It has been confirmed that as part of the budget for the reconstruction of Douglas Promenade – which includes the relaying and partial re-siting of the horse tramway – no allowance was made for signalling. The item was discussed at a recent Strategic Project Board meeting where the cost of the full signalling system has been put as between £800,000 to £1 million.
As part of the reconstruction the horse tramway will now run on a single track on the section after Broadway to the Sea Terminal and it is here that some form of signalling system will be required to ensure that two trams do not meet head to head. According to the documents from the board meeting a signalling system here would cost between £800,000 to £1 million but officials hope that a lower amount would be the end result with Jeff Robinson, Director of Highways Services, in particular supporting the lowest possible cost “even at the risk of compromise to the horse tram service”.
This concerning statement had led to suggestions that it may result in a curtailed tram service with just one tram allowed on the line at any one time but quotes from the Department of Infrastructure in the Isle of Man Examiner have denied that this is a possibility. It is, however, suggested that most trams will only run on the main double track section with the single track section only used intermittingly, such as when cruise ships arrive in Douglas. This plan was apparently agreed by Tynwald at the time of the protracted approval of the scheme.
The scheme project manager is now arranging a further meeting in which this will be further discussed at which it is hoped a final decision will be made on what signalling system may be installed.