News & Updates
Saturday 8 April saw the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway's 2017 season get underway in glorious sunshine with William pulling 'Royal Tram' No.44 on the 9.00am return service from Derby Castle to Sea Terminal. Guided tours of the stables were conducted by Friends of DBHT volunteers and visitors were able to meet all the trammers in residence. This is likely to be the final year of double-track formation along the Loch Promenade section of the tramway, although it is is planned to be relaid as a single track section after the repairs are carried out to the roadway foundations in 2018. Fingers crossed that the renewed interest in this early form of public transport continues to grow. We wish the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, its staff and 'trammers' a really great season.
'Go Horse Tram' 2017 season ticket cards are now available to buy from the the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal and the MER Ticket Office at Derby Castle.
The cards are priced at £30 for adults (£20 for Isle of Man resident senior citizens on production of a valid 60+ card) and £20 for children (aged 5 to 15 years inclusive). Under 5s travel free with an accompanying fare paying adult (restrictions apply).
Go Horse Tram cards allow unlimited travel on 2017 Douglas Bay Horse Tramway scheduled services (subject to available seating). The 2017 Horse Tramway season runs from Saturday 8 April to Sunday 5 November. For further details please visit the Isle of Man Railways website.
Following the retirement last year of John, a 20 year old Shire gelding, and Una, a 21 year old Clydesdale mare, the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway has acquired two new horses over the winter: Nelson, a 3 year old Shire gelding, and Blae, a 8 month old Shire filly.
Both horses will be spending time acclimatising to the stables and the Douglas seafront environment. Nelson should start training as a Trammer later this year, whereas Blae needs to grow and develop her strength for perhaps another two and a half years.
The IOM Planning Committee has approved the application from the Department of Infrastructure (Ref 16/01365/B), for the Erection of temporary horse tram facility including tram shed, stables, staff welfare facilities, parking and new vehicular access on part of the 'Summerland' Site at the northern extent of the Douglas Promenades.
The approval carries a number of conditions including:
To view / download the full proposed Plans & Elevations for the facility, CLICK HERE
BBC1's prime-time Sunday evening programme 'Countryfile' on 26 February featured the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, the IOM Home of Rest for Old Horses and a number of other aspects of Manx farming, social and cultural heritage. Available to watch now on BBC i-player.
Isle of Man Railways has published the 2017 Timetable & Fares for the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway. To view/download a copy of the leaflet in pdf format, CLICK HERE.
In the recent British Trams Online annual awards, the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway has been voted British Tramway of the Year 2016 and also won the Event of the Year award. The Event of the Year was awarded as a result of the 140th Anniversary celebrations on 7 August 2016. Our congratulations to Isle of Man Railways / DBHT staff and management. For more details on the awards, visit British Trams Online.
After agreement could not be reached in its December sitting, Tynwald voted again yesterday (17 January) to retain the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway along the whole length of Douglas Promenade, with double track between Summerhill and Broadway, and single track along Loch Promenade. In a combined vote, 17 members voted for the amendment proposed by East Douglas MHK Mr Chris Robertshaw, while 14 opposed it.The Department of Infrastructure will now proceed to draw up revised regeneration plans for the Douglas Promenades, including the tramway, and return to Tynwald to seek overall budget approval.
Plans have been submitted to erect a temporary building to serve as a tram shed and stables for the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway.
The Department of Infrastructure is seeking a short-term solution for the required storage, stabling and welfare facilities, as the existing building at Strathallan is in a poor state of repair and presents a risk to public safety.
Subject to planning approval, an industrial type unit will be installed on the car park area of the Summerland site. This would support the operation of the horse trams on a temporary basis while proposals are drawn up for a permanent facility.
At the July sitting of Tynwald, Members approved the Department’s plans to continue running the horse trams for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The proposed package of measures included the transfer of ownership of the Strathallan tram depot to the Department from Douglas Borough Council.
The intention had been for the building to be refitted and repaired to enable its use as a temporary tram shed and stables. However, an inspection of the premises has highlighted significant structural issues. Engineers described the front wall as unsafe and recommended that the building be decommissioned as soon as possible.
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK, said: ‘The amount of work needed to make the Strathallan depot structurally sound rules out a short-term fix. Any scheme would involve significant structural works at the very least and the cost would be prohibitive. We simply would not have time to design and progress the scale of repairs necessary to make the building operational in the timescale available.’
He added: ‘Subject to planning approval, the use of a temporary building will hopefully allow the Department to put in place suitable facilities for the start of the 2017 season. The intention is that any long-term solution would, if possible, still involve the sympathetic redevelopment of the existing Strathallan site.’
News Release Issued by Isle of Man Government - Department of Infrastructure (15/12/2016)
Plans for the new temporary horse tram facility on the former Summerland site are now available to view on the Isle of Man Government website. CLICK HERE
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