HistoryThe Douglas Horse Drawn Trams are the world's oldest surviving horse tram service, dating back to 1876. The trams are fitted with roller bearings to ease the load on the horses bred to pull them. The trams link the 2 miles distance from the Manx Electric Railway and depot at Derby Castle along Douglas Promenade to the Sea Terminal and Port. The line was opened by its creator, Thomas Lightfoot, a retired Sheffield civil engineer.
In 1882, Lightfoot sold the line to Isle of Man Tramways Ltd, which came later to be known as Isle of Man Tramways & Electric Power Co Ltd. In 1902 the Douglas Corporation purchased the lines from its bankrupt owners. The trams have been running ever since, only seeing brief breaks during World War II, and are a popular form of transport for locals and tourist.
LocationTram Stops - Promenade/Beach Side
Tower House Shopping
Near Villa Marina
Near Blossom Hotel
Near Imperial Hotel
Tram Stops - Hotel Side
Tower House Shopping Centre
Near Blossom Hotel
Shops near Hydro Hotel
Corner of Summerhill Road
Derby Castle/Electric Railway Station
Tel: +44 (0) 1624 696420
Travelling on the Horse Drawn TramsThe trams come along the road near the promenade. There are marked signs with a horse and tram on them along the edge of the promenade. Stand near one of these signs if you wish to catch the tram. The driver will be on the look out for waiting passengers and stop. If you are in doubt they will see you then just wave your arm out, like like ones does for a bus. You can buy your ticket on the tram, though residence cards can only be bought at the Derby Depot or Town Hall. It is a fun way to get along the 2 mile promenade and in the summer the trams are more frequent then the bus.
The horses are very friendly and do not mind a gentle pat. They are use to the traffic around them and prove very noble beasts. For those interested in the horses. There is a Rest Home for Old Horses open to the public.