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Photo Tours &
Railfan Tours

Bosnia Kreaka 33 52 steam Tanago Railfan tours photo charter

The Railways of the Isle of Man

10 - 17 April 2021

The Railways of the Isle of Man

It is a great pleasure to offer a photographic charter visit to the Isle of Man in Spring 2021 to photograph the unique and world-famous Victorian transport system that this island has to offer.

The centrepiece of the charters and the highlight for many enthusiasts will be the Steam Railway which first opened in 1873, where we will be using three and hopefully four historic steam locomotives, subject to all the usual caveats with vintage machinery.

No.4 Loch will be in traffic this year and will be run in by next Spring and this popular loco is expected to appear in Indian Red livery. We will use the legendary No.15 Caledonia – used in the construction of Snaefell Mountain Railway in the 1890s - which is always a hot favourite amongst photographers. We expect No.13 Kissack to make a cameo appearance at some point in the week carrying the lined dark green livery carried by the line’s locomotives for over 70 years from opening up until the 1940s. The contract overhaul of No.11 Maitland is well under way and we hope it will be back in traffic by the time of our visit in Spring 2021.

In addition to the Steam Railway, we will be visiting the Manx Electric Railway, Groudle Glen Railway and Great Laxey Mines Railway for charters and making a visit to the Crogga Valley Railway. We also have a great day of photography lined up at the fantastic open air Isle of Man Folk Museum at Cregneash, plus a day of road transport action around Jurby in the north of the Island to round off what we hope will be another successful and enjoyable visit. All of the above events are confirmed. We also hope we can visit the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway for an early morning charter though because we are not certain whether work on the Promenade will be completed, this is not yet included it in the overall plan.

Railfan Tours Icon
No. of participants Min. 25 - max. 40
Duration 7 days
Meals Breakfast
Price from 1.450 €
Open for bookings Open for bookings
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The programme

Saturday, 10 April 2021
Arrive this morning by ferry from Liverpool, or by air at Ronaldsway Airport. Your hotel will be the Falcons Nest at Port Erin. Transfer to the hotel is not included in the tour price, you may catch a public bus (the bus stop is a mere 100 meters away from the hotel) or take a taxi that will costs around 20 £.

Overnight: The Falcons Nest Hotel, Port Erin.

Sunday 11th April 2021
We have arranged for a charter visit to the Groudle Glen Railway. This proved very successful in 2019 and, in 2021, there will be a new locomotive to photograph now that „Brown Bear“ has entered traffic. In the afternoon, we will visit the Great Laxey Mines Railway for

photography using both of their replica steam locos „Ant“ and „Bee“ and the replica wagons with crews dressed authentically. We are hoping for a night shoot on the Manx Electric Railway at Laxey using Car 21 and Snaefell Mountain Railway Car 4, both of which are in green

livery, in the evening.
Overnight: The Falcons Nest Hotel, Port Erin.

Monday 12th April 2021
We start our charters at the Steam Railway using No.4 Loch and two vintage red and cream coaches. Working out of Douglas, we will start at 12.05 and run until 17.05 before returning to Douglas and then hopefully switching to loco No.13 Kissack for an evening photographic run to Port Soderick and back, up until 19.45 hours.

Overnight: The Falcons Nest Hotel, Port Erin.

Tuesday 13th April 2021
We plan an early start with a 06.30 departure from Douglas so as to be in position to make use of any available light at Ellenbrook and Keristal. If the weather plays ball this can be a stunning session. We will stay out on the line until circa 12.30 when we return to Douglas.

As we have to juggle crew hours and availability on the Steam Railway, we will include an afternoon session on the Manx Electric Railway, with Car 16 in red and the Tower Car booked as our vehicles. We aim to be back in to Derby Castle by 18.00 hours.

Overnight: The Falcons Nest Hotel, Port Erin.

Wednesday 14th April 2021
We will have a full day working out of Douglas using „Caledonia“ with the vintage Manx Northern Railway train. We will have full line occupation on this day and can run at our leisure. We expect to arrive in Port Erin by 18.30 hours.

