Merseyrail 507's/508's

303032

Member
Joined
12 Feb 2012
Messages
269
Location
South Lanarkshire
Today's sightings around Southport / Ormskirk

Southport - Hunts Cross line

507013+507011
508114+507019
507027+507001
507023+508122
507012+507008
508127+507002
508137+508123
508024+508111

Ormskirk / Kirkby line
508103
508124
508143
507018(from Kirkdale depot, coupled to 508143 at Ormskirk for 15.08 to Liverpool Central)
507017
507014(from Kirkdale depot, coupled to 507017 at Ormskirk for 15.28 to Liverpool Central)
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

JakeMurphy

Member
Joined
30 Aug 2018
Messages
916
Numbers update from today - saw most diagrams but not all due to some disruption

northern line

Kirkby/Ormskirk

507020
508111
507023
507033
508127
508117

Southport - Hunts X

507001+507019
507002+507026
507016+508115
508143+508124
507017+507008
507003+508123
507018+507027
508131+508141

Kirkdale Depot

777014
508125
507024

Wirral Line

Chester

507009 (swapped for 507013 On 2C13)
508140
507012
507029
508130

Ellesmere Port

508103+508126
508104+507031
507030+507004

New Brighton

507014
507032
507028

west Kirkby

507025
508120
508108
4th diagram didn’t see

Birkenhead North Depot

507010
507021
508137
 

Mersey Ed

New Member
Joined
3 May 2021
Messages
3
Location
Merseyside
I'm curious, when the 507's were first introduced they ran alongside the class 502's. They ran on 650 volt dc. The 507's run on 750 volt dc.
Did the 507's run on reduced power until all the 502's were withdrawn?
 

prod_pep

Member
Joined
8 Aug 2010
Messages
764
Location
Liverpool
I'm curious, when the 507's were first introduced they ran alongside the class 502's. They ran on 650 volt dc. The 507's run on 750 volt dc.
Did the 507's run on reduced power until all the 502's were withdrawn?
Yes, they did and for a few years after the 502s were withdrawn, too. It was well into the 80s that they upped the voltage throughout the entire Northern Line.
 

Tynwald

Member
Joined
18 Mar 2016
Messages
108
The line volts used to be very variable, depending on load and distance from a substation. It could at times be as low as 350v. This caused several fires on 507/508.
 

Ribbleman

Member
Joined
12 Jun 2019
Messages
115
Yes, they did and for a few years after the 502s were withdrawn, too. It was well into the 80s that they upped the voltage throughout the entire Northern Line.
The nominal voltage quoted for the Southport and Ormskirk lines was 630v. The Wirral lines were 650v. One of the Electrical Controllers based at Hall Road told me that the difference was of no importance. What was of more major concern was the voltage drop on the Ormskirk line, down to around 400v at the Ormskirk end. Things were sorted sufficiently to allow the 507s to function, but as prod_pep says, it was some time later before upgrades were carried out to facilitate 750v.
 

507020

Member
Joined
23 May 2021
Messages
326
Location
Southport
The nominal voltage quoted for the Southport and Ormskirk lines was 630v. The Wirral lines were 650v. One of the Electrical Controllers based at Hall Road told me that the difference was of no importance. What was of more major concern was the voltage drop on the Ormskirk line, down to around 400v at the Ormskirk end. Things were sorted sufficiently to allow the 507s to function, but as prod_pep says, it was some time later before upgrades were carried out to facilitate 750v.
630V DC was the original L&Y/LMS Spec for Southport, Crossens and Ormskirk. I was told that after mixed running of the 507s with 502s and 503s ended (some 503s could be found on the Northern line for a time in the early 80s) the nominal voltage was increased to 750V as running on such a reduced voltage was causing significant issues with the 507s. This involved replacement of all high voltage cables with ones of a larger diameter!

The voltage drop between Maghull North and Town Green was still 400V until the opening of the new substation at Maghull. This was sufficient for a 507/508 to operate but the new 777s will refuse to operate at below 500V.

What I want to know is, when the Kirkby and Garston/Hunts Cross electrification was completed in the 1970s and 80s, whether it was 750V DC from the start, or if it was configured as 630-660V at first for compatibility with existing lines and then increased later. The original electric lines were still using Mercury arc rectifiers at this time. Surely this new electrification must have been completed using new and modern equipment at the time?
 

prod_pep

Member
Joined
8 Aug 2010
Messages
764
Location
Liverpool
630V DC was the original L&Y/LMS Spec for Southport, Crossens and Ormskirk. I was told that after mixed running of the 507s with 502s and 503s ended (some 503s could be found on the Northern line for a time in the early 80s) the nominal voltage was increased to 750V as running on such a reduced voltage was causing significant issues with the 507s. This involved replacement of all high voltage cables with ones of a larger diameter!
It would have been years after mixed running ended that the voltage was raised to 750 volts on the Northern Line. Use of the 503s on the Kirkby-Garston route ceased by the time the first 508s arrived in early 1982. As mentioned, it was mid to late 1980s on the Ormskirk line and the Wirral Line was later still, possibly even into the early 1990s when the voltage was finally upped throughout.
 
