No.9 Douglas

Fleet No.:




Wheel Arr.:


Works Number:

Last Operated:

Service Mileage:

Name Origin:


Wheel Dia.:



19 Tons, 10cwt



Beyer, Peacock


September 1953

912,717 (@1964)

Island’s Capital

11 x 18

3 9

Delivered as a one-off order in 1896 this locomotive remains largely in as-built condition and was only re-boilered twice during her service career, the first being in 1909 (when it was fitted with the 1894 boiler from No.8 Fenella) then again in 1912 when a new boiler was obtained from Beyer, Peacock & Co., Ltd., of Gorton, this is the one still carried today making it the oldest one to remain on the railway.

The only major modification was the fitting of vacuum braking equipment for train braking combined with an existing steam brake which was installed at the same time as iron brake blocks replacing the original timber ones.  It retains the sloping smokebox arrangement from its earliest days and was in regular traffic until withdrawal, though latterly confined to light duties, much of its service career was spent on the north line.  

The locomotive carried its original “Gorton Screamer”  whistle throughout its career and this is retained today; it also had the nameplates forward of the tank centre (rather than the curious arrangement with No.4 Loch an No.5 Mona where the lettering was spaced to allow the injector overflow pipe to bisect it) and carried worksplates on the rear portion of the tanks in common with elder sister No.8 Fenella.  

Liveries carried from delivery were the original Brunswick Green, changing after the war to the standard Indian Red, then to Spring Green in 1969.  Distinctive tank patches make the locomotive easy to identify in photographs, these being carefully crafted around the oval worksplates; at some point a large split appeared in the front buffer beam which also identifies the locomotive from others in the fleet.  The iconic tapered chimney with copper cap and brass chimney numerals were a lifelong feature.

Withdrawn in 1953 and stored in the carriage shed at Douglas Station, it was cosmetically restored for the 1969 season and placed on display with a number of other withdrawn locomotives for a number of years.  The locomotive was sold in 1978 to the now-defunct Isle of Man Railway Society and placed in storage together with No.8 Fenella (purchased at the same time) in the locomotive shed at Port Erin while service locomotives used the former goods shed.

During this period the locomotive was partially repainted into a non-standard brown livery with black and orange lining, later being fully painted, in green (matching the station scheme rather than an historic livery) with vermilion and black lining, notably being displayed at Port Erin during the Year Of Railways celebrations in 1993 when it was tended by Supporters Association volunteers.  At some point the smokebox door was removed and replaced with a wooden version.  

Moved into Douglas Station during railway museum renovations in 1998, it was stored in the new carriage shed with No.5 Mona in a sealed tent owing to the presence of asbestos lagging.  During 2020 the locomotive was moved south by rail together with No.5, hauled by No.18 Ailsa, and dismantled to allow decontamination of asbestos, requiring a move to the goods shed at Port St. Mary where contractors were based.  Since this time it has not been fully reassembled.

The boiler, tanks and cab all sand blasted and primed in red primer. The boiler is currently stored on the Peel Line siding at Douglas, while the chassis and superstructure are currently stored in the running shed; they were used for gauging trials on the electric railway in January 2023, the first time the locomotive had ventured onto this line, and the first time since withdrawal it had visited the northern town.  On return to home metals it was placed chimney first to Douglas; 

In January 2023 the Supporters Association unveiled plans to cosmetically restore the locomotive in order for it to take part in the 150th anniversary celebrations of the south line following year, after a similar project with No.5 Mona.  At the present time a small but dedicated group of volunteers and working at preparing the locomotive frames to allow the boiler and cabs to be refitted, after which painting will commence, the original green with broader lining being the ultimate aim.

On display during July 1971 in the former goods yard at Douglas Station in the spring green livery then recently applied; the original name and worksplates still in situ at this time.

En route south in June 2020 at Colby Station destined for the goods shed at Port St. Mary where decontamination of asbestos work was carried out by contractors Ferncroft.

An unusual view from April 1969 outside the carriage shed at Douglas Station with the locomotive undercoated ahead of the spring green livery being applied for display purposes.

For Christmas 2022 the frames were in the running shed at Douglas Station, likely to be the first time one of the familiar festive banners had been carried by the locomotive.

In June 2020 the boiler was lifted from the frames at Port St. Mary Station to allow for work to commence on decontamination of asbestos prior to reassembly and cosmetic restoration.

Shortly after arrival at Port St. Mary Station in June 2020 prior to being dismantled for decontamination of asbestos, the first trip No.9 had made south since 2001.

In July 2003 the locomotive was moved to be placed in a sealed tent with No.5 Mona at the back of the carriage shed at Douglas Station owing to the presence of asbestos.

Moved into the workshops in January 2023 for swapping pony trucks prior to a trial run on the electric railway between Ramsey and The Dhoon; in Douglas Workshops.

On display during September 1970 in the former goods yard at Douglas Station in the spring green livery then recently applied; the original name and worksplates still in situ at this time.

August 1938 is the date of this view at Douglas Station with plenty of detail other than the locomotive including lining detail on F.61 and one of the three-plank wagons.

An early view of the locomotive at Douglas Station prior to the erection of the platform canopies, note one of the closed vans immediately behind and the spectacle plate lining out.

A wet day in April 1931 as No.9 arrives at St. John’s Station; the locomotive was a regular performer at this time, especially on the Peel and Ramsey lines, shedded north.

Captured in July 1933 at St. John’s Station this classic view of one of the railway's Beyer, Peacock fleet illustrates how little this particular example was altered over the years.

July 1950 and the latter days in service for No.9 seen at Douglas Station with the ever-present Priestman mechanical grab again in the background.

The launch of the ill-fated restoration appeal by the Association at Douglas Station with the late Tony Beard on the running plate with Ron Cooper, Alex Townsend at Kevin Lewin.