Ding! Ding! Old Number 9 tram may roll again in Howth

Fingal County Council wants to reinstate Hill of Howth Tramway, disused since 1959

The No 9 tram from the Hill of Howth at Sutton Cross. The council is considering partially restoring the service as a tourist attraction.  Photograph: Jim Kilroy

The No 9 tram from the Hill of Howth at Sutton Cross. The council is considering partially restoring the service as a tourist attraction. Photograph: Jim Kilroy

 

Fingal County Council is considering reinstating the Howth tram as a possible tourist attraction.

The Hill of Howth Tramway system looped about five miles around Howth peninsula from 1901 until 1959. It consisted of eight Brush-built cars in blue and cream livery and two Milnes cars running every 20 minutes.

The council has issued an invitation for tenders for a feasibility study on reinstating the tram or “viable alternatives”.

It would be unfeasible to bring back the complete service but a partial reinstatement as a tourist attraction could work, an expert has said.

Jim Kilroy, director of tram restoration at the Transport Museum Society of Ireland, said the most viable options would be a horse-drawn service along the Howth waterfront, using a small tram, or a more ambitious electric service running from Howth Dart station up to Howth Castle and the National Transport Museum, nearly a kilometre away.

The council said it was “fully committed to developing the tourism offering in the county and sees the Howth tram as a possibility in the development of international and regional attractions”.

Former mayor of Fingal David O’Connor said he was delighted with the move. He had made the initial request following conversations with tourism and commercial interests, as well as with people interested in transport heritage, he said.