It’s just a week before the previously published start date of services for 2019 on the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway but it remains unclear just when passengers will be able to enjoy a ride with Isle of Man Transport stating that services will start once training for staff and horses has been completed. It has now been confirmed this is expected to commence from Thursday 25th April.
Track laying has been continuing along Douglas Promenade in recent weeks and this has reached a stage where it will be possible to start training/testing next week. Isle of Man Transport anticipate that the first horse trams will run on test on Thursday 25th April – this was originally the provisional date for the start of public services in 2019 although obviously this now won’t be met. With new track in place and horses having to get used to pulling the trams again it is important for this testing to take place but it does mean there will be a further slight delay in the start of service for this year.
The latest photos on the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway Facebook page show that although a large amount of track has now been laid there are sections which have a base in place but no track. This includes outside the Palace Hotel. However, with rapid progress being made over the past few days presumably this will be in place shortly (indeed if it isn’t by the time you read this!).
The first of the Trammers have been transported back to Summer Hill Stables to get used to their surroundings again before testing and training and the trams – the operational ones which have been stored at Derby Castle over the winter – will also have to be moved back to their new, temporary storage location. This will be a temporary marquee on art of the old Summerland complex and permission has now been given for this to be sited – including a short section of new rails – although it must be removed by April 2020.
Isle of Man Transport are still expecting services to run through until Sunday 3rd November, although this is subject to change depending on progress on the Prom redevelopment work.