I had a day trip down to Southport and Ormskirk on 28th June to sample some of the class 507's and 508's before they are withdrawn. With the expected entry into service for the 777's being soon (the 777's have just begun test runs / driver training), the days are numbered for the 41/42 year old PEP units. With test running of the 777s having begun and having found out about 2 trailers from a pair of 508/2s being visible at Birkenhead, I decided to return and travel across to Birkenhead and then back over towards Southport via Kirkdale to catch more 507s and 508s as well as some 777s both on depot and 777010 out on a test / training run.
The Class 507 / 508
The Class 507 and Class 508 units are part of the PEP family of units which were built in the late 1970's and run off the third rail at 750v DC only as opposed to the Class 313 which is/was dual voltage and Class 314 and 315 which was/are powered from the overhead line. The units are very similar to the much missed class 314s that we were so used to seeing on the Cathcart Circle as you'll no doubt have guessed!
The exterior of both the 507/508 is broadly similar to the rest of the PEP family, the main differences in comparison to some of the other classes are:
The interior has been completely modernised with high backed seating, new ceilings and lighting, public information displays, CCTV and modernised entrance vestibules.
Built in 1978-80, the class 507 units have spent their entire lives on the Merseyrail network and mostly remain intact, with 32 units out of the original 33 built still in existance and 31 of the fleet remain in service today.
507022 was withdrawn following a collision with 507004 in 1991, with vehicle 64388 from 022 replacing one of the Driving motor vehicles in 507004 and vehicle 64426 being converted from DC to AC operation and assuming the identity of 64588 and replacing the same vehicle in set 314203, which was destroyed in the Newton train crash in 1991.
More recently in March 2021, 507006 was written off after it overran the buffers and derailed at Kirkby. As the units are fast nearing the end of their operational lives, repairs won't be forthcoming and the unit will most likely be heading for scrap soon.
The 508 was built between 1979-80 and of the original 43 built, 25 are still in use with Merseyrail. The 508 is identical to the 507, and initially worked in the Southern region before heading to Merseyside. The 508 was 4 car variation of the class 507, however before moving to Merseyside one of the TSO vehicles from each set (numbers 71526-71568) were removed and reused to increase the newly delivered class 455 up to 4 car sets, making the class 508 identical to the 507. To make it easier to identify the two classes, 508001-508043 were renumbered to 508101-508143.
Following a reduction in capacity, on services during the 1990's, 12 class 508's were sent southwards to work on some Connex South Eastern services out of Gillingham Depot. 508101, 105, 106, 107, 109, 113, 116, 119, 121, 129, 132 and 133 became 508201-212 and remained in service until 2006. Of this batch, vehicles 64664 and 64707 from 508207 have found further use as barrier vehicles for Arlington Fleet Services, vehicles 64649 from 508201 and 64712 from 508209 as training vehicles for Emergency Services Training Centre in Birkenhead and 508212 is used at Fire Services Training College at Moreton-in-Marsh, the remainder of the sets were scrapped around 2013. 508118 was scrapped after an arson attack at Birkenhead depot during the 2000's.
A further 3 class 508s would transfer to Silverlink and find work on the Watford DC lines, assisting the Class 313s. 508102, 508135 and 508142 became 508301-303 and were scrapped in 2013.
This left 27 units with Merseyrail, however the decision was taken to withdraw and scrap 508110 and 508134 in 2020 rather than overhaul them, this left 25 units are still in service with Merseyrail.
The current livery carried by the 507 and 508 fleet is the 'Good Communications' livery, which is a half yellow background and half brushed metal background, with 6 different designs applied with each set having one yellow side and one brushed metal side.The passenger doors are white on the yellow sides and yellow on the brushed metal sides. There is Merseyrail 'M' branding on each of the passenger doors, as well as on the cab fronts. The livery is applied as a vinyl skin.
The exception to these liveries are 507002 which carries all over adverts for Liverpool John Moore University, with a white base for the advert and 508111, which carries 'The Beatles Story' all over advert with a blue base.
