Feb 13 2014 by Rebecca Koncienzcy, Ormskirk Advertiser
RAILWAY enthusiasts have been invited to a rare look at the ongoing work on an old 1930s electric train.
The Friends of the 502 Group was set up in 2007 and they are working to restore a Class 502 electrical train unit that was in operation on the tracks for nearly 40 years.
The open day at Merseyside Transport Trust’s premises on Guys Industrial Estate, Burscough, will take place this Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
The old train was moved to Burscough in March 2012 where is has been undergoing a revamp.
Tony Kuivala, treasurer at the group, said: “Our intention is to restore the unit to working condition and have it available for public operational use.
“This will be a ten-year programme. As the bodywork has suffered weather effects since 1998 our initial objectives were to stabilise the deterioration and then look at a rolling programme to restore the body shell and interior.”
Members of the group will be on hand to greet visitors and there will be hot drinks.
Train fans will be able to survey the progress of the restoration and learn some of the history.
Tony added: “These electric units were designed and built at the Derby Works of London Midland and Scottish Railway in late 1930s for the intensive commuter services from Liverpool to Southport, Crossens and Ormskirk.
“Our unit entered service in 1940 and ran until withdrawn in 1978 when it became part of the National Collection under the control of the National Railway Museum.
“In early 1980s supporters at Steamport in Southport renovated and repainted into original maroon livery for various special trips.
“After Steamport moved to Preston to become Ribble Steam Railway in 1998 the unit returned to National Railway Museum’s custody where it languished in the open, exposed to the elements, until 2009 when we were allowed to take control.”