No.8 Fenella

Fleet No.:




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Last Operated:


Name Origin:


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19 Tons, 10cwt



Beyer, Peacock 


October 2020

1,377,482 (@2020)

Walter Scott Novel

11 x 18

3 9

This locomotive was another one-off order from Beyer, Peacock & Co., Ltd., in 1894 and was named after a character in a novel by Sir Walter Scott, Peveril Of The Peak, from which No.6 Peveril was also named.  The locomotive received its first boiler change in 1908 when it was fitted with the 1907 boiler originally fitted to No.5 Mona, and again in 1915 when the 1907 boiler from No.7 Tynwald was fitted. 

Two brand new boilers directly from Beyer, Peacock & Co., were fitted in 1919 and 1936, the latter seeing it remain in traffic until the 1968 season by which time the locomotive was found to be in poor order and withdrawn from traffic and stored.   Based for a large part of her career on the north line with its steadier inclines and lighter trains, No.8 was a regular performer until the latter days of operations.

It had the dubious honour of being the only locomotive to be steamed in 1966, the year the railway was completely closed, to shunt rolling stock at St. John’s Station to allow the site to be used for car parking on Tynwald Day, 5th July as the rare photograph below shows.  It was painted into the spring green livery the following year for reopening and saw two further years in service thereafter.

It was purchased by the now-defunct Isle of Man Railway Society in 1978 with a view to complete restoration but in the event it would be ten years before the boiler was lifted from the frames and sent to the Severn Valley Railway for major rebuild.  This long-term project faltered as relationships between the owners and railway management broke down meaning that the project did not reach fruition. 

However, the owners offered the finished boiler for No.1 Sutherland to return to steam for the Steam 125 celebrations in 1998, an agreement being reached whereby it could be used for  three years in before being reunited with No.8 Fenella.  This ensured that the locomotive returned to traffic in 2001 until early summer 2008 after which is was returned to storage.

Being the sole representative of the smaller engines it was often to be seen on lighter trains, specials and acting as station pilot. There followed a spell when it was not used owing to a dispute with the owners, but it ran again in May of 2010 on non-passenger duties as part of the annual Rush Hour event, the start of a further decade of further reliable and regular service.

The locomotive returned to railway ownership in April 2012 and once again returned to the service fleet.  It made a return to the site of Peel Station for display to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the Peel Line on 1stJuly 2013, placed on a short length of display track next to the water tower, at a subsequent transport festival this stunt was repeated at the same location.

Following the close of the shortened (Covid-19) 2020 season the boiler certificate expired and the locomotive was withdrawn.  In May 2022 it travelled off-island to attend the Beyer Bash at the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway.  No.8 is presently stored in the rear of the running shed at Douglas Station awaiting its turn for restoration.

July 1965 saw No.8 take a special working for the Locomotive Club of Great Britain, seen here paused at Ballasalla Station on its way to Port Erin, leading carriage is one of the saloons.

In 1966 this was the only movement on the railway,m No.8 at St. John’s Station shunting stock to allow the site to be used as car parking for Tynwald Day.  A rare image indeed.

Commonly working on the north line, in July 1932 No.8 was seen at Ballaugh Station; her appearance altered little over the years, being largely the same today though in Indian Red.

Seen in Septembe 1960 at Douglas Station and a very similar outward appearance to that still maintained today, save for the smokebox which is now sloping, having been carried by No.1 for three seasons.

Santon Station on a mixed train working taking water during the Manx Heritage Transport Festival, a demonstration mixed train was operated this far for the event.

In February 2011 No.8 was used on a trial train to test the frames of M.N.Ry. No.4 Caledonia after extensive work; seen here at Castletowm Station prior to the return working.

A rare colour view of the pre-war green livery though dating from July 1949 with an impressive rake of cattle vans at Douglas Station; Note No.6 Peveril on the left in the red colour scheme.

September 2022 and No.8 remains stored at the rear of the running shed at Douglas Station having last operated in October 2020 and awaiting her turn for restoration to traffic.

September 1961 at Peel Station; note the imposing advertisement hoarding in the distance, once a familiar feature at several stations, today recreated at Castletown by the Friends Of... group.

3rd June 1967 - Reopening Day with No.8 complete with discs typical of the time arriving at St. Johns with one of the first official trains of the new regime. and a new colour scheme.

c.1900 at Port Erin Station and chimney first into Douglas as was common at the time for locomotives shedded elsewhere; the lining detail around the spectacle plates is obvious.