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Goods inbound!

Like London buses our models are never just one arrival at once – both our N gauge IPA car carriers and KUA nuclear flask carriers are on their way to us and should clear customs for delivery to us in the next 7-10 days.

As a result we’ve started to send out balance invoices for the IPA car carriers and we will shortly be starting to send out balance invoices for KUAs. As ever our deposit software can only generate separate balance invoices for each line of your original order(s), and unfortunately it isn’t possible to combine the invoices (trust us it creates a lot more work for us).

If you haven’t received any (or all) of your expected balance invoices please login to your account and check if there are any new invoices available for payment – sometimes the email system doesn’t send off all the notifications.

If you need to change your address, as usual, please update the shipping address in your account – it won’t feed through to your existing orders but we check the account address when we generate the shipping labels.

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It’s Glas-go and Silver(in the)pink!

Revolution Trains is happy to confirm that proposed models of the Class 320 in Strathclyde PTE orange and Silverlink blue/green will be going ahead, after enough pre-orders were received before the deadline.

Strathclyde PTE Class 320 DTSO Sample bodyshell shown with undecorated air dam, glazing, chassis and interior.
Silverlink County Class 321 DTSO Sample bodyshell shown with undecorated air dam, glazing, chassis and interior.

Although these models have not been as popular as our other versions – Network South East, London Midland and Scotrail – we are able to make them happen thanks to a wave of orders just ahead of the deadline and our manufacturing partners in China agreeing to reduce the minimum order number.

The final deadline for the Class 321 units is September 20th, and until then latecomers can still order the Strathclyde Class 320 or Silverlink Class 321 as well as our previously confirmed Network SouthEast and London Midland class 321s and Scotrail Saltire Class 320s. For each of these models two different running numbers are available.

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It’s Sweet CaroliNe!

After an enthusiastic response from modellers Revolution is delighted to confirm that we are offering the amazingly versatile former Southern Region General Manager’s Saloon 975025 “Caroline” in N gauge as well as 00.

37421 with Caroline at Lichfield Trent Valley in July 2020. Photo courtesy Simon Cartlidge-Swain.

Caroline was converted from the buffet car of a former Hastings unit in the late 1960s, as a saloon for the General Manager of the Southern Region of BR to entertain VIP guests, but was also used by the engineers for line inspections and assessments. Originally numbered TDB975025 and with a kitchen and catering on board, it rapidly became known as the “gin palace” and an invitation on board became something of a golden ticket.

975025 with a group of County Council officials during the 1980s. Photo Courtesy Gordon Pettit, former Southern Region General Manager.

The secret of the saloon’s success is its versatility; being derived from Hastings line stock – which was built to a tighter loading gauge than most BR vehicles due to clearance issues on that line – it can travel on virtually any part of the network, and with driving controls can be both loco hauled and propelled and – almost uniquely – allows invited guests to see the railway from a driver’s point of view.

975025 at Clapham Junction in Network Southeast livery. Photo courtesy Arran Aird.

In the late 1990s, after the end of BR and the demise of Network Southeast, TDB975025 was purchased by Belmond Pullman but little used, until being acquired by Serco and refurbished, given the name “Caroline” and repainted into dark green with yellow ends. Since then Caroline has been largely associated with DRS traction.

Caroline in present day livery being propelled by DRS’s 37409 in heritage large-logo livery. Photo courtesy Steve Poole.

Caroline now resides at Derby with LORAM/Network Rail and is widely used for track inspections, line repair assessments and still, occasionally, to entertain VIPs. The saloon is about to be fitted with toilet retention tanks, suggesting her future on the mainline is assured for some years to come. Caroline has also been earmarked for the national collection once her service life is over.

Revolution research trip to Derby

Revolution’s N gauge model of Caroline will offer similar specifications as the 00 model, with lots of separate parts, power pick ups, kinematic couplers, directional headlights, search lights and tail lights (or illuminated headcode boxes depending on the era) and interior detailing with working saloon lights. CAD for the 00 model is almost complete and we anticipate CAD for the N version will be shown very soon.

Caroline 00 CAD – still under development

Initially we are offering the same three variants as in 00: BR Blue grey with headcode boxes and 3rd rail power pick-ups, BR Network South East with headcode boxes and 3rd rail power pick ups, and Network Rail green with LED light clusters and high intensity headlight. Please note the graphics below are purely indicative of the livery, and not based on the model CAD designs.

Caroline offers a complete train-in-a-box, and can be both hauled and propelled.

