Restoration Of No.9 Douglas

In 1977 an agreement was reached with the Railway Company for the Association to commence fundraising for the return to traffic of No.9 Douglas which had been out of service since 1953 and at the time would have seen the first of the smaller locomotives to be in use since the withdrawal of No.8 Fenella in 1968.  The locomotive was removed from the carriage shed for publicity photographs and to raise awareness and work commenced on a feasibility study while volunteers stripped the locomotive down.  Ultimately the project was aborted when, upon nationalisation of the railway the following year, the locomotive was sold to the now-defunct Isle of Man Railway Society (together with No.5 Mona, No.8 Fenella and the frames of No.7 Tynwald) who kept the locomotive in storage.  The funds raised for No.9 were eventually used to purchase new boiler tubes for No.11 Maitland in 1981 with the remainder going to the fledgling Groudle Glen Railway.

It would not be until 2023 that the Association again became involved with this locomotive; in 2012 it was returned to railway ownership and remained in storage until June 2020 when it was moved to Port St. Mary for decontamination of asbestos, remaining dismantled after this point.  Upon nearing completion of cosmetic work on sister No.5 Mona in early 2023 the Association announced their intention to carry out similar cosmetic work on No.9, thereby revisiting this project (albeit not returning to traffic) after four decades.  In the intervening time it had spent some time on display at Port Erin, notably during the Year Of Railways in 1993, when Association volunteers cleaned it on a regular basis that summer.  For information on the current work to the locomotive click here. The condition of the locomotive, right,  is evident, having not operated in traffic since 1953, the only attention being a coat of Spring Green livery for display purposed in 1969, prior to which many smaller parts were removed and used on other service locomotives.

Above: the ill-fated launch of the appeal with Association stalwart the late Tony Beard astride No.9 Douglas at Douglas Station for the announcement of the proposed restoration of the locomotive to service; also pictured are Alex Townsend, Kevin Lewin and Ron Cooper.

(Photo: I.o.M.S.R.S.A.)

No.10 G.H.Wood draws the locomotive from the carriage shed and onto Road Five for the launch of the appeal, this was some of the last work carried out by No.10 before withdrawal from traffic later that year.

Association stalwart Ron Cooper carrying out some preparatory work ahead of the launch; note the removed sandbox atop the water tank which would be refitted for the locomotive to be placed on display.