Strathallan Depot – home of the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway trams – future is secure following the approval by Tynwald of the reconstruction of the structure to a condition that will closely replicate the original 1902 building. At the same debate in Tynwald an amendment was submitted which sought approval for the Department of Infrastructure to continue to operate the line from 2019 and beyond; this was also voted through seemingly securing the future of the tramway in the future.
The new (old?!) look Strathallan Depot will require the demolition of the current structure which has been in a poor condition for a number of years with it being replaced by a modern building which will recreate the approximate condition of the depot back in the early part of the twentieth century. Two thirds of the ground floor will be used to house 13 of the horse trams with office accommodation and staff facilities also provided to replace the temporary permanent way depot at Derby Castle. These staff facilities will cost an extra £483,108 which will come out of the direct Department of Infrastructure budget and will is not part of the Tynwald agreement.
But one thing which was agreed was an amendment tabled by Tim Baker MHK which said: “Tynwald is of the opinion that the Public Transport Division of the Department of Infrastructure should continue to operate the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway from the 2019 season onwards”. Only one MHK voted against this amendment – Lawrie Hooper who had sought to introduce his own amendment asking for an economic assessment of the value of retaining the horse trams, this was not approved – which seems to show good support for the retention of the horse trams as part of the island’s heritage transport offering.