Overnight: The Falcons Nest Hotel, Port Erin.

Thursday 15th April 2021
We will work out of Port Erin provisionally using No.11 Maitland on a rake of at least four red and cream coaches. Again, we should have full line occupation and will work on getting in as many good locations as we can between Port Soderick and Port Erin. If the weather is good, we will attempt some of the distant shots whilst still catering for those of you who prefer the standard three-quarter frontal shots. As No.11 Maitland is currently being overhauled, its appearance is still provisional.

Overnight: The Falcons Nest Hotel, Port Erin.

Friday 16th April 2021
We will have a full day on the Manx Electric Railway and will aim to get to Ramsey to ensure we have covered the full line during the course of the week. Recently the Royal Saloon, No.59, has been repainted in matching livery with Car 7, so both are now in blue and ivory livery.

Overnight: The Falcons Nest Hotel, Port Erin.

Saturday, 17th April 2021
The railfan part of the tour ends this morning after breakfast. Your transfer back to the airport/harbour is at your own convenience, if you do not stay longer for the sightseeing part of the tour!

We received the request from quite a few participants to offer more than just railfanning activities and we are happy to offer a sightseeing extension: we have 1 day before the railfan tour starts (9.-10. April 2021), plus 4 days after the railfan tour has ended (17.-20. April 2021).


The extra days are:

9th April 2021
arrival on the island, hotel at the Falcons Nest, Port Erin

10th April 2021
The miniature Crogga Valley Railway (privately owned miniature 7¼ inch gauge railway)

17th April 2021
Man Folk Museum

18th April 2021
Road steam at the transportation museums at Jurby

19th April 2021
Free day with an Island Explorer Pass

20th April 2021
Your tour ends after breakfast today. Please let us know if you need help planning your travels to and from the Isle of Man.


Tour prices

Charters only (All charters between 11th and 16th April 2021)

1.450 Euro  (this excludes accommodation, meals, and transfers)

Railfan Tour (Starting on 10th and ending on 17th April 2021)
(including all activities, charters and hotels)

2.240 Euro per person sharing a twin or double room.
2.500 Euro Single room supplement

Full tour (Starting on 09th and ending on 20th April 2021)
(including all activities, charters and hotels)

2.560 Euro per person sharing a twin or double room.
2.900 Euro Single room supplement

Our services (depending on the package booked)

  • Crogga Valley Railway;
  • Groudle Glen Railway;
  • Great Laxey Mines Railway;
  • Laxey Station Night Shoot;
  • Isle of Man steam railway;
  • Manx Electric Railway;
  • Cregneash Open Air Heritage Museum;
  • Road Transport Day, Jurby;
  • Tourist Day with one day railcard - Monday 19th April;
  • All necessary transfers;
  • Accommodation and meals according to the itinerary;
  • Experienced Tanago tour guide;

Minimum bookings required to confirm the tour: 25.

Not included are Tips, other meals, personal expenses, travel to and from the hotel before and after the tour.

This itinerary will be quoted to us in £ and currency fluctuations may occur. We reserve the right to adapt our € selling price to the acutal exchange rates, if necessary.


This is a reasonably conservative programme based on our best expectations of which locos will be in traffic in Spring 2021. There may be short notice failures on one or other of the locos which happens occasionally, but all of the details are given in good faith and both the organizer and the Railways will do all we can to ensure the programme is delivered as planned.

Please note that for the charters on the Steam Railway it is essential to wear high visibility orange jackets of Class 2 safety level or above to gain access to the lineside. It is a rule that the Railways insist on, so please advise if you do not have a jacket prior to the trip and we can arrange for one to be provided.

The aim is for an enjoyable trip which provides lots of excellent photographic opportunities thrown in for good measure. As with all heritage rail tours, the locomotives and rolling stock may not be available. The most appropriate and available alternatives will be substituted. The information in this website is subject to change. As is common with all steam railway charters, circumstances may change and the locomotives and railways may become unavailable. In such circumstances, the best effort will be made to provide comparable substitutes.