Class 508 (BREL York Suburban Services 3-car)

The Class 508, part of the 1972 Standard PEP design like the Class 313 and 507, was built for the Merseyside DC third rail network to replace older stock. However as there was a desperate need for new stock on Southern Region they served there initially until the new Class 455 could be built [1]. The Class 508s were built as 4-car sets with an extra trailer instead of 3-car sets as originally intended but after four years when they were finally transferred to Merseyside the extra trailer was removed and became part of the Class 455/7 [2].

Information
Number built: 172 cars (as built 4-car sets now 3-car sets)
Built: 1979-80
Builder: BREL York
Motor: 8 GEC G380AZ traction motors per unit (750v DC third rail)
Power: 880 hp (657 kW)
Formation: As built: Driving Motor Standard Open (DMSO)+
Trailer Standard Open (TSO)+TSO+Battery Driving Motor Standard Open (BDMSO)
Now: DMSO+TSO+BDMSO

Not all sets went North, some remained in the South East as Class 508/2 though none of these are now in service. In the early 2000s three sets worked alongside the Class 313 on the Euston-Watford route [3] as Class 508/3 but nowadays the only 508s in service are the twenty seven Class 507/1s sets operated by Merseyrail along with the Class 507.

They are now amongst the oldest passenger rolling stock still in service though Merseyrail plan to replace them with the new Class 777 within the next couple of years [4].
Merseyrail 508 130 at Birkenhead Park

508 123 at Sandhills

508 114 at Waterloo

Aboard 508 123

507 005 and 508 138 at Birkenhead North

508 126 at Seaforth & Litherland

[1] Brian Haresnape & Alec Swain, Third Rail DC Electric Multiple Units (Ian Allan, 1989) p. 74
[2] Bruce Oliver, Southern EMUs Before Privatisation (Ian Allan, 2010) p. 86
[3] Colin J Marsden, DMU and EMU Recognition Guide (Ian Allan, 2013) p. 389
[4] "Five shortlisted for new Merseyrail trains", Today's Railways UK No. 171 (March 2016)