm by 29.5cm (N6714)

Brand New Book

The Manx Electric Railway (MER) runs through some of the loveliest of the Manx countryside. Built to serve tourists and locals alike it still operates with its antique rolling stock. Yet most of the stops remain a mystery to most passengers. Stopping places were arranged to meet local and tourist demand and some of them have no public access except by tramcar. To serve its customers new stops are still being added: the latest is on a new housing estate on the outskirts of Ramsey. This book will show them all.

Over the past two decades the author has spent many happy (and, in the rain, not so happy) hours with his camera by the lineside, or on the cars, amassing a collection of tramway photographs. As the book conducts the reader along the line, each of the stops is shown and described in extended captions. Unusual workings and special events feature prominently in the photographs plus a wide range of different tramcars (and almost as many liveries!).

However the book is not only a collection of pictures of trams but also a potted social history of the line, including the reason for the stop and the choice of name. An astonishing survivor of advanced Victorian technology the MER opened in stages from 1893 to connect Douglas with Ramsey along 18 miles of Manx coastline. The rugged nature of the terrain meant that steam power was rejected. New-fangled electricity was used instead: so new that the island’s first power station was built to service the railway. Over one hundred and twenty years later it is still possible to catch a normal service with the world’s oldest operating tramcar - Number 1 of 1893 is still earning its keep. The book will appeal to transport enthusiasts, tourists and in fact anyone who wants to find out more about this fascinating railway.

From the rear side cover: The Manx Electric Railway is unique. Built at the dawn of the electric era, towards the end of Queen Victoria's reign, it still uses its original rolling stock. The line runs for almost eighteen miles through spectacular countryside up the east coast of the Isle of Man. Its antique vehicles continue to serve both the local population and visitors as the railway has done for more than one hundred and twenty years.

This photographic survey illustrates every stop from Douglas to Ramsey, and shows the surroundings, the infrastructure and the trams which call at each. The pictures are the result of the author's long-term interest in the MER and demonstrate that it is a living railway as well as a priceless part of Manx industrial heritage. For those who have taken the tram from Douglas to Ramsey this book will bring back happy memories; for those who have not, it will show you what you're missing.