If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by marshall5, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,079
    Likes Received:
    2,938
    Location:
    i.o.m
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The DoI minister has, this morning, announced that the horsetrams WILL be running this year. He stated that they will be operated under the Heritage Railways banner following an agreement with Douglas Corporation. It seems that by making economies and increasing fares the annual loss can be reduced to c.100k and with financial support from Manx National Heritage, Culture Vannin and others the shortfall of about 20k will be found from IoM Transport funds. The service will not be daily but will be over a longer period to fit in with IoM Railways 'season'. The long term future depends on the outcome of the plans for rebuilding the Promenade which are now "back up in the air". I hope as many Nat. Pres. members as possible will now come over and use the trams (and the rest of our heritage railways of course).
    Ray.
     
    lynbarn, MuzTrem and paulhitch like this.
  2. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    1,033
    Really good news. Let's just hope that all interested parties can now use this breathing space to knock their heads together and find a workable, long-term solution.

    I have to say though, I have mixed feelings about the idea of truncating the tramway. Obviously I would rather see half the tramway preserved than none of it, but still...I can't help feeling that if it's worth saving we should really aim to save all of it, not just half.

    It also makes one think of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchuch, which seriously considered reducing its length in the '70s, but ultimately concluded that, although the prospects for the railway as a whole looked bleak, the prospects for "any amputated stump of it" were even worse (as Snell put it).

    At the very least, I hope some kind of research is done to try to establish the likely impact that truncating the tramway would have on passenger numbers.
     
  3. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,079
    Likes Received:
    2,938
    Location:
    i.o.m
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Maybe I've misunderstood but truncating it was just one of the proposals all of which now are "up in the air". Certainly cutting back the IMR to just Port Erin to Castletown/Ballasalla in the mid 70's before the Gov't takeover didn't work.
    Ray.
     
  4. lostlogin

    lostlogin Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    187
    The Minister was pretty clear in his interview. Tracks would not be incorporated in the plans for the section from the Sea Terminal to the War Memorial. They would be included in the plans for the section from Strathallan to the War Memorial. whether the tracks would be on the road or on the walkway was not clear. You would like to think that it would not be the latter based on the planning inspectors report but Gawne appears incapable of accepting anything if it is at odds to his own view.

    The general election in September may throw a spanner in the works as there may not be time to get new plans through before then and if there is not time there may be a new Minister after September.
     
  5. oddsocks

    oddsocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,813
    Likes Received:
    289
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired / Dodging a Coffin for as long as I can.
    Location:
    Half a mile east of Snells Nook Halt. (1883-1931)
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
  6. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,079
    Likes Received:
    2,938
    Location:
    i.o.m
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It is hoped that services will recommence at the beginning of May.
    Ray.
     
    paulhitch likes this.
  7. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,079
    Likes Received:
    2,938
    Location:
    i.o.m
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
  8. Herald

    Herald Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    546
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
  9. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    Surrey
    Yes indeed.

    I'd really hoped that I wasn't paying my last respects when I travelled on it a few weeks ago, and hopefully that now won't be the case.
    I thought my last trip was also going to be "first" for me in terms of it being a non-stop run end to end, but we were thwarted by a "loco change" just before Derby Castle!

    Despite it being midweek pre the peak season, it appeared to be fairly well patronised, despite some typical "All 4 seasons in a day" Manx weather!
    It will also be interesting to see if being able to use the IOM Transport "Go Card" on it this year makes any noticeable difference to patronage/revenue.

    Chris
     
  10. Ebbw Junction 1

    Ebbw Junction 1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2016
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    6
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Newport, South Wales
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I have received a letter from the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture of the Isle of Man Government today confirming that the proposal to reconstruct the highway along Loch and Harris Promenades "has now been withdrawn". No explanation has been given.

    Good news!
     
  11. lynbarn

    lynbarn Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    183
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    cat watching
    Location:
    Kent
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    As some one who has never been to the IOM can you give me a bit more detail as the where about the Horse tramway runs? and does it run between the steam railway station and the electric Tram station? if not, could this be something to be consider for the future if any rebuilding was to be undertaken.

