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Revolution Railfans!

Revolution Trains is proud to be supporting the 2021 Railfan Fest this weekend April 10th and 11th.

The event comprises two live streams, running from 1700-2300 BST both days, featuring chat, features news and events aimed at Railfans worldwide. The times have been chosen to enable modellers in Europe and the United States to join live.

There’ll be modelling tutorials, virtual museum tours and interviews. At 1830 on Sunday the focus will be on N gauge, with Robin Grubba, the N Gauge Society’s trade liaison officer, joining Revolution’s Ben Ando to discuss all aspects of the smaller scale.

Robin will describe the benefits of N gauge models, and explain how the NGS can help anyone get started, while Ben will describe some of the work that goes into producing Revolution Trains models, as well as reminiscing about N gauge layouts he’s worked on including the NGS Northants and Cambs Area Group’s popular ‘Horseley Fields.’

Horseley Fields station. Photo courtesy Chris Nevard/Model Rail magazine.
Horseley Fields looking south. Photo courtesy Chris Nevard/Model Rail magazine.

Others supporting the event include Peco, the London Transport Museum, the North Norfolk Railway, Hornby, HS2 and Southeastern railway.

You can join the event either via the We Are Railfans website or here on Facebook

Ben has also taken part in a We Are Railfans audio podcast discussion with Sam and that can be listened to on this link now.

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Ecofret inspirations…

Introduced nearly a decade ago, the FWA Ecofrets being produced by Revolution in both 00 and N are now in use with three intermodal operators – Freightliner, GBRf and DB, and can be seen across the network.

Freightliner’s VTG green twin sets – sometimes referred to as ‘Shortliners’ – are primarily used on traffic from Southampton on traffic to the midlands and north-west England and Scotland, but can also be seen in south Wales.

Freightliner Class 70 70008 on 4M61 Southampton-Trafford park at Rugely in 2019. The train is almost entirely formed of FWA Ecofrets, Courtesy Bob Foster.
Brand new sets of FWA twins at Coatbridge Freightliner terminal. Photo courtesy Tom Smith.

DB operates an extensive network of intermodal trains between ports at Southampton, London Gateway, Liverpool and Felixtowe and terminals at Birch Coppice (Tamworth), Trafford Park (Manchester), Wakefield Europort and the newly opened East Midlands Gateway. Observations suggest the DB Ecofrets are focussed on the services between services between Southampton, Birmingham and Manchester.

DB Class 66 66101 on 4M71 Southampton-Birch Coppice at Basingstoke in 2019. The first two wagons behind the locomotive are both DB red FWA Ecofret triple sets. Photo courtesy Mark Few.
DB Class 66 66065 on 4M71 Southampton-Birch Coppice at Leamington Spa. As in the image above, the first two wagons behind the locomotive are DB red Ecofret triples. Photo courtesy Goff Daft.

In 2019 DB entered into an agreement with the logistics company Maritime to share the operation of intermodal trains. A new terminal has been opened at East Midlands Gateway, near Kegworth in Leicestershire, and six Class 66 locomotives have been repainted into Maritime’s attractive blue livery.

Maritime-liveried Class 66 66090 at Eastleigh in 2020 with DB FWAs behind the locomotive. Photo courtesy Chris Addoo.

GBRf use FWA triple sets of their own and hired from VTG, all in dark blue livery. The VTG-owned versions carry the ‘Ecofret’ branding in large lettering on the upper surface of the decks. GBRf intermodal trains link the ports at Felixtowe, Southampton, Liverpool and London Gateway with terminals at Hams Hall (Birmingham), Birch Coppice, Doncaster iPort, Masborough (Rotherham), Trafford Park and East Midlands Gateway.

Class 66 66747 on 4Z26 Felixstowe North – Mexborough at Ely in 2016. Photo courtesy Keith Partlow.

The diagram below shows a selection of sample consists indicating how Ecofrets can be mixed with other intermodal wagons for authentic formations on your layout, along with a map showing their primary routes. With the exception of the DB FCAs and FKAs all types are available or known to be under development in both 00 and N gauge.

Revolution is offering its Ecofrets in liveries as used by Freightliner, DB and GBRf to offer maximum variety to modellers’ intermodal trains. The order book has closed on the N gauge versions and they are in production now, though some will be available from retailers once they are shipped. The order book will remain open for the 00 versions for a short period longer.

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Mercig’s mucky marvels…

Mercig Studios have sent us images of a couple of Revolution Trains models they’ve recently weathered for their customers.

Photo courtesy Mercig Studio.