The 507 and 508 can be found on the following routes:
Depots are found at Kirkdale and Birkenhead.
|507001||64367 71342 64405||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507002||64368 71343 64406||Merseyrail White with Liverpool Hope University branding|
|507003||64369 71344 64407||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507004||Bob Paisley||64388 71345 64408||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||vehicle 64388 from set 507022 replaced 64370 in 1991 following collision damage|
|507005||64371 71346 64409||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507006||64372 71347 64410||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||Withdrawn following collision with buffers at Kirkby March 2021|
|507007||64373 71348 64411||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507008||Harold Wilson||64374 71349 64412||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507009||Dixie Dean||64375 71350 64413||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507010||64376 71351 64414||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507011||64377 71352 64415||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507012||64378 71353 64416||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507013||64379 71354 64417||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507014||64380 71355 64418||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507015||64381 71356 64419||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507016||Merseyrail - celebrating the first ten years 2003-2013||64382 71357 64420||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507017||64383 71358 64421||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507018||64384 71359 64422||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507019||64385 71360 64423||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507020||John Peel||64386 71361 64424||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507021||Red Rum||64387 71362 64425||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507022||64388 71363 64426||Disbanded 1991 following collision with 507004. Vehicle 64388 replaced 64370 in 507004, 71363 scrapped and 64426 converted to AC power and replaced 64588 in set 314203 with Scotrail was withdrawn and scrapped in 2019.|
|507023||Operations Inspector Stuart Mason||64389 71364 64427||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507024||64390 71365 64428||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507025||64391 71366 64429||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507026||Councillor George Howard||64392 71367 64430||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507027||64393 71368 64431||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507028||64394 71369 64432||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507029||64395 71370 64433||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507030||64396 71371 64434||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507031||64397 71372 64435||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507032||64398 71373 64436||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|507033||Councillor Jack Spriggs||64399 71374 64437||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey|
|Fleet Number (Original)||New Fleet number||Original 4th vehicle||Name||Formation||Livery||Status||Notes|
|508101||508201||71526||64649 71483 64692||Yellow with white doors||Scrapped||Vehicle 64649 still in existance at Emergency Services Training Centre in Birkenhead|
|508102||508301||71527||64650 71484 64693||Scrapped|
|508103||N/A||71528||64651 71485 64694||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508104||N/A||71529||64652 71486 64695||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508105||508202||71530||64653 71487 64696||Scrapped|
|508106||508203||71531||64654 71488 64697||Scrapped|
|508107||508204||71532||64655 71489 64698||Scrapped|
|508108||N/A||71533||64656 71490 64699||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508109||508205||71534||64657 71491 64700||Scrapped|
|508110||N/A||71535||64658 71492 64701||Scrapped|
|508111||N/A||71536||The Beatles||64659 71493 64702||The Beatles Story blue Advertising Livery||in service|
|508112||N/A||71537||64660 71494 64703||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508113||508206||71538||64661 71495 64704||Scrapped|
|508114||N/A||71539||64662 71496 64705||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508115||N/A||71540||64663 71497 64706||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508116||508207||71541||64664 71498 64707||Green||Departmental||64664 and 64707 have been converted to barrier vehicles and are used by Arlington Fleet Services. 64664 named Liwet and 64707 named Laberzerin|
|508117||N/A||71542||64665 71499 64708||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508118||N/A||71543||64666 71500 64709||Scrapped||Scrapped following a fire in 2007|
|508119||508208||71544||64667 71501 64710||Scrapped|
|508120||N/A||71545||64668 71502 64711||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508121||508209||71546||64669 71503 64712||Yellow with white doors||Scrapped||Vehicle 64712 still in existance at Emergency Services Training Centre in Birkenhead|
|508122||N/A||71547||64670 71504 64713||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508123||N/A||71548||William Roscoe||64671 71505 64714||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508124||N/A||71549||64672 71506 64715||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508125||N/A||71550||64673 71507 64716||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508126||N/A||71551||64674 71508 64717||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508127||N/A||71552||64675 71509 64718||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508128||N/A||71553||64676 71510 64719||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508129||508210||71554||64677 71515 64720||Scrapped|
|508130||N/A||71556||64678 71512 64721||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508131||N/A||71557||64679 71513 64722||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508132||508211||71558||64680 71514 64723||Scrapped|
|508133||508212||71559||64681 71511 64724||Connex yellow & white||Scrapped||At Fire Services College, Moreton in Marsh|
|508134||N/A||71560||64682 71516 64725||Scrapped||Scrapped 2020|
|508135||508302||71561||64683 71517 64726||Scrapped|
|508136||N/A||71562||Wilfred Owen MC||64684 71518 64727||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508137||N/A||71563||64685 71519 64728||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508138||N/A||71564||64686 71520 64729||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508139||N/A||71565||64687 71521 64730||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508140||N/A||71566||64688 71522 64731||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508141||N/A||71567||64689 71523 64732||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
|508142||508303||71568||64690 71524 64733||Scrapped|
|508143||N/A||71569||64691 71525 64734||Merseyrail Yellow and Grey||in service|
Before heading to Merseyside and Southport, I read and looked at the photographs in Martyn Hilbert's excellent book 'Merseyrail Electrics' I decided to try out a few of the locations and stations seen in the book.
