Robert Hampton

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4th July 2009

Gimme 502!
Posted by at 9.50pm | Trains | No responses

Today was a good day as I headed up to the Lake District to see the Class 502 Electric Multiple Unit which I have been involved with since November 2007. It’s slighly odd to think that in all that time, I’ve never actually seen it in person, but that is all rectified as of today.

Almost came a cropper early on, thanks to Northern Rail sending out their scabbiest Pacer to take me to Wigan. Would I make my seven-minute connection? I didn’t think I would as the train revved up to accelerate away from St Helens Central, only to grind to a halt again as the engine died and the brakes came on. The driver managed to get one of the two engines restarted and we limped along with no lights in my coach. Thankfully we reached Wigan in time for my onward connection to the Lake District.

And here is what I saw:-

Class 502 EMU at Tebay

It’s rather sad, really. These trains were the bees knees back in the day (the first mainline trains to have automatic doors, fact fans). They whizzed up and down the Liverpool to Southport line faultlessly for the best part of 40 years. It’s such a shame that this one (the last in existence) has been left to decay for so long.

This train is now in the care of the Friends of the 502 Group. See our skilfully-designed (in my unbiased opinion) web site for more information.