History

Locomotives, carriages and wagons of Isle of Man prototypes historically have been scratchbuilt in 15mm and 16mm scale by a handful of skilled and hardy modellers / model engineers, although some very limited edition ready-to-run models of engines were commercially made in the 1990's by John Turner (Live Steam model of CALEDONIA) and DJB Model Engineering (Live Steam models of LOCH, MONA, PEVERIL, FENELLA, THORNHILL, G H WOOD & KISSACK amongst others).

John Turner live steam "Caledonia"
DJB Model Engineering live steam "Fenella"(Photograph courtesy of Geoff Munday, Lightline)

DJB Model Engineering also produced in the 1990's a range of IOMR rolling stock kits covering a limited number of the small 'F' bogie carriages, goods 'G' vans, livestock 'K' wagons and a later-type 2-plank ballast 'M' wagon.

DJB early-type Brake Composite Carriage Kit
DJB Cattle Van Kit
DJB later-type M Wagon Kit

The Worsley Works Group has for many years specialised in supplying a wide range of etched brass model railway kits as scratchbuilding aids, including 15mm scale body kits for the ex-MNR Hurst Nelson bogie carriages F.37 & F.38, the bogie 'Pairs' carriages including the Governor's Saloon F.75, the ex-CDR Railcars Nos. 19 & 20, and the 0-4-0 Schoema Diesel locomotive No.17 Viking.

Between 2003 and 2006, much wider interest and enthusiasm in 15mm scale modelling of Isle of Man railways resulted from the introduction by Accucraft UK of ready-to-run DC electric models of IOMR No.5 MONA & No.6 PEVERIL in Indian Red livery, and No.4 LOCH in a Brunswick Green and a more scarce Ailsa Green.

Accucraft UK - DC Electric "Loch"
Accucraft UK - DC Electric "Mona"
Accucraft UK - DC Electric "Loch"

Accucraft UK followed these in 2008 with a DC track powered model of ex-Manx Northern Railway engine CALEDONIA in both original pre-1905 MNR Tuscan Maroon livery and the blue livery carried during the 2000s. The model of CALEDONIA has since been re-released by Accucraft UK in both electric and live steam, also in Indian Red livery.

Accucraft UK - electric MNR No.4 Caledonia
Accucraft UK - live steam IMR No.15 Caledonia

To compliment its growing roster of Manx locomotives, in 2008 Accucraft UK also released ready-to-run models of two of the original types of 4-wheel IOMR passenger carriages. These have since been re-released in both maroon & cream and green & cream liveries.

Accucraft UK - Type B 4-wheel All Third Coach
Accucraft UK - Type C 4-wheel Brake Third Coach

In 2009 Accucraft UK produced a limited edition commission for Victors Models of the IOMR Schoema Diesel No.17 VIKING, a finely detailed DC track powered model.

Accucraft UK - electric Schoema Diesel No.17 Viking

In 2010 Accucraft UK made full use of their 4-wheel coach tooling by producing the three main variations of what are known as the 'Pairs' bogie carriages - the Brake Composite F.54, a standard Composite and an All Third (the latter two having a selection of alternative stock numbers included in the box).

Accucraft UK - Brake Composite 'Pairs' Carriage F.54
Accucraft UK - All Third 'Pairs' Carriage

Complementing these exciting developments from Accucraft UK, the fleet of goods wagons and other vehicles which once operated on the IOMR also became the attention of 15mm scale model development by IP Engineering, renowned for their excellent range of laser cut plywood & white metal fittings carriage and wagon kits.

Introduced in early 2011 was their first offering, a 'G' Van (covered goods) kit, which was followed at the end of 2011 by a 'K' Wagon (covered livestock) kit. The company then added a Wickham Inspection Car to its product range.

IP Engineering - G Goods Van Kit
IP Engineering - K Cattle Wagon Kit
IP Engineering - Wickham Inspection Car

In response to interest from IOM15milgroup members, DJB Model Engineering 'dusted off' the patterns for their small 'F' bogie carriages, offering these in 2012 as complete kits now with laser cut plywood body / roof panels. New to the carriage kit range were the small 'Half-Brake' (F.19 & 20) and the 'Empress' Luggage Vans (F.27 & 28).

DJB 'small' F Brake Composite Carriage Kit
DJB 'small' F Half Luggage Brake Carriage Kit
DJB 'Empress' Luggage Van

Also in 2012, Accucraft UK released a re-developed model of IOMR engine No.6 PEVERIL in both Live Steam and DC track-powered form, both versions carrying the popular Indian Red livery introduced by the IOMR in 1946.

Accucraft UK - live steam no.6 Peveril

Separately developed on the other side of the Altantic by The Train Department were limited edition kits of the three original types of 6-wheel Cleminson carriages (with working underframes) which were of Manx Northern Railway origin and continued in limited use by the IOMR after 1905 amalgamation. The initial kit released in 2012 was the 'All First' carriage, followed in early 2013 by the 'Brake/Composite' carriage and the 'All Third' variant late in 2013.

