Caledonia Returns to Knockaloe

23-24 July 2023

This summer, as part of an amazing week-long festival of the Island's heritage railways, we are absolutely delighted to be bringing a very special old lady back to the site where she worked so hard helping to feed and fuel the camp just over 100 years ago - the wonderful original Knockaloe engine, Caledonia.

This year she will be returning, not in steam but on display alongside the Knockaloe Internment Camp driveway, where her line ran just over 100 years earlier, during WW1, until it was dismantled in the early 1920's.Image of Caledonia by the Charity when we visited her in February 2018 in the Douglas engine sheds

This original engine was the lifeline for Knockaloe Camp and we are delighted to be exhibiting her in a static display for two days in association with Isle of Man Transport. This unique spectacle will offer a wealth of photographic opportunities and the opportunity to learn more about the history of the camp and the life that its civilian prisoners created within its 695 miles of barbed wire during WWI.

This two-day event at Knockaloe consists of a Family Day and a Tour Day and is part of a fabulous week-long festival on the Island celebrating 150 glorious years of the Isle of Man Steam Railway, which first opened for passenger services on Tuesday 1st July 1873 between Douglas and Peel, together with 130 years of The Isle of Man Electric railway.

She is far too special not to have her very own WW1 Guard who will keep us all in check for our special Family Day to be held on Sunday 23 July 2023 when you will be able to take part in our family quiz which guides you around the Centre, site of Knockaloe Camp, and graveyard, for which one lucky family will win a very appropriate prize. Or pop down to see her in situ on the morning of 24 July 2023 when the Centre will, again, be especially opening and we shall be provide hourly talks around our 1:500 scale model of the Camp.

The Knockaloe Charitable Trust is delighted to have funded this unique visit which forms part of an amazing celebration of 150 years of the fabulous Isle of Man Steam Railway and 130 years of the Isle of Man Electric Railway. The Year of the Railways Festival runs from Saturday 23rd July until Sunday 30th July 2023 with a fabulous jam-packed program of events, topped and tailed by two very special days celebrating each of these incredible heritage railways.

Caledonia, at the entrance to Knockaloe Camp. This year she will be returning, not in steam but on display, to recreate this image of her on the line up the main driveway through the Camp. This image also shows the notice boards at the entrance to the camp forbidding access to the public and warning them not to loiter near the camp. (Image Courtesy of MNH PG/5291/9a).

Constructed specifically for the WW1 internment camp, the newly built Knockaloe railway line was brought into use in September 1915 in order to provide transportation of goods, including food and fuel, from boats moored at Peel Quay directly into the Knockaloe Camp which held up to 23,000 internees and 2,000 Guards at any one time. The 1 mile and 6 chains long Knockaloe railway line was funded by the British Government and was in use until 1920. ‘Caledonia’ was the Island’s only engine able to manage the line’s incline and, at the Camp’s peak, was making an average of 18 round trips per day.

The Caledonia at Knockaloe events are free of charge, however donations are always very welcome. Caledonia being at Knockaloe is funded by The Knockaloe Charitable Trust which operates the Visitors Centre. Isle of Man Registered Charity No 1272.
The full itinerary can be viewed online by following this link:
Tickets for the Transport Festival can be purchased by following this link:



Caledonia at Knockaloe Family Day - Sunday 23 July 2023

For the very first time, the Knockaloe Centre for WW1 Internment is delighted to be bringing the wonderful original Knockaloe engine, M.N.R No.4 ‘Caledonia’ back on the long drive in the position of the former track bed, just where she used to be just over 100 years ago, and of course she will be joined by our very own Royal Defence Corp Camp Guard.

The day will have a family focus, with the opportunity to have special family photographs taken alongside the loco as well as a family quiz to guide your visit around the site of the Camp and internee graves, with a very appropriate prize for the winning family.

The Visitors Centre will be opening especially for Caledonia on display from 10am until 5pm. Inside the Visitors Centre we will have a special new permanent exhibit item for the Centre, and you will be able to find out more about both the Knockaloe line and the story of internment. The Centre incorporates audio visual imagery, its wonderful collection of stories and artefacts and its 1:500 scale model of the Camp.

Ramsey Philatelic Services will be on site with a selection of commemorative postal covers available.

A vintage Manx bus will operate as a shuttle bus from Peel Coach Park to Knockaloe; this will operate on the hour from Peel to Knockaloe and on the half hour from Knockaloe to Peel. The first shuttle will depart Peel Coach Park adjacent to The Manx Transport Heritage Museum at 11:00. The first shuttle from Knockaloe into Peel will operate at 11:30. Final departures for the day will be at 16:00 from Peel and 16:30 from Knockaloe.

Additionally, in association with The Manx Transport Heritage Museum, I.M.R NO.8 ‘Fenella’ will be placed onto the track panel and available to view from 10:30 until 16:00. Although this isn’t the first time a locomotive has visited Peel since the closure in 1968 it’s a significant occasion on the 150th anniversary year of the line. The Manx Transport Heritage Museum will be open throughout the day showcasing artefacts including a 1964 Peel P50 car manufactured by Peel Engineering Viking Works.

FREE for all to attend. Donations welcomed to both The Knockaloe Visitors Centre and The Manx Transport Heritage Museum. Vintage Shuttle Bus journeys £2 per adult and £1 per child for a return trip. Caledonia being at Knockaloe is funded by The Knockaloe Charitable Trust Isle of Man Registered Charity No 1272.

Caledonia at Knockaloe Tour Day – Monday 24 July 2023

Why not come down for your very last chance to see M.N.R. No.4 ‘Caledonia’ on static display at Knockaloe Camp.

The Visitors Centre will be opening especially for Caledonia on display from 10am until circa 2pm when Caledonia is due to depart. The Charity’s team will be providing hourly short talks around the 1:500 scale model of Knockaloe Camp, exploring what life was like within the Camp and how ‘Caledonia’ provided a vital lifeline for its inhabitants then have a wander around the exhibition and site taking the opportunity to be photographed with the original Knockaloe Engine, back in situ where she had been so critical to the running of the Camp during WW1.

At c.14:00, the Centre will close and ‘Caledonia’ will be loaded onto a waggon and leave the Camp for her return journey back to Douglas Station.

FREE for all to attend. Donations welcomed to The Knockaloe Visitors Centre. Caledonia being at Knockaloe is funded by The Knockaloe Charitable Trust which operates the Visitors Centre Isle of Man Registered Charity No 1272.

The Monday will also see Knockaloe welcoming the CLOSED LINES BUS TOUR organised by Isle of Man Transport and guided by the Heritage Railway Volunteers Group: The bus leaves Douglas Railway Station at 09:00 with a commentary along the way. Highlights will include visiting us here at the Knockaloe Camp Line where M.N.R No.4 ‘Caledonia’ is currently on display, The Manx Northern Railway Stations and the former Peel Station. Following lunch we trace the route of the Manx Northern Railway to Ramsey, stopping at the Wild Life Park en route for a chance to ride on the Orchid Line Miniature Railway and finishing with Ramsey Queen’s Pier. Guides from the Heritage Railway Volunteers Group will accompany the tour. Meet at Douglas Railway Station at 08:45, returns by 17:00. This tour includes several walking sections that will not be suitable to those with limited mobility. A packed lunch is advisable. £25. To book online visit:  or call the Welcome Centre 01624 66252.

Charity photograph of the Closed Lines Bus Tour in 2022.