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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Historic tram wins renovation bid
Illuminated Western Train Tram
The tram will once again run along the promenade
The restoration of one of Blackpool's historic trams will go ahead after being awarded a 278,000 lottery grant.

The Illuminated Western Train Tram - once one of the resort's most popular attractions - is sitting derelict in a depot after being withdrawn in 1999.

Blackpool Transport applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the tram back to its 1928 appearance.

The illuminated twin-car tram carried thousands of passengers in its heyday, including Sir Cliff Richard.

Iconic tram

The veteran singer travelled on its famous carriages to reopen the ABC Theatre and launch its first summer show in 1963.

He said: "Like thousands of others, I have fond memories of my trip on this famous tram, and I think it's fantastic that a whole new generation will be able to share the experience."

Sir Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff is a big fan of the iconic tram

Blackpool Transport Services received more than 1,000 letters from the public urging the restoration of the Western Train Tram.

Managing Director Steve Burd said the tramcar was a unique vehicle.

"It is an icon, both in terms of the world-renowned Blackpool Illuminations and also the historic and much-loved Blackpool tramway experience," he added.

Under the restoration project, the tram's interior will be stripped back to reveal the original mahogany panelling.

Its electrics and engineering will also be brought back to full working order so that it can once again carry passengers.

The tram, modelled on an old, Western film-style steam train, rode along the Promenade as part of the resort's annual illuminations display.

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