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Snaefell Mountain Railway

Snaefell Mountain Railway
Snaefell Mountain Railway
Snaefell Mountain Railway
Geolocation Data
At the top of Snaefell, Isle of Man (54°15′43″N, 4°27′45″W)

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Snaefell Mountain Railway
The Snaefell Mountain Railway (Manx: Raad-Yiarn Sniaull) is an electric mountain railway on the Isle of Man in Europe. It joins the village of Laxey with the summit of Snaefell, at 620 metres (2,034 ft) above sea level the highest point on the island. It connects with the Manx Electric Railway (MER) in Laxey.

The line is 5 miles (8.0 km) long, built to 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge and uses a Fell Incline Railway System centre rail for braking on the steep gradients. It is electrified using overhead wires at 550 volts direct current, with bow collectors.

The line was originally surveyed by George Nobel Fell, the son of John Barraclough Fell who invented the Fell system. This survey was for a steam-operated railway using the Fell centre rail for both propulsion and braking, and the scheme was approved by Tynwald in 1888 but not built.

In 1895 the Snaefell Mountain Railway Association (SMRA) revived the plans, and adopted the route of the earlier survey. As the line was built entirely on land leased by the association there was no need for statutory powers, and the line was constructed very quickly and opened on 20 August 1895 (during construction the Line was laid as a Mixed Gauge Route of both 3' and 3'6" with construction work being undertake using the Six Coupled Manx Northern Railway 4/IMR15 Caledonia - the 3' third rail was temporarily reinstated for the centenary to allow Cale, now fitted with a Hydraulic Fell Brake to return to the mountain propelling an MER saloon coach). The line was built from scratch as an electric railway without Fell traction equipment, relying on normal rail adhesion for propulsion up the steep gradients, however they are fitted with Fell braking equipment for use when descending
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