Arlesburgh West, also known as Arlesburgh Junction, is a seaside town on Sodor's west coast based on both sides of the River Arle Estuary. The town is served by both the North Western and Arlesdale railways.
History and Workings
The Railway Series
Arlesburgh is an ancient port. As its name implies it was a burgh or fortified town at the mouth of the River Arle. Situated opposite Douglas on the Isle of Man, it is likewise a deep water harbour formed by the same geological rift. It was probably stockaded first by King Godred MacHarold. King Godred Crovan strengthened it as a base for his first and unsuccessful takeover attempt on the Isle of Man in 1075.
Arlesburgh has withstood many sieges, not always successfully, but the town has generally held out long enough to enable second lines of defence at Gob-y-Deighan (Devil’s mouth), and Ulfstead to be put in a state of readiness to repel unwanted visitors. Following the Island’s acceptance of Henry IV in 1404, Arlesburgh’s defences were no longer needed, and fell into disrepair. Very little now remains.
The place has always been a port, and had a period of high prosperity in the 18th Century when mining began in Arlesdale. This rose to a peak from 1880 to 1930 when Arlesburgh was a recognised calling place for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s steamers from Douglas and Ramsey. The Mid Sodor Railway, operated a boat train service in connection with the steamers. The town became the port for the inland Peel Godred
The North Western Railway built a branch line from Tidmouth to here in 1916, it was initially intended to reach Harwick but this was dropped when the Admiralty found the line to Arlesburgh sufficient. The extension was again considered during the 1940s, but again was dropped. A naval base was established at Arlesburgh during the First World War.
The steamer service ended when the Mid Sodor closed its passenger service in 1936, and when the last mine in the valley closed in 1947, the port fell into sad decay. Revival began in 1965/66 when the NWR decided to use the port as a supplement to Tidmouth. They relaid the harbour extension, built new jetties, and installed up to date dockside equipment. The 15” gauge Arlesdale Railway, opened in 1967, does not generate much port traffic, as the ballast it carries is taken away by rail, but it does bring visitors and therefore trade to an interesting old town which is a useful starting point for the exploration of a very lovely valley.
The Arlesdale Railway also has their own steam engine shed, diesel engine shed, carriage shed, turntable and yard at the station. It had a single platform on the south at first, but it has been supplemented by another on the north side of the station. A wall behind its whole length was erected together with a platform canopy giving much needed shelter in blustery weather. There is also a cabin that not only houses the point and signal levers controlling all movements in the station area, but is also used for traffic control and holds the radio transceiving apparatus necessary for this purpose.
Thomas & Friends
Sir Topham Hatt had decided to extend to the North Western Railway to Harwick with a branch line starting at Arlesburgh West. Ryan was assigned to look after the goods traffic, whilst Daisy took care of the passengers.
Sir Topham Hatt had decided to construct a branch line starting at Elsbridge and terminating at Arlesburgh West. Hank was assigned to look after the passenger trains, while Levi was assigned to look after the goods traffic.