News & Events

Saturday 30th June 2018

Class 405 4-SUB Unit 4732 and LMS ‘Wirral’ Class 503 EMU relocation to Kent

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We are pleased to announce that the new home for both the Class 405 ‘4-SUB’ EMU unit 4732 and the three car LMS ‘Wirral’ Class 503 EMU is to be the Locomotive Storage Limited facility in Margate, the former Triang / Rovex / Hornby factory.

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These units are the last survivors of their respective types and represent a significant part of the commuting by electric railways story, each unit has been responsible for hundreds of thousands of passenger journeys.

Months of planning for the clearance of the Electric Railway Museum site is finally coming to an end and the four vehicles of 4732 will reside inside a secure shed along with all three coaches of the LMS Class 503, and the spare EPB trailer car that was formerly part of unit 5176, but is now a donor vehicle for the 4-SUB project.

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All eight vehicles are becoming the property of a new charitable trust to both plan end execute their restoration, named the Heritage Electric Trains Trust.

The vehicles will be safe, dry and secure whilst this massive undertaking is planned.

Both units found their way into preservation and have been stored in the open air for over 20 years but that long period based at the Electric Railway Museum in Coventry is now at an end as the units have started to arrive at Margate. 

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As can be imagined both require an extensive renovation after so long out of use. The total for both units over a ten year timescale will be in excess of £1,000,000 to bring them up to Heritage railway operation and display standard, neither unit has had a classified overhaul since the early 1980s. To put that in context it was around the time Prince William was born, the Mary Rose was raised from the Solent and Channel 4 went on the air ...

The 4-SUB Association (a separate support group) has been established to support the work of the HETT in keeping 4732 safe and secure in storage and to raise funds to pay the cost of keeping her there. The association is pleased to welcome new members who, as supporters of the unit, will receive regular updates and news items; and corporate sponsors may be welcomed in due course.

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Nicholas Hair, coordinator of movements of rolling stock to the new Margate site, also remarked “We can’t thank Locomotive Storage Limited enough for their help and assistance. In 4732’s (and the Class 503’s) time of need, it is LSL who have accepted us with open arms, given us support, stood with us and now we get to see ‘our unit’ sat alongside a train of the calibre of Bittern!”

Commenting on the 4-SUB’s arrival in Margate, Chairman of the 4-SUB Association Mark Walling said  “This is a fantastic day for 4732. After many years at an open museum, the opportunity to get the units undercover and to kick-start new projects which will assure the long-term future of this historic and important train as a real asset to railway heritage ...

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... Locomotive Storage Limited have gone out of their way to make this happen and we are seriously indebted to them for the chance to keep these items under cover for the first time in 30 years, both the 4-SUB and 503 were going to be problematic to re-home due to their needing major renovation work and their general incompatibility with heritage railway operations. Had this offer not been made then we dare not think of what the outcome for the two units would have been.”

The HETT would also like to place on record their thanks to Dennis Dunstone, Chairman on the 5-BEL Trust for his work in arranging the agreement for the vehicles to move to this wonderful under cover facility.

 

Thanks also need to be extended to volunteers John Homer and John Winterbottom at the Electric Railway Museum for their tireless work in getting the vehicles extracted from the Coventry site.