First up is 92041 ‘Vaughan Williams’ which is a pristine Revolution Trains model that has been weathered and renumbered. Additional front end details and photo-etched BR logo and tunnel roundels (supplied with the model) have been fitted and the model has been medium-weathered.

Photo courtesy Mercig Studio.

This pair of IZA Cargowaggon twin vans has received a significantly heavier patina of dirt. In addition, subtle touches include the ‘wiped clean’ panels and the white patches on the Cargowaggon lettering itself, replicated the tendency of the real markings to peel off.

If you’re interested in finding out more Mercig Studios can be found here.

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Primary Colours: Red, Green, Blue Ecofrets!

Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of all three main versions of its forthcoming 00 gauge FWA ‘Ecofret’ container wagons in red, green and blue.

Ecofrets Assemble!

There are now 232 FWA ‘Ecofret’ units in use with three operators: DB, Freightliner and GBRf and more are on order. Revolution is offering versions to suit all three operators, and the wagons have been designed to work with C-rail 40′ and 20′ containers.

Red (DB) and green (Freightliner) FWAs loaded with C-rail 20′ and 40′ hi cube containers.
Freightliner FWA twin set
FWA green twin set at Coatbridge Freightliner terminal. Photo courtesy Tom Smith.

The FWA was designed by VTG as a response to changing patterns in sea shipping and the dominance of the 40′ container. Traditional intermodal flats have 60′ decks; ideal for one 40′ container and one 20′ container (or three 20′ containers) but inefficient if there aren’t enough 20′ containers to fill the gaps. The shorter Ecofret – with its 40′ deck – means more containers per train and no wasted space, increasing the number of 40′ containers carried in a typical 512m train by more than 40%.

As well as being wasteful, the empty 20′ spaces on 60′ container flats cause turbulence, which increases drag and fuel consumption, hence VTG’s decision to name the FWA ‘Ecofret’ to emphasise its green credentials.

FWA in VTG green with C-Rail 40′ hi-cube and standard height containers
FWA Ecofrets are widely used

While Freightliner operate the Ecofret in twin sets, DB and GBRf use triple sets. The centre car is slightly different to the outers and can carry either two 20′ or one 40′ container, with rotating centre spigots. This feature has been replicated on the Revolution Trains model.

GBRf Ecofret triple set at Huntingdon loaded with 2 x 40′ and 2 x 20′ containers.

As well as high levels of detail on the underframe, the bogies feature separately fitted torsion bars and prototypically accurate printing on the top corner of the bogie frame – we believe this is a first for an 00 model.

The Revolution Trains FWA Ecofrets are still available for pre-order, but we will be closing the order book soon to commence production.

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It’s gold and bronze for Revolution!

Revolution Trains is delighted to have won Gold in the 2020 BRM/World of Railways/RM Web N Gauge Rolling Stock cateory for our KUA nuclear flask carriers twin pack.

We are particularly delighted as it was a closely fought contest, and we managed to beat off the challenge of the superb Graham Farish LNER/BR Thompson coaches.

Revolution also received the Bronze award in the Manufacturer of the Year category.

We’d like to thank everyone who voted for us and our models, and congratulate Graham Farish and Dapol for their Gold and Silver awards respectively in this category.

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Mini-van marvels…

Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of its IWA ‘Sfins2’ vans and ‘Rfnoos’ timber carriers in N.

Norsk Hyrdro, Cargowaggon and unbranded IWA Sfins2 vans

Their 00 gauge big brothers are already in production, and with the N gauge order book recently closed these samples are for final checking before production of the 1:148 scale versions.

IWA Rfnoos timber carrier

Some very small changes are being made – a couple of missing data panels need to be added, a colour corrected and the end handrails should be white, not black, but broadly speaking we are delighted with the fine lettering and application.

Almost all of the lettering is legible under a glass – even the door safety warnings on the top of the third panel

160 ‘Sfins2’ vans, given the TOPS code IWA, were built in Germany in 1987. They became known as hold-all vans and the roof and sides of each half were a single component that could be raised and slid away using the handwheels at each end; enabling them to be loaded from the sides or above. This versatility saw them used on a wide variety of traffic including fertiliser, water, steel, bagged clay, palletised goods and newsprint.

In 2006 40 were converted to timber carriers – the roofs and sides were removed and side stanchions were added.

For more information about the wagons and some sample consists see our projects page here.

The Revolution range allows for all these options, with vans in Norsk Hydro, Cargowaggon and unbranded liveries, and timber carriers with Touax branding.

