Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 30-10-2018

Cable tramway wheel restored and displayed

by TH

Cable tramway wheel restored and displayed  - picture

The sole surviving piece of Douglas Cable Tramway machinery has been installed in the Bottleneck car park.

The cable tram flywheel which dates from 1894 has been fully restored by a team from Douglas Borough Council.

Earlier restoration work had been carried out by volunteers from Jurby Transport Museum, with engineering and fabrication services provided by BB Consulting Engineers and Gallas Foundry.

The restoration project was delivered in collaboration with the Department of Infrastructure.

Environmental Services Committee Vice-Chairman Falk Horning says: “The project to save and restore this important component of the Island’s vintage transport system has been a triumph of collaboration between the public and private sector, notably Isle of Man-based specialist firms.

“That the wheel now occupies such a landmark position at one of the principal gateways to the capital of the Isle of Man is testimony to the importance the council places on protecting this magnificent example of Victorian engineering.”

Council Leader David Christian says: “Heritage defines who we are as a nation and helps to illustrate our past.

“Restoring and returning this wheel to the heart of the Douglas community represents a statement of intent by the council that even when budgets are under pressure it is vital that our history and heritage be preserved and promoted for future generations.”

The cable tram flywheel was used for manoeuvring tram cars around Douglas on the tramway which operated from 1895 until its closure in 1929 and ran from Loch Promenade, through to Victoria Street, then Bucks Road, Woodbourne Road, York Road and Ballaquayle Road before returning via Broadway.

The wheel was uncovered during excavation works carried out by the former Isle of Man Water Authority in 2000 for the IRIS sewer scheme when a long-buried cable tram chamber was unearthed.

The project to save and restore this important component of the Island’s vintage transport system has been a triumph of collaboration between the public and private sector, notably Isle of Man-based specialist firms."

Falk Horning, Environmental Services Committee Vice-Chairman

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