The illuminated Hovertram, no.735 returned to Blackpool on 22nd September after an absence of nine years. 735 has been placed on loan to the Blackpool Heritage Trust for a minimum of 20 years from its owners, the North Eastern Electrical Traction Trust (NEETT), at whose Sunderland premises it had spent the last two years.
Following loading up earlier in the day, it took just four hours to bring the tram back to its native Blackpool where it was swiftly unloaded onto ‘home’ rails once more, and transfer back to the sanctuary of Rigby Road depot. 735 looks in surprisingly good order considering it has not run since the 2001 illuminations. It spent six years in store at Blackpool before originally leaving for preservation in Scotland in 2007, then transfer to Sunderland in 2014. Its return reunites the entire collection of 1960’s built illuminated trams – which is an amazing achievement! Blackpool Heritage Trust would like to place on record their thanks to NEETT for allowing the Hovertram to return home to Blackpool, and to the Blackpool Tram Shop for sponsoring the move.