The vans entered service in 1987 in Norsk Hydro livery for fertiliser traffic, and in Cargowaggon livery for more mixed use including mineral water, cement, metals and palletised goods.

37420 with six Norsk Hydro wagons 6E48 Hallem Marsh – Immingham at Water Orton in 1991 . Photo courtesy Kevin Payne.
92002 6M14 Dollands Moor – Ditton Foundry. Acton Bridge 2014. This traffic still runs. Photo courtesy Colin Pottle.

The timber carriers are being supplied as delivered, with eight blue bifurcated ‘double’ stanchions on each side, however in use some of these were removed and additional single red stanchions added. Their position has varied from wagon to wagon, and at different times, so these will be included in a bag for the modeller to fit according to prototype.

IWA Rfnoos timber carriers with eight double stanchions, as delivered. Photo courtesy Neil Harvey
Rfnoos with four blue double stanchions and additional red single stanchions.

The order book has closed for these models with Revolution now and those who have pre-ordered will have their models dispatched as soon as we received them, which is likely to be in just 12 weeks. Don’t worry if you missed out on pre–orders as several of our partner retailers will have stocks.

As can be seen above, the wagons are the perfect accompaniment to the recently released Revolution Trains Class 92 electric locomotive.

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Read All About it! Projects updated!!

Now that the Chinese New Year holiday is over and we are well into the Year of the Ox, Revolution Trains has received latest information on the development of its new projects and production of existing ones such as the Sonic Models 56xx 0-6-2T locomotive and our Class 320/321 electric multiple units, both in N. Due to Covid and other factors some models are a little delayed, we understand that this is always disappointing to customers but we would rather the factories made sure that the models were as good as possible rather than rushed out.

We have also agreed a slight delay to the start of the production of the second run of Pendolinos as many of our customers asked us for more time to be able to place an order.

The latest information is on our Projects Page – before contacting us asking for an update on any projects please check the Projects Page – we do our best to keep it updated and it always has the latest information.

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Big blue comes into view!

Revolution Trains has received stocks of its first 0-gauge locomotive; the Class 37/4 in exclusive DRS ‘Compass’ livery.

The models have been made for Revolution by Heljan, and feature the same specification as their standard 37/4 model with motors on each bogie, working roof fan and extensive customer-fit end details. Spares of the delicate cab nose aerials, air pipes and bogie retainer chains are also included with every model.

Stocks are limited and a large proportion were pre-sold and have already been shipped to customers. The remaining models are available to order now for immediate delivery priced at £599 each.

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PEP talk – Class 313/314 CAD unveiled!

CAD has been finalised on the forthcoming Revolution Trains Class 313 and 314 ‘PEP’ electric multiple units.

313 DMSO – current version with hi intensity headlight

Versions with the original and revised headlights are being offered, and with the CAD almost signed off tooling will begin shortly.

Centre car with pantograph

Once the models are delivered we anticipate that some models will be available from retailers, but at a higher MSRP to include their margins.

The launch liveries are:

BR Blue-Grey. 1976-late 1980s
BR Network southeast. 1986-mid 2000s.
SIlverlink Metro. 1997-2007
London Overground 2007-2013
First Capital Connect ‘Urban Lights’ 2006-2014
Great Northern ‘Urban Lights’ 2014-2019
Southern ‘Coastway’ 2010-present.
Note: the prototypes have photo vinyls next to the door not featured in this preliminary impression.

In addition to the variants offered above, there are interesting specials and one offs. These will not be part of Revolution’s own production, but we are hopeful of producing one or more as a retailer exclusive.

313121 Network Rail ‘Delivering future signalling’ 2014-present
313201 Southern heritage BR Blue. 2017-present.
This is the first 313 PEP unit built, and was repainted after being confirmed for the National Collection.
Arlington Fleet Services T7 EMU translator car twin set.
These two former driving cars are used for loco-hauled MU positioning moves.
Note T7 units will have standard couplers at non-cab end, not power coupler illustrated.

Revolution is also offering the very similar Class 314 units that operated in Scotland from the late 1970s. There are some minor differences with the 313s and these will be depicted where possible. Please note there are some configurations with the CAD that need tweaking, such as the shoegear which is not present on the 314.

Class 314 DMSO

The Class 314s have carried four liveries; Revolution is initially offering those covering the period from 1983, when the first blue grey unit received the striking Strathclyde PTE orange and black, until 2019 when the last 314s were withdrawn.

Strathclyde PTE 1983-2013.
Scotrail 2011-2019.

