M.N.Ry. No.3 Thornhill   (I.M.R. No.14)

M.N.Ry. No.:

I.M.Ry. No.:


Weight :


Wheel Arr.:


Works No.:

Last In Traffic:



Wheels Dia.:




19 Tons, 10cwt



Beyer, Peacock


October 1964


11 x 18

3 9

M.N.Ry. No.3 Thornhill was built for the Manx Northern Railway by Beyer, Peacock & Co., in 1880 concurrently with No.7 Tynwald for the Isle of Man Railway and was largely identical.  Seeing extensive use in the earliest of days, the first new boiler was fitted in 1896.  Becoming No.14 upon the merger with the Isle of Man Railway Company in 1905 (though not initially receiving its number and chimney numeral) it was the only Beyer, Peacock & Co., locomotive provided to the Manx Northern Railway.

After the merger it received the 1896 boiler from No.4 Loch in 1910 which remained until 1913 when the 1893 boiler from No.2 Derby was fitted in its place.  There was a further swap in 1916 when the boiler provided in 1895 for No.5 Mona was installed in the locomotive.  The final swap came in 1921 when another boiler from No.5 dating from 1914 was placed in the frames and it is this boiler that remained in use until the end of the locomotive's service career 

Withdrawal came after a reduction to reduced pressure, the final workings being in 1961.  Fitted with chimney numerals after the take-over, these were removed in 1956 when a new shorter chimney was fitted.  Retaining the distinctive Salter safety valves until withdrawal from service in 1963 after which is was placed into storage in the carriage shed at Douglas Station along with other out of service locomotives at the time.

It was repainted and placed on display at St John's station during the 1967 and 1968 seasons, in what was thought to be close to the original colour scheme; after the close of the Peel and Ramsey lines in 1968 the display was moved to Douglas Station where it remained periodically until 1974 after which is returned to storage in the carriage shed, the short line workings of 1975 and 1976 meaning the termini were Castletown Station and Ballasalla Station respectively.

In 1978 shortly after the nationalisation of the railway it was sold for private preservation on the island by an Association member where it remained for several years in a purpose-built shed with six-wheel Cleminson carriage M.N.Ry. No.6.  The owner is in the process of having work carried out on the locomotive and it is no secret that it is presently at the premises of John Fowler Ltd., in Ulverston, Cumbria.  

The locomotive is considered by many to be the holy grail of Isle of Man locomotives, and one longed for to tick off the “I’ve seen that one” list - watch this space.

August 1957 at St. John’s Station and No.14 shunting in the yard with the water tower prominent; this was the last former Manx Northern locomotive to remain in regular use.

April 1950 saw No.14 still in regular use, largely on the north line as was common; seen here at St. John’s Station with Salter safety valves lifting, these were retained until the end.

February 1959 with No.12 outside the running shed at Douglas Station; the cab dodgers rolled down would indicate inclement weather, No.14 qwas used on winter north line trains.

Repainted in an approximation of her original livery and placed on display at St. John's Station after withdrawal, a paint scheme the locomotive was to continue wearing for over half a century.

A steamy scene from April 1960 shunting at Douglas Station in her latter days of service; No.14 was commonly used on her home metals of the north line, rarely venturing south.

July 1960 and No.14 on a northbound train at St. John’s Station, from the Association's publication A Photographic Journey by John Langford, available from our sales page.

One For The Die-Hard Gricers!  July 2020 and No.14 is cleaned by Association volunteers for a photo-call marking the completion of restored six-wheeler M.N.Ry. No.6.

An early view of the locomotive at Ramsey Station facing chimney-first out of her home station and in modified condition, note the position of the front sandboxes by the tanks.

August 1957 at Douglas Station awaiting departure in the post-war Indian Red livery applied to the whole fleet commencing in 1946 but taking some years to become standard.

September 1958 at Ramsey Station, note the prominent dent in the brass dome cover; the wagon here is one of a series which totalled 78 similar vehicles at their peak.

July 1958 at Ballaugh Station taken from a well known postcard image; No.14 still working on her home metals after many years.  Her new home was a stone's throw from the trackbed at Ballakilligan.

On display at St. John's Station in 1968 joined by No.1 Sutherland as part of a line-up of several withdrawn locomotives that were very much a feature of the final two seasons.