News Blog

Ormskirk Paints

Posted by Robert Hampton on 20th April 2019 at 6:08 pm

The Friends of the 502 Group would like to offer our thanks to Ormskirk Paints who have recently contributed £100 of materials towards the renovation of the unit.

If you need paint or other DIY essentials, please do stop by at 95 Burscough Street, Ormskirk, L39 2EL.

Best of British Rail Show 2019

Posted by Robert Hampton on 9th March 2019 at 3:42 pm

The Friends of the 502 Group will be taking part in the Best of British Rail event at Crewe Heritage Centre on Saturday 23rd March 2019.

The event is being held in association with the Woodhead Railway Heritage Group.

As well as our own stand, there will be other preservation groups, displays of British Rail memorabilia, train and freight operating company stands and at least one visiting locomotive.

Hope to see you there!

Progress pictures – November 2018

Posted by Robert Hampton on 20th November 2018 at 8:52 pm

Some brief progress pictures to share with you, these pictures were taken at Burscough on Sunday as we were preparing for our AGM.

The pictures show the new cab of 29896 taking shape rapidly, the badly corroded metal having been stripped out and new panels welded in place. Compare to the photo of 29896 at Tebay back in 2010 and I’m sure you’ll agree there is a huge difference.

Photo of cab of class 502 vehicle 29896, with scaffold in front

We have also started installing new flooring in the passenger saloon of 29896, the seats and other fixtures have been stripped out, and the new metal floor panels has been fixed in place and given a coat of paint to guard against corrosion.

Photo of interior of vehicle 29896, stripped out but with freshly installed metal flooring

If you are interested in helping out with the unit’s restoration, please do get in touch.

502 in Railway Magazine

Posted by Robert Hampton on 5th October 2018 at 7:20 pm

If you have picked up the October 2018 issue of The Railway Magazine, you may have spotted that our humble Class 502 is featured in a special four-page report, written by one of our members, Martyn Hilbert.

Low-res picture of the Railway Magazine article headlined "Back from the Brink"

A small taster of the article can be found online at, but for the full story, with lots of great pictures, buy a copy of the magazine from your local friendly newsagent, or get the digital edition.

As the article introduction states, preservation of electric multiple units is often overlooked. We’re glad that The Railway Magazine has redressed the balance a little.

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Progress pictures

Posted by Robert Hampton on 28th June 2018 at 8:07 pm

Recently posted to our Facebook page, the image below shows the amazing progress on the cab exterior which has been completely rebuilt.

You will have your chance to see the completed work up close at the MTT Open Day on 8th July! Hope to see you there.

Welding in progress on the 502 cab

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MTT Open Day 2018

Posted by Robert Hampton on 28th May 2018 at 10:49 pm

A date for your diary: the Merseyside Transport Trust open day will be held this year on 8th July from 10.30am until 4.30pm.

As well as the usual array of vintage road vehicles, the Friends of the 502 Group will of course be there. The 502 vehicles will be open and available for people to inspect our work over the past year.

Many vintage buses will be running, including a service from Ormskirk bus station and Burscough Bridge railway station for those arriving by public transport.

More information will be published closer to the time here and on the MTT website –

70th Anniversary of British Railways

Posted by Robert Hampton on 12th January 2018 at 9:45 pm

A (slightly belated) happy new year to all our members and supporters!

The first event of the 2018 calendar is the 70th Anniversary of British Railways event taking place on 13th January at Crewe Heritage Centre. This event has been organised by the Woodhead Railway Heritage Group to commemorate the anniversary of the railways’ nationalisation on 1st January 1948.

The Friends of the 502 Group will be one of many organisations represented at the event, and of course all the Heritage Centre’s regular attractions will be on view as well.

The Heritage Centre is located on Vernon Way, Crewe, CW1 2DB. It is just a short walk from Crewe railway station. It is open from 10am to 4pm and admission is just £3 for adults and £1 for children.


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Friends of the 502 Group AGM

Posted by Robert Hampton on 1st November 2017 at 8:53 pm

The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the 502 Group will take place on 18th November at 4pm, at the MTT building in Tollgate Road, Burscough.

The AGM is open to members only, so if you wish to attend and are not currently a member, please see our Membership page for details of how to sign up.

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Electric Railway Museum open day

Posted by Robert Hampton on 10th October 2017 at 8:26 pm

Many of our readers will be aware of our sister unit, the Wirral Class 503 EMU, part of the SERA fleet, which has been housed at the Electric Railway Museum (formerly Coventry Railway Centre) for many years.

Unfortunately, as we reported back in July, the museum site is to be closed and cleared. The collection will be scattered to various sites across the country.

The final open day at the site was held on 8th October, which was the last opportunity to see the museum’s collection of electric trains in one place. The event was well-attended, with over 1,000 people reportedly attending.

Class 503 driving car 28690


Appeal for tools

Posted by Robert Hampton on 9th September 2017 at 1:51 pm

We have reached the point of needing to acquire some new hand tools and tooling – particularly “Whitworth” spanners and sockets.

Our Unit was designed and built in late 1930s using the established British Workshop equipment, well before the influx of American tooling during Second World War and subsequent movements into Metrication.

Does anyone have (or know of) any old tool boxes and their contents that might include Whitworth open spanners, ring spanners, sockets or socket sets that might be donated to us please?

Everything that holds doors in place, pipework attached to frames, substructure of seat bases etc is Whitworth threaded. We will arrange to collect if that would help.

Please contact our chairman at if you can help. Thanks.

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