An Independent Guide to Britain’s Preserved Railways
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By Railway - Take the Manx Electric Railway to Laxey Station. Walk along the Electric
Railway Lines in the direction of the wheel. At the bridge over the valley, walk
down the footpath on the right to the Valley Gardens from the junction of the main
Laxey to Ramsey Road and Captains Hill. The railway is sign posted and visible from
roadside and footpath.
By Car - The railway is near the village of Laxey where the B11 crosses the A2 Douglas
to Ramsey road. Park near the Electric Railway Station or in the car park across
from the Laxey Valley Gardens. Follow walking directions after parking as above.
By Bus - The railway is served by bus routes no. 3 and 3A from Ramsey and Douglas
and 13, 13A and 13B from Douglas. Take the stop in the town centre near the Manx
Electric Railway Station. Follow walking directions after alighting as above.
The map below shows the location of the stations on the Great Laxey Mine Railway,
click on the markers to see the station name. Use the zoom and pan tools to explore
Trains run every Saturday from Easter until late September and every Sunday during
August plus Bank Holidays, Laxey Fair Day (trains run in the evening) and Tynwald
Special events are also held in July and October, see British Heritage Railways events
diary for details (see link below)
Trains run every few minutes from 11.00am until 4.30pm
Ant - 0-4-0WT built by Great Northern Steam Ltd, Darlington in 2004. Replica of the
original built by Stephen Lewin, Poole in 1877.
Bee - 0-4-0WT built by Great Northern Steam Ltd, Darlington in 2004. Replica of the
original built by Stephen Lewin, Poole in 1877.
Wasp - 0-4-0 Battery electric locomotive built by Clayton in 1973.
Passengers are carried in small covered carriages built by Alan Keef in 2004 & 2007.
6 replica ore wagons built in 2000.
Attractions and Facilities
Valley Gardens - Souvenir stall, Manx Electric Railway, Snaefell Mountain Railway,
former Snaefell Mine waterwheel, former site of the Great Laxey Mine's Washing Floors.
Mines Yard - Laxey Wheel, also known as Lady Isabella, built in 1854 (the largest
working water wheel in the world), three rambling trails with information signs on
sites, picnic areas with benches and tables, Laxey Mines about 40 feet in, many ruins
of the past mining history.
There are no refreshment facilities on site but there is a café and pub nearby. Wheelchair-bound
passengers cannot be carried on the railway.
The Great Laxey Mine Railway is located on the eastern side of the Isle of Man and
runs between Valley Gardens on the site of the mine’s washing floors to the Mines
Yard terminus in the Great Laxey Mine and Waterwheel complex. The line passes through
a 70m tunnel (the only railway tunnel on the Isle of Man) under the Manx Electric
Railway and A2 road.
The tunnel is small and restricts the size of rail vehicles that can be used on the
line. The railway was not originally built for carrying passengers and the new carriages
had to be specially designed for the line. Due to the size restriction they are fairly
cramped and not suitable for use by people with reduced mobility.
The restored line has been built to 19” gauge replicating the original track, this
is the only line in Britain to use this gauge.
Trains comprise a locomotive and one carriage which is accessed at the end and has
a single full length bench along one side. There is no fixed timetable, trains run
as frequently as required to suit passenger numbers.
On days when the railway runs it is an ideal way to travel between the Manx Electric
Railway station and bus stop to the Laxey wheel, the largest working waterwheel in
the world and the most visited attraction on the Isle of Man.
The Great Laxey Mine Railway is entirely operated by friendly volunteers of the Laxey
and Lonan Heritage Trust who need your support. Visitors to the Isle of Man should
not miss the chance to ride on this unique little railway.
A tiny mine railway with the only railway tunnel on the Isle of Man
Located in the village of Laxey, on the eastern coast of the Isle of Man, the Great
Laxey Mine Railway runs along the surface section of the tramway which once carried
lead and zinc ores from deep inside the Great Laxey Mine. Its 19-inch gauge is unique
The line is a delightful way to travel from the Manx Electric Railway station at
Laxey to the Laxey Mine and Wheel complex.
Lead and zinc mining at Laxey began in the 18th century, and by the mid 1870s the
Great Laxey Mine was one of the richest metal mines in Britain. The main level of
the mine was known as the Adit Level, and a tramway ran along its length to carry
the ore out of the mine to the Washing Floors above ground where the ore was prepared
for shipping. Wagons were originally hauled by ponies.
1877 - The ponies were replaced by two 0-4-0WT steam locomotives named Ant and Bee,
built by Stephen Lewis of Poole.
1929 - The mine closed, Ant & Bee were scrapped a few years later.
1999 - The Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust began restoring the surface section of
2004 - The restored line opened with replicas of the original steam locomotives,
Ant and Bee and a specially designed passenger vehicle.
2007 - A second passenger vehicle was added to the fleet.