Taken 26-Dec-16
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Dimensions1840 x 1270
Original file size2.26 MB
Image typeJPEG
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Date modified26-Dec-16 15:06
Grand National Day 1986 at Aintree. The restored 3 car Class 503 runs through Aintree. 28690 leads.

Grand National Day 1986 at Aintree. The restored 3 car Class 503 runs through Aintree. 28690 leads.

The unit survives - sadly out in the open - at Coventry Electric Railway Museum alongside Coventry airport. It is doubtful whether it will ever operate again. In fact its very survival is in doubt with the museum site being selected for industrial development.
A single set, formed of vehicles 28690, 29720 and 29289, was earmarked for preservation. Though never carried on the unit, the set was numbered under the BR TOPS code as 503 019.This was the last of the units built in 1938 to have been brought into service.The unit is also one of the only two pre-war main line EMUs in existence, which are still in original formation. The other being the 2-BIL belonging to the National Railway Museum.
The set was kept in serviceable condition and operated occasional special trains on the Merseyrail network until 1988. During this period, the set was used for the opening of the electrified line between Rock Ferry and Hooton on 30 September 1985 and for special services during Christmas 1985.At the same time, Merseyrail decided not to preserve a second set, due to a lack of spares. Following this, the surviving set participated in the Merseyrail 100 celebration on 6 April 1986.The unit, named Ivor T. Davies G.M. on 14 March 1988, was purchased by Wirral Borough Council in 1991 and stored at Kirkdale until 1996.
Two parts of the set were then sold and kept at Steamport, Southport. Meanwhile, the Driving Trailer coach (DTS) was kept at the Wirral Transport Museum. The two parts of the unit, which were sold, have been owned by the Suburban Electric Railway Association since purchase by its forerunner, the Mersey and Tyneside Electric Preservationists in 1996, and are stored at the Electric Railway Museum on the outskirts of Coventry. After transport of the Driving Trailer coach from Birkenhead, the entire unit was correctly reformed at the Coventry museum in October 2010, for the first time in over 20 years. The Driving Motor coach (DMBS) interior is open to the public during museum open days.