Once the tooling begins we will be opening the order book – it will likely be a couple of months time. As ever there will be a discounted Earlybird price for the first couple of months or so, after which it’ll go up to the standard pre-order price.

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Revolution Trains Facebook Live #007

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our seventh Facebook Live this evening. For those who missed it, or don’t do Facebook, here is a recording of the full episode.

Please note there is the traditional sound glitch at the start, so you may wish to zoom straight to 12:30 for the ‘proper’ start. There is also a slight sound glitch at the start of the Class 128 update that lasts approx 45 seconds.

START TIME: 00:12:30

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Drax-tacular! Biomass hopper samples arrive

Revolution Trains has received EP1 samples of the Drax Power IIA-D biomass hoppers, which are available to order exclusively from Rails of Sheffield.

The models represent the 225 IIA-D ‘Tafoos’ hoppers now in service with Drax power and used to transport biomass from sea ports on Merseyside, Tyneside and Humberside to Drax Power station in Yorkshire. Drax is the UK’s largest power station, generating more than 6% of the UK’s power needs, and is expecting to convert to 100% biomass in 2021.

60076 with Drax hoppers at Gauxholme. Photo Neil Harvey.

The EP1 samples are to check the fit of parts and that the basic dimensions are correct. The prototypes are 17640mm over headstocks, which is 119mm in 1:148 scale.

Bogie brakewheel is missing on this side. It will be present on production models.

The models are being offered in twin packs in three different iterations of Drax livery – original, Northern Powerhouse and the new ‘Renewable Pioneers’ versions. They are being retailed exclusively by Rails of Sheffield.

Drax original livery – version A
Drax original livery – version B
Drax Northern Powerhouse livery – version A
Drax Northern Powerhouse livery – version B
Drax Renewable Pioneers ‘Ben Cruachan’ livery. There are three other variants with different images.

(Wagon artwork courtesy Drax Power)

Revolution JNA Ealnos and IIA-D Tafoos wagons – why not have some of each?
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MMMMA…… tasty!

Revolution Trains has received first egineering samples of our forthcoming MMA/JNA ‘Ealnos’ box wagons in N.

MMA/JNA – 9 rib versions

Introduced on the network five years ago, and there are more than 900 of these wagons in service or on order. The first were coded MMA and are in operation with DB; subsequent versions carry the TOPS designation JNA and carry variously VTG, Ermewa, Tarmac, GBRf, Cappagh and Touax brandings.

There are two main versions – either with 9 or 11 bodyside ribs, and within these there are examples both with and without bodyside doors that enable the wagons to be more easily swept out. Revolution is offering all types, and as well as the alternate body styles the variations in brake arrangements have also been faithfully depicted.

JNA 11 rib versions

As is customary with models from Revolution Trains, the models feature a wealth of detail on the body and underside, including plenty of separately fitted brake components and wire pipes and end footsteps. The first 9-rib wagons, for DB and Ermewa/Tarmac, feature the parking brakes and cylinders on the underframe, whereas the 11-rib variants for VTG incorporate such equipment mounted on the bogies. The parking brake wheels are absent on the samples; this will be corrected for the production models.

9-rib MMA (left) and 11-rib JNA underframes

As with the 00 versions of these models, and our popular IZA Cargowaggon vans, versions are being offered with factory-fitted, battery powered flashing tail lamps.

Because the light unit has to be positioned inside the wagon body, we have tooled a moulded ‘load’ to hide it – the load is being supplied as an option with all the models, which are also supplied with a flat floor to run as empty. The first prototypes are smooth; the finished items will be engraved to represent stone.

These prototypes are primarily to test the quality of the components, their dimensions and fit. These checks are now almost completed and feedback on some minor areas has been given.

Sizing up!

The Chinese New Year festivities mean that factories will be closing down for the next 2-3 weeks, but once they resume toward the end of February we will expect decorated samples of the models to follow.

Which versions do I need?

We have created a helpful diagram showing a variety of authentic trains operated by these wagons, along with a route map, that can be found further down the page. We are aiming to offer in this production run as many of the variants as possible.

These images show each of the different versions in more detail. The suffix -L denotes a version with the flashing tail lamp – but for production reasons only the most widespread and popular liveries will be available with the tail lamp fitted. However, we are investigating the possibility of making the tail lamp unit available as a spare.

9-pillar with door

This version is suitable for DB Cargo MMA versions N-EAL-101A/B/C/D/L

66119 with DB MMA hoppers at Peak Forest in September 2018.

