By Pat Liddy 1988.
Director's Car Dublin United Tramways Company
This column has already dealt with the magnificent restoration of a Hill of Howth tram by the National Transport Museum based at Howth Castle Now the museum has acquired an even more spectacular survivor from the golden age of Tramway system in Dublin. It is the vehicle built in 1901 at the D.U.T.C. works at Spa Road Inchicore, for the exclusive use of the Company's directors. In its elegant furnishings (supplied by Clearys,) decoration, craftsmanship and equipment the tram was unique in its day and became world famous.
Fittings in the carpeted interior included craved inside window pillars, wine cabinets and folding tables, armchairs, rich curtains, and miniature electric lamp clusters. In each of the twelve ventilators - two over each side window - was a painting of a Dublin scene and a splendid wrought iron railing surrounded the upper deck.
During the next three decades the tram piled backwards and forwards on official duties over the entire line network until the late '30's when the opulence of the vehicle seemed incongruous to the needs of the time and it was finally retired. It was stored in Dalkey Depot. When the last D.U.T.C. route was closed in 1949 and a year later it passed into private ownership.
The new owner thankfully resisted
the many overtures to sell the tram to foreign interests but before a decision
was finally reached to hand it over to the National Tramway Museum vandals
had set fire to the interior badly damaging the body structure. The
undercarriage is in relatively good condition and the vehicle could be
made to run again on proposed tracks at Howth Castle .