Our last Isle of Man holiday was in 1998 and while we were there the Isle of Man Steam Railway had some big events during the week and I was able to take quite a lot of pictures of their genuine Victorian locomotives and carriages.
Built in time for the opening day of the railway on 1 July 1873 and allocated works number 1253 by Beyer, Peacock this locomotive is named after the Duke of Sutherland who was a director of the railway company in its formative days. She was given the honour of hauling the first official train to Peel and remained in service, albeit as Douglas shunter only latterly, until 1964 when she was withdrawn and stored. When the Marquess of Ailsa took over the railway in 1967 she was painted spring green and placed on static display at St John's, a tradition that later came to Douglas when the railway closed at the end of the 1968 season. When the new railway museum was opened in 1975 she was given pride of place and it seemed that was the end of the line.
However, with anniversaries being in the air, she was brought back to Douglas in October 1997 for feasibility studies to examine her possible return to service for the Steam 125 celebrations the following year. Using the privately-owned boiler from No. 8 Fenella she was the star turn in 1998, and travelled to the Manx Electric Railway on occasion steaming from Laxey to Fairy Cottage. She even made a brief return to Peel Station to commemorate the opening of the Peel line. She later was repainted to Indian red and withdrawn when the boiler was removed and replaced into the frames of No. 8. No. 1 is now in store at Douglas station, whilst No. 8 was withdrawn early summer 2008.
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