In the early days of the century the horse trams in Dublin were replaced by electric ones. In after years any new ideas always seemed to be first used on the Dalkey line, whether this was so in those early days I do not remember, but I do vaguely recollect the last of the horse trams on the Terenure route, particularly the addition of the extra horse at the canal bridge to pull it up the incline. I think it quite possible that Dalkey saw the first of the electric trams.
Those early trams had an open top and the driver and conductor were also exposed to the elements. When the terminus was reached, the driver removed the brass steering handle and a smaller one which presumable controlled the tower, and took them to the other end of the tram to return along the route, crossing the points to the other line.
I do not remember the date of the introduction of the eight-wheeled bogey, it may have been about 1913, but I do remember the talk about it at mealtimes! I had two uncles who were engineers (and later my brother followed in their footsteps) so unless I had been deaf, dumb and blind, I could not avoid collecting some information re the impending departure from the old design. At last they arrived on the Dalkey tram. We went en bloc to gaze in admiration at the wonder and then test the smoother running of the cars.
I remember the wheels were smaller than the previous ones; four on one end of the car and four on the other, each set affixed to a kind of platform (the Dalkey trams were longer than any others) which I presume allowed greater manoeuvrability.
The next excitement I recall on this line was an express tram. Short extra tracks were added at strategic points to permit the normal services to clear the lines for the new non-stop express. One of these lay-bys was at the Ballsbridge end of Herbert Park, I do not know where the others were.
The tram routes at this time were not numbered as they are today, each
line had its own symbol - Dalkey’s was a green shamrock with a yellow stripe
across it to distinguish it from the plain Shamrock of the Kingstown (Dun
Laoghaire to you!) terminal ones which went to the Town Hall in Marine
Road. Dalkey must have been very important to get everything new, or was
it a case of ‘trying it out on the dog’ ?