First Member’s Day: Report

Posted by Robert Hampton on 8th July 2009 at 8:02 pm

Saturday 4th July was the first opportunity for most of the group’s members to see the 502 in the flesh. Indeed, this was the first time in many years that the unit would be seen by anyone but a few select MoD Kineton employees. Read on for pictures from the day and reports on the first tentative steps towards the long-term restoration of the unit.

Class 502 at TebayShortly after arrival on-site, members of the group inspect the unit for the first time. (Robert Hampton)

Broken windowsUnfortunately the unit has suffered some broken windows. (Robert Hampton)

Scissor LiftWe had at our disposal a scissor lift which proved very helpful for getting into and out of the coaches — climbing in using the rusty handrails was not a good idea! (Tony Kuivala)

Sliding doors forced openOne problem we initially faced was gaining access to the unit. The broken windows actually proved to be a help to us, as it was possible to climb through and release the doors from the inside. (Robert Hampton)

Interior Shot 2 The interior has held up remarkably well considering the deterioration to the exterior. Most fittings and fixtures are still in place. (Tony Kuivala)

Interior Shot 1 The main problems inside are damp and rot affecting some of the wood panelling, and droppings left by nesting pigeons. (Tony Kuivala)

Spare partsInside the motor coach 28361, there are numerous spare parts piled up. These will all need to be catalogued at some point. (Robert Hampton)

Retro Lewis's Advert These period advertisements for Liverpool department store Lewis’s can be found throughout the interior of the unit. (Robert Hampton)

Retro Lewis's AdvertAnother period Lewis’s advert. Are they reproductions placed inside during the time the unit ran in preservation in the mid-1980s? (Tony Kuivala)

Northern Line There are also indicators of the unit’s more recent history: there are several of these late-1970s Merseyrail Northern Line route diagrams still in situ. (Robert Hampton)

Rusting front endExternally, the front end of vehicle 29896 is the worst part of the unit. The windscreen was taped up while still at Kineton, because the window frame had rusted away so much that there was a real danger of the glass falling out completely. The glass in the destination indicator has been removed for similar reasons. (Robert Hampton)

Merseyrail shows throughThe maroon paintwork, applied in 1986, is now badly worn. Here, the previous BR blue and Merseyrail text can be seen under the LMS crest. (Robert Hampton)

28361 or M28361M?A similar situation here, with the BR-style vehicle number (M28361M) showing through. The initial M shows that the vehicle was allocated to BR London Midland region, while the suffixed M indicates that it was inherited from the LMS. (Robert Hampton)

BR GreenElsewhere, a patch of the earlier British Railways green can be seen! This picture also shows the severe corrosion which is affecting the bodywork around the window frames. (Robert Hampton)

Sheeted overThe opportunity was taken to make a start on weatherproofing the unit: this tarpaulin on 29896 covered most of the broken windows. (Robert Hampton)

TarpaulinInstalling a second tarpaulin over 28361. (Tony Kuivala)

More pictures and reports coming soon.

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