Isle of Man, part 2: steam trains

No. 4 Loch

On Wednesday 12 August, after another full veggie breakfast and lots of tea, I walked to the harbour and along the quay to the Steam Railway station. The Isle of man railway is a 3ft gauge railway with all but one of its locos made in Manchester at Beyer, Peacock & Co and all but one 2-4-0T. The odd one out is 0-6-0T No. 15 Caledonia which was built in Glasgow.

No. 4 Loch

The 9.40 was pulled to Port Erin by No. 4 Loch, built in 1874 and still going strong. At Castletown we saw the other loco working the line today, No.12 Hutchinson (built 1908) - spot the difference. The IoMR is a great example of a nationalised railway, successful because it never modernised.

No. 12 Hutchinson at Castletown

The museum at Port Erin houses two locos: No. 6 Peveril (1875) and No. 16 Mannin (1926). I bought some old tickets there - £1 for five. I went to look at the bay, checked out a charity shop and wandered back to the station. After a chat with the guard, I decided to go back to Castletown, cross over and get the other train back, which I did. There was a bit of a delay so I was able to take lots of photos with the sun in the right place. Back at Port Erin, I had a coffee and cheese scone at The Sommers, then travelled back to Douglas, where I spotted No. 10 G H Wood (the green one) outside the sheds.

Douglas sheds, Isle of Man

One thing puzzled me - where do they keep the coal? There doesn't seem to be much room at the back of the loco! I should have paid more attention in the museum. Back at Douglas, I had a wander round, coming across the state of George Formby, went for a pint in The British then to the Little Fish Cafe again.

George Formby

Last night I'd seen someone on the next table with a plateful of queenies (small scallops) and I fancied some. They were on the menu as a starter, with bacon, but I asked the waitress if I could have them without the meat. She said they also did them mains size so I plumped for that, and a bucket of chips! Alas it was too rich and too much and I left most of the sourdough toast.

Queenies at the Little fish cafe, Isle of Man

I went back to The British for another pint, then to the B&B to watch French drama Witnesses on TV.

More photos on Flickr.

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