Tramcars

A total of 51 tramcars have operated on the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway since its opening in 1876. We are fortunate in that some 25 of those cars, in both original form and converted types, have survived to the present day, although many in private ownership.  

The oldest surviving tramcar bought new for the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway is 'Toastrack' no. 11, built in 1886 by the Starbuck Car & Wagon Co of Birkenhead. It is currently stored at the Jurby Transport Museum, albeit in poor condition.

Surviving double-deckers nos. 14 and 18 were both acquired  second hand in 1887, but actually were built in 1883 and therefore are the oldest two tramcars.  No.14 is on display in the Manx Museum and remains in near original form, whereas no.18 is still in service having been converted into a single deck saloon in 1903 and then back to a double-decker in 1988! 

Winter Saloon car no. 1 is a later replacement of the 1876 original and dates from 1913, built by G.C. Milnes, Voss & Co of Birkenhead.

The youngest surviving tramcar, albeit in very poor condition, is a more 'modern' all-weather convertible no.49, which was built in 1935 by Vulcan Motor & Engineering Co of Southport. It is privately owned and currently stored in Ramsey.

All the other remaining tramcars are centenarians, built between 1888 and 1911, making them by far the largest and most historic collection of original horse-drawn tramcars in the world.


The Tramcar Depot at Strathallan was built in 1895 as a single storey structure with storage space for up to 36 tramcars. The suite of offices on the first floor were added in 1935, but the inclusion of access stairwells reduced storage capacity to 27 tramcars.

Following further structural survey in 2016, it has been determined that the Strathallan Tramcar Depot is life-expired and requires either significant repair or full replacement to continue in use.  Therefore the Isle of Man Government has proposed the erection of a temporary (up to 5 years) alternative structure on nearly vacant development land to accommodate the remaining 13 tramcars and up to 20 horses.    


Surviving Tramcars


Short 'Toastracks' - 11, 12
Long 'Toastracks' - 21, 38, 39, 40, 42
Sunshades - 32, 33, 34, 35(a), 36, 37
Bulkheads - 43, 44, 45, 47
Winter Saloons - 1, 27, 28, 29
Double-Deckers - 13(b), 18
Canvas Roof 'Toastrack' - 22(c)
All-Weather Convertible - 49(d)

Notes:
(a) On display at the Home of Rest for Old Horses, Douglas
(b) Re-numbered as car 14 in 1908, on display in the Manx Museum, Douglas
(c) Converted into Shop Car, on display in the Jurby Transport Museum
(d) Stored on-Island, owned by the Three Foot Gauge Society

Scrapped Tramcars


Double-Deckers - 1(h), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 14(e), 15, 16
Short 'Toastracks' - 9, 19, 20, 25, 26, 30, 31(f)
Long 'Toastracks' - 10, 41
Bulkhead - 46(g)
Winter Saloons - 17(i)
Canvas Roof 'Toastracks' - 23, 24
All-Weather Convertibles - 48, 50


Notes:
(e) Original car 14, destroyed by a rock fall in 1908
(f)  Used as a training car from 1977 until being scrapped in 1987
(g) Displayed in Birkenhead from 1990 until being scrapped in 2001
(h) Original 1876 Winter Saloon, scrapped by 1901, replaced in 1913
(i)  Converted from Double-Decker in 1903