The Train Department - MNR Cleminson Kits

Available in early Autumn 2015 was the first IOMR wagon ready-to-run, an early-type 'M' Ballast Wagon designed by EMA Heritage, commissioned by TrackShack IOM and produced by Accucraft UK. Quickly to follow from TrackShack IOM was a limited edition 'private owner' 'M' Wagon for the Mona Chemical Company once based in Peel.

Accucraft / Trackshack early-type M Ballast Wagon
Accucraft / Trackshack early-type Asphalt PO Wagon

Back across the Atlantic, The Train Department continued its development of IOMR / MNR rolling stock kits and released in Autumn 2015 a comprehensive kit of the MNR type of 4-wheel Brake Van, complementing their previous Cleminson carriage kits. The IOMR type 'E' Brake Van was also offered as a kit. Both versions could be built with or without the look-out duckets.

The Train Department - MNR 4-wheel Brake Van
The Train Department - IMR 4-wheel Brake Van

In Spring 2016, garden railway building and lineside structure maker Brunel Models applied their skills in creating 15mm scale 'outdoor' models of Port Erin Station building, locomotive and goods sheds, the water tower and the facade of the museum building. Available as finished commission builds or unpainted kits.

Brunel Models - Port Erin Station
Brunel Models - Port Erin Locomotive Shed
Brunel Models - Port Erin Water Tank
Brunel Models - Port Erin Railway Museum Entrance
Brunel Models - Port Erin Station (Street View)
Brunel Models - Port Erin Station Detail

In summer 2016, the Accucraft UK model of IOMR engine No.16 MANNIN (in both Live Steam and DC track-powered form, early Holly Green and later Indian Red livery variants) arrived on retailers' shelves with its bigger boiler and more traditional square cab and were quickly dispatched to customers. The full size prototype in the Port Erin Railway Museum was able to celebrate its 90th birthday with the 15mm scale model alongside.

Accucraft UK - electric IMR no.16 Mannin
Accucraft UK - live steam IMR no.16 Mannin

In 2017, Accucraft UK announced production of IOMR engine No.5 MONA (in Live Steam and DC track-powered form, Ailsa Green and Indian Red liveries), together with a ready-to-run model of the IOMR 'E' Brake Van to match their popular 4-wheel carriages, available in maroon & cream and green & cream liveries, with a limited edition in plain grey livery available through EMA Heritage. These models arrived in 2018.

Accucraft UK - live steam IMR no.5 MONA
Accucraft UK - 4-wheel IMR Brake Van

A model of ex-CDR Railcar No.20 developed by Accucraft UK in conjunction with TrackShack IOM arrived in March 2019 with DC track-powered and R/C battery-powered versions available. The model carries the brighter IMR red livery with cream banding and includes working headlight and interior lights.

Accucraft UK - ex-CDR Railcar no.20

In October 2019, Accucraft UK released a new 'Pairs' carriage - a Half Luggage Brake - by combining the body of their E van with a 4-wheel carriage on a bogie chassis, something that the Isle of Man Railway may well have considered in the 1910s but never implemented having purchased 5 new carriages of a similar type.

Accucraft UK - Half Luggage Brake 'Pairs' Carriage

Released by Accucraft UK in February 2020, a fine model of the early-type Ashbury / Metropolitan covered goods 'G' van with both the 'porthole' vented and unvented versions available. The porthole covers and latches are positionable by the customer depending on preference.

Accucraft UK - IMR Goods Van vented
Accucraft UK - IMR Goods Van unvented

In March 2020 kit manufacturer Bowaters Models launched a new range of 15mm scale laser-cut wooden kits representative of the early small IMR bogie carriages F.1 through to F.12.

Bowaters Models - 'small' F Carriage Kit

Following on from their previous Isle of Man Railway buildings work, Brunel Models produced 15mm scale models of the water tank at Ballasalla in February 2020 and Santon Station building in August 2020.

Brunel Models - Ballasalla Water Tank
Brunel Models - Santon Station

To close out a challenging 2020, a finescale model of the IMR Bolster Wagon was released by EMA Heritage under the brand label Metro-Ashbury Model Works, available as a kit or ready-to-run with the kit build service offered.

EMA Heritage - IMR Bolster Wagon Kit or RTR

In early 2021, Bowaters Models released a laser-cut kit of the 'Foxdale Coach' F.39 (ex MNR 15/17), adding to its growing range of 15mm scale representative IMR / MNR carriage kits.

Bowaters Models - MNR Foxdale Coach Kit

It is pleasing to note that further Isle of Man Railway / Manx Northern Railway locomotive, carriage and wagon types are under development for release in 2022 and beyond.