Celebrating 120th Anniversary of the Snaefell Mountain Railway

Anne Smart
With the Snaefell Mountain Railway still going strong and as popular as ever, special celebrations will mark the network’s 120th anniversary on the summit on the 20 August.

There will be special trams and activities throughout the day, which will culminate in the inaugural presentation of a specially commissioned forty minute work for a chamber ensemble, which will be performed inside the Summit Restaurant and simultaneously relayed over loudspeakers across the surrounding countryside.

Michael Starkey
Festivities will commence early in the afternoon with a celebration tram tour departing from Laxey, including onboard commentary from local tram historian and author, Andrew Scarffe. He has co-ordinated a transport enthusiast’s programme whereby passengers will be able to enjoy a number of photo opportunities on the mountain ascent, and a tour of the Snaefell car shed.

Later in the day a parallel run of trams leaving the summit of Snaefell is also planned.

There will also be plenty of activities to keep visitors occupied at the Summit Restaurant, where a look-alike of the nineteenth century railway pioneer, Alexander Bruce, will welcome passengers as they step down from the trams.

Artwork by local sculptor Anne Smart and Manx artist Michael Starkey, inspired by the theme of the anniversary, will be on display at the summit, together with a special photographic exhibition.

The Bungalow (possibly 1893)
John ‘Dog’ Callister will also be leading guided walks on the mountain top in a bid to explore the flora and fauna in the area.

The celebrations will conclude during the evening with a re-enactment of the official opening ceremony and the above mentioned musical performance of Seven Kingdoms by Ramsey based composer Tim Price.

Events will also be broadcast live on Manx Radio throughout the afternoon and evening.

Additional trams will operate throughout the afternoon, but advance booking is recommended for the celebration tram tour and those operating during the evening by phoning 697457 to reserve your seat.

Standard tram fares apply with Go Explore and annual Smart Cards accepted.

Tim Price
In addition, on the following day there will be one of the popular Snaefell Sunset Dinners in the Summit Restaurant, when there will be a further opportunity to view the artwork and photographic displays.

Advance bookings should be made by phoning 673631.

Valerie Caine

© August 2015