News Blog

February 2024 progress report

Posted by Robert Hampton on 15th February 2024 at 7:02 pm

Work on the class 502 in Burscough is progressing nicely.

Over the past few months, work has focused on the bodywork and windows on the trailer coach. With the co-operation of our friends at MTT, the buses have been shuffled around to allow access to the other side of the unit to allow welding to be carried out.

The pictures below were taken on Saturday and show some of the progress made recently. New steel has been welded into place and replacement window glass fitted.

Thanks as always to the hardworking volunteers at Burscough. If you’d like to join in, become a member of the Friends of the 502 today! Thanks also to all those who have supported us financially.


Calendars reduced to clear!

Posted by Robert Hampton on 1st February 2024 at 9:26 pm

We have very limited stocks of our 2024 calendar. The last few are available for just £6 including postage! If you still need a calendar for your wall, now is the perfect time to buy!

Our combination deal, where you can order the calendar with our book Merseyrail: 50 Years of Progress, is also reduced.

Visit our shop page to order.

Photo of the July 2024 page of the calendar, showing a 502 arriving at a station

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Merry Christmas!

Posted by Robert Hampton on 24th December 2023 at 6:35 pm

Thanks to all of you for your support during 2023.

Class 502 coach M28347M stands at the rear of a train at a snow-covered Sandhills station. The train's destination indicator is blank, but the platform indicator suggests it is going to Kirkby.

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Restoration update

Posted by Robert Hampton on 22nd December 2023 at 6:08 pm

As the year draws to a close, we are pleased to share some pictures of progress on the unit. We are in the process of repairing and replacing the final corroded offside bodyside sections of the trailer coach.

The corroded sections around the windows have been removed and new steel panels welded in their place. The door pockets have also suffered corrosion which will be tackled in a similar way.

Trailer coach showing bodywork stripped away ready for welding.

Trailer coach showing area adjacent to doors being prepared for welding.

All this is thanks to our extraordinary team of dedicated volunteers, and of course, thanks to the generous donations we receive. Please support us by donating whatever you can spare.

If you want to join the group as a fully fledged member, and have the option of receiving our regular newsletters, plus the opportunity of working on the unit itself, see our membership page.

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Countdown to Christmas

Posted by Robert Hampton on 4th December 2023 at 8:22 pm

With just three weeks to go until the big day, a reminder that we have two great gift ideas in our shop for fans of the class 502 or Merseyside trains generally.

Our much-praised book Merseyrail: 50 Years of Progress 1971-2021 is now available for just £5+P&P, our lowest ever price.

Our 2024 calendar, featuring 12 images of the class 502s throughout their long career, is just £8+P&P.

Or order both together and save £2.50 on the price in our special combo deal!

Head over to our shop page now to place your order.

Order by 10pm on Thursday 14th December to guarantee Christmas delivery!

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Rainhill Christmas Show 2023

Posted by Robert Hampton on 23rd November 2023 at 7:22 pm

Some people may think its too early to mention the dreaded C-word, but — like it or not — Christmas is just around the corner.

The perfect curtain-raiser for the festive season is the Rainhill Christmas Model Railway Show. Organised every year by Rainhill Model Railway Club, this year’s show takes place this Saturday, 25th November, from 10am to 4pm.

There will be layouts, traders and society stands. We will be there in our new guise as the Class 502 Preservation Trust, and it’s an ideal opportunity to pick up a copy of our calendar or book, to put under the tree for that rail enthusiast in your family.

The venue is Rainhill Village Hall, just off Warrington Road, Rainhill. The hall is just a short walk from Rainhill station, and there is a free vintage shuttle bus to the North West Museum of Road Transport in St Helens.

For more information see the Rainhill MRC home page.

