It now looks as if it will mid to late May for a start of services for the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, according to a new statement released by Isle of Man Transport. In the statement they say that services are “expected” to start in that period whilst reiterating that it won’t happen until horse training is completed. Meanwhile, progress continues to be made on track relaying with a start now made on the temporary marquee where the trams will live for 2019.
It has originally been planned that services would have started on 25th April but this was always a provisional date and was dependent on how much the Prom redevelopment progressed over the winter. With this work still ongoing it hasn’t been possible for full training of the horses for this year to be undertaken and indeed the track laying is still continuing as we write this article. When services do commence it is expected that they will only run between Derby Castle and Villa Marina.
As well as work to relay the tracks – with the tracks said to be of a higher enough quality to allow either the Manx Electric Railway from running further into town or modern light rail vehicles if wanted – there is also the construction, if you construct a marquee that is!, of a temporary depot for six trams at Derby Castle. This is being put on a small section of the former Summerland site and will also see a small extension of the tramway with new tracks due to be laid allowing the trams to be put away each night. It will be big enough for six trams to be stored which you would expect would be 18, 27, 29, 36, 42 and 45 – all of which can currently be found at the MER Derby Castle sheds.