Man buys 1970s train for £1 to save it from scrap

Home UK News Man buys 1970s train for £1 to save it from scrap
Man buys 1970s train for £1 to save it from scrap

The Class 507 Preservation Society 507001 train at Southport in January 2024The Class 507 Preservation Society

The 507001 was restored to British Rail blue and grey colour to commemorate its long service

A rail enthusiast has bought a 1970s train for £1 in a bid to save it from the scrapheap.

Robert Hampton, 41, now hopes to raise £10,000 to move the Merseyrail Class 507 train to a museum.

The IT consultant said he had fond memories of day trips on the old trains and wanted to “save piece of Merseyside’s history”.

The Class 507 trains, first introduced in 1978, are being replaced by the Class 777 fleet.

Robert Hampton Robert Hampton stood next to 507001 trainRobert Hampton

Robert Hampton said he wanted to “save a piece of Merseyside history”

“The Class 507 trains are our trains,” he said.

“Lots of trains work all across the country but the 507… has only ever worked on the Merseyrail network.”

Mr Hampton said he had a “sentimental attachment” to the fleet and had always associated them with summer holiday days out.

“It was always a treat to go on these trains,” he said.

“They have a great a great deal of character. They are representative of 1970s technology.”

The train Mr Hampton has bought is the first of the fleet, the 507001, which he says “has a special place in railway history”.

“Not only is it the first of its class and thus the oldest still in service, but it also served as a Royal Train,” he said.

“On 25 October 1978, Queen Elizabeth II unveiled a plaque at Moorfields station to open the Merseyrail network, before travelling on 507 001 to Kirkby,” he said.

The 507001 was recently restored to British Rail blue and grey livery to commemorate its long service, which Mr Hampton said has made it “something of a celebrity among rail enthusiasts”.

The Class 507 Preservation Society 507001 trainThe Class 507 Preservation Society

The 507001 train has operated on Merseyrail since 1978

The Class 507s were built by British Rail Engineering Limited at Holgate Road Works, York.

A number of them have already been scrapped, with the rest to be scrapped within the next twelve months.

After setting up The Class 507 Preservation Society Mr Hampton approached Angel trains with his idea, and secured a deal for a nominal £1.

He will take ownership of the train in summer when it is retired.

Mr Hampton has found a home for the unit at the Tanat Valley Railway in north-west Shropshire.

But the unit must be moved by road, which will cost in the region of £10,000.

Mr Hampton has launched a crowdfunding campaign.

He said he hoped the train could become an educational exhibit in its new home.

‘Very special train’

Mark Hignett, from the Nant Mawr visitor centre, said: “I am thrilled that a train that carried Elizabeth II is coming to Nant Mawr.

“The area has many historic connections with Liverpool – lots of the city’s water comes from Lake Vyrnwy which is just 20miles away from us.

“We look forward to hosting this very special train.”

An Angel Trains spokesman said: “Angel Trains is proud to support the Class 507 Preservation Society and has donated Class 507001 to them.

“We look forward to seeing Class 507’s contribution to the Liverpool City Region’s railway history, celebrated for generations to come.”

A Liverpool City Region Combined Authority spokesman said the authority wished the group well with its campaign.

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