IOM Stamps – Isle of Man Railways
Both the Isle of Man Steam Railway and the Manx Electric Railway became an integral part of the Island’s transport network when they were introduced in the nineteenth century in response to the growing number of visitors, but although those halcyon days are gone and services reduced to a summer schedule, Isle of Man Post has introduced a set of six stamps featuring contemporary Isle of Man Railway posters.
The Isle of Man Steam Railway, which opened its first line from Douglas to Peel in 1873, followed by Port Erin and Ramsey, is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year, with the Manx Electric Railway (formerly Isle of Man Tramways and Electric Power Company) celebrating its 120thanniversary during 2014.
With the Island’s roads in a poor state of repair and visitor numbers increasing, the railways became an important part of the Island’s structure for local too; giving them hitherto unrestricted access to various parts of the Island.
It was also used by children travelling to school, farmers ferrying their cattle to and from the marts in Ramsey and St John’s and the Post Office for carrying parcels and collecting mail from post boxes on route.
As road traffic increased during the 1950s, demand for the railway systems fell and the winter service was eventually withdrawn.
(c) Val Caine