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Passenger numbers boosted by Victorian Extravaganza 6 July 2011

The Victorian Extravaganza staged over the weekend (2-3 July) saw hundreds of residents and visitors turn out to enjoy the festivities.

Victorian Extravaganza official re-opening with Minister andMore than 300 travelled the five miles from Laxey Station to Snaefell Summit on the first seven mountain trams on Saturday (2 July) to attend the official re-opening of the Snaefell Summit facilities by Hon David Cretney MHK, Minister for Community Culture and Leisure.

Overall, more than 850 people travelled on the Snaefell Mountain Railway during the weekend and more than 700 journeyed on the Manx Electric Railway.

Minister Cretney commented:

‘The Victorian Extravaganza was a new event staged by the Railways Division and I am sure it will be repeated. It was pleasing so many people wanted to attend the opening and the feedback about the new facilities at the Summit has been extremely positive. There is a definite ‘wow factor’ and I believe such reinvestment is essential to secure the future of our heritage railways and ensure we cater for the expectations of today’s visitors.’

The Department of Community, Culture and Leisure is half way through a £3million track replacement scheme on Snaefell Mountain Railway and has invested around £300,000 in a complete refurbishment of the Snaefell Summit facilities, including the provision of underfloor heating, water filtration, a new commercial kitchen and the installation of new toilet facilities. The walls are decorated with pictures taken from the IoM Arts Council Loan Collection, including seven Chris Killip photographs and three Norman Sayle prints.

In his speech at the summit, Mr Cretney revealed that traffic figures were up 15% to more than 41,300 during the 2010 season. Since opening the railways at Easter in 2011, earlier than previous years, passenger figures are already 5,000 passengers ahead of this time last year, figures that will be boosted by this weekend and forthcoming special events on the heritage railways.

These include:

Family Fun Weekend 6 -7 August

Douglas Steam Railway station will become the base for families looking for a fun day out. Take the kids to the bouncy castle, Disco Dome and Gladiator Challenge. There will be face painters, a colouring in tent, ice cream and much much more! Free admission and a great way to start or end a trip on the steam railway.

Island at War 20 – 21 August

STEP BACK IN TIME and join us for an action-packed weekend of unique 1940s wartime events. Centred around the Isle of Man Steam Railway, your wartime experience begins with a visit to the Home Guard’s military outpost at Douglas Station. Issued with your papers, travel to Port Erin station for a V.E. Day tea party to soak up the sights and sounds of the era. With a displays of 1940s memorabilia, vehicles and equipment, live big band music and a money exchange, the Island at War weekend will delight all lovers of this classic period.

Summit Dining

The popular Sunset Dinners have returned and are available on Wednesday and Friday nights until 9 September, book early to ensure your seat and sit back, relax and raise a glass from the highest point on the Isle of Man.

New for 2011 are our Seven Kingdom Lunches, the newly refurbished Summit restaurant now offers a great Sunday lunch menu.

For booking and enquires on Sunset Dinners, Seven Kingdoms lunch and Pie in the Sky, please visit Douglas Steam Railway station or call (01624) 673623.

Photos from the weekend’s Victorian Extravaganza can be viewed on the Department’s website. Click on the photos below to view full size images.

Victorian Extravaganza at Snaefell Cafe with Minister CretneVictorian Extravaganza at the refurbished Snaefell Mountain Victorian Extravaganza  with Victoria and Guests
Punch and Judy showheritage rail photographer end of worldMore Victorian curiosities
heritage victorian full teamheritage victorian queen soldier companions tramVictorian curiosities

Laxey Station was the focal point of the celebrations with Red Coat soldiers on parade, a Victorian photographer, Punch and Judy shows from plus displays of vintage vehicles and fair rides. An additional attraction was the Travelling Museum of Curiosities and Wonderment.

The Extravaganza extended to Ramsey with a vintage double decker bus providing shuttle runs between Ramsey tram station and the Grove, Milntown House and the Transport Museum at Jurby.

For more details on forthcoming events go to www.iombusandrail.info

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