Last edited:

507020

Member
Joined
23 May 2021
Messages
326
Location
Southport
It would have been years after mixed running ended that the voltage was raised to 750 volts on the Northern Line. Use of the 503s on the Kirkby-Garston route ceased by the time the first 508s arrived in early 1982. As mentioned, it was mid to late 1980s on the Ormskirk line and the Wirral Line was later still, possibly even into the early 1990s when the voltage was finally upped throughout.
503s on the Northern line were not confined to Kirkby - Garston. I’ve also seen pictures of 503s at Southport and 502s at Kirkby and Garston. I believe their use was due to 502s burning out on the steep gradient out of the tunnel as their drives had been specifically designed for the flat run out of Liverpool Exchange to Southport, Ormskirk and Crossens only, whereas 503s were designed to be able to climb out of the tunnel on the Wirral.
 

prod_pep

Member
Joined
8 Aug 2010
Messages
764
Location
Liverpool
503s on the Northern line were not confined to Kirkby - Garston. I’ve also seen pictures of 503s at Southport and 502s at Kirkby and Garston. I believe their use was due to 502s burning out on the steep gradient out of the tunnel as their drives had been specifically designed for the flat run out of Liverpool Exchange to Southport, Ormskirk and Crossens only, whereas 503s were designed to be able to climb out of the tunnel on the Wirral.
The 503s did appear on the Southport and Ormskirk line but rarely. They may have had one late evening diagrammed run to Ormskirk but nothing booked on the Southport line at all. Their inferior performance compared with 502s meant they struggled to keep to time on these routes; the 502s were much sprightlier EMUs. The vast majority of 503 use on the Northern Line was Kirkby-Garston only.

You're right that the 502s had problems climbing Leeds Street bank but their availability was already dwindling in the years prior to the 507s arriving. There were far more 503s than required for the Wirral Line service by 1977, so it made sense to transfer some across to address the shortfall.

With fewer 507s than planned being delivered, the loanee 503s were retained until just before the first 508s arrived from Wimbledon.

EDIT 12/07/21:
507010 is back in service today after months out of service, seen working the 0855 Hunts Cross - Southport with 508122 earlier.
 
Last edited:

Gazzab65

Member
Joined
16 May 2021
Messages
5
Location
Birmingham
What was out on Saturday 10/07/21:

WIRRAL LINE:

New Brighton services:
507013
507019
508111

West Kirby services:
507031
508103+508126 (removed at West Kirby and worked empty to New Brighton at 09.10)
508108
508120

Chester/Ellesmere Port services:
507004
507012
507028
507029
507033+508114
508104+508130
508140+507030
508125+507014

NORTHERN LINE

Liverpool Central - Ormskirk/Kirkby services:
507002
507020
507023+507024
507032+508117
508123+507003
508127
508141+508131

Hunts Cross/Southport Services :
507027+507018
507016+507001
507017+507008
508112+508122
508115+508138
508124+508143
508136+507021
508137+507025

507006 stabled near Kirkdale station with one end covered by a tarpaulin after it’s crash at Kirkby in March.

New Brighton:
Stabled: 507005, 507009 & 508126
 
Last edited:

prod_pep

Member
Joined
8 Aug 2010
Messages
764
Location
Liverpool
I remember that HM the Queen formally opened the Merseyrail network back in the 1970s, and rode in one of the then new trains. For some time after that I seem to think the unit, and the seat, she had travelled in was marked in some way. That is now ancient history (or myth) but I wonder if that particular unit has been scrapped yet, or if its fame will be recalled when its day comes.

Sorry to resurrect an old discussion, but a delve into the Liverpool Echo's back catalogue reveals that it was indeed 507001 (and not 507002) on which the Queen rode. According to the Echo article, enthusiasts aboard the first public Class 507 working, the 507001-operated 0739 Southport - Liverpool on 01/11/78, took it in turns to sit in the 'Queen's seat' at the front of the train. The article goes on to add that the first 507-operated service out of Ormskirk was the 07.59 that day (507002 formed this).

There may well have been some sort of sticker beside the seat for a while in acknowledgement, but it was all rather before my time.
 

507020

Member
Joined
23 May 2021
Messages
326
Location
Southport
Sorry to resurrect an old discussion, but a delve into the Liverpool Echo's back catalogue reveals that it was indeed 507001 (and not 507002) on which the Queen rode. According to the Echo article, enthusiasts aboard the first public Class 507 working, the 507001-operated 0739 Southport - Liverpool on 01/11/78, took it in turns to sit in the 'Queen's seat' at the front of the train. The article goes on to add that the first 507-operated service out of Ormskirk was the 07.59 that day (507002 formed this).

