Cosmetic Restoration : No.5 Mona
Our latest conservation project and Fundraising Appeal are to help restore No.5 Mona to public display condition after nearly 50 years in storage and partial dismantlement. Our fundraising target for the cosmetic restoration is £12,000.
Cosmetic Restoration Involves...
* source fittings which have been borrowed over time
* re-assembly of the locomotive
* a full clean including the motion, etc.
* undercoating, painting and lining out
* fitting brass nameplates to the tanks
* replica brass numeral to the fireman's side tank.
The Association has secured an agreement to purchase one of the original name plates for re-fitting to No.5 Mona and from which a copy will be made and also fitted. Both of the original name plates were sold with the engine into private ownership back in 1978.
Working in partnership with Isle of Man Railways, the aim is to complete the cosmetic restoration of No.5 Mona in time for the 150th anniversary of the Railway in July 2023. You can view the restoration progress up to March 2023 on our separate online project work log - click here or on the image below. If you would like to help with the restoration work as a volunteer, click here. At the present time work is being finalised on refitting smaller components ahead of the final painting and lining out which is due to be completed by a professional carriage painter in May 2023 just in time for the annivesary events in July, followed by entry into the railway museum, replacing No.6 Peveril as a star attraction. All updates now posted onto our official news page.
Help Us With A Donation
With your generous support, No.5 Mona can play her part in celebrating the upcoming significant milestone - the railway's 150th anniversary - and thereafter be available for public display to help tell the history of the Isle of Man Railway and the evolution of the Isle of Man Beyer Peacock 2-4-0 tank locomotives - Click the Make A Donation button to see the ways you can donate.
Built by the firm of Beyer, Peacock & Co along with No.4 Loch for the opening of the Port Erin line in 1874, No.5 Mona was named after the Island and became a steadfast performer for the Railway. Although very similar in design to and with the same nominal 3’ 0” diameter 120psi boilers as the three engines delivered the previous year for the opening of the Peel line, the side tanks and coal bunkers on engines No.4 and No.5 were six inches higher, allowing 385 gallons of water in each tank and 14 cwt of coal to be carried when full, essential for the more steeply graded and longer Port Erin line. The original livery was Holly Green with thick black lining edged in white.
Larger rectangular shaped cab spectacles were fitted rather than the small round spectacles on the previous engines. A tool box was formed as part of the side tank platework inside the cab, rather than being a separate wooden chest mounted on top of the left hand side tank forwards of the cab. The injector overflow pipes were carried down the outside of the water tanks to finish below footplate level, bizarrely dissecting the still centrally mounted brass name plates on No.4 Loch and No.5 Mona in such a manner that the letters of the names were spaced to allow for the pipe! Engine No.6 Peveril was built one year later to the same design as No.4 and No.5, albeit her name plates were positioned on the forward part of her side tanks. The image of No.4 (left) shows the original arrangement of injector overflow pipe explaining the letter arrangements on the nameplates and earlier heavier lining detail.
Modifications during the locomotive’s working life included the fitting of separate front rod-operated sanding gear in 1895 when a new 3’ 0” diameter boiler was also fitted. New rear sandboxes were positioned inside the top outer corners of the coal bunker (the rivets holding these in place can be seen at the top of the bunker sides, a trait shared with No.4 Loch and No.6 Peveril. With the water feed valves and the front sand boxes now occupying the two front boiler rings, there were no suitable places to re-position the original maker’s plates which had curved backs and would not sit on a flat surface. This is the reason why engines No.1 Sutherland to No.6 Peveril inclusive no longer carry original maker’s plates, the whereabouts or survival of the plates being unknown, presumed scrapped. No.4 has carried replicas for several years.
No.5 Mona was enlarged in 1914 by fitting a 3’ 3” diameter 160 pounds-per-square-inch boiler and 480 gallon side tanks, increasing her tractive effort by one-third. Similar changes had been made to engines No.4 Loch in 1909 and No.6 Peveril in 1911. In the 1920s, the Railway’s standard livery remained Holly Green but with thinner black lining edged red. A mechanical lubricator driven off the left-hand leading crankpin was fitted in 1936, followed by steam and vacuum brake equipment. Prior e distinctive tapered chimney with its copper cap and brass numerals were still a feature, as were the Salter safety valves and bell mouth dome as per the illustration to the left, also showing the enormous coal stack at Douglas Station, a feature for so many years. The highly burnished handrails also seen here were a feature of the earlier years which persisted on some examples until quite late. Note the small whistle also in place.
Her present 3’ 3” diameter boiler with Ross “pop” safety valves, welded smokebox and cast chimney were supplied by Beyer, Peacock in 1946 when the locomotive was last extensively overhauled and outshopped painted in the post-war standard “Indian” Red livery with black lining edged yellow or “straw” . Carriage steam-heating supply equipment and the brass numeral on the left hand side tank were fitted at this time. No.5 was withdrawn from service after closure of the Peel and Ramsey lines in 1968, carrying the “Spring” Green' livery adopted by Lord Ailsa in 1967, with black lining edged white, and red painted connecting and coupling rods. Her last recorded mileage in 1964 was 1,896,370 but records indicate that she did see limited service in 1969 on the south line but following a burst tube whilst on permanent way duties in early 1970 ensuring that the locomotive was withdrawn with no consideration given to an overhaul owing to her poor condition.
No.5 was purchased privately by the now-defunct Isle of Man Railway Society (later the Isle of Man Railways & Tramways Preservation Society and now reformed as The Three Foot Gauge Railway Society) for preservation in 1978 but has remained un-restored on the Railway ever since, residing for twenty years in the old corrugated iron carriage shed at Douglas until it was demolished in 1999. The locomotive was relocated for a short while into the Infill Shed created behind the Running Shed at Douglas. She was later to be enveloped in a sealed tent with sister engine No.9 Douglas at the back of the new carriage shed. No.5 Mona returned to Government ownership in 2012. The locomotive was partly dismantled in 2020 for removal of asbestos, at which point the possibility of cosmetic restoration was first discussed. It was moved to Port St. Mary for our volunteers to commence work on the frames and tanks in January 2022 and by December of that year the boiler (previously stored at Port Erin) and the cab sheets (with J.C.K. at Balthane) were reunited as work gathered pace.