Douglas Horse Tramway to run in 2015 after all

The ongoing saga of the future of the Douglas Horse Tramway has taken another turn with the news breaking that the Promenade works are to be delayed until the Autumn allowing another “final” season of operation. It had been expected that no horse trams would run in 2015 because these works would have prevented operating but with them not now likely to be taking place it is business as usual.

The Douglas Promenade works are due to be undertaken by the Department of Infrastructure but they recently announced that there would be a pause in the project to “explore alternative options”. When the tramway closed at the end of the 2014 season it was widely thought that the track would be singled and moved to the side of the Promenade road but then in October the DoI announced a public consultation as to whether the new track could actually be placed on the walkway. The results of this consultation have not yet been announced but they are being taken into consideration when the final designs for the Prom are made.

It is understood that the process of finalising designs, presenting the proposals to Tynwald and then submitting the formal application for planning approval will take several months and it will not be Autumn 2015 until they are ready to resume works.

As a result of this delay it is now expected that 2015 will be another final season for the double-tracked horse tramway in the centre of the Prom road although no official word has yet been made by Douglas Borough Council as to whether this will be the case. The weekend of 13th and 14th September, when behind the scenes open days and parallel runs were enjoyed, may prove not to have been the end after all.

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7 Responses to Douglas Horse Tramway to run in 2015 after all

  1. Ken Walker says:

    Perhaps those in charge should take a trip to Blackpool to see how it’s done. Douglas promenade is at least as wide as the road in front of the Metropole at Blackpool and they’ve managed to fit in a two way road and double track tram line there. Seems not so much a can’t do as a don’t want to do. Still at least there will be another season of the trams, we’ll just have to wait and see how important they think the last horse tramway in the British Isles is.

  2. roger woodhead says:

    Ken, absolutely right. The prom can easily take double track just as it does now without obstructing other traffic.

  3. Nev Sloper says:

    Oh I do hope so! To my eternal shame I’ve never visited the island but have booked for next year and would love to enjoy the full range of vintage transport delights on offer.

  4. Melway says:

    When this track is eventually is relined why don’t they connect it up to the MER metals and run a commuter service from Onchan to Douglas throughout the year using something like a Parry People mover

  5. John Gilbert says:

    The horse trams should remain just where they are, in the middle of the promenade, and the Manx Electric Railway cars should also run right through from Derby Castle. It is wrong to have tracks right along the promenade and for the electric cars not to use them. That has always been so! Road traffic should have its own lanes on either side of the tramway, and be subservient to the trams – for tourists’ sake, and that of Douglas itself!

  6. Ken Walker says:

    Personally I don’t see why the tram lines need to stay in the middle of the road just because it’s always been there. It seems to be an accepted fact that the rails are worn out and need relaying anyway. All that is needed is for parking to be stopped on the seaward side of the road and the road traffic and tramway can be completely segregated with the tram lines (double track) on the seaward side and avoiding a road junction for the trams at Broadway. It would be safer for the crews, safer for the passengers joining and alighting, and even safer ( and better) for photographers. Passengers would get an uninterrupted view of the bay. It would also avoid delaying the bus services. But at the end of the day it isn’t that important where the tram lines end up, what is important is that the horse trams do not disappear. I agree that some sort of commuter service extending along the prom from the MER could be a good idea as it would run before the horse trams start. I don’t know how much demand there would be for it though.

  7. Ken Jones says:

    I’m looking at going to IOM this year [2015] and checked situation regarding horse trams in Douglas. My official response back is “I can confirm that the Horse Trams will be running in 2015. Provisional running dates are from Monday 11th May to Sunday 13th September inclusive”

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