Councillors in Douglas have agreed to sell off the horse tram stables at Summerhill and progress with plans to develop the Strathallan depot to include room for not only the trams but also the horses. It is proposed that the work would be undertaken at the same time as the Promenade redevelopment works which would see the horse trams not running at all for one operating season.
There have been concerns for a number of years about the condition both of the depot building at Strathallan (which includes conference facilities above) and also the buildings in front of the stables and it is thought this would be the best course of action to secure the future of the tramway. There have also been worries about the horses having to cross a busy road junction when changeovers take place.
Design work will now take place – costing approximately £50,000 – to show how the site at Strathallan can be redeveloped to house both horses and trams. It is thought that the sale of the stable site will cover the costs of redevelopment. It is also likely that in the redevelopment a number of the withdrawn trams would be deemed surplus to requirements with some going to the Jurby Transport Museum with other possibly going off the island.
The Douglas Horse Tramway is currently operating daily between Strathallan and the Sea Terminal with journeys between 0900 and 1800.
* A post-mortem held on Albert, who tragically died whilst pulling a tram on 13th May, has revealed that he died for cardiac failure. The post mortem said the body “did not have signs of recent trauma” and that “Gross examination of the internal abdominal organs did not reveal any significant pathology.”