Station Name: KIRK MICHAEL

[Source: Paul Wright]

Date opened: 23.9.1879
Location: North side of Station Road.
Company on opening: Manx Northern Railway
Date closed to passengers: 6.9.1968
Date closed completely: 6.9.1968
Company on closing: Isle of Man Railway
Present state: Station building and goods shed still extant and in use as a Fire Station. A section of track can still be seen embedded in the road at the site of the level crossing. One level crossing gate is extant (assumed original) and a short length of track has been relaid on the south side of the crossing.
County: Isle of Man
OS Grid Ref: SC316908
Date of visit: 21.7.2006

Notes: Kirk Michael opened on the 23.9.1879 as part of the Manx Northern Railways St John’s to Ramsey line. In common with other Manx Northern stations that opened with the line Kirk Michael station had a substantial sandstone station building that was situated on the east side of the station site. The station was situated in the village of Kirk Michael on the north side of Station Road.

Kirk Michael station was provided with a passing loop from its opening but the loop was extended across the level crossing in 1883. The station did not have raised platforms. Instead track was ballasted up to rail level which was a common feature on the Isle of Man network. The station was provided with a goods shed and one siding.

Initially most train services operated to St John’s and Ramsey with some services going on to Douglas via the Isle of Man Railways Douglas to Peel line. Shorter services operated from Kirk Michael to Ramsey and return. On the 19.4.1905 the Manx Northern Railway was taken over by the Isle of Man Railway and from then on many more services went directly to Douglas from Kirk Michael.

Just to the south of Kirk Michael Station was an attractive Manx Glen called Glen Wyllin. In the 1890’s it was laid out as a pleasure ground and linked to the station by a footpath. Many people travelled to the Glen by rail and in 1935 it was purchased by the Isle of Man Railway who enhanced it even further by putting in
tennis courts, bowling greens, a boating lake and an area for dancing. No doubt this was in order to encourage even more use of the St Johns to Ramsey line.

The Manx Railway system was very busy well into the second half of the 20th century but by the 1950’s traffic levels began to decline as less holidaymakers visited the island and road transport competition started to make its presence felt.

The St John’s to Ramsey line along with all of its stations was closed completely on the 13th November 1965. It re-opened to passenger services in 1967 but closed again on the 6th September 1968 this time for good. The line passing through Kirk Michael was used for a freight service of oil tanks until October1969 after which all traffic ceased. The line was lifted in 1974. Today a footpath and cycleway pass through the site and the station buildings are used as a Fire Station.

Further reading: Isle of Man Classic Steam by Robert Robotham published by Colourpoint 1998. Old colour photographs of the Isle of Man Railways - ISBN 1 898392 43 9
Douglas to Ramsey by Tom Heavyside - Middleton Press 2004 - ISBN 978 1 904474 39 5
Isle of Man Railways Vol. 1 Pre 1873 - 1904, Vol 2 1905 - 1994 & Vol. 3 by J I C Boyd - the definitive history of the Isle of Man railways - Oakwood Press.

Click here for a comprehensive list of books, magazines and videos about the Isle of Man railways.

Other web sites: Narrow Gauge Heaven - includes old colour photographs

Click here for a brief history of the Isle of Man Railways

To see other stations on the St. Johns - Ramsey line click on the station name:
St. Johns, Peel Road, St. Germain's, Gob-y-Deigan, West Berk Level Crossing,
Kirk Michael, Bishops Court, Ballaugh, Ballavolley Halt, Sulby Glen, Sulby Bridge, Lezayre & Ramsey

Kirk Michael Station in 1947
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Railcars 19 and 20 at Kirk Michael with a Ramsey service in August 1964
Photo by D J Mitchell, copyright Colour-Rail

Kirk Michael Station in September 1966, 10 months after closure
Photo by Roger Shimmin

Kirk Michael Station looking south west in June 1974
hoto by Tim Stephens

Kirk Michael Station looking north east in July 2006. This is not original track and was relaid on the site in recent years to mark the site of the railway
hoto by Paul Wright

Click on thumbnail to enlarge




[Source: Paul Wright]

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