Vintage loco renamed Blackpool Tower in honour of the resort icon's 125th anniversary

The renaming ceremony for the vintage diesel locomotive Blackpool Tower
The renaming ceremony for the vintage diesel locomotive Blackpool Tower
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A vintage diesel locomotive that has been fully refurbished and brought back into service has been named Blackpool Tower to mark the 125th anniversary of the resort’s icon.

A VIP naming ceremony was held at Blackpool North station with Coun Fred Jackson doing the honours.

The Blackpool Tower loco with its namesake seen above Blackpool North station

The Blackpool Tower loco with its namesake seen above Blackpool North station

The class 37 407 loco is operated by Direct Rail Services which runs freight services and specialist infrastructure services for Network Rail. Paul Makepeace, head of business delivery for DRS, said the train came into service in 1975 and between 1993 and 1995 operated between Blackpool and Manchester Victoria.

It was taken out of service in 2000 and languished until 2015 when it was revamped. The engine was completely refurbished and the bodywork was taken back to the metal to be renovated and repainted.

He said the engine was already giving stalwart service and earlier this week was down in Devon.

Coun Jackson said: “It is fantastic of DRS to mark the 125th year since the Blackpool Tower opened with the naming of this locomotive.

“We now have a Blackpool Belle and Blackpool Tower.”

The train will probably visit Blackpool soon pushing a Network Rail vehicle which carries out routine track and infrastructure checks but could also see service as a ballast train or on snowplough duties.