Isle of Man Railways says it is considering buying equipment from an Irish peat company.

Bord na Móna ended its peat harvesting operations in 2021 as part of its planned transformation towards renewable energy generation, recycling and other low carbon enterprises.

It is looking to dispose of its assets, which include machines that worked on its extensive rail network on the bogs of the Irish midlands.

These run on the same 3ft gauge of track that is used in the Isle of Man.

Isle of Man Railways said it is investigating the possibility of obtaining some small engineering engines which could run on the Manx heritage lines without modification and could be acquired below market value.

These could be used for track and lineside maintenance rather than for passenger duties.

It said: ‘The department is constantly looking to improve efficiencies in its engineering operations and additional plant could help improve services, such as track maintenance, vegetation management and fire response.

‘The department has only made tentative enquiries at this stage and has not progressed the project any further.

Bord na Móna suspended and subsequently ended its peat harvesting activities in the wake of a 2019 high court ruling that permission had to be granted in order to harvest peat on bogs of more than 30 hectares.

It has continued to produce peat briquettes from existing reserves but this too will end later this year as part of a ‘Brown to Green’ plan while Bord na Móna’s remaining peat-fuelled power station has been converted to run on biomass with the burning of stockpiled peat to end this year.

The semi-state company has so far pledged €115m investment to its Peatland Restoration Plan.