It was a busy show at Warley for Revolution, and for our main manufacturing partner Rapido Trains, who were showing off several new models both for themselves and other customers.
However, with the Pendolino poised for delivery, and other models set to follow in turn, Rapido did tell us that for the next 12 months at least they anticipate that they will have a Revolution Trains item in production at all times at one of their two factories.
The rough schedule for 2018 is the 00 TEA tankers (spring), N KFA (early summer), N 92 (late summer) and N HOA hopper (late autumn) though of course this is subject to change. The Class 321 unit will follow on from the HOA if it reaches minimum order numbers.
IZA Cargowaggon twin van
Announced in June at the DEMU Showcase exhibition, the arrival of first tooled samples of the IZA Cargowaggon twin vans just five months later is something of a record for Revolution Trains.
This has come about because of the large number of orders we have already received – so thanks to everyone who has stepped forward to make this happen.
These models feature standard N gauge couplers on each end and a representation of the prototype’s screw coupling in the centre. The use of kinematic coupler pockets means the vehicles can be authentically close coupled without bufferlock or derailments on trainset curves.
The prototypes have the brake gear split across the wagons and cannot be operated individually. This was to take advantage of European grants available when they were manufactured in the mid 1980s. Naturally the Revolution model depicts these differences, with both air tanks on one wagon, and the hanbrakes on the other:
The model also features protypical differences in the ends, with single dumb buffers on the inner faces, and the frames are separate parts to allow the distinctive circular cut outs to be present:
These mouldings will now be checked and assessed, and any minor amendments made, before livery samples are prepared.
Please note that these models are assembled or test purposes from mouldings only, an do not feature the fine wire handrails at the ends and the springing in the couplers, which will be self-centering on production models.
For those who handled them at Warley they will also be weighted, as with all our models, to NMRA standards.
We expect them to go into production February – March 2018, with the order book closing shortly beforehand.
HOA stone hopper
We had not expected to show any progress on these models at Warley, but Rapido surprised us by bringing two 3D prints produced from the recently approved CAD drawings.
These show both variants – the original EWS Construction type at the rear, with the body-mounted handbrakewheel and four strengthening plates on the sides, and the new built VTG versions with bogie mounted handbrakewheels and six plates.
Being 3D prints they are a little rough in parts, and lack the finesse and structural strength of plastic moulded parts (so some of the thinner components are slightly deformed) but they indicate to us that the design looks good, sits well and that the bogies and couplers being reused from our TEA tankers look right.
VTG new build version
EWS construction original type
These models are expected to go into production after the Class 92s scheduled for next summer.
We will be opening the order book shortly, and as ever would urge our supporters to order early as this generates the funding to complete the tooling and development work all the quicker.
KFA container flat
These models are undergoing final running tests in Canada and are ready to go into production in late February – March 2018.
Livery drawings are being worked on at the moment, but for these wagons the painting and lettering is far more straightforward than for the Pendolino or TEA tankers.
Class 320/321 EMU
CAD drawings of this model are now complete and if the orders had been satisfactory this model would now be in tooling. However, orders have not matched the expressions of interest we received when we first proposed this model. This is a pity as we are sure, given the quality of the models from Rapido so far and the CAD drawings they have sent us, that they’ll make a superb job of this train.
Class 321 DTCO
Class 320/321 DTSO
The model will have full interior detail and provision for the fitting of lightbars, along with numerous separate parts on the underframes of the trailer cars.
Class 321 DTCO interior
The power chassis mechanism is also hidden below window height, and this model will feature a Next 18 decoder meaning that sound options are more straightforward.
Class 320/321 PMSO interior showing chassis arrangement and decoder
For smoother running power will be collected from all wheels, as on our Pendolino, and all bogies, including those on the power car, will feature low drag axle-point pick ups.
Class 320/321 power bogie with outer mouldings removed to show pick-ups
We’d like to thank all those who’ve ordered extra sets in an effort to “help it over the line” but we really need to get the message to those who said they want one but haven’t yet ordered.
Revolution takes each model as a separate project, and we need to impress upon supporters that while we have enjoyed considerable success with “big ticket” models such as the Pendolino and Class 92, they should not assume that models will automatically happen.
We need people to step forward and order the models they want!
Suburban commuter EMUs may not have the cachet of the Pendolino, but they are an important part of the current scene and to model a complete railway we need the humdrum as well as the glamorous.
Also, the drivetrain, chassis and bogies from the 321 will lead us to a number of other useful models should it reach production.
We do understand that funds are sometimes limited, which is why we have introduced a staggered payment plan, and that some customers may be waiting for their Pendolinos before committing, so we are we will make a final decision on the 320 / 321 based on orders at 31 March 2018. If by then we have reached the minimum order numbers needed then we’ll go ahead; if not then we will reluctantly have to refund everyone who has put money into this model.
As a reminder here are the livery options and prices:
Please note current Northern livery is also still available to order.