Plans have been unveiled to power up an electricity museum in Laxey.
It will house the last working example in the British Isles of a mercury arc rectifier and associated switch gear, which will be moved from the former Manx Electric Railway substation.
Railway heritage enthusiasts had hoped to open the museum in the substation building, in Rencell Hill.
But the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure said that wasn’t possible, and instead offered them the goods shed at Laxey station.
Pete Geddes, who will head up the technical and engineering side of the project, said: ‘Our aim now is to do a bit more than save the rectifiers, and in fact to create a Manx Electric Railway electrical museum, putting some of the other old bits of equipment on display.’
It will feature an interactive science section where families and children will be able to learn about electricity in a fun and safe environment.
Ideas include making electromagnets and even having visitors’ hair stand on end with a demonstration on how electricity works.
The goods shed will be leased from the DCCL once the enthusiasts have formed a corporate body, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.
They include the Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust, chaired by Garff MHK Steve Rodan, and the Manx Heritage Foundation.
Work will then start on revamping the building and turning it into a museum.
And it is hoped that it will be up and running by late spring to early summer next year.
It is expected it will cost some £20,000 to open the museum– so they will be looking for sponsorship.
Mr Geddes said mercury arc rectifiers, which converted mains electricity to the 550v DC for the trams, were ‘as rare as hen’s teeth’: ‘It would have been a shame for it to be shelved and mothballed for no one to see ever again.
‘Those who have been fortunate to see it working have commented that it’s something you would find in a Dr Who episode or Frankenstein experiment.’
The agreement with the DCCL means the group will also be taking control of a number of artefacts currently housed in the goods shed.
An online petition under the title ‘Save the Laxey Manx Electric Railway Mercury Arc Rectifier Sub Station’ generated more than 800 signatures from across the UK and Europe.
Anyone who can help, either physically or financially, is asked to email the group’s spokesman Richard Henthorn at email@example.com or Pete Geddes at firstname.lastname@example.org