If you appreciate rail travel from yesteryear, where every journey affords you the time to savour the scenery, then it’s time to embark on the Isle of Man’s train network.
This atmospheric Island in the Irish Sea arguably has the richest transport heritage in the world, boasting some of the most iconic – and handsomely functioning – steam and electric railways you’ll find anywhere.
The Manx Steam Railway – the longest narrow gauge steam line in Britain, still using its original locomotives and carriages – recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. The younger, but no-less impressive Manx Electric Railway, has just registered its 130th birthday.
The Island boasts around 65 miles of Victorian rail and tramways, taking you east to south from the capital, Douglas, or north to Ramsey. Whichever your direction of travel, take in the stunning views as you skirt the coastal cliff tops, leafy glens and mountainous moorlands. The train will even take you to the highest point on the Island, Snaefell, sitting 2000 feet above sea level.
As the Island’s leading travel, accommodation and event organising specialists, Isle of Man Travel and Event Services (IOMTES) make a great first stop for anyone looking to arrange a tailor-made holiday or short break, centred around the railway network.
Long-established and unabashed fans of the trains, they’ve been organising railway-based Island visits for many years, putting together special travel packages that include flights, ferries and on-Island accommodation. They’ll also arrange Go Explore cards (your Island-wide travel access) and recommend other options, to make your stay memorable and on-budget.
One of the highlights of the railway season (typically Mar-Oct) is the Summer Transport Festival, a week-long series of events and excursions built around the Island’s steam and electric railway network. With trips and stop offs, as well as workshop, museum, station and sidings visits, you’ll find yourself in railway heaven – all expertly arranged. For further info, go to www.iomevents.com or call direct on 01624 664460.