Nov 15 2012 by Rob Pattinson, Ormskirk Advertiser
A UNIQUE train will be back on display during an open day in Burscough this Sunday.
The 502 Electrical Multiple Unit arrived in the North West following a 15-year break six months ago.
These trains were originally created in 1939 as an alternative to steam rail.
They were used for the intensive commuter services from Liverpool to Southport, Crossens and Ormskirk. The class 502 unit at Burscough entered service in 1940 and ran until it was withdrawn in 1978 when it became part of the National Collection under the control of National Railway Museum. Museum. In early 1980s supporters at Steamport in Southport renovated and re-painted it for special trips, but in 1998 it returned to museum custody and languished exposed to the elements until the Friends of the 502 Group took control in 2009. In late 2011 ownership was transferred to the group, and it was moved into protected undercover accommodation in Burscough within the premises of Merseyside Transport Trust in March.
The group has begun a 10-year programme to restore the unit to working condition.
The bodywork suffered weather effects and the group stabilised the deterioration and will now look at a rolling programme to restore the shell and interior. The group has decided that, as it is six months since the last public access, it is time to update members of the public on the project.
On Sunday November 18 the open day will run from 11am to 4pm. Members of the group will be on hand to greet visitors and organise access and discussion.
The group is based at Merseyside Transport Trust’s premises on Guys Industrial Estate, Osprey Close.