9-pillar without door

This version is suitable for Ermewa and Ermewa/Tarmac versions N-EAL-101A/B/L/C/D

66711 at Irchester with mixed rake of Ermewa and VTG spot hire JNA. Photo courtesy Steve Madden.

11-pillar with door

This version is suitable for GBRf and Ermewa/GBRf versions N-EAL-106A/L/B/C

66028 with GBRF JNAs on the Cumbrian Coast. Photo courtesy Aidan Fort.

11-pillar without door

This version is suitable for VTG and Cappagh versions N-EAL-103A/B, N-EAL-104A/B/L, N-EAL-105A/B/L, N-EAL-107A, N-EAL-117A/C/L

11-pillar without door and body-mounted brakes

This version is suitable for the Touax versions N-EAL-108A/B/C

59206 at Acton in 2020 with Touax and VTG/Mendip Rail JNAs. Photo courtesy Dave Kirwin.

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Pick up a pantograph!

In response to (overwhelming!) customer demand, Revolution Trains is making its poseable Brecknell Wills high-speed pantographs available as spares.

Small and hard to photograph! (Two shown in different poses but sold as singles)

The pantographs will be priced at £6.95. They are made of injection-moulded plastic with photo-etched metal heads and painted base insulator pots. As supplied these are intended as cosmetic accessories, they are unable to collect current, and are un-sprung but poseable.

Revolution Trains Class 92 locomotive fitted with Brecknell Willis high speed pantographs. Photo courtesy George Dent/Model Rail.

They include full instructions to assist with fitting, and are available to order immediataly.

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Fantas-car-tic Four – from Revolution!

British Rail’s iconic and revolutionary Cartic-4 car carriers are the next 1960s era model to be offered by Revolution Trains.

Each four-unit articulated Cartic-4 set could carry 34 (1960s-sized) cars at up to 75mph. In total 538 Cartic-4s were constructed between 1966 and 1972, and they lasted in service until the mid 2000s.

40078 with empty Cartic-4s at Peterborough. Photo courtesy Paul James.

The Cartic-4 was developed jointly by BR and Ford following after the Beeching report of 1963 urged British Railways to focus on efficient block trains for freight and adopt fast, air-braked bogie wagons to replace its fleet of ageing and slow four-wheeled stock.

The design was radical at the time for freight stock – comprising a permanently coupled four-part vehicle in which the inner cars were linked via shared bogies on articulated joints – and two prototypes were constructed and trialled on traffic from Ford’s giant Dagenham plant in September 1964.

The production units differed slightly from the two prototypes, and the majority were built for private vehicle transporters MAT, Silcock & Collings and Tolemans, however some were also built by BR and used to launch its Motorail brand in 1966. This offered motorists the opportunity to take their car on holiday with them, with an extensive network of services between cities including London, Birmingham and Sheffield and Scotland, the South West and North Wales.

A new terminal was opened at Kensington Olympia in London, and ramps allowed both decks to be loaded simultaneously. This is featured in the wonderfully evocative British Pathé film “Car And You By Train” – which you can see here.

Stills from the British Pathe film “Car And You By Train.”

Out of holiday season, the Motorail-branded vehicles were often used alongside the rest of the fleet for new car deliveries. We will be offering as-built Cartic-4s in BR Motorail, MAT-Transauto and Silcock and Collings liveries.

In the 1984, following increasing incidents of vehicles becoming damaged in transit by stones, Silcock and Collings decided to add screens to the sides of the wagons. Some were also given corrugated roofs to protect vehicles from items dropped from overbridges; the roofs were hinged and could be raised to allow loading and unloading. Both these variants are being offered, and they often ran together in the same train.

85005 at Stratford in 1988. Photo courtesy Phil Richards.

This was a success, and within two years MAT had decided on similar measures, using Expamet mesh for its screens. The MAT fleet was inherited by STVA when it took over, and the Cartic-4s, by now coded PJA under TOPS, were refurbished and repainted into its pale grey livery.

47309, also at Stratford, with MAT mesh-sided car carriers in 1991. Photo courtesy Michael Hart.

A very small number of the MAT sets received roofs, however they were to a different design and are not being included.

STVA also decided to remove the top decks from three sets, and run them as single deck units primarily for light commercial vehicles; these lasted in use until 2013 however they are not being offered as they also featured some strengthening additions which would not be practical to tool.

BR drawings have been sourced and CAD work is underway. The models will feature our usual high levels of detailing, with the brake gear on the underside, accurate representations of the deck tread arrangement and separate parts including plastic and photo etched ladders, screens and roofs.

