2nd August 1874
Above: The original 1874 station at Castletown is constructed of limestone from the local Scarlett Point and is one of several local structures to do so, the most notable being the medieval fortess at the heart of the town, Castle Rushen, a short walk from the station. This rendering shows it complete with canopy and ornamental veranda prior to removal in 1955 and the original layout of windows under the shelter which were amended to become openings as part of the 1994 refurbishment and ladies toilets, the gentleman’s facilities originally being in the portion to the far left which is now home to the Friends Of... volunteers model railway exhibition.
The main intermediate stopping place on the south line, the limestone building here dates from the opening, a similar structure was also supplied for Port Erin, to the same design but of local slate (this was replaced by the current building in 1902). A long passing loop was provided from opening and a timber-built goods shed; the station was upgraded beginning in 1901 when the building had a canopy and ornamental veranda fitted to the frontage, and a new goods shed erected the following year. The latter survives today and the canopy, which had its ornamentation removed in 1955, and was taken down completely in November 1993.
A limestone tank house served by a natural well was also installed at the turn of the century, though this was demolished in 1978 and a replacement erected in 1999 though this is only a temporary structure. The station remained largely unchanged for many years, the first significant addition being the half-height platforms which were installed in 1999 to improve access to the trains as part of a policy of improving this at every station along the line. The goods siding, which had originally extended as far as the end of today’s patrons’ car park was shortened twice, the second time in connection with the 1994 refurbishment when the car park was extended and part of the rear loading platform removed. The frames of No.7 Tynwald were displayed here until September 2012.
The station building was restored to its original condition and reopened in 1994, although the detailed fascia boards today are not as the building would originally have appeared. At this time the canopy was removed and the waiting room restored, having been used for several years as a permanent way store. From 2009 a dedicated Friends Of... volunteer group has existed for the station, tending to the floral displays each season and adding historical displays, a model railway, replica signage and maintaining the platform furniture among other things. In 2022 their project to install a replica advertisement hoarding reached fruition, in the place of the original which had been removed in 1976. Today the station is the principal passing place for all services since the closure of Ballasalla Station in November 2015.
In common with all other stations, there were no services in 1966 and the site was closed; it then served as the terminus for the 1975 season when short line working between there and Port Erin was experimented with by the Railway Company, this being extended to serve Ballasalla Station in 1976 before a return to full line workings the following year. Since 1965 the station has therefore been open seasonally, again serving as the temporary terminus during I.R.I.S. scheme works in 2002 when the line further north was lifted. Notably it was also open in the usually closed season between December 2012 and January 2013 when trains operated to serve Castle Rushen High School during a bus strike. The office was also open on selected days during the first lockdown for Covid-19 in 2020 to facilitate the sale and top up of bus tickets and Go Cards.
The station has been used in connection with filming on a variety of occasions, notably The Brylcreem Boys in 1999, Five Children & It in 2003 (for which a replica canopy was constructed) and Thomas & The Magic Railroad, a live-action version of the Rev. Wilbur Awdry classic. It was also used to double for Vladivostok for a television adaptation of The Ginger Tree in 1988. Its most recent appearance in the media was for the filming of Great British Railway Journeys with former politician Michael Portillo in the summer of 2021. The Association works closely with the Friends Of... group the station being considered the best preserved on the line. For a time the goods shed was used as a work base for the Association who still assist the local group in a number of ways.
Station Building / Goods Shed / Cattle Dock / Goods Sidings / Advertisement Hoarding / Water Tower
In The Snow
Typical Scene With Waiting Room
A Busy Scene With No.4 Loch
The Waiting Room & Fire
The Goods Shed
No.13 Kissack With The Royal Train
Typical View Of The Station
No.12 Hutchinson Passing Goods Yard
Friends Of... Replica Hoarding
No.4 Loch With The Canopy
The Station In Definitive Terms
No.12 Hutchinson & Train