Both the Western Train and HMS Blackpool are set for cosmetic attention to restore their appearance after several years since they last passed through the workshops. We are of course aware of the fact that our celebrity illuminated trams haven’t looked their best this year, with a good number of lamps out, but the issues lay deeper than simply replacing dead bulbs. After over a decade of use the lamp holders have become damaged and corroded in our harsh salt-laden operating environment, meaning that it is impossible to simply replace bulbs into damaged sockets. To correct this we will be taking both of these feature cars into the workshops for complete replacement of the lamp strings, and cosmetic attention to include partial repaints of the trams themselves.
As the Western Train is currently required for our Santa Tram duties we have started with HMS Blackpool, which is currently in the Paint Shop where all external illuminations have been removed for replacement. Some conservation work is required on the “bow” of the tram, which dates from 1965, following which new illuminations will be fitted to restore an immaculate appearance for the 2020 season. The Western Train will follow as workshop time permits. (Photo: Gary Mitchell)