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Friday, 20 May 2016

Isle of Man Steam Railway

This post, 20th May 2016, comprises pictures of two jigsaw puzzles each showing a scene from the Isle of Man Steam Railway.

Opened in 1874, this 3ft gauge, 15.3 mile railway still runs with its original locomotives and carriages, from Douglas to Port Erin. The line was once part of a more extensive network, over 46 miles in length serving Peel, Ramsay, the important village of Foxdale, and Port Erin. Unfortunately all lines, except the one to Port Erin, are closed. 

Fifteen of the fleet of 16 steam locomotives were built by Beyer-Peacock of Manchester between 1873 and 1926. Only a few are operational at the present time. Two diesel locomotives are also owned by the railway.

Picture one shows a 640-piece jigsaw from the Isle of Man Jigsaw Company titled Isle of Man Vintage Railway. Centre stage is 2-4-0 tank loco no.4 Loch supplied by Beyer-Peacock in 1874, the fourth engine in the fleet. She is unique in the fleet as she carries a Legs of Man motif and the numeral "4" on her buffer beam. Pictured alongside Loch are tram cars Nos.1 and 6. Car No.1 dates from 1893. It was supplied with class mates 2 and 3 by G. F. Milnes. All three were known as  'unvestibuled saloons'. Car no.6 to the right of the jigsaw picture is one of six 'tunnel cars' supplied by Milnes in 1894 and is known as 'The Snaefell Tram'. The trams are part of the Mank Electric Railway - 27 of the original cars survive today. The jigsaw is contained in a special, vertical cardboard box with tin lid and base.  The photograph used for the jigsaw was taken at the Douglas Victorian Railway Station where IoM Steam and Electric Railways meet.

The second picture features the 2-4-0 tank locomotive No.12 Hutchinson, delivered in 1908. The jigsaw, of 280 pieces and made by the Isle of Man Jigsaw Company, probably originates from a personal photograph: this fact possibly makes it a 'one off'. The loco, in handsome Indian Red livery, is pictured in leafy surroundings heading three equally handsome coaches.