Engine No.5 Mona

Our latest conservation project and Fundraising Appeal are to help restore engine 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.

The cosmetic restoration involves:

  • sourcing a number of fittings which have been 'borrowed' for in-service locomotives over many years;

  • re-assembly of the locomotive;

  • a full clean;

  • painting and lining out;

  • fitting of brass name plates and a brass numeral to the side tanks.

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.

RESTORATION PROGRESS

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 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.

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 'Manx' Peacock 2-4-0 tank locomotive.

Click the Make a Donation button to see the ways you can donate.

HISTORICAL NOTES

Built by the firm of Beyer, Peacock & Co along with engine 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.

No.4 Loch in 'as built' condition. Douglas, c.1890
Photo: The Tower Collection

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.

No.5 Mona undergoing modification. Douglas, 1895
Photo: The Sunnycroft Collection

Modifications during No.5'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.

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 to No.6 no longer carry original maker's plates, the whereabouts or survival of the plates being unknown, presumed scrapped.

No.5 Mona with her larger boiler and side tanks. Douglas, mid 1930s

No.5 Mona was enlarged in 1914 by fitting a 3' 3" diameter 160psi 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 1920's, the Railway's engine 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.

No.5 Mona arriving at Ramsey Station in the early 1960's
Photo: E Bird

Her present 3' 3" diameter boiler with Ross 'pop' safety valves, welded smokebox and cast chimney were supplied by Beyer, Peacock in 1946 when No.5 was painted in the post-war 'Indian Red' livery with black lining edged yellow.

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.

No.5 Mona looking 'ex-Barry' pre decontamination work in 2020
Photo: G Taylor

No.5 was purchased privately 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 engine 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 engine was partly dismantled in 2020 for removal of asbestos, and now awaits reassembly and cosmetic restoration to public display condition.