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Vintage tram used despite axle fault

The Isle of Man's oldest working tram has been taken out of service at the peak of the summer season.

Officials from the Health and Safety Inspectorate have served a prohibition order on the Manx Electric Railway's Tram Number One, after cracks were found in an axle.

However, it's emerged the vehicle was used to take a party of visitors on a trip after the fault had been identified.

Small cracks were found in an axle at the end of last season, but last month the Leisure Division of the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure honoured a long-standing booking by a group which specifically requested a ride in Tram Number One.

The division says it took expert advice and concluded the worst foreseeable consequence of an axle failure would be the tram coming to an immediate halt. The vehicle took the group to Ramsey and back without any problems.

A prohibition notice has now been served on the department by the Health and Safety at Work Inspectorate and since then the tram has been out of use. Further inspections of the axles must be carried out before it can go back into service.

A DCCL spokesperson stressed the notice had not been served on any individual officer, and its redundancy programme had no impact on such engineering work.

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