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The Culdee Fell Crew

The fleet

The Culdee Fell Railway is Sodor's only rack railway. Mr. Walter Richards is the manager, and Lord Harry Barrane is the chairman.

History

The Mid-Sodor Railway planned to create a line up to the Culdee Fell Summit to Kirk Machan, where the MSR would be extended to. Lord Peter Barrane did not want this, as it would disfigure the countryside, and affect his property.

The Skarloey Railway took advantage of the delay by utilising a smaller line to Culdee Fell. Traffic was lost at Kirk Machan and Peel Godred, and the residents asked Lord Peter to rethink the proposition. 

In February of 1897, the land was cut. The project was paid for by The Culdee Fell Tramroad and Hotel Company Ltd., which had formed a year earlier, with Lord Peter as chair.

The line, on the advice of the Snowdon Mountain Railway, used the Abt Rack System. By 1900 the line was being tested by a Board of Trade inspector, aboard engine number four, Culdee.

For a month, all went well. Then, engine number one, Godred, named after Godred MacHarold left the rails at Devil's Back and fell down a ravine. Happily, the passengers remained calm and no one was injured; but Godred, when recovered the next day, was found to be beyond repair. His parts were then used as spares at the sheds.

Since then, the line has run without a major incident, There have been minor mishaps, of course, with Lord Harry, number six, but they are rare.

The line was first run by Godred, Ernest, Wilfred, Culdee, and Shane Dooiney, who arrived on order from Switzerland for the opening of the line. Although well maintained, Culdee and Shaine Dooiney needed heavy overhauls years later. Three engines - Lord Harry, Alaric, and Eric - were later purchased. Lord Harry came first allowing Culdee to be sent off to Europe, and Alaric and Eric arrived six months later, allowing Shane Dooiney to leave for Switzerland.

Line

From Kirk Machan, the train heads east and climbs the summit towards Shiloh, and along the wildlife sanctuary at Poll-ny-Chrink. Afterwards, it makes stops at Skarloey Road, "Devil's Back", and the Culdee Fell Summit. It meets with the North Western Railway at the High Peak Marshaling Yard.

Locomotives and Rolling Stock

The line owns seven steam locomotives. In order of number, they are Ernest, WilfredCuldee, Shane Dooiney, Patrick, Alaric and Eric. An eighth, numbered 1, Godred, was scrapped.

Each locomotive has one coach. Culdee's coach is Catherine. There is also one open-topped coach and a truck.

Appearances

Trivia

  • Before 1964, if an engine needed repairs, it would either be sent to its manufacturer in Switzerland or to an unnamed works in England to be mended. After Shane Dooiney's return from being mended in 1964, all of the repairs were done at the Crovan's Gate Works.

Gallery

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