A visit to Merseyside Transport Trust’s open day in Burscough yesterday and what should I spot but a heritage bus in Ribble/North Western livery numbered for the now lost and much missed 311 route which ran from Liverpool through to Ormskirk taking in the Old Roan, Maghull and Lydiate.
It brought back memories of the campaign and petition to try to stop Arriva abandoning the route back in 2015. Here’s a link back to my postings about the matter back then:-
Four years on since the bus was withdrawn and Lydiate residents without access to a car are still struggling to get to Ormskirk, which is just 4 miles away, with only the 310 bus to use and that just skims the very edge of Lydiate.
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.
I went along to the Trust’s Open Day last Sunday to both have a look and to help out on the OPSTA stall at the event. Here are a few photos of the vehicles on display:-
Nice to meet up with some old friends there even though I’m not really into old buses and cars being a railway enthusiast. I did get to see the latest works on the former Merseyrail Class 502 EMU though and more about that in a separate posting.
The first photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
Whilst at the Merseyside Transport Trust Open Day on 9th July I came across and purchased this photo of a horse drawn tram in Birkdale:-
Is this shot taken on Cemetery Road, Southport? Can it be dated by anyone?
Click on the scanned photo to enlarge it
The photo is also amongst my Flickr photos at:-
Here are links to my previous postings about Southport’s long-gone trams:-
Sadly since my May 2014 posting about Southport’s Pier Tram it has also ceased to run and been disposed of. I understand this was said to be the result of it being too heavy for the aging pier.
BTW – Are the 3 chaps in the photo my old friends and Birkdale Ward Councillors, Richard Hands, Simon Shaw and Iain Brodie Brown?:-)))
A 502 in LMS livery – They were constructed at the start of the 2nd World War!
Sunday 9th July was the annual open day of Merseyside Transport Trust’s huge warehouse type building in Burscough, West Lancashire.
A couple of the vintage buses on display
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:-
Please click on the image above to enlarge it for reading
I’m looking forward to seeing how the volunteer work to rebuild the former Merseyrail Class 502 EMU is progressing. Here’s a shot of a 502 at Ormskirk Station back in the day.
And another in LMS Maroon:-
The work is being done by the Friends of the 502 Group. Their web site is at:-