Contributors Page

This page is designed for photographic contributions to the Manx Electric Railway Society website. If you have any views of transport to or on the Isle of Man, particularly pre 1980, and would like to see them added to the website please e-mail first with details to [email protected] All contributions welcomed.

Douglas, the capital of the Island since 1869, has had a horse tramway running along the Promenades for all but seven years of its 'premiership', after a 3' gauge line was laid in 1876. Today the line is mainly an important summer season tourist attraction, although it does provide a useful link between the two sides of the town for a number of local passengers as well. Normal operation uses the covered toastracks, although on good weather days open toastrack cars are substituted and on inclement days the enclosed saloons can be seen.

In these views shown below, taken during the summer of 1993 by George Gardiner, the weather was quite kind and some of the toastrack cars operational in the fleet can be seen in service. The MERS is very grateful for the use of these photographs, which make a welcome addition to the website. Copyright for each view remains with the photographer

Horse car 21, built by Milnes in 1890 driven by Chris Kelly is caught as it leaves Derby Castle bound for the Sea Terminal, wearing non-standard livery. For a period two open toastrack cars (21/38) were painted in a blue and gold scheme for the ambitious Douglas 2000 project

Regular operation is usually undertaken by covered toastracks from the 1896 Milnes built 32-37 class. Tram 33, carrying advertising for the Island's Department of Tourism is seen approaching the traffic lights at the bottom of Broadway. During this season, the DOT adverts were changed on an almost weekly basis, as they promoted events that were taking place either that week or very soon afterwards

Similar car 34, driven by Graham Glover, is seen on Central Promenade heading towards 'town' and carrying adverts for Douglas Corporation's Villa Marina complex. Such advertising was commonplace on the horse trams for years, with a number of now famous names all featuring on the adverts

Over the years a number of trams were lengthened and had their seating capacity increased from 32 to 40. All but one of these conversions were carried out to open toastracks, the exception being the first undertaken in 1908 to car 36. These conversions brought the tram capacity in line with later deliveries, and in the case of 36 can easily be identified by the additional seating outside the bulkhead. The tram is seen as on Queens Promenade driven by horse tram stalwart Paul Kelly with conductor Carlo. Although horse car operation is seasonal, a number of drivers and conductors return each summer, supplemented by students seeking seasonal employment. A recent pleasant innovation is the addition of boards around the horses' neck with the name of the horse, always popular with holiday makers and children (of all ages) alike