News & Updates

2018 Season Dates Announced

posted 18 Sep 2017, 04:00 by Friends of DBHT

Horse tramway operator Isle of Man Railways has announced the provisional dates for the 2018 Horse Tramway season, which will commence 1 May 2018 and run thru until 29 October 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 

2017 Season Gets Underway in Glorious Sunshine

posted 9 Apr 2017, 08:28 by Friends of DBHT

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.


2017 'Go Horse Tram' Season Ticket Cards Now Available

posted 16 Mar 2017, 04:04 by Friends of DBHT   [ updated 16 Mar 2017, 04:08 ]

'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.

2 New Horses Join Tramway

posted 8 Mar 2017, 10:15 by Friends of DBHT   [ updated 14 Apr 2017, 00:19 ]

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.     

Temporary Tramcar Shed / Stables gets Planning Permission

posted 27 Feb 2017, 08:29 by Friends of DBHT

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:
  • The external walls, doors, sliding doors and roller shutter doors on the new building must be a dark green/olive green colour. REASON: In the interests of the character and appearance of the site and surrounding area.
  • The building hereby approved shall be removed from the site and the land returned to its previous appearance within four years of the date of this notice. In the event that the building is no longer used or required for the operation of the Horse Tramway before the four year permission expires then the building shall be removed and the ground restored to its former condition. REASON: The building has been exceptionally approved solely to meet the short term needs of the Horse Tramway and its subsequent retention would result in an unwarranted intrusion in the Conservation Area. Furthermore, the building has been sought for a temporary basis and has been assessed and approved as such.
  • The proposed parking layout is required to be provided prior to the occupation of the building hereby approved. REASON: To ensure adequate off street parking is provided on site.
To view / download the full proposed Plans & Elevations for the facility, CLICK HERE  

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