Introduction...

Douglas Bay Horse Tramway is the oldest horse-drawn passenger tramway to remain in service anywhere in the World, having opened in 1876.

Tramcar No.2 at the Broadway / Iron Pier Passing Loop (1877)
Photo: MNH i-museum
 
The Horse Tramway provides both an unique visitor experience and a heritage transport service along the busy seafront promenades of Douglas, capital of the Isle of Man, a self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Tramway has kept thirteen of its original Victorian and Edwardian era tramcars, a selection of open-sided roofed and un-roofed cross-bench cars, enclosed winter saloons and a double-decker.

Built between 1883 and 1913, the historic tramcars enable the Tramway to provide the visitor with an uniquely authentic experience of one of the earliest forms of mass public transport.

There are a further ten original tramcars privately owned or in the care of museums on the Island - see our Historic Tramcar Listing.

Douglas Bay Tramway 'A' Team - Traditional Ploughing (2016)
 
From early Spring until late Autumn, the Tramway operates with a large team of magnificent Clydesdale and Shire draught horses.

Historically known as 'trammers', a number of the horses also attend agricultural shows in the Summer and compete in traditional ploughing matches on the Island during the Winter months.

Use the Tramway Guide navigation tab above to learn more about the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, its horses and tramcars, the Home of Rest for Old Horses, and the long-closed Upper Douglas Cable Tramway.


Ownership & Operation...

Douglas Bay Horse Tramway was taken over by the Isle of Man Government in 2016 and is now operated as a subsidised heritage transport service and visitor experience by Isle of Man Transport (a division of the Department of Infrastructure), with additional support from volunteers and the third sector. The small retail shop within the Tramway Stables is also run by Isle of Man Transport, which receives all of the proceeds from items purchased in the shop.