Books and other merchandise

There are a number of publications available which relate to the Mine railway and other local railways. These are listed below and can be obtained from good bookshops in the Island. Some books are no longer in print and as such to obtain a copy it will be necessary to seach on the internet or in a good second hand bookshop. 

Some bookshops on the Island have there own websites and a few are liusted here with hyperlinks:

Bridge Bookshop:

Lilly Publications:


The Great Laxey Mine

Author: Andrew Scarffe

Publisher: The Manx Heritage Foundation

Published: 2004

ISBN 10: 095471802X  ISBN 13: 9780954718022

Pages: 232 Size: 26cm x 36cm Hardback


Celebrating 150 years of history, this fascinating, in-depth, large-format book looks at the the Great Laxey Mine from its very beginnings. Lavishly illustrated with archive photographs, detailed maps and original plans for the Lady Isabella Wheel.


The Magic Tunnel

Author: Edith Quaggin

Publisher: Wellfield Publications, Onchan, Isle of Man. IM3 1LT

Published: 2018

ISBN 9781911177388

Pages: 34 Size 21cm x 21cm Paperback 


Ant and Bee are the two replica steam engines at the Great Laxey Mine Railway who fool around in their shed one night and end up travelling back in time through the magic tunnel (the present-day tunnel still used by the Railway).  They talk to one another about the miners and going into the mine to transport the lead ore to the washing floors where women and children work outside in dirty conditions.  The story ends when the engines come back to the present-time. 

The book is part-fact and part-fiction, is beautifully illustrated throughout by the author and has parallel texts in both Manx and English. This publication has been supported by


The Lady Isabella Waterwheel of the Great Laxey Mining Company, Isle of Man

Author    Anders Jespersen

Publisher  Anders Jespersen, Virum, Denmark. 1970

Published: 1970 (3rd edition)

No ISBN number as privately published

Pages  96    Size 22cm X 30cm  Card Covers


The only detailed account of the Laxey Wheel on the Isle of Man - its technology, associated watercourses and mine pumps. 95pp plus fold out plans etc. Privately published by the Author in Denmark, there are three editions. Now out of print but can be found on good second hand book websites and shops.


The Railways and Tramways of Laxey

Author: Andrew Scarffe

Publisher  Mannin Media Group Ltd

Published  2014

ISBN  9780956455390

Pages: 174 Size: 22cm x 30cm Hardback



One hundred and fifty years ago Laxey was home to one of the richest lead mines in Britain. In one year the Great Laxey Mine produced over 11,000 tons of zinc ore, as much as all the other mines in Britain added together! In this book Laxey resident and historian Andrew Scarffe relates the many tramways and railways which were associated with the Great Laxey Mine plus a few that were proposed but never built.

Uniquely in British mining, Great Laxey used two tiny steam locomotives, Ant and Bee, to haul the mined ore from deep underground to the Washing Floors, where the ore was prepared for sale. Both were unfortunately scrapped in the 1930s following the closure of the mine. Seventy years later the Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust began the restoration of the surface section of the former tramway using replicas of the original locomotives. To bring the history of Laxey's tramways fully up to date, the story of the rebirth of the Great Laxey Mine Railway, as it is known, is fully related.

Laxey's harbour facilities were poor and a number of steam railways connecting Douglas with Laxey were proposed. This book also recalls the fascinating and unfulfilled proposals. When a railway was eventually built, somewhat ironically it was to be an electric tramway for tourists and the Great Laxey Mine was ignored. Previously unpublished information describes the construction of the famous Manx Electric Railway.

Lavishly illustrated throughout, almost all of the photographs, plans and builders drawings have not been previously published. 


Railways and Tramways of the Isle of Man

Author: Ted Gray

Publisher: Past & Present Publishing Ltd, Kettering.

Published: 2008

ISBN 10:  1858951968  ISBN 13: 9781858951996

Pages: 128   Size: 18cm x 24cm  Cardback



The Isle of Man enjoys a wide variety of railed transport. This book features comparative views of various routes, including the Isle of Man Railway, the Manx Electric Railway, the Snaefell Mountain Railway, the Great Laxey Mine Railway and the Groudie Glen Railway.


Narrow Guage Branch Lines: Douglas - Laxey - Ramsey

Author: Tom Heavyside

Publisher: Middleton Press           

Published: 2010

ISBN 10:  1906008752  ISBN 13: 9781906008758

Pages: 96   Size: 175mm x 235mm  Hardback



The Manx Electric Railway was a pioneer in electric traction and has become a national icon. In this book a full length journey is enjoyed from Douglas to Ramsey together with visits to the Douglas Horse Tramway, the Groudle Glen Railway, the Snaefell Mountain Railway, the Great Laxey Mine Railway and the Ramsey Pier Tramway. Illustrated throughout with both historical and up to date photographs.


Trains and Trams of the Isle of Man (Second Edition)

Author: Barry Edwards

Publisher: Lily Publications          

Published: 2010

ISBN 10:  1899602437  ISBN 13: 9781899602438

Pages: 160   Size: 225mm x 285mm  Hardback



This book is an up-to-date photographic survey of the eight surviving railways of the Isle of Man. The oldest of these had its beginnings in 1823, the youngest is hardly out of its infancy.

The photographic journey is accompanied by informative captions supported by a short historical text describing each of the railways.

Detailed maps and a complete fleet list complement this title, making it one of interest to railway enthusiasts across the world as well as many of the visitors to the Isle of Man who want a lasting souvenir of their journey on one or more of the heritage railways.

This Second Edition, published in October 2015, contains over 80 new photographs and many that were previously in monochrome are now reproduced in colour. A small selection of colour images of the closed steam lines have also been included, none of which have been published before. Each of the text sections has been updated to September 2015 and a couple have been almost entirely re-written following further research. Finally, the fleet list is also revised and correct to September 2015.


Laxey - Home to the World's Largest Working Waterwheel

Author: Andrew Scarffe

Publisher  Lily Publications, Isle of Man

Published  December 2014

ISBN 9781907945700

Pages: 96 Size 21cm x 21cm Hardback



Laxey or Laksaa in Manx, is a village on the east coast of the Isle of Man. Its name has been derived from the Old Norse Laxa meaning 'Salmon River'. Local historian Andrew Scarffe has researched this publication and gives the reader a wonderful insight to Laxey in the bygone years. The author has written a brief history of the village and its surrounding districts, together with an overview of the popular historical sites which are now visited by thousands of people a year, accumulating this together with a wealth photographs and captions. 


Lonan: A collection of images through the years.

Author: Andrew Scarffe

Publisher: Lily Publications Ltd.

Published: December 2016


Pages XX Size XXcm x XXcm  Hardback




The Story of Laxey Flour

Author: Andrew Scarffe

Publisher: The Manx Experience

Published: November 2010

ISBN 10: 0956455328   ISBN 13: 9780956455321

Pages 96 Size 17cm x 25cm  Paperback


This book tells the story of the shaping of the Mill by the personalities involved and the vagaries of business which are all traced in what is an absorbing read - as well as a carefully researched historical, technical and social record of 150 memorable years of Laxey Flour Mills which is the miller of the finest quality, additive-free flour available in the British Isles.