At the start of a week when the future of the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway is set to be decided at Tynwald there is at least some reason to celebrate with the tramway winning two categories in the British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2016 contest. The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway received the most votes in both Tramway of the Year and also in Event of the Year (for the 140th Anniversary celebrations in August). Meanwhile Blackpool Marton 31 was voted in as Tram (traditional) of the Year with Manchester Metrolink 3120 completing a hattrick of wins in the Tram (modern of the Year).
Once again it is fair to say that none of the categories were particularly close with all eventual winners taking an early lead and staying there throughout the six week voting period. The original – and main – award saw Blackpool Marton 31 receive nearly a third of all votes for Tram (traditional) of the Year beating Sheffield 264 into second place (20.89%) and, perhaps surprisingly, Glasgow 1017 in third (18.38%). 31 had, of course, been shortlisted as a result of its loan to Blackpool for the 2016 season where it had proved to be popular running along the Prom.
The Tram (modern) of the Year has only been voted for over the past three years and in each of those years it has been a vehicle from Manchester Metrolink which has walked away with the accolade. With only one competitor in 2016 M5000 3120 – the last of the 120 strong class to be ordered for Metrolink and now running in Manchester – received nearly 70% of the vote whilst Midland Metro 37 came in second place (unsurprisingly this tram received the remaining 30% of the votes).
The remaining two categories were dominated by the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, which had operated a successful 140th anniversary year in 2016 – a year which for a time it appeared it might never see. The Tramway of the Year was again just a two horse race but in one of the most one sided categories ever the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway received 82% of the votes to take a well deserved victory. The other nominee, Midland Metro, of course received all remaining votes.
The final category – Event of the Year – saw nearly half of you voting for the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway 140th Anniversary weekend which saw the rare use of two horses hauling double decker 18 and a Cavalcade including Toastrack 38 help to celebrate this significant anniversary. The action packed Anniversary Spectacular in Blackpool was in second with 26.23% of votes whilst a close fought battle for third and fourth saw Tram Day at Crich just pip the East Anglia Transport Museum’s London Event by one vote.
The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway may be celebrating for now but this week will see another vote in Tynwald to decide the immediate future of the tramway. Currently the proposal is that the double tracks are only laid between Derby Castle and Villa Marina with the section from there to the Sea Terminal not initially laid but a “corridor” kept in case they can be put down again at some point in the future. This plan was only narrowly defeated before Christmas but the Department of Infrastructure will be trying again to force through these plans.
But for now the British Trams Online Tram of the Year contest is over once again and let us give our congratulations to all of the winners. We will be back again later this year with nominations for 2017 opening towards the end of November so keep your eyes out for any potential nominees over the next 11 months!
Tram (Traditional) of the Year
1. Blackpool Marton 31 – 117 votes (32.59%)
2. Sheffield 264 – 75 votes (20.89%)
3. Glasgow 1017 – 66 votes (18.38%)
4. London County Council 106 – 54 votes (15.04%)
5. Blackpool Standard 147 – 47 votes (13.09%)
22 votes rejected due to multiple votes (caused no change to ranking)
Tram (Modern) of the Year
1. Manchester Metrolink 3120 – 211 votes (69.18%)
2. Midland Metro 37 – 94 votes (30.82%)
21 votes rejetced due to multiple votes (caused no change to ranking)
Tramway of the Year
1. Douglas Bay Horse Tramway – 320 votes (82.26%)
2. Midland Metro – 69 votes (17.74%)
28 votes rejected due to multiple votes (caused no change to ranking)
Event of the Year
1. Douglas Bay Horse Tramway: 140th Anniversary – 198 votes (48.53%)
2. Blackpool Tramway: Anniversary Spectacular – 107 votes (26.23%)
3. Crich Tramway Village: Tram Day – 52 votes (12.75%)
4. East Anglia Transport Museum: London Event – 51 votes (12.50%)
29 votes rejected due to multiple votes (caused position 3 and 4 to swap)