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||Isle of Man Government|
|Operated by||Isle of Man Railways|
|Stations||Various (hail & ride)|
|Length||1.6 miles (2.6 km)|
|7th August 1876||"Official" opening|
|2 January 1900||Takeover, Douglas Corporation|
|30 September 1927||Winter service terminated|
|28 September 1939||Closed for duration|
|1 May 1946||Seasonal services resumed|
|9 August 1956||80th Anniversary|
|7 August 1976||Centenary parade|
|7 August 2011||135th 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 is 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 earliest days the track was expanded, and 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.
In January 2016, Douglas Borough Council confirmed that the tramway had run for the last time the previous September and that they had closed it as it was not financially viable. The tramway had made a loss of £263,000 in 2015.
After an online petition attracted more than 2,000 signatures, the House of Keys established a committee to look into ways of retaining the iconic horse trams. A press release from the Department of Infrastructure issued on March 24, 2016, and reported by Manx Radio and Isle of Man Newspapers, indicated that the Isle of Man Heritage Railways division of DoI[clarification needed] would be operating the Horse Trams during the 2016 summer season.
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 represent 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 was the last of three cars from 1935 which were dubbed "tomato boxes" owing to their unconventional appearance. On 27 August 2016, after Douglas council took ownership, six trams were sold at auction, numbers 28, 33, 34, 37, 39 and 40.
|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. 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. 36||1894||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Roofed toastrack||44||Conister Bank advertising|
|No. 38||1894||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Roofed toastrack||44||Manx Electric Railway Society advertising|
|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||Replaced|
|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 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 Co., Ltd.||Double decker||48||~||Renumbered (See No. 14)|
|No. 15||1886||Metropolitan Carriage Co., Ltd.||Double decker||48||1949|
|No. 16||1886||Metropolitan Carriage Co., Ltd.||Double decker||48||1915|
|No. 17||1886||Metropolitan Carriage Co., Ltd.||Double decker||48||1917|
|No. 19||1886||George F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open toastrack||30||1952|
|No. 20||1886||George F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open toastrack||30||1952|
|No. 23||1891||George F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Umbrella car||30||1952|
|No. 24||1892||George F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open toastrack||38||1952|
|No. 25||1892||George F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open toastrack||38||1952|
|No. 26||1892||George F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open toastrack||38||1974|
|No. 30||1894||George F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open toastrack||38||1954|
|No. 31||1886||George F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open toastrack||38||1987||Advertising Car 1968-1975|
|No. 41||1905||George 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 remained 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. 28||1892||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Enclosed saloon||38||Sold by auction in August 2016 for £2,800. Location unknown|
|No. 33||1894||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Roofed toastrack||44||Sold by auction in August 2016 for £1,200. Location unknown|
|No. 34||1894||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Roofed toastrack||44||Sold by auction in August 2016 for £1,300. Location unknown|
|No. 35||1894||G.F. Milnes-Voss & Co., Ltd.||Roofed toastrack||42||Home Of Rest For Horses, Bulrhenny|
|No. 37||1894||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Roofed toastrack||44||Sold by auction in August 2016 for £1,100. Location unknown|
|No. 39||1902||Starbuck Car & Wagon & Co., Ltd.||Open toastrack||42||Sold by auction in August 2016 for £1,800. Location unknown|
|No. 40||1902||G.F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.||Open toastrack||38||Sold by auction in August 2016 for £1,000. Location unknown|
|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 large group of local residents who object to the siting of the trams near to the walkway.
On 22 January 2016 it became known that Douglas Council had decided that the tram will not run from 2016 on; cars be given to museums and the horses be sold.
On 24 March 2016, Philip Gawne, the Minister for Infrastructure announced that Isle of Man Heritage Railways, operators of the Isle of Man Railway, the Manx Electric Railway, and the Snaefell Mountain Railway would operate the 2016 summer service, heads of agreement having being reached with Douglas Corporation. A question mark remains over the future of Tramway due to difficulties surrounding the relocation of the tracks on Loch Promenade, the latest proposal terminates the tramway at the Villa Marina, 550 metres short of its long time terminus by the Jubilee clock, close to Victoria Pier and Sea Terminal.
|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.
- "Douglas Borough Council - Just the ticket: Council updates horse tram ticket management system".
- "Isle of Man horse tram service ends after 140 years". BBC News Online. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
- "Isle of Man horse trams: More than 2,000 people sign petition to save service". BBC News Online. 23 January 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- "Isle of Man horse trams: Committee to explore closure alternatives". BBC News Online. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- "Horse tram service back on track for 2015". Town of Douglas. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
- "Douglas regeneration: £21m plans submitted for Manx capital". BBC News.
- "Prom revamp application set to be submitted".
- "Opposition to horse trams on Douglas walkway".
- "Historic horse tram service to be axed".
- 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.