Isle of Man railways celebrate record year

A record number of passengers have travelled on the Isle of Man’s railways in 2017, despite the closure of the Snaefell Mountain Railway earlier this year.

IoMSR No. 10 G. H. Wood passes Marine Drive with a David Williams photo charter on April 27 2016. ROBIN BOYLE

IoMSR No. 10 G. H. Wood passes Marine Drive with a David Williams photo charter on April 27 2016. ROBIN BOYLE

The Isle of Man Steam Railway, Manx Electric Railway, Snaefell Mountain Railway and Douglas Bay Horse Tram saw a 13% increase in passengers, amounting to 512,847 journeys over the island’s railway network – 65,949 more than in 2016.

Ian Longworth, Director of Transport Services, said: “I am delighted with the figures, which are a true testament to the hard work put in by the staff and volunteers. Even with some scheduling restrictions on the services, we have managed to outperform previous years.

“For example, in spite of the shorter season on the Snaefell Mountain Railway, there was a brilliant 27% increase, amounting to 16,770 extra passenger journeys when comparing year on year.”

Now that the main season is over, IoM Transport is now turning its attention on to its 2018 events, which will include the ever-popular ‘Rush Hour on the Railways’ (March 30-April 2) and the ‘Manx Heritage Transport Festival’ (July 25-29).

Mr Longworth said: “We are now planning for the 2018 season, with a particular focus on some spectacular events such as the 125th anniversary celebration of the Manx Electric Railway.”