Sunday 9th July was the annual open day of Merseyside Transport Trust’s huge warehouse type building in Burscough, West Lancashire.
This is where they store their numerous old buses that previously operated across Liverpool and Merseyside but the draw for me was to check on the slow but determined progress to bring a Merseyrail Class 502 EMU back up to operating standard.
Are you old enough to remember the trains that ran on the Ormskirk – Liverpool and Southport – Liverpool lines until the late 1970’s?
The 502 (together with the Wirral line 503’s) were withdrawn in the late 1970’s being replaced by the present (and soon to be replaced themselves) 507/508 EMU’s.
The state of decay in the 502 that the Friends of the 502 Group are working on has to be seen to be believed and its going to take another 5 years and more, at least, for the volunteers to rebuild the unit – They have been working on it for 5 years already. Here’s some shots of 502’s in their operating days – both are from Southport – one taken in the station itself and one in the carriage sidings:-
And here are a couple of shots showing the present state of 502 unit being worked on:-
My recollection from rides into Liverpool from Maghull as a teenager and young man back in the day is that the 502 seats were really comfortable and they were filled with horse hair I assume.
And finally, here’s a link to the Friends of the 502 Group’s web site:-