Preliminary CAD work has started following the Chinese New Year holiday

Once CAD is complete the models will be available to pre-order.

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Revolution goes tri-mode for Class 93 locos with ROG!

Revolution Trains is to produce the all-new Class 93 tri-mode locomotive being built for Rail Operations Group by Stadler as its first powered model in 00/4mm scale.

Class 93 image courtesy ROG/Stadler

Rail Operations Group has ordered ten of the new Class 93 locomotives, with options on a further 20, and the first is to be delivered in early 2023.

The Class 93 is designed to operate on 25kv overhead power supply, with an inboard diesel engine, or using heavy duty batteries; allowing it to be almost silent while in stations or other built up areas while optmizing efficiency across the network and maximizing low carbon benefits. The Class 93 will be able to run at speeds of up to 110mph and the diesel power unit is specified to be powerful enough for prolonged mainline running, not just ‘last mile’ operation.

Revolution Trains is delighted to have been chosen by ROG and Stadler to produce the Class 93 tri-mode locomotive, which is arguably the most exciting and innovative development on the real railway for many years.

Neil Bennett, Executive Chairman of Rail Operations Group, said: “Along with our well-established rolling-stock movement business, we have very exciting plans for the Class 93 including low-carbon logistics services operating at speeds of up to 110mph.  I am delighted to be working with Revolution Trains on reproducing the locomotive in model form.”

This will be Revolution’s first powered model aimed at 00 gauge/4mm scale modellers, but Revolution has already delivered, or is developing, six 00 wagons: TEA tankers, MMA/JNA ‘Ealnos’ box wagons, IZA Cargowaggon twins (a Kernow exclusive), IWA ‘Sfins2’ vans, IWA ‘Rfnoos’ timber carriers and FWA ‘Ecofret’ container flats.

The model will be to 4mm:1ft scale, 1:76.2 with RP25-110 wheels with space for EM/P4 fitting. They will feature our usual high levels of detailing including photo-etched and separate parts where appropriate, prototypical lighting arrangements, 21-pin DCC socket, and heavy metal chassis with full provision for DCC Sound. DCC Sound-fitted models will also be available.

We will offer multiple numbers, factory-fitted buffer-beam details at one end (though a spare NEM coupler will also be included for customers who wish to couple the loco at both ends) and we will investigate the provision of a DCC operated pantograph mechanism.

The full specicifation is subject to revision during the design phase, but will be confirmed by the time we open the order book.

Rail Operations Group’s core business is moving rolling stock around the network.

Rail Operations Group has exciting plans for the Class 93, and while initially they are likely to be used mainly to service ROG’s existing and well-established rolling stock movement business, the company also sees the locomotives being used as part of its proposed ‘Orion’ high speed centre-to-centre low carbon logistics trains as well as 110mph intermodal services. For more information see here.

ROG is planning to begin trials of its first converted Class 319 units in April 2021. The images below show the first unit being unveiled last month.

The Class 93 models will be offered in ROG’s stylish green and black launch livery, and it is understood that they are to be named after Roman Gods.

The terms of the licence – which covers both 00 and N gauge models – mean that ROG and Stadler will work closely with Revolution, sharing important technical specifications, 3D data and design drawings, to ensure the models are as accurate as possible and that any changes made during construction are incorporated.

Class 93 Initial Specification

  • Heavy diecast chassis with smooth electric motor and flywheels and provision for DCC and Sound
  • 4mm-ft/1:76.2 scale 00 (16.5mm) gauge, with provision for simple conversion to EM/P4
  • Separately applied etched metal or fine plastic details
  • NEM coupler sockets with fully detailed, factory-fitted bufferbeam at one end (second coupler in accessory pack)
  • DCC provision: 21 pin decoder socket
  • Prototypical lighting arrangements, switchable for DC users where necessary
  • Twin speakers on sound-fitted models
  • RP25 (110) wheels with provision for simple conversion to EM/P4
  • We will investigate options for a DCC operated pantograph mechanism, though the pantograph itself will be cosmetic

It is intended that the models will be delivered as soon as possbile after the prototypes enter service.

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Facebook Live no.7 reminder

Revolution Trains’ next Facebook Live is scheduled for 1930 on Tuesday February 23rd, just 48 hours from publication of this reminder.

Please join us for updates on several ongoing N and 00 gauge projects, plus announcements of new powered and unpowered models – including (subject to final licence sign off) our first 00 gauge locomotive…

A clue to one of the new items…

All will be revealed on Tuesday – see you then!

