Douglas Bay Horse Tramway
|Douglas Bay Horse Tramway
Raad Yiarn Cabbyl Vaie Ghoolish
|Roofed Toastrack No. 35, Loch Promenade|
|Locale||Douglas, Isle of Man|
|Terminus||Derby Castle / Victoria Pier|
|Name||Douglas Bay Horse Tramway|
|Built by||Thomas Lightfoot|
|Original gauge||3 ft (914 mm)|
|Owned by||Douglas Town Council|
|Operated by||Douglas Corporation Transport|
|Stations||Various (Hail & Ride)|
|Length||1.6 miles (2.6 km)|
|1st May 1876||"Official" Opening|
|2nd January 1900||Takeover, Douglas Corporation|
|30th September 1927||Winter Service Terminated|
|28th September 1939||Closed For Duration|
|1st May 1946||Seasonal Services Resumed|
|9th August 1956||80th Anniversary|
|7th August 1976||Centenary Parade|
|7th August 2011||135th Anniversary|
|7th August 2016||140th Anniversary|
The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway on the Isle of Man runs along the seafront promenade for approximately 1.6 miles (2.6 km), from the southern terminus at the Victoria Pier, adjacent to the Sea Terminal, to Derby Castle, the southern terminus of the Manx Electric Railway, where the workshops and sheds are located. It a distinctive tourist attraction.
The tramway was built and initially operated by Thomas Lightfoot, a retired civil engineer from Sheffield. His service was introduced in 1876 between the bottom of what is now Summer Hill and the bottom of Broadway in the centre of today's promenade adjacent to the Villa Marina. In the earlist days the track was expanded, passing loops and long crossovers added so that by 1891 the line ran double track the entire length of the promenade much as it does today. From opening it has operated every year, except for a period during the Second World War.,
In 1882, Lightfoot sold the line to Isle of Man Tramways Ltd, later the Isle of Man Tramways & Electric Power Co. Ltd, which also owned the Manx Electric Railway. The company went into liquidation in 1900 as a consequence of a banking collapse. The tramway was sold by the liquidator to Douglas Corporation (now Douglas Borough Council) in 1902. Since 1927 the tramway has run in summer only.
In 2015 Douglas Borough Council partnered with Isle of Man Transport to introduce the 'Ticketer' system as used across the Island's other public transport systems. On board a Ticketer hand-held unit connects with the island-wide contactless Go Cards and individual tickets can also be purchased.
The tramway is 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge, double track throughout, running down the middle of the road. Service is provided by 23 tramcars and some 45 horses. There have been several types of tramcar, and at least one of each type has been retained. Most services are maintained by "closed toastracks", with winter saloons and open toastracks also in semi-regular service. In summer trams are stabled outdoors overnight adjacent to the Terminus Tavern public house, and there is a purpose-built tramshed where they are stored in winter. In 2014 it was announced by the Isle of Man Government's Department of Infrastructure that during 2015 the horse tram service along the seafront would be temporarily suspended while resurfacing work on the prom continued into its next phase, which runs from Regent Street to Strathallen. However, the plans were later revised, allowing regular horse tram operation to take place in 2015, and the 2015 operating season began on 11 May.
The remaining core of service trams represents a cross-section of various types of car used on the line over the years; notable exceptions from the current fleet are an umbrella car (one of which survives as a souvenir shop elsewhere) and a convertible car, although one of these survives in private ownership. This is the last of three cars from 1935 which were dubbed "tomato boxes" owing to their unconventional appearance.
|No. 1 (ii)||1913||G.F. Milnes-Voss & Co., Ltd.||Enclosed Saloon||30||Replacement Car, No Advertising|
|No. 12||1888||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||42||Blue Livery, Ornamental Lamps, No Advertising|
|No. 18||1883||Metropolitan Carriage & Wagon Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||52||Converted Single Deck 1904, Returned Double-Deck 1989, Okell's Advertising|
|No. 21||1900||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||42||Extended, Manx Electric Railway Society Advertising|
|No. 27||1892||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Enclosed Saloon||38||No Advertising|
|No. 28||1892||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Enclosed Saloon||38||No Advertising|
|No. 29||1892||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Enclosed Saloon||38||No Advertising|
|No. 32||1894||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Roofed Toastrack||44||Promenade Embroidery Advertising|
|No. 33||1894||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Roofed Toastrack||44||Atholl Rent-A-Car Advertising|
|No. 34||1894||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Roofed Toastrack||44||Blank|
|No. 36||1894||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Roofed Toastrack||44||Conister Bank Advertising|
|No. 37||1894||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Roofed Toastrack||44||Orchard Recruitment Advertising|
|No. 38||1894||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Roofed Toastrack||44||Manx Electric Railway Society Advertising|
|No. 39||1902||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||42||H.S.B.C. Advertising|
|No. 39||1902||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||42||H.S.B.C. Advertising|
|No. 40||1902||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||38||Awaiting Attention|
|No. 43||1907||United Electric Car Co., Ltd.||Roofed Toastrack||44||Charles Taylor Advertising|
|No. 44||1907||United Electric Car Co., Ltd.||Roofed Toastrack||44||Royal Tram, Red, White & Blue|
|No. 45||1907||United Electric Car Co., Ltd.||Roofed Toastrack||44||Atholl Rent-A-Car Advertising|
The tramway amassed at total of 50 cars, the final three arriving as late as 1935. Over the years several of these became surplus to requirements and were scrapped; many were stored in the former cable car depot at York Road, Douglas prior to its demolition to make way for a residential complex in 1990, others were dismantled being surplus to requirements over the years.
