News & Updates

Guided Stable Tours Return for 2018

posted 12 Jan 2018, 08:44 by Friends of DBHT

Dates and times are now available for this year's "Meet the Trammers" tours. This will be the third year that tours have taken place.


The tours offer visitors the chance to see behind the scenes of the world's last remaining 19th-century original horse-drawn passenger tramway and to learn more about the daily lives of the tramway horses.

The Trammers will be returning to the historic Summer Hill Stables for the 2018 season. The stables date from 1877 and were developed by the founder of the tramway, Thomas Lightfoot. Although the stables have been adapted over the years, most notably to increase the space provided for each horse, many original features remain.

Admission is FREE and advanced booking is highly recommended as spaces are limited. Suitable footwear is essential as the tours take place in a working stable environment. Tours usually last between 30 and 45 minutes. Places on tours will be bookable from mid-March.

Information correct at time of publication. Please confirm latest updates via the Isle of Man Transport Facebook page before attending. No responsibility can be accepted for changes or cancellations to the advertised details.


Planning Application submitted for Douglas Promenade Re-Development

posted 10 Jan 2018, 03:38 by Friends of DBHT   [ updated 10 Jan 2018, 04:13 ]

The Department of Infrastructure has submitted its planning application for the redevelopment of Douglas Promenade.

Subject to approval being granted, work will start in September to rejuvenate the area widely regarded as the ‘gateway to the Isle of Man.'

The planning application features a new design for the southern section of the Promenade to improve traffic flow, junctions and footpaths. The northern end will be developed on a simple, like-for-like basis.

The scheme, which gained overwhelming support from Tynwald Members in 2017, also includes the creation of a cultural area around the Villa Marina and Gaiety Theatre. This is in line with the Douglas Masterplan and will connect the Promenade with the town centre regeneration.

Work is required to address the Promenade’s crumbling infrastructure and will involve the full-depth excavation and reconstruction of the failing highway and drainage, as well as the installation of new water and gas mains and ducting.

The horse tram tracks will be re-laid to reflect the design principle agreed by Tynwald, with twin tracks retained in the centre of the road from the terminal at Strathallan to a point just north of the Broadway junction. They will then cross to the seaward side of the highway and switch to a single track terminating alongside the Bottleneck car park.

The Promenade proposals were recently on public display in the Sea Terminal building and were well received when the Department hosted a presentation for members of the business and hospitality sectors, third sector organisations and others directly impacted by the redevelopment.

Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK said:

‘The submission of the planning application is a further significant milestone towards our vision for the future of Douglas Promenade. I believe the Department’s proposal offers a solution that will benefit the people and the economy of the Isle of Man for generations to come.’

He added:

‘The Promenade is one of the Island’s busiest and most important strategic routes, but also the worst in terms of its overall condition. Our scheme will not only reconstruct the highway, but also give the whole area a massive lift and reinforce the Isle of Man’s position as a special place to live and work.’

If planning approval is provided for the scheme, a contractor will be appointed and a detailed construction programme drawn up.


10 January 2018 Press release from Isle of Man Department of Infrastructure


Details of the Planning Application (18/00003/B) can be found on the Isle of Man Government's Planning Services website.



Restored Tramcar No.36 nominated for British 'Tram of the Year' Award

posted 6 Dec 2017, 05:07 by Friends of DBHT


Douglas Bay Horse Tramway's Tramcar No.36 has been nominated in the British Trams Online category 'Tram (Traditional) of the Year'. Voting is now open and will close on Saturday 13th January 2018. You can vote for No.36 by visiting the link below:

www.britishtramsonline.co.uk/tramofyear.html

Tramcar No.36 returned to service on the final day of the 2017 season after undergoing an extensive overhaul and restoration in the Derby Castle Workshops of the Manx Electric Railway.

Tramway Enjoys 6% Increase in Passenger Journeys

posted 23 Nov 2017, 09:11 by Friends of DBHT   [ updated 23 Nov 2017, 09:13 ]

Figures released by Isle of Man Transport show that for the 2017 season, the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway enjoyed a 6% increase in passenger journeys over the 2016 season.

A total of 73,954 single passenger journeys were recorded during the 2017 season, an increase of 4,252 journeys compared to 2016.

Passenger figures for the Island's other railways can be found online at www.rail.im, the website of Isle of Man Railways.

Robert and No.45 arriving at Derby Castle during summer 2017 (Credit: FoDBHT)

2018 Season Dates Announced

posted 18 Sep 2017, 04:00 by Friends of DBHT   [ updated 12 Jan 2018, 06:47 ]

Horse tramway operator Isle of Man Railways has announced the provisional dates for the 2018 Horse Tramway season, which will commence 29 March 2018 and run thru until 4 November 2018.


2017 Heritage Open Days

posted 20 Aug 2017, 10:15 by Friends of DBHT

Organised annually by Manx National Heritage, join in and enjoy for free the biggest heritage event on the Isle of Man, taking place this year over the weekends of 29 Sept - 1 Oct and 6 Oct - 8 Oct.  An opportunity to look behind the scenes and learn the story of a wide variety of heritage places and spaces on the Island.  Includes 'Meet the Trammers' tours at Summer Hill Stables at 10:00, 11:00 & 12:00 on 30 Sept, 1 Oct, 7 Oct & 8 Oct.

To view / download the full information leaflet, CLICK HERE.


   

2017 Manx Heritage Transport Festival Timetable

posted 19 Jul 2017, 15:33 by Friends of DBHT

The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway timetable for the Manx Heritage Transport Festival period (26th to 30th July inclusive) has been published. Click on the image below to view.