|Southport||Wearing an advertising livery for Liverpool Hope University, 507002 is waiting to lead 508127 out of Southport with 2U24 13.27 service to Hunts Cross 28.6.21|
|Birkdale||Merseyrail liveried 507024+'The Beatles Story' advert liveried 508111 departs Birkdale with 2S19 12.16 Hunts Cross - Southport service 28.6.21|
|Hillside Station Bridge||Merseyrail liveried 507023+508122 depart Hillside with 2S17 11.36 Hunts Cross - Southport service 28.6.21|
|Hillside||507012+507008 depart Hillside with 2U21 12.27 Southport - Hunts Cross service 28.6.21|
|Ainsdale||Merseyrail liveried 508114+507019 depart Ainsdale with 2S16 11.16 Hunts Cross - Southport service 28.6.21|
|Ainsdale Station Footbridge||507027+507001 approach Ainsdale with 2U20 12.07 Southport - Hunts Cross service 28.6.21|
|Ainsdale Station Footbridge||Old v New at Ainsdale as 507002 depart with 508128 heading north with 2S29 15.36 Hunts Cross - Southport service, while 777010 approaches with 5U06 16.22 Southport - Sandhills training run 19.7.21|
|Ainsdale Station Level Crossing||507027+507001 pause at Ainsdale with 2U20 12.07 Southport - Hunts Cross service 28.6.21|
Ormskirk is about 8 miles and a 20 minute drive from Southport. Ormskirk looks like quite a nice market town and has a one platformed station split in 2, with the northern portion being for the hourly DMU to Preston and the southern portion being the 3rd rail Merseyrail platform. The platform is ample for a 3 car unit but is very tight for a 6 car, making photoing impossible from the southern end of the platform or the road bridge when a 6 car unit is in the platform.
|Station Platform||Merseyrail liveried 508103 awaits departure from Ormskirk with 2G45 14.08 service to Liverpool Central 28.6.21|
|Station Platform||Merseyrail liveried 508124 awaits departure from Ormskirk with 2G46 14.28 service to Liverpool Central 28.6.21|
|Road Bridge||Merseyrail liveried 508103 awaits departure from Ormskirk with 2G45 14.08 service to Liverpool Central 28.6.21|
Kirkdale and Kirkdale TMD
|From Bridge||Accident damaged 507006 is seen at Kirkdale TMD awaiting scrapping. 19.7.21|
|Station||508103 arrives with 2O21 13.00 Liverpool Central - Ormskirk while 508130 pauses at Kirkdale with 2G82 12.58 Kirkby - Liverpool Central service 19.7.21|
|View to North of Station||508103 departs Kirkdale with 2O21 13.00 Liverpool Central - Ormskirk 19.7.21|
|View of TMD||777001,002, 012, 004 and 006 are seen stabled at Kirkdale TMD 19.7.21|
Birkenhead North and TMD
|Roadbridge to North of Station||TfW liveried 230008 is seen stabled in the yard at Birkenhead North TMD 19.7.21|
|Platform 3||507020 pauses at Birkenhead North with 2N18 11.36 New Brighton - New Brighton via Central Liverpool service while 507014 awaits departure with 2W18 11.59 West Kirby - West Kirby via Central Liverpool 19.7.21|
|From Footbridge looking north||507029 prepares to depart Birkenhead North with 2W17 11.38 West Kirby - West Kirby via Central Liverpool 21.7.21|
|From footbridge looking south||508139 pauses at Birkenhead North with 2W19 12.19 West Kirby - West Kirby via Central Liverpool service 19.7.21|
Emergency Services Training Centre
|From Public Road||Heavily vandalised All over yellow with white doors liveried vehicle 64649 from 508201 and 64712 from 508209 are seen at the Emergency Services Training Centre in Birkenhead 19.7.21 (Photo taken from a public road)|
Most of my Photographs and sightings are from my favourite locations in the Lanarkshire area, including