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Special milestones for steam and electric railways -
Special milestones for steam and electric railways

Special milestones for steam and electric railways 

Date: 5th  April 2013  

When the Isle of Man had a booming tourist industry, both the steam and electric railways were commissioned in the late 1800s and provided a gateway for visitors to hop aboard and see the Isle of Man in all its glory. Today, both the steam and electric railways celebrate significant birthdays and this new set of stamps takes us back to a time when the Island was swarming with holiday makers.

The stamps feature modern Isle of Man Railways posters showcasing the impressive Victorian steam and electric tram service the Island is home to. This year is the 140th anniversary of the Isle of Man Steam Railway and the 120th anniversary of the Manx Electric Railway from Douglas to Groudle, while 2014 marks the 120th  anniversary of the Manx Electric Railway to Laxey.

 While these new rail systems, linking the north, west and south with the capital Douglas, transported tourists to t he Island’s beaut y spot s, hist orical cast les and villages, the coming of the railways had a massive social impact on the local community. Prior to the invasion of the Victorian holiday makers in the mid 1850s, the Island had been a simple sleepy farming and fishing backwater for centuries, so with the opening of the railways, locals found themselves in the 19th century with a massive new industry right on their doorsteps.

As well as servicing the thousands of tourists who would flock at seasonal times, out of season the railways provided a lifeline to residents during the quiet winter months. They were used as transport for children to get to schoo l, t ransporting cat tle t o the mart s in R amsey and St John’s and t he Manx Elect ric R ailway also collect ed mail from mailboxes en route with tram drivers also serving as auxiliary postmen. However the local rail traffic started to decline dramatically with the introduction of cheap cars and lorries in the 1950s.

 Today, the railways still play an important role in Island life with many residents using them as a relaxed journey into work in the summer months and visitors enjoy the journey the experience from a bygone time and seeing first-hand t he Island’s rom ant ic and rugged scenery.




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