Rainhill Model Railway Club Presents A Christmas Model Railway Show. Rainhill Village Hall, Weaver Avenue (Behind shopping precinct, off Warrington Road, Rainhill). Saturday 25th November 2023, 10am - 5pm. Admission: Adults £4.00, Children £5.00 -includes a visit & gift from Santa. Layouts, Traders, Refreshments & Santa Claus. Free Vintage Bus Between the Show and the North West Museum of Road Transport in St Helens.

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The 5:08 Sunset

Posted by Robert Hampton on 28th October 2023 at 5:13 pm

We will be aboard tomorrow’s Class 508 farewell tour, The 5:08 Sunset, organised by the Branch Line Society in conjunction with Merseyrail.

The tour is completely sold out, but timings are available on the Branch Line Society website for those of you who wish to follow the tour around the network tomorrow. For those of you lucky enough to get tickets, we will have a selection of items for sale to benefit the 502 group.

Members of the 502 Group in front of a Merseyrail train

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Wirral Transport Show

Posted by Robert Hampton on 29th September 2023 at 8:50 pm

Our trade stand will be out again, at this Sunday’s Wirral Transport Show. It’s the perfect opportunity to chat to our 502 group representatives and pick up your 2024 Class 502 Calendar, or your copy of Merseyrail: 50 Years of Progress, if you haven’t already bought one from our shop.

Photos of stands at the 2022 Wirral Bus & Tram Show

With the Birkenhead tramway and museum still closed, this year’s event has a slightly different format and will be centred on the Pacific Road venue. However, there will be still be lots to see, including visiting buses and trade stands.

The show will be open on Sunday 1st October from 10am. Pacific Road is easily reached from Hamilton Square Merseyrail station or Woodside ferry terminal. More info available on the MTPS events page.

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Make a date with the 502

Posted by Robert Hampton on 22nd August 2023 at 8:44 pm

Brand new in our online shop is our 2024 calendar. With 12 pictures of the class throughout their illustrious career, it is the perfect thing to hang on the wall of any rail enthusiast.

Photo of the July 2024 page of the calendar, showing a 502 arriving at a station

Buy it now in our online shop for just £11. If you are a member of the 502 group, quote your member number and get £2 off!

And, if you still haven’t bought our 2021 release Merseyrail: 50 Years of Progress, now is the perfect time. Buy the book and calendar together and save £2.50 compared to the cost of purchasing them separately.

Prices quoted on the shop page include UK postage. If you are outside the UK, please contact us first to discuss postage costs.

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MTT open day 2023

Posted by Robert Hampton on 29th July 2023 at 12:00 pm

Reminder that tomorrow is the Merseyside Transport Trust’s annual open day at Burscough. Running from 10.30-16.30, the event promises the opportunity to view the MTT’s collection of vintage buses, as well as visiting vehicles from other preservation groups.

Of course, the Friends of the 502 Group will be there too, ready to welcome you aboard to inspect the restoration progress made over the past year. Our sales stand will also be available with the usual variety of souvenirs and second-hand items. Who knows, we may have something NEW on sale for the first time.

Merseyside Transport Trust poster for 2023 Open Day, Sunday 30th July 2023, 10:30 - 16:00

See all our latest restoration work
Free bus rides around the countryside
Static vehicle display with visiting vehicles
Sales stands and refreshments available
See the latest progress on the Class 502 EMU
Easy links with public transport at Ormskirk and Burscough

See for more details
MTT base is located off Tollgate Road, Burscough L40 8TG

The MTT base is located off Tollgate Road, Burscough, L40 8TG. If you are travelling by public transport, there will be bus connections operated by the MTT’s heritage buses, from Ormskirk bus station and Burscough Bridge railway station. First buses are at 1040 and then every 30 minutes after that.

Note that there is engineering work on the Merseyrail Ormskirk line which means the first train from Liverpool to Ormskirk is at 1047, arriving 1122, with rail replacement buses prior to that. To assist visitors who want to reach the event early, the MTT is running a special bus to the event, departing at 0945 from William Brown Street in Liverpool City Centre (outside the World Museum).

For more info please see

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