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HORSE TRAMS

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10 minutes ago, thesultanofsheight said:

Yes probably a middle of the road figure of £6M and this from a department which said it would be able to operate the trams more efficiently and save costs over Douglas Corporation. The DOI is pretty much a joke how it can “save” costs by spending £6M of taxpayers money to upgrade something that has made a substantial loss for the last 20 years and more. It’s almost like it’s a competition to see how much money they can actually lose. 

It's clearly another example of DOI "savings". To follow all the others.

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2 hours ago, Derek Flint said:

It’s a good question. 

With the right strategy and another 20 miles of track, the IOM would have basically been the Island of Sodor. It doesn’t take a marketing genius to work out how to exploit the families tourism market with that one.

and on top of that, grown up enthusiasts would have surely wanted to come to what would certainly have been the largest preserved system in the British Isles.

How do you work that one out? They were pulled up when tourism here was still substantial and the Steam Packet had 20 boats travelling to numerous ports...as did Ramsey pier become an uneconomic rust heap...because few paid to use them.

It's well passed time that the horse trams and the electric and steam railways were put in the hands of regulated charities and not paid for by taxpayers...other than some initial subsidies. Just think about how much of these costs goes on paying above market rate wages and pension pots.

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13 minutes ago, Albert Tatlock said:

How do you work that one out? They were pulled up when tourism here was still substantial and the Steam Packet had 20 boats travelling to numerous ports...as did Ramsey pier become an uneconomic rust heap...because few paid to use them.

It's well passed time that the horse trams and the electric and steam railways were put in the hands of regulated charities and not paid for by taxpayers...other than some initial subsidies. Just think about how much of these costs goes on paying above market rate wages and pension pots.

I agree

 

these things often work better in the hands of enthusiasts and volunteers.

i don’t think it was foreseeable in the 70s - Blaneu-ffestinog was a similar example. Look at it now 

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3 hours ago, Derek Flint said:

This is exactly what I have said above. 

Are you Manx? Dill I might accept the point from you if you are!

I think it was exactly the right decision to move the responsibility of the trams from the corpy to central government.

Put simply it's a national "asset" so Douglas should not have to fund it for the "benefit" of the rest of the island.

I can't see how DOI would cut maintenance costs because the unique nature of the service means it has unique requirements. Frankly I can well see DOI adding to the costs due to no doubt more well-salaried folks getting involved.... Where to lay the track is again a difficult one due to the unique requirements. Personally I would expect the most experience in this field will be found in Douglas.

As to is it worth the money is a trcky one. Our heritage is one of the aspects that defines what it means to us to be manx. With the incomers making the indigenous population the minority I suppose this issue was always going to come up.

Unfortunately you can't put a £number on what it means to be manx.....

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20 minutes ago, Derek Flint said:

I agree

 

these things often work better in the hands of enthusiasts and volunteers.

i don’t think it was foreseeable in the 70s - Blaneu-ffestinog was a similar example. Look at it now 

Also agree - anything will run at its best  if it is run by enthusiasts  and  few are more enthusiastic than volunteers.

Answer = get volunteers.

There is a snag.There is but  a small group of potential volunteers from which you can draw.For a job that requires some degree of fitness the list  gets smaller and they tend to come from the recently-retired group.

As retirement age goes up, this group   will be  increasingly lost  to the voluntary sector .If they live to stagger into retirement they will no longer be able -or willing  to take on anything much.

 

 

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All those in receipt of a civil service pension should be made to do this sort of thing up until normal retirement age  to justify their pension. I say made, I'd prefer if it was voluntary, just make the ones that won't volunteer. 

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The opportunity of ceasing the horse trams was given to Tynwald when DBC took the brave decision to stop funding a legacy transport and tourism service. The decision was then put to politicians who listened to the heritage lobby and decided to keep shoveling taxpayers money into the service. I very much doubt whether any significant number of residents actually use the horse teams as a means of transport and I assume, therefore that they are regarded as a tourist attraction. Did any research take place to demonstrate that people came to the Island to get on the horse trams? I expect not. Outside of MNH does anyone honestly believe that the long term future of tourism on the Island is best served by continued investment in quaintness? Is that what future generations of IOM-bound tourists will be looking for? I suspect that the continued capital and revenue investment in horse trams was based more on decisions to avoid short-term controversy than any long-term investment strategy based on returns or value for money. That’s not untypical, of course. 

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I think we need to define 'heritage'. Installing a pile of tat that wasn't even made here just to give tourists something to do here is not heritage in my book.

Would a tired out unsafe building, such as Summerland had it survived, now be part of our 'heritage'?

Don't confuse everything from the past with heritage. It is our failure to introduce newer more in demand modern facilities here that are making us rely on tat.

In my book our real heritage sits with the Vikings.

If people want to keep the railways...fine...but don't expect the taxpayers to cover your laziness and inability to look after it and market it. And don't expect top dollar which they do.

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In terms of attacking tourists you have to think about what makes the Island attractive as a place to visit.

