The Isle of Man Railway between Douglas and Ramsey via St. John's. This page continues our coverage of this former 3 ft. gauge line, closed to passengers in 1968, through Kirk Michael and on towards St. John's; the section from Ballaugh to Kirk Michael is covered in Photo Gallery 92.

Above: Kirk Michael station was once a popular destination for visitors to the nearby Glen Wyllin Pleasure Grounds; it now serves as the local fire station. The pleasure grounds were developed in response to the railway's arrival in the 19th century, and featured a boating lake, a merry-go-round, various attractions and the adjoining beach. The site survives as a campsite with a shop, and features two stone built piers which once carried the railway high overhead. 25th June 2014. (Neil Hebborn)

Above: An attractive study of Kirk Michael station in rather better weather than our photographer enjoyed. The rails in the tarmac are original, but commentators are in doubt as to the authenticity of the level crossing gate and grass-covered rails in the foreground: Nick Catford of Subterranea Britannica (a reliable source) reports that the gate is original and the track relaid. The fire tender can just be seen in the former goods shed. Like Ballaugh to the north, this station was also very well situated in its village. 14th March 2009. (Andy Stephenson used under the terms of this Creative Commons Licence)
Above: The bridge which carries the A4 across the line near looks as if the original edge beams and parapet walls have been retained and a new concrete box 'tunnel' constructed within. West Berk Halt was situated just over a quarter of a mile beyond. 25th June 2014. (Neil Hebborn)
Above: A few signs along the route provide details of the railway's history and how its trackbed came to form a public footpath. 'This public footpath follows part of the old Steam Railway line from Douglas to Ramsey via St. John's. This part of the line was opened in 1879 by the Manx Northern Railway Co. and was amalgamated with the Isle of Man Railway Co. Ltd. in 1905. The line finally closed in 1968 and the permanent way was removed in 1974. The land is now owned by the Government Property Trustees who have dedictated a Public Footpath from here to St. Germans Halt. 3½ MLS'. It looks as if the signwriter squeezed in the mileage as an afterthought; he also got the station name wrong, for the railway called it 'St. Germains'. 25th June 2014. (Neil Hebborn)
Above: This overbridge carries the main A4 road across the trackbed for a second time, here at Ooig Mooar (grid reference SC 293881). In reality, this bridge is now a tunnel with a corrugated metal liner, although this is undoubtedly a 're-construction' from the earlier overbridge structure. 25th June 2014. (Neil Hebborn)
Above: St. Germains Halt is situated at SC 270855 on the north side of the A4, which the railway used to cross by means of a level crossing. As can be seen, the halt was equipped with a substantial sandstone building in the same style as that at Kirk Michael. Unlike other stations on this line, St. Germains was situated in the middle of nowhere. Looking at the local map, the name 'Peel Road' suggests itself, but the railway had already used that for the next station to the south. For the benefit of any readers unfamiliar with the nuances of station naming, the 'Road' suffix filled bygone passengers with dread, for it usually warned of a long walk to civilisation. 25th June 2014. (Neil Hebborn)
Above: Parallel river bridges west of St John's. The bridge on the left carried the old Ramsey line, which is slightly higher at this point since it is coming down off an embankment. The bridge on the right carried the Peel to Douglas line. As can be seen from the wooden decking, the rain has returned. 25th June 2014. (Neil Hebborn)
Above: We conclude the coverage of this walk with an archive photograph of St. John's station, taken in 1971, just three years after the line had closed. St. John's was an important station, for it was here that trains from Douglas were divided into separate portions for Peel and Ramsey; it was also here that branch line trains set off on the Foxdale branch. All this might suggest that a significant railway presence was called for, but – as can be seen – St. John's station was no Crewe of Manx, nor even a Melton Constable of Manx! 17th August 1971. (Dr. Neil Clifton used under the terms of this Creative Commons Licence)