Douglas Southern Electric Tramway

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Douglas Southern Electric Tramway
Jiass Raad Yiarn Lectragh Dhoolish
Marine Drive geograph-1815149-by-Glyn-Baker.jpg
The course of the tramway
LocaleDouglas, Isle of Man
TerminusPort Soderick
Commercial operations
NameDouglas Southern Electric Tramway
Original gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Preserved operations
Operated byDouglas Southern Electric Tramways Co., Ltd.
Stations4 (Plus Loops)
Length4.5 miles (7.2 km)
Commercial history
Opened2 September 1896
Closed28 August 1939

Douglas Southern Electric Tramway was a standard gauge tramway between the top of Douglas Head on the Isle of Man and the nearby resort of Port Soderick.[1] The route ran atop the cliffs and crossed a number of viaducts and bridges.[2]


The preserved tram at Crich.
Marine Drive, the former route of the Tramway.

The tramway was opened in 1896 by the New General Traction Company and operated until 1939. It never reopened after the war, and was largely lifted and destroyed by 1955. One of the motor cars was retrieved for preservation at the National Tramway Museum at Crich in Derbyshire, where it resides to this day.

There is little left of the line as it was, save for the castellated entrance to the Marine Drive itself. The tramway's sheds and workshops were located mid-way along the line at Little Ness, together with the power station for generating the electricity but this was filled in and is now a car park. The roadway has been closed for several years owing to a number of serious landslides, but in the 1960s the local authority of Douglas Corporation attempted to rejuvenate the area by introducing a bus service on the coastal route. However, it was short-lived owing to further landslides which made the road unsafe. Today parts of the route can be used by motor traffic, but a stretch north of Little Ness is only open to pedestrians. The route of this railway provides views of the Irish Sea, and forms part of the Isle of Man's coastal footpath Raad ny Foillan (Way of the Gull), created in 1986.

There exists a film of a ride on this tramway in 1902 made by Mitchell and Kenyon and available at the film British Film Institute]. The journey has been described as a white knuckle ride.


Map this section's coordinates in "List of Isle of Man railway lines and locations" using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML
Point Coordinates
(Links to map resources)
OS Grid Ref Notes
Douglas Head 54°08′36″N 4°28′10″W / 54.1434°N 4.4695°W / 54.1434; -4.4695 (Douglas Head) SC3871374789
Marine Drive Arch 54°08′27″N 4°28′15″W / 54.1407°N 4.4707°W / 54.1407; -4.4707 (Marine Drive Arch) SC3862474491
Pigeon Stream Depot 54°08′16″N 4°28′47″W / 54.1378°N 4.4797°W / 54.1378; -4.4797 (Pigeon Stream Depot) SC3802574189
Wallberry Viaduct 54°07′53″N 4°29′44″W / 54.1314°N 4.4955°W / 54.1314; -4.4955 (Wallberry Viaduct) SC3696873514
Horseleap Viaduct 54°07′48″N 4°29′53″W / 54.1300°N 4.4980°W / 54.1300; -4.4980 (Horseleap Viaduct) SC3679973364
Little Ness Depot 54°07′39″N 4°30′16″W / 54.1276°N 4.5044°W / 54.1276; -4.5044 (Little Ness Depot) SC3637273112
Whing Loop 54°07′47″N 4°30′41″W / 54.1297°N 4.5113°W / 54.1297; -4.5113 (Whing Loop) SC3592973361
Port Soderick 54°07′27″N 4°31′49″W / 54.1243°N 4.5302°W / 54.1243; -4.5302 (Port Soderick) SC3467372805


  1. ^ 54°07′44″N 4°32′28″W / 54.129°N 4.541°W / 54.129; -4.541
  2. ^ Douglas Head Marine Drive & Electric Tramway by A.M.Goodwyn pp3 Manx Electric Railway Society (1993)(1st Edition) J.W.Lambert & Sons Ltd

Coordinates: 54°08′38″N 4°28′16″W / 54.144°N 4.471°W / 54.144; -4.471