|No. 1 (i)||1876||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||52||1901|
|No. 2||1876||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||52||1948|
|No. 3||1876||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||52||1948|
|No. 4||1882||Metropolitan Carriage & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||52||1949|
|No. 5||1884||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||52||1948|
|No. 6||1884||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||52||1949|
|No. 7||1884||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||52||1924|
|No. 8||1884||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||52||1949|
|No. 9||1884||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||38||1952|
|No. 10||1884||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||38||1983|
|No. 13||1886||Metropolitan Carriage & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||48||Renumbered (See No. 14)|
|No. 15||1886||Metropolitan Carriage & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||48||1949|
|No. 16||1886||Metropolitan Carriage & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||48||1915|
|No. 17||1886||Metropolitan Carriage & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||48||1917|
|No. 19||1886||G. F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||30||1952|
|No. 20||1886||G. F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||30||1952|
|No. 23||1891||G. F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Umbrella Car||30||1952|
|No. 24||1892||G. F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||38||1952|
|No. 25||1892||G. F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||38||1952|
|No. 26||1892||G. F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||38||1974|
|No. 30||1894||G. F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||38||1954|
|No. 31||1886||G. F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||38||1987 (Advertising Car 1968-1975)|
|No. 41||1905||G. F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||38||1991|
|No. 46||1909||Milnes-Voss & Co., Ltd.||Roofed Toastrack||42||2001 (Birkenhead Tramway Museum)|
|No. 48||1935||Vulcan Motor & Engineering Co.||Convertible Saloon||38/44||1982 (Sold, M.E.R. 1980)|
|No. 50||1935||Vulcan Motor & Engineering Co.||Convertible Saloon||38/44||1982 (Sold, M.E.R. 1980)|
In addition to those cars remaining in the operational fleet, a number have survived and remain at other locations on the island; No. 14 spent several years at the Clampham Transport Museum until its closure, returning to the island in time for the centenary of the tramway in 1976; it entered the Manx Museum in 1991 where it remains today. No. 22 was converted into a souvenir shop used at Strathallan Crescent, it now resides at a transport museum in the north of the island where it fulfills the same role.
|No. 11||1888||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Open Toastrack||40||Withdrawn 1983, Jurby Transport Museum|
|No. 14||1884||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Double Decker||52||Extant Manx Museum, Douglas|
|No. 22||1900||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Umbrella Car||42||Tram Shop, Jurby Transport Museum|
|No. 35||1894||G.F. Milnes-Voss & Co., Ltd.||Roofed Toastrack||42||Home Of Rest For Horses, Bulrhenny|
|No. 47||1911||G.F. Milnes-Voss & Co., Ltd.||Roofed Toastrack||44||Withdrawn 1978, Jurby Transport Museum|
|No. 49||1935||Vulcan Motor & Engineering Co.||Convertible Saloon||38/44||Withdrawn 1980, Stored Privately|
Despite being the world's last remaining 19th century original horse-drawn passenger tramway and the second-oldest operational rail system on the Island, the future of the tramway has been brought into question in recent years. Plans have been submitted by the Island's Department of Infrastructure  to rebuild the Douglas Promenades. Plans would see the tramway moved from its current location in the middle of the roadway to a new single line formation adjacent to the Promenade walkway. The new plans have come in for some criticism from a small minority of local residents who object to the siting of the trams near to the walkway.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Horse trams in the Isle of Man.|
- Transport on the Isle of Man
- Victor Harbor Horse Drawn Tram, a horse-drawn tramway in Australia
- List of light-rail/tram systems
- List of town tramway systems in Europe
- "Isle of Man Guide - Transportation, Horse Drawn Trams". Maxima Systems. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
- "Horse tram service back on track for 2015". Town of Douglas. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
- Heavyside, Tom (2010). Douglas – Laxey – Ramsey: including the Groudle Glen Railway. Narrow Gauge Branch Lines series. Midhurst, West Sussex, UK: Middleton Press. ISBN 9781906008758.
- Hendry, Robert (1993). Rails in the Isle of Man: A Colour Celebration, Midland Publishing Limited, ISBN 1-85780-009-5
- Pearson, Keith (1999). Douglas Horse Tramway - A Millennium Year History, 1st Edition, Adam Gordon, ISBN 978-1-874422-25-9
- Johnston, Norman. "Douglas Horse Trams in Colour." Omagh: Colourpoint Press, 1995. ISBN 9781898392101.
- Douglas Borough Council - tramway page
- Isle of Man Horse Drawn Trams
- Tram Travels: Douglas Bay Horse Tramway
- Friends of Douglas Bay Horse Tramway