The early-bird price of £115 is available until October 31st, at which time the price will go up to the standard pre-order price of £130. In addition, anyone ordering before September 11th will join our existing 00 customers in being entered into a prize draw to win a place on our ‘Sweet Caroline’ railtour next year (which will be drawn and announced the weekend of 12/13 September)

The model is expected to be ready to ship in early 2021, though as ever delivery schedules can alter due to circumstances outside Revolution’s control.

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Tilt to another Pendolino…

Revolution Trains and Rapido Trains are seeking expressions of interest in another run of Class 390 Pendolino models.

390005 in Virgin ‘Flowing Silk’ livery. Photo courtesy John Whiting.

Since the launch of the original model – which became the UK’s first fully crowdfunded model train and won ‘Model of the Decade’ in the recent poll by Model Rail magazine – the fleet has undergone several livery changes.

When the fleet came up for repainting in 2018 the DfT – in case of franchise change – required that the trains received the now-standard predominantly pale grey livery.

To comply, but add their own flourish, Virgin created the ‘flowing silk’ livery, and one Pendolino, 390045, was given a rainbow version of the livery and named Virgin Pride.

390045 Virgin Pride. Photo courtesy Lewis Hurley.

When Virgin lost the franchise, the vinyls were removed, leaving the entire fleet in the DfT plain pale grey ‘ghost’ livery.

390119 “Unknown Soldier” in the Lune Gorge. Photo courtesy Cameron Walker.

The new franchisee, Avanti West Coast, unveiled two Pendolinos in its own stylish colours in December 2019, however since the advent of lockdown, and ongoing uncertainty about the future of the franchising system, full reprints have been deferred and only power cars are being revinyled, with intermediate cars unchanged.

390154 in part-Avanti livery at Rugely Trent Valley. Photo courtesy curly42.

Revolution and Rapido are both very keen to produce another run of Pendolino models, and Rapido have already test-printed the difficult flowing silk design, but because it is difficult to assess demand for the various different options we are beginning the process by seeking expressions of interest.

Test print of flowing silk markings. Please note the rest of the model is not fully painted.

If the models go into production the pre-order price is expected to be £330 for 9-car sets and £370 for 11-car sets, with the later MSRP significantly higher.

The deadline is September 30th 2020 but as we are not asking for any deposit or financial commitment please do not delay if you are interested.

The possible options are (liveries will only be produced if there is sufficient interest – if there is sufficient interest in particular liveries we will look at producing multiple numbers):

9-car 390010 ‘Cumbrian Spirit” flowing silk livery, no window stripe.
9-car 390013 “Blackpool Belle” flowing silk livery, window stripe.
11-car 390130 “City of Edinburgh” flowing silk livery, window stripe.
9-car 390045 “Virgin Pride” rainbow silk livery.
9-car 390001 “Bee Together” DfT ghost livery.
9-car 390050 “Virgin Invader” original Virgin livery with sriped doors.
11-car 390119 “Unknown Soldier” DfT ghost livery.
11-car 390156 “Pride and Prosperity” early Avanti livery*.
11-car 390153 revised Avanti livery*.
11-car 390152 “Virgin Knight” original Virgin livery with grey doors.

As ever the models will only reach production if there is adequate interest, and all versions will be packaged in attractive book sets of complete trains, with power couplers and working table lights in First Class as standard.

For those requiring them, aftermarket drop-in light bars will also be available to purchase.

We are not proposing any 5-car sets at this time, as there was very low demand for these in the first production run, possibly because the price differential between a shortened 5-car set and the full and accurate 9-car set is relatively small.

*Avanti livery subject to agreement.

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3…2…1… It’s the Final Countdown!

Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of its forthcoming Class 320 and 321 electric multiple units in N.

Class 320 in Scotrail Saltire livery – production models will have blackened wheels!

Some amendments are needed but these are relatively minor and we are now ready to set deadlines for ordering so the models can enter production.

The models feature high levels of detailing, full interiors, low profile motors that do not obscure the windows and switchable head and tail lights and interior saloon lighting as standard.

The pre-order price is just £195 for the 3-car Class 320 and £220 for the 4-car Class 321.

In addition, it is nearly time to finalise the totals, and this means some options that have not reached minimum order thresholds will be culled.

We are expecting production of the models to begin in October, with delivery expected in Q1 2021.

To manage this process we are setting TWO deadlines:

DEADLINE 1 – August 30th 2020. Last chance to order models on the ‘at risk’ list. After this we will assess order numbers and decide whether these models are proceeding or not. If not, anyone who has ordered will have the option of switching to another livery or receiving a full refund.