The uniqueness of the Isle of Man as a place to visit is a combination of the natural beauty, our heritage (Castle Rushen, Peel Castle, the Railway, Tramways, Laxey Wheel  etc) all in a relatively compact area.

We need to stop trying to turn the Island into a UK town.  It is not what we are.  

 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, manxman1980 said:

In terms of attacking tourists you have to think about what makes the Island attractive as a place to visit.

The uniqueness of the Isle of Man as a place to visit is a combination of the natural beauty, our heritage (Castle Rushen, Peel Castle, the Railway, Tramways, Laxey Wheel  etc) all in a relatively compact area.

We need to stop trying to turn the Island into a UK town.  It is not what we are.  

 

I'm sorry MM but I disagree, (in a nice way).

Before moving to the Island we visited three times going back to 1970. Since moving here (6 years ago) we receive frequent visitors from the UK. We've got over 100 family members within 30 minutes of Liverpool airport or ferry terminal.

Between ourselves and our visitors, not one single person has been to Castle Rushen, Peel Castle, Tramways or the Laxey Wheel, (or horse tram) not one. 

Two of us went on the Mountain Railway (once was enough). 

We have pretty much travelled the world, visiting countless attractions, but none of the Island 'attractions' actually attract us or anybody we know. Views and countryside yes, beaches and Glens yes, scenic drives yes, walking round the harbours yes - but none of the 'attractions' raise a flicker of interest, at best we see them as 'Quaint' and tolerate them because the locals seem keen to portray that image of 'quaintness' - we see them as being here to meet the needs of local tradition and heritage for the locals - they certainly do not provide an incentive to travel to the Island in anybody that we know.

That's not having a go - I'm just telling it as it is for us and our visitors. I have never, ever heard a single person say 'Let's visit the IOM for trains/horses/ trams, never.

If the locals determine that they wish to subsidise these 'attractions' for the sake of 'Manxness' or 'Heritage' then fine, nothing wrong with that whatever - but please do not for one moment think that there are hoards of people across itching to come over for these attractions - because there aint.

Edited by Manximus Aururaneus
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9 minutes ago, Manximus Aururaneus said:

I'm sorry MM but I disagree, (in a nice way).

Before moving to the Island we visited three times going back to 1970. Since moving here (6 years ago) we receive frequent visitors from the UK. We've got over 100 family members within 30 minutes of Liverpool airport or ferry terminal.

Between ourselves and our visitors, not one single person has been to Castle Rushen, Peel Castle, Tramways or the Laxey Wheel, (or horse tram) not one. 

Two of us went on the Mountain Railway (once was enough). 

We have pretty much travelled the world, visiting countless attractions, but none of the Island 'attractions' actually attract us or anybody we know. Views and countryside yes, beaches and Glens yes, scenic drives yes, walking round the harbours yes - but none of the 'attractions' raise a flicker of interest, at best we see them as 'Quaint' and tolerate them because the locals seem keen to portray that image of 'quaintness' - we see them as being here to meet the needs of local tradition and heritage for the locals - they certainly do not provide an incentive to travel to the Island in anybody that we know.

That's not having a go - I'm just telling it as it is for us and our visitors. I have never, ever heard a single person say 'Let's visit the IOM for trains/horses/ trams, never.

I'm sorry, but this is simply wrong. Coachloads of people every week come over to travel the railways. They do most definitely provide an incentive to travel to the Island. The combination of Victorian transport systems on the Island is unique in the world and the people who come for the first time are totally enchanted by what they find here. We seem to have a lot of people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. I find it astonishing that some see no value whatsoever in the wealth of treasures that we are so lucky to have.

What is needed is much better marketing, and FAR less pen pushers attached to the services who raise the costs without adding any value. As far as the operational staff at the coal face is concerned, if anything there is too much casual cheap labour and not enough of the decades of experience that was once there. They got rid of lots of people in a very short space of time and brought in seasonal contracts without guaranteed hours. They lost an awful lot of operational knowledge in so doing.

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20 minutes ago, Manximus Aururaneus said:

Between ourselves and our visitors, not one single person has been to Castle Rushen, Peel Castle, Tramways or the Laxey Wheel, (or horse tram) not one. 

Two of us went on the Mountain Railway (once was enough). 

We have pretty much travelled the world, visiting countless attractions, but none of the Island 'attractions' actually attract us or anybody we know. Views and countryside yes, beaches and Glens yes, scenic drives yes, walking round the harbours yes - but none of the 'attractions' raise a flicker of interest, at best we see them as 'Quaint' and tolerate them because the locals seem keen to portray that image of 'quaintness' - we see them as being here to meet the needs of local tradition and heritage for the locals - they certainly do not provide an incentive to travel to the Island in anybody that we know.

That's not having a go - I'm just telling it as it is for us and our visitors. I have never, ever heard a single person say 'Let's visit the IOM for trains/horses/ trams, never.

Our guests view it all as being part of "the package" if you like.

This point you made "Views and countryside yes, beaches and Glens yes, scenic drives yes, walking round the harbours yes" is no different from lots of other parts of the UK.....

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