Merseyrail Class 503 EMU ‘Wirral Units’ – Last one now in Margate

Here’s an interesting piece of news (see link below) from the Isle of Thanet News about the last surviving Merseyrail Class 503 EMU, which has now pitched up in Margate for storage in the former Hornby factory. The article also gives an informative potted history about the Class 503 EMU’s.

theisleofthanetnews.com/last-surviving-mersey-rail-class-503-train-arrives-at-locomotive-storage-in-margate/

My apologies as I do not know to whom the credit for the photo at the head of this posting is due. It was clearly taken at the former Electric Railway Museum in Coventry though, from which the 503 departed following its recent closure.

Maghull – Its new North Station – An accessible interchange?

As I have been looking at the layout of the new Maghull North Station two things in particular jump out at me which don’t seem at all right.

Firstly, the vast majority of those approaching the station by foot, on a cycle, pushing a pram, using a disability buggy etc. will do so coming from the direction of Maghull Square yet the access to the new station from this direction is at present via a short flight of steps:-

There’s no alternative to these steps, there’s no dropped kerb and hard standing to School Lane so how are people with disabilities and those arriving on a bike supposed to access the station? The alternative presently is a very long detour along School Lane and then back again via the new Poppy Fields housing estate road.

Could it be that a level/accessible access is still to be provided? I’m wondering if this may be the case because of uncompleted works some 20 or 30 yards away from the steps? See what I mean?:-

Secondly, the bus stops for the new station, on School Lane, are not exactly close to it:-

In the summer maybe the walk to the bus stops is a pleasant one but in winter? Why has it not been possible to create an bus/rail interchange like you see at many stations where both are located right next to each other? This whole area has been designed from scratch so I’m scratching my head about this, I really am.

The new station is great (I use it, indeed I campaigned for it to be built over many, many years) but clearly there are teething troubles which need addressing.

With thanks to the Aintree & Maghull Champion newspaper for making this their lead story in their edition of 1st August 2018

Merseyrail Class 502 Unit Under Restoration in Burscough – An Update

The long-term restoration of the Class 502 EMU, which used to run on the Northern Lines of the Merseyrail network, continues at the premises of Merseyside Transport Trust in Burscough by the Friends of the 502 Group.

It really is a huge task for the volunteers who are undertaking the work as the two car unit reached Burscough in terrible condition due to age and it being stored in the open. Rust is unsurprisingly the main problem, so fabrication of new parts is the major headache. Here are some photos of the present state of the works:-

Good luck to the Friends of the 502 Group in their endeavors.

Mid Wirral Railway Line – Will it ever become a Merseyrail Line?

Upton Station

www.railwaygazette.com/news/passenger/single-view/view/vivarail-d-trains-for-wales-borders.html

The Railway Gazette has the story on its web site – see link above

What made me wonder about this piece of news was more what it did not say than what it did.

Has it not been the long-term ambition of Merseytravel to bring the Mid Wirral Line into the Merseyrail fold? Yes it has and it has been talked about in Merseytravel for as long as I can remember. So does this announcement mean that aim has been dropped, forgotten, sidelined, shunted into the sidings? I hope not as it has always been a rather obvious addition to the Merseyrail network that needs getting on with rather than just being talked about.

Maghull – It’s new railway station has snagging issues

A visit to Maghull North railway station yesterday morning, for a train to Liverpool, brought up a few issues, one of which must be driving the residents of Mersey Avenue round the bend!

A refer to the testing of the station announcements system; I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like it! Noisy yes, but also all kinds of weird noises and verbal statements. Each time it kicked in I had to stop a conversation with a chap stood next to me. Has it really been necessary to inflict this on the Mersey Avenue residents living yards away?

Secondly the lifts were still not working 9 days after the new station opened and I was told, by another passenger who had asked about them, that it would be a few more days yet before they were working. Was it sensible to open the station with non-working lifts bearing mind that there are quite a few steps down and indeed up from the platforms? Having said that a lovely young man from Merseyrail had just escorted an elderly lady down the steps to get her train, so assistance where required, is being provided.

And lastly a question. Is the footpath originally proposed to link to the new station from Park Lane going to be constructed? I have heard opinions expressed on this and you can probably guess the matter is still unclear to me.

Merseyrail – More about the new trains

A new Stadler Merseyrail train artist impression

www.railwaygazette.com/news/traction-rolling-stock/single-view/view/battery-trial-planned-for-new-emu-fleet.html

The Railway Gazette has the details on is web site – see link above

An article for those of you more interested in the technical aspects of the new and soon to be delivered rolling stock for the Merseyrail network.

With thanks to Colin for the lead to this posting