Back On The Rails

I’m off on Tour again.

At Last!

I’m back with Great Rail Journeys again, this time on a Tour named Vintage Railways of the Isle of Man. It leaves on Wednesday, returns home next Monday, and you can follow me round the Tour on this Blog.

Surprisingly (for some of you) the Isle of Man has a network of Heritage Railways, and we’ll be visiting them all on this short Tour.

The 17 mile Manx Electric Railway was built between 1893 and 1899 and connects the Island’s capital, Douglas, with Laxey in the east and Ramsey in the north. It’s acknowledged as the longest narrow gauge vintage electric railway system in the British Isles and still uses its original Victorian and Edwardian rolling stock. In fact two of the trams in use are the oldest regularly operated tram cars in the world.
The Isle of Man Steam Railway is the longest narrow gauge steam line in Britain that still uses its original locomotives and carriages. The three foot narrow gauge railway was opened in 1873 and runs through the Island’s charming countryside between the Island’s capital and a range of destinations in the south.
This unique Victorian enterprise, which is around five miles long, has been in operation since 1895 and is the only electric mountain railway in the British Isles. Peaked at 2,036 feet above sea level, we may be able to see some, or all, of the Seven Kingdoms – England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the kingdoms of heaven and the sea.

There is a fourth Heritage Railway that is not officially included in the Tour, but I’m working on visiting it on our Free Day on Sunday – along with any of my clients that may be interested.

Situated in a small picturesque glen, just north of Douglas on the Isle of Man, is the Groudle Glen Railway & the Sea Lion Rocks Tea Rooms, a Manx charity; solely operated by volunteers. Steam trains on this Victorian tourist attraction run from the tree lined glen out onto the clifftops, where we can visit the new visitor centre and enjoy afternoon tea in stunning surroundings.

We travel to Douglas, Isle of Man on the Ferry on Wednesday morning. I have 23 clients and I’ve got to start thinking like a Tour Manager again, after our enforced break. Headcounts, Hotel Rooming Lists, Baggage Labels and Coach Drivers – it’s all coming back to me…

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