Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Rocket Recovered to Rigby Road

Scotts hauling the Rocket onto the back of their low loader using the hydraulic arm on the rear of the tractor unit
On the evening of 24th June, Scotts Heavy Haulage began the process of recovering the Rocket illuminated tram from the large roundabout at Gynn Square, where it has been sat exposed to the elements for the last two years. It was in July 2012 that the Rocket first departed from Rigby Road depot, making the short journey to the Blackpool Illuminations Department near the airport where the tram was given a cosmetic makeover with new LED lighting fitted, before being moved onto Gynn Square roundabout for display during the illuminations season. Scotts arrived at Gynn Square just after 6:00 PM on Tuesday evening, and constructed the rail ramp, loaded the tram and departed again all in the space of two hours, beginning the journey back to Rigby Road at 8:10 PM. Once parked up in Blundell Street, the unloading took place with the aid of Unimog 939 which finally propelled the Rocket into the depot confines at 10:00 PM. The return of the Rocket now completes the planned Heritage Tram collection at Rigby Road, and brings to a conclusion the Lancastrian Transport Trust's involvement with tramcar preservation.

The Rocket being pulled across the rail ramp bridge built between the static display track and the low loader trailer
The Rocket nearly loaded onto the trailer, showing how one side of the roundabout was blocked off to road traffic
The Rocket safely tied down onto the low loader in readiness for the tractor unit to hook up to the trailer again
With the Rocket securely chained down onto the back of the low loader, Scotts begin to prepare for the departure
Scotts low loader about to reverse off the roundabout at Gynn Square
Scotts low loader carefully reversing off the Gynn Square roundabout with its precious cargo safely loaded onboard
Scotts beginning the short but circuitous journey from the Gynn Square roundabout back to Blundell Street
Scotts low loader beginning the climb up Warbreck Hill Road away from Gynn Square on the way back to the depot
Scotts low loader reversing from Lytham Road into Hopton Road
Scotts low loader making the tricky manoeuvre from Hopton Road into Blundell St via Home Bargains loading bay
Unimog 939, with its rail guide wheels lowered, beginning to slowly pull the Rocket off the back of the low loader
The Unimog slowly pulling the Rocket off the back of Scotts low loader using an extended rigid drawbar
 The Rocket being pulled round the curve from Blundell Street into Hopton Road by Unimog 939.
Unimog 939 propelling the Rocket through the gates into Rigby Road tram depot at 10pm on 24th June

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