The models on the ‘at risk’ list are:

Class 320 Strathclyde PTE
Class 321 Silverlink

DEADLINE 2 – September 20th 2020. Final deadline for all model orders before production. Models already confirmed for production are:

Class 320 Scotrail Saltire – two running numbers available. By arrangement with the Scottish Ministers.
Class 321 Network SouthEast – two running numbers available
Class 321 London Midland – two running numbers available

IMPORTANT – CANCELLED LIVERIES: the following liveries have been cancelled due to lack of orders: First Capital Connect (FCC), Plain White and Northern.

If you ordered one of these and specified a second choice livery that’s already confirmed, or still in the running, you need DO NOTHING NOW.

If you did not specify a second choice livery (or ordered a First Capital Connect Class 321) then TELL US WHAT YOU WANT clicking on the livery change form button below. If we do not hear from you by 30th August 2020 you will receive a refund.

When completing the livery change form please include all the details requested and complete a separate form for each cancelled order.

Note there is no Class 320 livery choice form, since anyone ordering a Strathclyde PTE model has already registered a second choice.

Of course, if you ordered any of the confirmed liveries you don’t need to do anything other than relax and wait for your model to arrive!

Class 321 to 600? It’s a breeze!

Class 600 ‘Breeze’

Incidentally, as we near production Alstom and Eversholt have revealed that the Class 321 units are themselves about to enjoy a rebirth as hydrogen powered trains – the very first of the all new Class 600 series classification on TOPS.

For more information about this exciting development see here.

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Delivering your parcels…first 128 CAD

WR region 128 (as built)

Revolution Trains is pleased to show the latest CAD images for our forthcoming N gauge Class 128 Parcels unit. We’ve submitted our corrections to the factory and once those are ironed out we will announce the price, versions and open the order book.

The main “spotting” notes between the versions are that the 4 Midland Region 128s were built without a corridor connection and had a centre headcode box, whereas the Western Region 128s were all built with corridors (though many were later removed) and split headcode boxes. Other variations were plated or removed headcode boxes, marker lights, sandboxes on bogies, 3 different types of buffer (clipped, oval or round) and a variety of exhaust types.

WR region 128 (as built)
WR 128 with corridor connection, split headcode boxes and sandboxes.
MR 128 (55987-990) with no corridor and centre headcode box
WR 128 with plated over corridor and marker light in the headcode box
Former WR 128 with plated corridor and removed/plated headcode boxes replaced with marker lights

Once the factory have made the CAD corrections we will finalise the versions we are offering and open the order book (not all variants are shown above eg 55991/2 kept their corridor connections to withdrawal in late 1990 but lost their split headcode boxes) .

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PFA container flats – CADs delivered.

Revolution Trains has received preliminary CAD drawings of our forthcoming PFA container flats from Accurascale.

PFA with coal container

The models are available to order loaded with either Cawoods yellow containers, British Fuels red, BNFL half-height low-level waste containers or in DRS black but unloaded for use as runners. Note that the placard on the container shown in the CAD will be removed, as it is not correct for the Cawoods type, being added for those containers in use with CPL distribution which at this time we are not producing and the “pips” on the top corners of the containers will also be taken off.

Because many modellers will want to run their wagons unloaded, the entire deck component (white in the CAD) will be in diecast metal to ensure there is enough low-down weight in the model for good running.

Beneath the wagon is all the detail you’ve come to expect from Revolution Trains, and the couplers are in pivoting NEM pockets, however the low deck and axle positions mean there is not enough room for a kinematic mechanism.

56132 on Blyth-Ellesmere Port Cawoods containers in 1989. Photo courtesy Mick Page.
68002 and 68004 with single nuclear flask wagon and three empty PFA runner wagons in 2019. Photo courtesy Andy Parkinson.

We have requested a few very minor tweaks to the CAD images, and we are still waiting for the diagram of the low level nuclear waste container, but once this is all signed off we will be ready to ask Accurascale to proceed to tooling.

You can order your PFA container wagons here

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Top Secret Revolution KUAs break cover…

Revolution Trains has received painted samples of its forthcoming twin pack of MoD KUA quad-bogie nuclear flask carriers.

MODA95770 & MODA95771

These giant wagons are used to transport spent nuclear submarine fuel from HM dockyards at Rosyth, on the Firth of Forth in Scotland, and Devonport in south west England.

They are also used, on occasion, to transport material from the nuclear research facility at Dounreay on the far north coast of Scotland, via an interchange at Georgemas Junction.

Often used in pairs, they are, if loaded, invariably accompanied by escort coaches carrying security personnel.

Revolution is offering both wagons in a twin pack enabling modellers and collectors to own the “complete fleet” and comprising virtually a complete train in a box.