    Colin
     
  12. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Guest

    Hi Colin

    One end of the route is near the MER station, but the other end is the Sea Terminal, which is quite a way from the steam railway station. Probably difficult in terms of traffic etc to re-route the trams into the main town streets. If you do a google street view of Douglas you'll be able to find the stations and Sea Terminal quite easily.
     
    lynbarn likes this.
  13. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,079
    Likes Received:
    2,938
    Location:
    i.o.m
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    First the good news - the Douglas Bay Tramway will continue to be operated by IoM Railways throughout the 2017/8 seasons. Ridership is well up (figures of 60% have been mentioned but I cannot confirm this) and running expenses are down. Tynwald has recently voted against terminating the line at the war memorial and it will continue to run the full length of the Prom to the Sea Terminal when the roadway is reconstructed.
    Now the bad news - Douglas Corporation (the owners) have, today, announced that surplus trams and equipment will be auctioned off on Sat. 27th Aug. i.e. in just 2 weeks! According to the 8.00 news it will include 6 trams (in need of restoration), one being a 'winter' car and one a 'bulkhead' car. The auction will be held by Murrays http://chrystalsauctions.im/next.php?sale=20160827m but, as yet, no catalogue or list has been issued. Indecent haste by Douglas Corpy (IMHO).
    If anyone has contacts with credible organizations who may be interested it may be worth contacting the auctioneers ASAP.
    Ray.
     
  14. GHWood

    GHWood Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    42
    Indecent haste indeed, Ray. As we discussed yesterday, I await with interest to see what will happen in three years time when the Government's trial period of operation is up. If it continues to be the current success, it will be interesting to see how much money Douglas Town Council want for the trams, horses, stable block etc....
     
  15. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,079
    Likes Received:
    2,938
    Location:
    i.o.m
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    For those interested the auction of the six surplus trams raised less than 10 grand for Douglas Corpy (don't know yet who bought them) and the Philistines have now put the stable block and adjacent buildings up for sale. More info on Friends of Douglas Bay horse trams website www.friendsofdbht.org
    Ray.
     
  16. NGChrisW

    NGChrisW New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    Surrey
    I guess the worry now has to be about the real danger of "Closure by stealth" if the ability to stable (literally on this occasion) the "motive power" adjacent to the line is removed?
    Hopefully the trams themselves have gone to sympathetic owners/good homes.

    Chris
     
  17. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    2,079
    Likes Received:
    2,938
    Location:
    i.o.m
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The Douglas Bay Tramway is, under the control of IoM Rlys, safe for at least 2017/8 so "closure by stealth" isn't in prospect at the moment - thankfully. IMHO Douglas Corpy is 'asset stripping' to make a 'quick buck', claiming that this is in the ratepayers' interests. The plan is/was to build new stables in the tram sheds using space vacated by the, now sold, trams. However, Manx Radio recently carried a report where an interviewee who seemed to know something about the care of horses gave several reasons why the proposed 'new' stables would not be suitable. I suppose it's a case of "watch this space".
    Ray.
     
  18. SpudUk

    SpudUk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,683
    Likes Received:
    503
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Project Manager
    Location:
    Wales
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Do we know where they went? With more notice I may have been interested
     
  19. lostlogin

    lostlogin Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    187
    Number 37 tram, a Bulkhead Crossbench, was reportedly bought by the Health Minister and tram number 39, a Toastrack, was bought by the Manx Electric Railway Society. No other details yet on the others.

    I understand that they might have to sell some of the trams but the speed at which they were put for sale seems odd and the price they were sold at seems low. Knock off auction costs and they would not have cleared £8,000 in total which just seems ridiculously low.

    Read here in the local paper: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle...ells-horse-trams-for-total-of-9-200-1-8094509
     
  20. David R

    David R Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    1,013
    Likes Received:
    1,375
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Surrey
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

Share This Page