There may well have been some sort of sticker beside the seat for a while in acknowledgement, but it was all rather before my time.
There’s no disputing it’s an old discussion. It goes back at least as far as 1 November 1978! It took me a very long time to find, but at http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Ut72HyZDPsA/TMTq_oh3zlI/AAAAAAAAC5E/e5EeoppvbkY/s800/SAM_0302.jpg is a very rare black and white picture of Her Majesty aboard 507001 on this inaugural day, with numerous other people also in the carriage. Of course this Queen’s seat was lost in the refurbishment almost 20 years ago.

Was she only able to reach Kirkby or did she also travel to Southport? 507002 was indeed running services on the Ormskirk line. I wonder if she will be invited back on the inaugural day of the 777s.
 

prod_pep

Member
Joined
8 Aug 2010
Messages
764
Location
Liverpool
There’s no disputing it’s an old discussion. It goes back at least as far as 1 November 1978! It took me a very long time to find, but at http://lh6.ggpht.com/_Ut72HyZDPsA/TMTq_oh3zlI/AAAAAAAAC5E/e5EeoppvbkY/s800/SAM_0302.jpg is a very rare black and white picture of her majesty aboard 507001 on this inaugural day. Was she only able to reach Kirkby or did she also travel to Southport? 507002 was indeed running services on the Ormskirk line. I wonder if she will be invited back on the inaugural day of the 777s.
Thanks for that; it's a good quality scan of the photo actually. The opening special was on 25/10/78 and it used both 507001 and 507002, though we've now established the Queen sat in the former unit. It only ran from Moorfields to Kirkby. On arrival at Kirkby, the Queen transferred to road transport for a few engagements in the town I think and the stock returned empty to Kirkdale.

Here's a scan from the aforementioned Echo article (not my own work) showing 507001 ahead of the first public run and its driver, Southport man Harry Kelly.
 

Attachments

  • 507001 (1).jpg
    507001 (1).jpg
    699 KB · Views: 58

Ribbleman

Member
Joined
12 Jun 2019
Messages
115
The 503s did appear on the Southport and Ormskirk line but rarely. They may have had one late evening diagrammed run to Ormskirk but nothing booked on the Southport line at all. Their inferior performance compared with 502s meant they struggled to keep to time on these routes; the 502s were much sprightlier EMUs. The vast majority of 503 use on the Northern Line was Kirkby-Garston only.

You're right that the 502s had problems climbing Leeds Street bank but their availability was already dwindling in the years prior to the 507s arriving. There were far more 503s than required for the Wirral Line service by 1977, so it made sense to transfer some across to address the shortfall.

With fewer 507s than planned being delivered, the loanee 503s were retained until just before the first 508s arrived from Wimbledon.

EDIT 12/07/21:
507010 is back in service today after months out of service, seen working the 0855 Hunts Cross - Southport with 508122 earlier.
The 503s did appear on the Southport and Ormskirk line but rarely. They may have had one late evening diagrammed run to Ormskirk but nothing booked on the Southport line at all. Their inferior performance compared with 502s meant they struggled to keep to time on these routes; the 502s were much sprightlier EMUs. The vast majority of 503 use on the Northern Line was Kirkby-Garston only.

You're right that the 502s had problems climbing Leeds Street bank but their availability was already dwindling in the years prior to the 507s arriving. There were far more 503s than required for the Wirral Line service by 1977, so it made sense to transfer some across to address the shortfall.

With fewer 507s than planned being delivered, the loanee 503s were retained until just before the first 508s arrived from Wimbledon.

EDIT 12/07/21:
507010 is back in service today after months out of service, seen working the 0855 Hunts Cross - Southport with 508122 earlier.

In early 1978 there was a Mon-Fri 06.01 from Ormskirk to Garston that I believe was often a 503 working. The last northbound train from Garston ran to Ormskirk rather than Kirkby and was also likely to be a 503, though 502s could be found on Garston trains if available.
 

D821

Member
Joined
1 Sep 2021
Messages
21
Location
Wirral
What's the story with the 508 that's used for emergency service training at Seacombe?
 

D821

Member
Joined
1 Sep 2021
Messages
21
Location
Wirral
You can see from the fact that it’s numbered in the 508/2 range that it’s one of the unrefurbished ones from the south.
Ah, thanks. I had noticed it had an old front on it but wasn't sure if it had been laid up before the refurbs. Must just have been coincidence that of all the old trains they could have bought they picked a 508, unless Merseyrail had previously had it for spares.
 

507020

Member
Joined
23 May 2021
Messages
326
Location
Southport
507006 is moving to Seaforth by rail tonight, hauled by 57310 and 57312. Seen reported elsewhere that it’s being loaded onto a ship at Seaforth to take it to an undisclosed location for scrap, although I’m not sure how believable that is.
The path on Real Time Trains is only from Kirkdale to Seaforth Container Terminal. Given how damaged it is, would it have been wise to attempt to move it hundreds of miles by rail? Perhaps if this damage is contained within a shipping container, it can go for scrap without causing any more.
 

Top