On Wednesday 26th July departing Strathallan (Derby Castle) at 09:00hrs, there will be an opportunity to ride on / photograph the double-deck tramcar No.18, drawn by a pair of horses.  Services on 26th July run until 21:00hrs and the Summer Hill Stables will be open in the evening so that visitors can meet the 'trammers'.  Guide tours of the stables take place at 18:30hrs and 19:30hrs.


New Douglas Promenade Vision Promoted

posted 11 Jul 2017, 07:49 by Friends of DBHT   [ updated 11 Jul 2017, 07:51 ]


The Department of Infrastructure is promoting a vision for the future of Douglas Promenade that will deliver significant social, economic and travel benefits and create a national asset the Island can be proud of.

Tynwald Members are being encouraged to support funding of £20.73 million for the scheme to reconstruct the failing highway and to rejuvenate the area regarded as the gateway to the Isle of Man.

The Department is proposing a new design for the southern section of the Promenade to improve traffic flow, junctions and footpaths and to create a cultural area around the Villa Marina and Gaiety in line with the town centre regeneration and Douglas Masterplan. The northern end will be redeveloped on a simple, like-for-like basis.

The scheme reflects the design principles agreed by Tynwald Members in January 2017 and features twin horse tram tracks in the centre of the road from Strathallan to Castle Mona Avenue, switching to a single track on the seaward side of the road terminating at Peveril Square, near the Sea Terminal.

Subject to Tynwald approval at the July sitting, the Department will progress the detailed design work and submit a planning application, with a view to work starting in September 2018. The construction programme is expected to take three years to complete and a traffic management plan will be put in place to minimise disruption by maintaining two-way travel wherever practical.

It is widely accepted that substantial capital investment in Douglas Promenade is required to address the crumbling infrastructure. It is one of the Island’s busiest and most important strategic routes, with approximately six million vehicle journeys each year, but also the worst in terms of its overall condition, according to highway inspection reports.

As well as reconstructing the 80-year-old highway foundations and drainage, the Department’s scheme is intended to act as a catalyst for the future regeneration of the capital. It will enhance the tired appearance of the Promenade to reinforce the Isle of Man’s status as a leading international business centre, a tourist destination and a special place to live and work.

The Department is also working in partnership with Douglas Borough Council and the utility providers regarding the installation of new water and gas mains and improved lighting.

Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK said:
‘The redevelopment of Douglas Promenade has been on the agenda for many years. Now is the time to grasp the nettle. There is public and political appetite for decisive action and I believe the Department is offering a solution that will benefit the Island for generations to come. This scheme is a priority within the Programme for Government and we stand ready to deliver that commitment.’

He added:
‘The recent resurfacing of the Promenade was only ever intended as a short-term fix. The structural integrity of the road is continuing to deteriorate. The Department’s proposal will not only secure the long-term future of a vital route, it will also support economic investment, make the Promenade more accessible and inclusive, and retain and future-proof the tramway. The cultural area in particular will give the Promenade a much-needed lift and reaffirm its importance as the main gateway to our Island.’



Press Release from the Department of Infrastructure (10 July 2017)

Horse Tram Service to Resume 24 May

posted 19 May 2017, 12:26 by Friends of DBHT

The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway will resume a limited service from Wednesday 24th May 2017. The decision has been taken by Isle of Man Railways, with the advice of Ray Cox of Milan Vets.

Tram services were temporarily suspended on 9 May after a number of the horses were found to be experiencing a respiratory issue. The horses have been treated with antibiotics and welfare checks carried out to assess their progress.

Mr Cox, Clinical Director of Milan Vets, stated: ‘The infection was confirmed as Streptococcus zooepidemicus, which is relatively common among horses. They have reacted well to the course of treatment and I am happy with their recovery.’  He added: ‘Together with Isle of Man Railways, we have taken the decision to ease the horses back into service on a limited schedule to assist their continued return to full health.’

The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway will commence operation from 10am to 4pm from Wednesday 24 May.  The reduced service will remain in place for approximately one week. Additional information will be provided once a further assessment of the horses has taken place.

Ian Bates, Head of Public Transport Operations, said: ‘We wish to thank our customers for their patience during the temporary suspension. The welfare of the horses is always our primary concern. We are working to provide normal services as soon as practically possible and look forward to a successful summer season for the horse trams’.

Statement issued by Department of Infrastructure, IoM Government, 19 May 2017 

Temporary Suspension of Services

posted 10 May 2017, 02:57 by Friends of DBHT   [ updated 10 May 2017, 02:58 ]

Isle of Man Railways, with the advice of Mr Ray Cox of Milan Vets, have made the decision to temporarily cease all horse tram operations for approximately ten days [from 10 May 2017].

The decision has been taken after a number of the tram horses were found to be experiencing a respiratory issue.  The infection is relatively common among horses and it is difficult to determine where it has originated.  It is not fatal to horses, but it can be transmitted between them.  Action to contain the infection and to manage the recovery of the affected horses will be taken in line with veterinary advice.  The infection cannot be passed to humans.


Mr Cox, Clinical Director of Milan Vets, stated:

‘The horses will be kept in the stables and will receive antibiotics. It is not unreasonable to expect the horses to be fully fit and back in action in the next 10 to 14 days.’

Ian Bates, Head of Public Transport Operations, added:

‘We understand this is disappointing news for our customers. However, the welfare of the horses always comes first. We are confident that the horses will make a full recovery and we will work with the vets to resume our services as soon as possible.’

Isle of Man Railways will issue an update regarding the resumption of horse tram services in the near future.  The other vintage transport systems continue to operate as normal.

Statement issued by Department of Infrastructure, IoM Government, 10 May 2017 



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