Track repairs for MER at Groudle

ALL CHANGE: Track repairs at Groudle are using concrete panels

ALL CHANGE: Track repairs at Groudle are using concrete panels

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TRACK on the Manx Electric Railway at Groudle had to be replaced because it was beyond its safe working life, MHKs were told.

The track is being relayed with concrete sleepers instead of the traditional wooden ones.

In a written reply to a question from Peter Karran (Lib Van, Onchan), Community, Culture and Leisure Minister Graham Cregeen said a programme of works was continuing to improve the tracks on the MER, the Steam Railway and the Snaefell Mountain Railway.

He said: ‘The section of track currently being replaced in Groudle is beyond its safe working life.’

On the site currently being renewed the track ballast has broken down and is clogged with debris. This eventually obstructs the drainage and the retained water rots the sleepers.

‘Sleepers on this section now have been of limited integrity and strength. The rail top surface is badly worn away to the point where the tram wheel flanges are striking the top of the fishplates which join the rails together.’

Mr Cregeen said the heritage railways contribute £11 million a year to the Manx economy. He said despite budget pressures, he had agreed that the railways operate for the longest possible season. The Minister said the track repairs on the MER were being carried out by local contractors supported by department staff.

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