The involvement of trams in the carrying of the Olympic Flame has now started with the Douglas Horse Tramway and Manx Electric Railway both used as it visited the Isle of Man as part of its relay across the British Isles on Saturday 2nd June.
Having arrived on the Island by plane and then using a TT motorbike and RNLI lifeboat (as well as the usual “people power”) the first tram to be used in the London 2012 Olympic Flame relay was Douglas Horse Tramway’s number 44 hauled by horse Gwynne. This tram is known as the “Royal Tram” on the Horse Tramway and so was suitable to carry the torch along Douglas Promenade at a sedate pace.
Following on from the horse tramway the torch went for a bike ride before it arrived at the start point of its next tram ride on the Manx Electric Railway. Earlier in the week it had been suggested that the Blue and Cream duo of 7 and trailer 48 would be the lucky pair to carry the torch but a more historic duo were selected instead with 1 (built in 1893 and one of the original MER trams) and trailer 59 (the 1895 built Royal Saloon). The trams left Derby Castle on schedule at 1240 and the torch stayed on board as far as Laxey afer which it carried on its way around the Island, thus ending the involvement of trams on the Island.
Two further trams will be used on the Torch relay as it moves around the UK with the Blackpool Tramway being used on Friday 22nd June and the Black Country Living Museum on Saturday 30th June. Details of which trams will be used at both these locations have yet to be announced.