Manx Steam Railway News

Official Journal of the Isle of Man Steam Railway Supporters’  Association

Produced regularly by the Association since its earliest days in 1966, incorporating news, views and recent events on the Isle of Man Railway, historical articles of interest and a selection of colour and black and white photographs from various eras as well as book reviews, articles and other items of interest.  

Sections on all aspects of the railway’s operation, from locomotives and rolling stock news to matters regarding all the stations, closed lines and peripheral events as well as historical artefacts, photographs and news items from yesteryear.  Issued free to paid up members.


(Issue No.192)



Complimentary to all paid up members and sent by post to our subscribers, but also available to buy from a selection of book shops across the Island or direct from us, usually shortly after publication. Current retail stockists:-

The Tram Junction Shop, Laxey

Bridge Bookshop, Port Erin & Ramsey

The Friends Of Castletown Station

Directly From The Editor (Below)

The Editor will be pleased to receive contributions of articles and historical photographs for inclusion in future issues of the journal. Contributors should note that the Association may also publish submitted articles or photographs on our website or social media pages.  To contact the Editor, please e-mail Any views expressed in the journal are not necessarily those of the Isle of Man Steam Railway Supporters Association or its directors.


(Issue No.193)



View Our Online Back-Issue Archive

The Editor holds a stock of various back issues, some dating back to the earliest days of the Association which now provide a valuable record of day-to-day happenings and events on the railway and further afield on the island transport scene.  Please contact him if you are looking for older back issues; a limited number of these early editions have been digitised and can be downloaded by following the links below:-.

Issue No.1

Autumn / Winter 1966


Issue No.5

Autumn / Winter 1967


Issue No.37

Autumn / Winter 1975


Issue No.63

Spring / Summer 1982


Issue No.2

Winter / Spring 1967


Issue No.11

Summer / Autumn 1969


Issue No.42

Autumn / Winter 1976


Issue No.67

Spring / Summer 1983


Issue No.3

Spring / Summer 1967


Issue No.22

Winter / Spring 1972


Issue No.53

Summer / Autumn 1979


Issue No.71

Spring / Summer 1984


Issue No.4

Summer / Autumn 1967


Issue No.26

Winter / Spring 1973


Issue No.57

Autumn / Winter 1980


Issue No.79

Spring / Summer 1986


Established in the earliest days of the Supporters’ Association, when it was still known as the Manx Steam Railway Society, Issue No.1 was published as a foolscap newsletter at the end of 1966 when the future of the railway was uncertain.  In those early days the format was a simple type-written sheet, but by 1968 the familiar format was adopted and an effort made to publish quarterly, given the changing scene on the railway at that time, and the format being the most effective way of keeping members up-to-date with everything that was happening on and around the railway.

In 1973 to mark the centenary of the railway an edition was published with a colour cover featuring, appropriately enough, No.1 Sutherland on display at St. John’s in 1968.  Printing costs at the time were prohibitive to continue this pattern, but a further colour cover marking the centenary of the south line was published the following year.  Photographic content in the early days was limited, and reproduction poor, but as time went by more and more photography was included.  In 1975 the old format of folder foolscap sheets stapled manually was abandoned in favour of the format largely adhered to today.

With the threat of closure and short line workings in both 1975 and 1976 Manx Steam Railway News became a valuable asset in the promotion of retaining the railway and in association with the many area groups which existed at the time, a number of strongly supported petitions ultimately presented to Tynwald ensured the railway would survive beyond these dark days.  It was at this time the special editions were collated, reports on the operating seasons for three consecutive years to illustrate how significant an asset the railway was to the island as a whole.  Tireless campaigning at the time saved the railway for the nation.

With the creation of a nationwide magazine of the same title in 1985, the word “Manx” was added to the title to avoid confusion with this new endeavour; by this time photography featured on the cover of each edition , but it would not be until the one hundredth edition in 1992 that colour would again feature, this time an image of No.8 Fenella at St. John’s which was selected by a photographic competition in previous editions; for the first time, the inner and rear covers also carried colour photography as technology advanced to allow this to be more commonplace.

It was decided in 1994 that the two editions published in season, the Spring/Summer and Summer/Autumn issues, would have colour covers as standard, the other two remaining in black and white.  By 2001 it was decided to have colour covers on every edition, tying in with a new design both internally and externally; by this time each edition was averaging between 28 and 36 pages, and a special bumper” edition in 2008 saw the page count rise to an impressive sixty for the first time.  This set a precedent and every edition since this time has maintained that page count as a minimum.

The content of each edition is collated by the editor who is a volunteer and always has been.  It is occasionally not possible to issue each edition within the quarterly parameter, so on occasion there will be three editions one year, and five the next; this still offers the member excellent value for money; by 2011 it became possible to reproduce colour photography internally, and by 2019 the entire journal went into full colour production.  Today Manx Steam Railway News stands alone as the only production dedicated to news updates on the Isle of Man Railway and is the only such publication of its kind.

The current editor, Grant Taylor, began his second stint as editor in 2019, taking over from veteran editor Dave Booth who had been in the position since 2014, himself taking over from Grant who had, ironically perhaps, taken over from Dave back in 2001; he had both edited and co-edited each edition with the late Tony Beard and the late Robert Taylor since 1986.  Prior to this a variety of people edited each edition as detailed below.  The current format has remained largely unchanged for many years save for header design and typefaces, in keeping with the corporate image of the Supporters’ Association.

From 2019 the content was refreshed, using the corporate typeface of the Association in common with the official website, social media pages, posters and letterheading making for a corporate and professional look; the internal content was also revamped to include a standard layout and typeface, headers for each article also appearing in the corporate font, with full colour content throughout making for the most professional appearing journal possible.  Changes in print providers since 2022 have also ensured that quality can be maintained and page count upped as and when required.


Graham Andrews

John Partridge

John Allen

Alex Townsend*

Tony Beard*

Robert Taylor*













* - Jointly