The one remaining piece of machinery which used to help operate the Upper Douglas Tramway is to go on display in the town following restoration. The flywheel has been restored by volunteers from the Jurby Transport Museum and a team from Douglas Borough Council and will now be displayed at the Bottleneck Car Park for all to see once more.
The Upper Douglas Tramway was a cable tramway which operated between 1896 and 1929 with very little now surviving of the line. There is of course the joint 72/73 which is the only tram to have been saved (it was restored from two surviving car bodies discovered in the late 1960s) which is now housed at the Jurby Transport Museum having previously run under its own battery operated power on the horse tramway in the past. And now we have the flywheel.
The wheel was uncovered during excavation works carried out by the former Isle of Man Water Authority in 2000 for the IRIS sewer scheme when a long buried cable tram chamber was unearthed.
Cllr Ritchie McNicholl, Environmental Studies Committee Chair, said: “The Council is as equally committed to celebrating Douglas’s past as it is to advancing schemes to create a brighter future for the town. The Isle of Man is internationally renowned for its vintage transport systems and the Council is proud to be contributing to the Island’s heritage by preserving this unique example of Victorian engineering for future generations. It is all the more appropriate that the Council should be delivering this attraction in 2018, the Year of Our Island, which provides an opportunity to shine a light on all the features that combine to make the Isle of Man the very special place that it is.”
Once the wheel is fully installed there will be an official unveiling.