Following a number of rather depressing news items involving Blackpool trams, it is pleasing to report that Twin set 672+682 is almost ready for a return to service on its native rails. The trams have been superbly repainted in their original all-over cream livery complete with green lifeguards, bogies and lining-out, and the lucky few who have already seen the trams have already said that the end result looks absolutely stunning!
672+682 were of course lined up for a place at the National Tramway Museum but were ultimately rejected due to a shortage of space. Once it was confirmed that Bryan Lindop would be responsible for overseeing the operation of the heritage trams in Blackpool, he arranged for the Twin set to be returned to use and a generous donation from an enthusiast has allowed the set to be repainted in its original 1960s livery.
The details of Set 2’s repaint were supposed to be kept a secret until it was launched back into service, but 682 was released from the Paint Shop whilst some of the Lancastrian Transport Trust’s trams were being shunted ready for departure from Rigby Road, and so several enthusiasts were present to witness its appearance in the open air, and details of its livery have since appeared on at least three different websites. British Trams Online had initially intended to respect Blackpool Transport’s wishes but now that the cat is well and truly out of the bag, there is little point in keeping quiet about something which has already been widely reported elsewhere!
Nonetheless, the appearance of a cream Twin car on Blackpool promenade is something that many people are now very much looking forward to. Following some final prepartions, it is expected that 672+682 will return to use later this month, and should then be used on heritage and illumination tours, as well as being available for other duties such as private hire trips. BTS must be congratulated for taking steps to ensure that a Twin set will stay in Blackpool for the forseeable future, and hopefully Set 2 will prove to be very popular in its new role as a vintage tram.