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Revolution Trains Facebook Live 007!

Revolution Trains will be hosting our first Facebook Live of 2021 next Tuesday February 23rd at 1930.

Please join us as we will be unveiling first samples of our forthcoming MMA/JNA ‘Ealnos’ box wagons, Drax Power IIA-D ‘Tafoos’ biomass hoppers, and first CADs for our Class 313/4 Electric Units.

We are also planning to open the order books on a couple of ongoing projects, so will be giving details of liveries and variations on offer.

And, subject to licencing agreement being finalised, we may be able to unveil our next locomotive project!

Plus we might be opening a bottle of fizz to celebrate being crowned Model Rail magazine’s N Gauge Manufacturer of the Year 2020.

On top of this we will try to give updates on all oustanding projects, and as usual we will be watching the comments and will answer any realtime questions you might have.

As ever, for those who can’t join we’ll record the session and post a link here, and of course news items detailing all the announcements will be publishing here on our website soon afterward.

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Revolution Trains top of the N gauge pops!

Revolution Trains is honoured and proud to have been voted 2020 N gauge Manufacturer of the Year by the readers of Model Rail magazine.

In addition, Revolution’s KUA MoD nuclear flask carrier was voted rolling stock model of the year in the same awards.

Naturally Ben and Mike are thrilled and delighted with this accolade, and would like to thank those who voted for Revolution Trains, and all who’ve supported them during what has been a tough year for everyone.

Revolution would also like to congratulate all the winners, in every scale and category, on their awards.

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Dyson-sational! Class 92 delivery updates and information

92s make it in 2020 – just!

On Christmas Eve the long-awaited N gauge Class 92 locomotives arrived from Rapido, and while this meant delivery before Christmas was not possible, we worked hard over the break to ensure deliveries of the first hundred or so orders did take place before the end of the year.

We are anticipating that by Friday January 15th all paid for models will have been despatched – please keep an eye on our Projects page for progress if you are still waiting for your model (all parts of your order (in your account) will also be marked as “Complete” when your order has been despatched). If you still have a balance to pay then you should have received an email from us – please log in to your account where you can pay any balance due. If you sent us a query or reply regarding your balance payment we will deal with that over the next few days.

Retailers who’ve pre-ordered the models will be receiving their stocks later this week once the last of the pre-orders has been sent. Also available, exclusively from Kernow Model Rail Centre, will be 92017 ‘Eddie the Engine’ in its distinctive Stobart livery.

For those of you looking for support information we’ve added some notes for owners and information on DCC in our support section (we will also add the manual and DCC settings shortly).

Kernow Exclusive 92017 ‘Eddie the Engine’

We’ve been overwhelmed by the response, and would like to say a big ‘thank-you’ to those who’ve uploaded images or videos, or sent them to us, of the models in action.

There are too many to acknowledge individually, but as a taster here are two 92s running on Simon Fenton’s awesome ‘Dallam’ layout; one on a long rake of Farish FIA intermodal twins, the other with Dapol silver bullets Kaolin carriers:

So far the response to the models has been very encouraging, and we would like to register our thanks to everyone at Rapido in Canada and China for all the hard work they’ve put in to help us bring these models to market. As ever with our crowdfunded models, it would never have happened without the support of those who pre-ordered and put their trust in us.

The models feature a myriad of details, and several firsts for mass-produced British N gauge models, including a detailed bufferbeam at one end and a representation of the cab driver’s window blind – a distinctive and visible feature on the prototype due to the large windscreens.

So what can I run behind my new 92?

To help those interested in running accurate trains, we’ve prepared a handy guide to the kind of trains that Class 92s have operated.

They are true mixed traffic locomotives, designed originally for heavy cross-channel freight and ‘Nightstar’ international sleeper trains. They are also equipped with both pantographs for 25kV AC overhead supply and collector shoes for 3rd rail DC power; making them exceptionally versatile. They are also the only class of locomotive currently equipped and cleared for use on HS1, enabling continental-gauge swap-body containers to reach London by rail for the first time.

92023 at Chelscote with the Glasgow/Edinburgh Caledonian Sleeper. Courtesy Nigel Gibbs.

Caledonian Sleeper

The 92s are now the principle traction for Anglo-Scottish sleeper services between London and Glasgow/Edinburgh, though smaller diesels are used on non-electrified lines parts of the journey to Fort William, Inverness and Aberdeen.

The forthcoming Revolution Trains Mk5 sleeper coaches should be in production later this year, and will enable full, accurate rakes to be produced.