Revolution would like to thank DRS for all their assistance with these models. Allowing us to properly research these secretive wagons enables us hopefully to do them justice.

MODA95770
MODA95771

Although both wagons in service are virtually physically each has noticeably different markings and Revolution has been at great pains to accurately represent this. Note the different anchor icons, TOPS markings and data panels.

And to make these models extra-special, Revolution is even incorporating the axle numbers and wheel profile markings on the bogies – the first time we’ve been crazy enough to try this!

These photographs are cruelly enlarged – the wheelbase lettering, though legible, is barely 0.2mm tall!

Another key difference is that 95771 has a clearly visible ripped label patch at one end of the hood – as can be seen in the photographs above by Paul Berry – and this too is being represented.

Once these decorated samples have been approved we will be ready to close the order book. It is unlikely these models will be repeated so we’d urge anyone interested to order now to avoid missing out.

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Radioactive arrivals…

Revolution Trains can reveal EP1 samples of its forthcoming KUA nuclear flask wagons.

These have been now been assessed and feedback sent to the designers in China.

Under test they were checked against R1 curves and despite their size the running is smooth and assured.

We have spotted some issues: the handrails were a little distorted on the samples but this may be down to damage during hand-fitting or in transit and experience shows that for the production run the factory will use jigs to assist with fitting. And the production models will be packed in protective vac-formed plastic blisters, and not sent in bubble wrap like the samples!

There are two of these huge wagons in service and they are used to transport spent fuel from Royal Navy nuclear submarines from Devonport and Rosyth to Sellafield. They have also been used to convey radioactive material from the former nuclear research centre at Dounreay.

When loaded they always run with support coaches crewed by elite protection squads.

KUA MODA95770 at Dawlish. Photo courtesy Anthony Christie.

Some adjustments will be made to the moulds and the final rivet and texture details added. Livery diagrams have been completed and this will enable decorated samples to be prepared for checking.

The wagons are being sold as a pair – MODA95770 and MODA95771 – so you can “own the complete fleet” for £139.95.

Due to the coronavirus the return after Chinese New Year has been delayed by the Chinese authorities, so there is likely to be a small delay before we need to close the order book, however we suggest you order soon to take advantage of our great pre-order price.

These models are being produced in a limited number and experience suggests the prices will rise for any models available after production.

Order your set here

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Revolution goes top secret with KUA…

37688 with KUA MODA 95771 at Bristol in 2013. Photo courtesy Antony Christie.

Revolution Trains is offering the giant Ministry of Defence owned 150t KUA nuclear flask wagons as its next N gauge models.

Two of these behemoths are in service and they are used primarily to ferry spent nuclear fuel from submarines at Devonport and Rosyth to Sellafield for reprocessing or disposal. Revolution is proposing to offer both wagons so modellers can own “the complete fleet.”

Revolution KUA nuclear flask wagon CAD

Numbered MODA 95770 and 95771, they carry the UIC code Uaafis. They are among the heaviest wagons to operate on British mainlines.

Work on this model has been underway for some time, with CAD fully complete and the model now in tooling. First samples are expected in the next six weeks. This model is funded and we anticipate that production numbers will be limited.

Research visit earlier this year

Revolution was granted permission to produce the model – and given full access to drawings and other materials – following extensive negotiations with the MoD and we would like to thank them and DRS for their cooperation in producing the model.

37423 with both wagons on a positioning move in 2014. Photo courtesy Tom Walters.

The two wagons in service are often used together, and when loaded are operated with two locomotives (in case of failure) and accompanied by support coaches carrying security personnel, often from the SBS, SAS or Royal Marines.

20312 with MODA95771 and escort coach in 2012. Photo courtesy Antony Christie.

These coaches are available in N, as are many of the locomotives used, meaning that with our KUA models these fascinating and mysterious trains can be accurately depicted.

The wagons were built in the late 1990s by Bombardier, and originally operated by EWS for the Royal Navy. DRS took over operations in 2006.

Res Class 47 with both KUAs and two EWS inspection saloons in 1998. Photo courtesy Tom Smith.

They’re used primarily to carry submarine fuel from HMNB Devonport, in Plymouth, and HMNB Rosyth, in Fife, to Sellafield. They are also sent on occasion to Georgemas Junction on the far north line to collect radioactive material from the nuclear research station at Dounreay. As well as this, they can be seen on maintenance trips to and from Wabtec in Kilmarnock and Arlington at Eastleigh. They are also sent to the MoD depot at Bicester for training.

Although operations using these wagons are often clouded in secrecy, especially when they are loaded, sample consists can be observed in photographs.

