Transport festival goes full steam ahead!

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The five-day 2014 Manx Heritage Transport Festival has been hailed as the ‘most successful to date’ by organisers.

A large number of enthusiasts travelled to the island for the festival that took place from Wednesday until Sunday.

Peel 50s are secured on a truck to be pulled by a steam train during the isle of Man Heritage Transport Festival

Peel 50s are secured on a truck to be pulled by a steam train during the isle of Man Heritage Transport Festival

‘We were blessed with fabulous weather for the main event, which was the 140th anniversary of the Port Erin line on Friday,’ said an Isle of Man Transport spokesman. ‘The Diesel Loco 21 and MNR No 4 Caledonia made history and created a stir on the railway on as they double-headed a service train from Port Erin to Douglas. Crowds of enthusiasts were waiting to witness the occasion at every station, and photographers were in evidence at every possible vantage point along the line. Crowds were delighted to witness this unique event, and one visiting enthusiast even commented: “It’s not been this busy since the 1930s”.’ Isle of Man Transport was grateful for the contributions made by participating groups and volunteers, who contributed time and enthusiasm towards making the festival memorable.

The Travelling Post Office carried commemorative stamp covers to mark the 140th anniversary of the Port Erin line with the biggest sales on the 9.50am on Friday – the day of the line’s anniversary. Meanwhile, sold out steam workshop tours and Manx Electric Railway shed tours were well received.

Castletown Station – the most intact original structure on the line – hosted a number of vintage vehicles on Friday, including a gas board steam wagon, flour mills lorry, a traction engine and a steam roller, making for an atmospheric sight.

The Peel P50 cars, totalling 14 P50s as well as three Tridents, were loaded and transported by train from Douglas to Port Erin on Friday. The Peel P50 is a three-wheeled microcar originally manufactured from 1962 to 1965 by the Peel Engineering Company on the Isle of Man.

Chris Machin, on behalf of the Peel P50 owners, said: ‘We had a wonderful day. The car owners were delighted and the event ran like clockwork.’

On Sunday the microcars formed a cavalcade behind the Peel Carnival procession along the town’s promenade.

A Buses Through The Ages display held at Port Erin Station on Friday and Saturday was the largest collection of buses outside of Jurby Transport Museum. There were 12 buses ranging from a 1929 Thornycroft through to a 2013 Mercedes City 45 minibus, which delighted visiting enthusiasts and local families. The island’s oldest pleasure boat the M. V. Karina’s sailings went ahead as planned on Sunday, although those planned for Thursday were cancelled due to the poor weather forecast.

Evening events on the Manx Electric Railway were said to have been ‘excellent’. Special evening trams as part of the Electrifying Evening included highlights such as a shunt at Dhoon Quarry and the opportunity to photo the sunset at Bulgham, while the Power Trip night saw the combined use of Car 16 and Trailer 60, which are painted in the 1956 nationalised livery of green and white. A highlight was a stop at old tower at South Cape, Laxey.

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