The cosmetic restoration of Blackpool’s famous illuminated Rocket tram, 732, is making remarkably speedy progress with work on the external lights now almost complete. When the tram made its last appearance on the Blackpool tramway for a special farewell tour in 2002, it was only used on the condition that its illuminations were kept switched off, due to the delicate condition of the aged wiring.
However, the Rocket now looks magnificent again thanks to the efforts of Blackpool’s Illuminations Department, who are carrying out the work on the tram at their premises close to Blackpool Airport. The tram looks so good that it was featured on the local BBC TV North West news programme earlier this week, which will no doubt add to the already huge amount of interest in this unique tram’s return to the limelight later this month! 732 was also displayed for a press launch previewing the 2012 illuminations in its current temporary home, and is expected to move to outside display at Gynn Square ahead of the switch-on ceremony which will take place on 31st August.
Readers of this website may also be interested to hear that one of the new attractions in this year’s illuminations will be a series of Nickelodeon characters, including Spongebob Squarepants. With a Flexity also featuring an image of the popular cartoon character, it’s good to see that the spirit of Jubilee car 762 is very much alive and well in Blackpool following the departure of the original Spongebob tram for Crich last year!