Sunday, 26 November 2017

Class 506 (Metro-Cammell / Birmingham Railway Wagon and Carriage Company LMR Manchester Suburban Services 3-car)

The Class 506 was built for the electrification of the LNER Woodhead route between Manchester (London Road) and Sheffield [1] and the Glossop branch. The electrification of the line had begun in the late 1930s but due to the war was not completed until the early 1950s. These units, built to the same design as the AC electric Shenfield line Class 306 [2], but drawing on 1500v DC overhead electric spent their working lives on the Hatfield and Glossop line [3].

Information
Number built: 24 (8 3-car sets)
Built: 1954
Builder: Metro-Cammell / Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Comany
Engine: 4 GEC traction motors (1500v DC OHLE)
Power: 740 hp (555 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor Brake Standard (DMBS)+Trailer Composite (TC)
+Driving Trailer Standard (DTS)

later TC became a Trailer Standard (TS)

They were built with first class accommodation in the central trailer but this was declassified in 1960. Although they physically could have operated elsewhere on the Woodhead route the Class 506s seldom left their line. The Woodhead route was closed East of Hatfield in 1981 but the Class 506s continued in service until their line was converted to AC electrification in 1984. They became the last mainline trains to operate using the once standard 1500v DC overhead line method. All that remains of the class is a single severed cab that has survived into preservation.
This cab of M508404M is all that survives

The pantograph can be seen on the cab roof

[1] Alec Swain, Overhead Line Electric-Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1990) p. 21
[2] Colin J. Marsden, DMU and EMU Recogition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 384 
[3] Alan Whitehouse, The Woodhead Route (Ian Allan, 2014) p. 38