Mk 5 SLED Accessible sleeper – approved CAD

However, if you don’t have room for the full 16-coach rake don’t despair – as you can see from the table below, Covid has led to shorter rakes becoming authentic!

IWA bogie and IZA 4-wheel twin vans

Class 92s are also long-associated with international van traffic – primarily mineral water from central and southern France and aluminium between the UK and Germany.

IWA vans carrying aluminium between Ditton and Nievenheim, Germany. Photo courtesy Colin Pottle.
92036 “Bertolt Brecht” with a rake of IZAs carrying mineral water at Soulbury in 2013. Courtesy Andrew Chambers.

Again, both these traffics can be recreated thanks to Revolution Trains, with either our IZA Cargowaggon twins (some may still be available at retailers, and Revolution has a tiny number in stock) or with our forthcoming IWA vans in Cargowaggon or unbranded versions.

92010 on car train – photo courtesy Trevor Plackett

Automotive traffic has also been a staple for the 92s for many years, and the Revolution IPA car carriers can help in recreating these on your layout.

Here is a diagram showing just some of the huge variety of trains worked by Class 92s since 2005.

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Revolution round-up of 2020: Car Carriers, KUAs, Class 92s and Coronavirus.

No one could say 2020 has been a vintage year. Nonetheless, while many of us have had to deal with lockdowns, loneliness or loss of income there have been some good points: working from home has given many a break from the drudge of commuting or created more time for modelling, and despite the pandemic Revolution has had one of its most productive years ever.

New models delivered this year include the HOA hoppers, KUA nuclear flask wagons, IPA car carriers and, just before 2020 draws to a close, the first Class 92 locomotives.

Is yours one of these?

We have seen steady progress in previously announced projects such as the Class 128 parcels car and Class 313/314 electric units in N, as well as the FWA Ecofret wagons and IWA vans and timber carriers in both N and 00. However, some of these projects have taken longer than usual at the CAD design stage – this we understand to be largely down to labour problems caused by Covid.

In February we attended, as usual, Model Rail Scotland in Glasgow. At this exhibition we unveiled our new, expanded display stand designed to give us more space to engage with our supporters and show off upcoming models.

Mike gives his best ‘blue steel’ on our new display stand. Hooded top model’s own.

Model Rail Scotland is always a fun and friendly show, and 2020 was no exception. But little did we know then that the other shows we were booked to attend – The London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace, DEMU Showcase, The N Gauge International Show and the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC- would all be cancelled.

The onset of Covid in March changed many things. Revolution adopted stricter hygiene measures for dispatch of HOA hoppers, while with exhibitions and shows cancelled we needed a new way to talk to our friends and supporters. So we decided to host our first Facebook Live. This enabled both of us to give updates, show off samples or prototypes, and unveil new offerings.

The Facebook Live countdown clock became a familar sight, and the Lives enabled us to show off models in close-up, explain their features and show off the decor in Mike’s flat.

Judging by the feedback the Facebook Lives have been popular, and we plan to continue them, but while they have their place they are no real substitute for exhibitions where we can talk to our customers and enthusiasts can see (and often handle) our products for themselves.

2020 has seen several new announcements from Revolution Trains, including one in partnership with Rails of Sheffield, who share Revolution’s aim of supporting the growth of N gauge.

From top: IIA-D Drax biomass hopper, with Rails of Sheffield, 20′ gypsum containers (with Accurascale), Revolution realistic fixed couplers, SR general manager’s saloon ‘Caroline’ in 00 and N, MMA/JNA ‘Ealnos’ box wagons in N, new run Pendolinos in liveries including Avanti, 40′ hi-cube refrigerated ‘reefer’ containers with C-Rail, IPA car carriers in 00, exclusive DRS Compass livery Class 37 from Heljan in 0, HOA hoppers in 00.

Projects under development or in production include, from top: IWA vans and timber wagons in 00, MTV/ZKV ‘Zander’ 1970s-90s box open wagons in N, PFA container flats in N (with Accurascale), IWA vans and timber wagons in N, FWA ‘Ecofret’ container flat twins and triples in 00 and N, Class A fuel tanker in N, Class 320/321 EMUs in N.

For 2021 Revolution has many more exciting plans. Now the Class 92s are here, and the Class 128 and 313 are close to tooling, we are planning to offer new powered models for both present day and transition era enthusiasts, as well as further wagon models covering the 1960s to the present day.

Let’s face it: 2020 hasn’t been easy, but we have come through it. Here’s hoping for a healthier, happier and altogether better 2021!