Not All The Stations….

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Its that time again, station after station, railway after railway. ALL the stations on the Isle of Man episode two released yesterday. But what’s this? The Manx Electric Railway ‘All The Stations?’ It looked like ALL the MER stations but it wasn’t actually in terms of the lines history and what came as a surprise is nothing was said about that.

In fact Geoff’s video showed the Ramsey terminus they were at wasn’t in fact the Ramsey station they were expecting to reach. Its an iconic and historic terminus so it must have been an embarrassment for them to see the situation like this.

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The briefest of glimpses of the old Ramsey station in the distance as Vicki switches the trolley pole round its tramcar. Source: All The Stations

Clearly it wasn’t Ramsey Station at all so this was a missed out station in fact and I am sure Geoff realised that. I am also sure he realised it as one of importance yet the one they were at wasn’t the real thing either but an imposter, yet there wasn’t much they could do except try to keep the filming flowing nicely.

What’s going on here? Ramsey station is quite a substantial affair (or it was) with sidings and historic car sheds, and a ticket office/information centre alongside the main road itself.

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The original Ramsey station with the other historic car shed (at left) that has been demolished. Wikipedia – John Lucas, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Apparently for the past three years this station that was seen on All The Stations has been an imposter. The trams are being forced to stop the other side of Parsonage Road at this ‘new terminus.’ And this on what they in 2018 called ‘The Tramway of the Year’ as part of its 125th anniversary.

The old terminus is no longer used. It was made the subject of some sort of redevelopment plan including new houses and a bus station. The original station was closed in October 2016.

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The original Ramsey station with the 1899 car sheds in the background. Source: You Tube

I don’t know exactly what is going on but in the winter of 2016/17 they came in the night, literally, and demolished the historic tramcar sheds, practically without anyone’s knowledge. The Manx Electric Railway Society said of this:

This ruthless action has destroyed the last significant original MER building in Ramsey and has been done without any public debate. It is a calculated and un-democratic action designed to leave no alternative to a hidden agenda, determined at public cost, behind closed doors, and secretly resurrected when it was believed to be dead. It demonstrates that the MER is by no means safe under the Department of Infrastructure.

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MER trailer no.47 passing the other original, 1903, MER shed at Ramsey. Source: You Tube

One local has bemoaned the new layout as awful. ‘Trams abandon their passengers on a gravel platform (not very wheelchair or pushchair-friendly) with no shelter, no information or ticket point, no bench or loos.’

(Sources: Isle of Man Today)

The ‘new station’ is in fact built partially on the approaches to one of the controversially demolished historic car sheds, which makes it even more beguiling.

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The scene in All The Stations’ video. Source: You Tube

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Almost the same exact scene with the historic 1899 car depot behind. Wikipedia – Dr Neil Clifton, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

The Manx Electric Railway Society issued a statement which said:

The Department of Infrastructure under its new Minister, Mr “Get Things Done” Harmer sent in contractors in the run up to the Christmas period (always the best time to get things done) to destroy the Ramsey Tram Depot and as an un-expected and un-necessary act of vandalism, to smash and utterly remove the 1903 Goods Shed, formerly, ironically the MER Museum.

At least this video, made in 2017, shows people exactly what the situation is.

The Isle of Man takes pride in its historic narrow gauge railways, but with matters like this at Ramsey, and other controversies including the decimation of Douglas’ historic steam railway terminus, not to mention the recent issues with the famous horse trams, one begins to wonder what the intentions are of the IOM Government departments which manage the island’s railways.

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