KUA flask wagons – sample consists

The Revolution Trains model will feature highly detailed injection moulded body and covers, numerous separately fitted detail parts including ferry loops, wire handles, photo-etched and moulded brake parts and NEM coupler sockets.

Double-headed is the norm nowadays for these trains. Photo courtesy Paul J Berry.

The order book is open and we are offering both wagons as a twin pack with accurate differences in labelling.

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PFA-bulous flats from Revolution

Revolution is offering the PFA 4-wheel container flat to accompany the forthcoming KUA bogie flask wagon and further develop its successful relationship with Accurascale.

PFA DRSL92798 at Carlisle. Photo courtesy Ray Forster.

The wagons were built by Standard Wagon Co. in 1987 to carry containerised coal traffic for Cawoods Ltd from collieries across Britain to dockside terminals for onward shipping to Ireland.

56132 on Blyth-Ellesmere Port Cawoods containers in 1989. Photo courtesy Mick Page.

Open coal containers were also used by British Fuels and CPL, with the wagons, and some were also pressed into service on trains for British Gypsum, carrying their distinctive blue containers.

66208 and 56056 at Burton Salmon with British Fuels and CPL containers in 2002. Photo courtesy Neil Harvey.
60041 with gypsum containers at Hellifield in 2006. Photo courtesy Ian Tunstall.
PFA with blue gypsum container

In the early part of this century a batch were acquired by DRS who still use them as runner wagons and for the transportation of containerised nuclear waste, particularly in distinctive half-height 20′ containers.

68002 and 68004 on 6K73 Sellafield – Crewe in 2019. Photo courtesy Andy Parkinson.
DRS 37 605 & 37602 with waste containers Dungeness – Crewe 2018. Photo courtesy Train Photos.

The Revolution model will feature our usual refinements and we are expecting to open the order book in 2020.

We are also exploring the possibility of offering the wagons with coal, gypsum and nuclear containers and also offering these items as separate accessories.

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Touax KFA among Revolution models for sale at the NEC…

Revolution Trains will have our newly arrived N-gauge KFA container flats – including a previously unannounced version – plus a small number of our previously supplied, and largely sold out, models in 00 and N available to buy at the NEC.

Revolution Trains is on stand C41 (for a map see further down the news page) but we should be easy to find – just look for Rapido’s full sized bus!

These are a combination of cancellations/returns we have had and stock found by Rapido in their warehouse.

Our long-awaited KFA container flats will be available for pre-order customers to collect – if you let us know by 12pm on 22/11 before the show – plus a limited number will be available to buy in the latest Touax-branded version of the livery.

These repaints only started after the project started, which is why they were not offered in the original selection.

Revolution Touax KFA

In N gauge we will have a small number of Pendolinos (nearly all DC but a couple with DCC Sound), IZA Cargowaggon vans, KFA container flats, Sonic VEA vans, 40′ hi-cubes in ONE pink and Hapag Lloyd orange, and our new 30′ bulk-tainers produced with C-Rail.

00 modellers who missed out on our award-winning TEA tankers may get lucky – we have a very small number of each livery available including EWS – as well as our recent MMA/JNA wagons in DB Red, Ermewa grey, Ermewa Tarmac grey and VTG steel blue.

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Sonic 56xx meets mini-me!

Revolution Trains was recently invited by the 5637 Steam Loco Group to the East Somerset Railway so the forthcoming Sonic Models N-gauge 56xx could be introduced to one of the surviving prototypes.

5637 SLG Treasurer Duncan Thom with Revolution’s Ben Ando

5637 is 94-years-old, and keeping her going involves a combination of hard work, skill, and TLC. But members of the group were keen to see how well the Sonic Models 56xx captures the look of the real thing…

Can you spot the N-gauge model…?
Now maybe…?
1:148 scale – a miniature masterpiece!

Sonic Models’ 56xx captures every detail of the locomotive as she is now, even down to the tiny plate commemorating the life of Brian Hankins, one of the group’s founder members.

Driver Chris and fireman… Chris.

Once the model had passed muster, Revolution’s Ben was given the opportunity to fulfil a long held ambition and drive the locomotive… at times reaching the giddy speed of 15mph…

Partial steam ahead!

The Sonic Models 5637 includes a small premium on the price which will be donated to the 5637 SLG to help them fund a major overhaul of the locomotive which is due by 2021.

As well as 5637 in BR lined green with late crest, the models are available to pre-order in BR Black with early crest, BR plain green, GW green with GWR lettering and GW green with Great Western lettering. You can pre-order from Revolution here for an earlybird price saving approximately £20 on the sale price once the models are delivered.