Not previously reported on these pages but on Friday 24th May public services started running once again on the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway. As we’ve mentioned previously the start of this season will see a much shorter tramway in operation with only around 500 metres of track currently available for use (from Derby Castle to a site adjacent to Kings B&B).
The service was launched by recently overhauled Saloon 29 with a special run for local dignitaries before the public were allowed their first rides on a horse tram in Douglas since it closed during October 2018. To mark the occasion all travel on the first day was free before a special fare of £1 per trip was introduced from Saturday 25th May. Go Explorer cards are also valid on the service. The trams are now running each day between 1000 and 1600 with a lunch break at 1200.
Whilst the TT events take place on the Isle of Man work on the relaying of track has been suspended but this will resume once the event is over. There are some sections of Prom where standard road surface has been returned briefly to try and allow the smooth flow of traffic but track is scheduled to be laid later this year.
It is planned that the line will gradually be extended as the year progresses but no dates have been set for when this may be possible.
Meanwhile, in a recent article on the Isle of Man Today website the story about the possibility of the MER being extended along the horse tram tracks has once again been mentioned. Ray Harmer MHK, Infrastructure Minister, is quoted as saying that a team are currently investigating the potential for operating larger trams and that he would personally be in favour of the MER running on the tracks. He did, however, also say that the plans are not confirmed and remain just a potential at the present time.