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.

Burscough – Merseyside Transport Trust Open Day

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:-

Birkdale – It’s tramway into Southport – An historic photo

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?:-)))

Merseyside Transport Trust Open Day in Burscough – Memories of the 502’s

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:-

Burscough – Merseyside Transport Trust Open Day – Sunday 9th July

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:-

HMS Ringtail – Burscough

Royal naval memorial to those who served at HMS Ringtail, Burscough during WWII

This memorial is to Royal Naval Personnel who served at HMS Ringtail, Royal Naval Air Service, Burscough September 1943 to June 1946. HMS Ringtail was for radar training and as a base for squadrons disembarking or working up for shipboard operations during World War 2. Burscough, West Lancashire, UK.

I have always been vaguely aware that Burscough once had a significant airfield but it was only recently that I started to wonder about it.

This scan of a 1958 based Ordnance Survey map shows the airfield's location.

This scan of a 1958 based Ordnance Survey map shows the airfield’s location.

My first visit to the former airfield was to a Merseyside Transport Trust building on the site in 2015 to have a look at progress on rebuilding a former Merseyrail 502 EMU. Here’s a couple of links to the postings I did about that visit:-

My next reason to visit the former airfield was to take a look at the new Booths Supermarket which opened not so long ago and which occupies part of the site. Interestingly, it is also designed to look somewhat like an aircraft hanger.


However, my attention was drawn to the memorial at the side of Booths to the servicemen and women who served at this Royal Naval Station, for it was not an RAF Station. The stone plinth with plaque sits opposite to a statue of an airman.


The link under the 1st/headline above photo takes you to a ‘Lancashire at War’ web page which details the history of this fascinating Royal Navy Station. This lead photo was a very fortuitous one that I took as Burscough was having a wonderful sunset on 20th January 2016 which was reflecting in the windows of the new Supermarket. Another shot looking straight at the sunset with the Royal Naval airman statue in shot as well is below.

HMS Rigtal memorial set against sunset

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them

The 1st and 4th photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-