It would seem that every time you think a final design has been agreed for the relaying of the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway there is another tweak and so it is again, although whereas most seem to be further eroding the tramway this one provides a bit more double track. The section where the change has happened is where the tramway crosses from the centre of the road to the sea side of the road.
It had always been planned that the tracks would cross the road at Broadway as double track but they would be interlaced but with this track now been laid it has become evident that they will instead be standard double track. Once the track has crossed the road it will then become single track all the way to the Sea Terminal with one passing loop at the War Memorial.
A spokesman from the Department of Infrastructure said: “The design has always shown double tracks crossing the carriageway before joining together as a single line heading south past Broadway. The double tracks were shown on the planning drawings in an interlaced arrangement which provided minimal track separation. We have reviewed this detail with the rail regulator and simplified the arrangement to separate the double tracks.”
Recent reports have again suggested that the project is behind schedule and that the revised plan that work would end on 31st March 2021 may not now be met. Of course, this wasn’t the full work needed as it was decided earlier this year that the tram tracks would only be laid to Broadway with the tram corridor along the side of the road being laid with temporary grass ahead of its completion at a later date. Whether the full length of the tramway as far as Broadway will be completed by the end of March remains to be seen.
Other news from the project is that the tracks being laid would enable the Manx Electric Railway to operate on them (if it was connected at Derby Castle) or even a modern light rail system. No official plans for either of these things to happen have been put forward but its all about “future proofing” in case that would be wanted by those in control on the Isle of Man.