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Man purchases 1970s train for £1 to prevent it from being scrapped

May 29, 2024

A rail enthusiast purchased a 1970s train for £1 to save it from being scrapped.

Robert Hampton, 41, aims to raise £10,000 to move the Merseyrail Class 507 train to a museum. The IT consultant cherishes memories of day trips on these trains and wants to "preserve a piece of Merseyside's history."

The Class 507 trains, which debuted in 1978, are being replaced by the Class 777 fleet.

"The Class 507 trains are our trains," he said. "They have only ever worked on the Merseyrail network."

Hampton has a "sentimental attachment" to the fleet, associating them with summer holidays. "It was always a treat to go on these trains," he said. "They represent 1970s technology."

Hampton purchased the first train of the fleet, 507001, which "has a special place in railway history." Not only is it the oldest still in service, but it also served as a Royal Train when Queen Elizabeth II unveiled a plaque at Moorfields station in 1978 and traveled on it to Kirkby.

The 507001 was recently restored to British Rail blue and grey livery, making it a "celebrity among rail enthusiasts."

Many Class 507s have already been scrapped, with the rest to follow within the next twelve months. After setting up The Class 507 Preservation Society, Hampton secured a deal with Angel Trains for a nominal £1. He will take ownership of the train in summer when it is retired.

Hampton has found a home for the unit at the Tanat Valley Railway in north-west Shropshire. Moving the train by road will cost around £10,000, so he has launched a crowdfunding campaign. He hopes the train can become an educational exhibit in its new home.

Mark Hignett, from the Nant Mawr visitor centre, said, "I am thrilled that a train that carried Elizabeth II is coming to Nant Mawr. 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 wished the group well with its campaign.

Source: BBC

Image: Plymouth Live