- or is it a tramway?
Snaefell Mountain Railway
© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2019
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
24, 25 & 27 July 2019
The first SMR vehicle we met, at Laxey, after our visit to Groudle Glen, was car no 1 - bearing the legend “Snaefell Mountain Tramway”. All the others we saw substitute “Railway” for “Tramway”. Does it matter? Of course not. It’s great fun whichever it is. The cars are very similar in appearence to some of the MER cars - but there are differences. One being the gauge - 3’6” instead of the MER’s 3’0”. The extra 6” accomodates another difference - the Fell-type brake gear, which grips a centre rail when descending. Given that ascent is by adhesion - there’s no rack rail - the SMR uses a multiplicity of braking systems.
Here are pictures taken in passing, so to speak, on Wednesday and Saturday, and of our ride to the summit on Thursday.  On a clear day, the views can be extensive, and though the day was pleasantly sunny (and quite breezy!) it was only just clear enough to see the Irish coast. We’d seen the Galloway hills and the Lake District earlier, on our trip to Ramsey, but they were no longer visible from the summit. Wales can be seen when it’s exceptionally clear - no chance today! Link: Snaefell Mountain Railway
Laxey, 24 July - car no 1 arrives... ... and departs Car No 4 arrives at Laxey MER 20 and SMR 4 - similarities... 25 July: the summit, wih car No 5 Interesting pointwork at Snaefell Summit Looking down on the summit... Car No 5 begins its descent... ... as car No 2 approaches the summit We're weren't quite in the best place.... No 2 at the summit No 2 at the summit No 2 at the summit No 1 ascends to Bungalow At Bungalow - a bogie... No 2 descends... ...and approaches Bungalow 27 July: 2 and 4 - a matching pair No 1 approaches - no view from the top today! MER and SMR - full house at Laxey