HOA

Hoppers on parade!

Revolution has received decorated samples of all five variants of its forthcoming HOA stone hoppers in N.

Models in EWS Construction, Cemex, DB, Ermewa/Tarmac and VTG/Mendip Rail liveries are available to order now.

The first batch was constructed in 2006 for what was then EWS Construction.

A number were painted in the livery of major customer Cemex, and they quickly became associated with traffic from the large quarry at Peak Forest to destinations throughout England.

When EWS became DB Schenker, some were repainted, though many remain in EWS or unbranded Cemex colours, and all three types are usually found in the same train…

In 2012 more hoppers of an almost identical design were made for Ermewa/Tarmac.  These also have the parking brake mounted at the end of the body, but feature a three-spoke wheel.

At the same time, wagon lessor VTG ordered their own batch in an attractive silver livery dedicated for Mendip Rail stone trains, but these featured the parking brake wheel on the bogie, and an additional pair of strengthening plates on each side.

This image shows the difference in the brake arrangements”:

All the models are being carefully checked against the livery diagrams and any corrections fed back to the factory.

Once this is completed we will be ready to close the order book and authorise production.

The pre-order price is £30.50 for a single wagon, and £91.50 for triple packs featuring different running numbers.

Hoppers bounce into view…

Revolution Trains has received EP1 samples of its forthcoming HOA stone hoppers in N.

Two versions are available – the original build with the parking brake wheel on the body, and the later version operated by VTG/Mendip Rail with the parking brake wheel on the bogie at one end of the wagon.

The first 68 wagons were delivered in 2006 for EWS Construction, with solid disc parking brake wheels on the bodyside and square/oval buffers.

Many were quickly repainted into Cemex colours, one of the railway’s biggest customers, and they operated from quarries in the Derbyshire Peaks to locations nationwide.  Some were also used on Anglo-Scottish sand traffic.

Many of these hoppers have now been repainted into DB red.  All three versions can be seen marshalled together, and all three are being offered.

With ongoing growth in aggregate traffic, another two batches were built for Ermewa/Tarmac and VTG/Mendip Rail.  The last type have the parking brake wheels on the bogies, and this will be correctly reflected in the Revolution model.

Paint diagrams are now complete and we are expecting to receive painted samples in the next 4-6 weeks.

All liveries are being offered in single and multi-packs with different running numbers and you can order your Revolution HOA hoppers here.

Revolution Warley Washdown Part 2: Timetables, Twinsets and Mountain Movers

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.

HOA CAD drawings nearing approval

CAD drawings for the forthcoming Revolution Trains N-gauge HOA stone hopper are almost ready for approval.

CAD shows original version with body mounted parking brakewheel. This represents EWS, Cemex, DB and Tarmac versions.

Lead designer on this project for Rapido Trains is well-known British wagon enthusiast Gareth Bayer.

Version with parking brakewheel on the bogie as in service with VTG and Mendip Rail.

These models will feature similar levels of detailing to our well-received TEA tanker wagons.

As ever Revolution Trains are striving for maximum authenticity, so we are correctly depicting variations between the original and VTG versions, including the position of the parking brake wheels and with either 4 or 6 strengthening fillets on the bodysides.

A considerable amount of work has gone into correctly depciting the internal strengthening fillets and baffles.

The wagons will correctly feature either rectangular buffers or, for the VTG version shown here, oval top buffers.

The discharge chutes incorporate separate mouldings and wire actuator handle connectors.

The model will feature NEM couplers and, like our well-received TEA tankers, be weighted to NMRA standards for great running and track-holding.

The response to this model has been exceptionally enthusiastic and once the CADs have received final approval we will be opening the order book and looking to commence tooling.

 

A Revolution Review of 2016

2016 has been a landmark year for Revolution, and as it draws to a close it seemed appropriate to look back and thank everyone who has suppported us.

Quarter 1

In February, at Model Rail Scotland, we unveiled the first working sample of our Class 390 in N. The model had been handpainted – partly for marketing purposes, but mainly to confirm that the laser-scanned body-shape was correct as all the colours “sit” correctly.

However we did find that in their efforts to make them as unobtrusive as possible Rapido’s engineers had made the inter-car couplers too flimsy, and we asked for a redesign.

In March, to assist with our proposed Class 321 EMU, we were invited by Eversholt and Wabtec to their workshops at Doncaster where the prototypes are being rebuilt under Project Renatus.

This enabled us to compile a detailed collection of photographs and measurements of the many underframe components; though in turn this has created quite a headache for Rapido as it means the drawings of this model have proved to be significantly more complex than originally expected – and Rapido are renowned sticklers for underframe detailing!

 

Quarter 2

At Easter at the York Model Railway Show we announced plans for a KFA container flat in N. This wagon represents one of the “missing links” in N, and with a good quality model already available in OO from Hornby there seemed little prospect of it appearing from Farish or Dapol.

Like the well-received TEA tankers our model is being produced by Rapido and will feature a plastic deck with metal longitudinals to maximise weight and ensure good running, even when unloaded.

Going one further than the 4mm model, we are offering both build types – with the VNH-1 bogies and Gloucester GPS types. These wagons will be useful for anyone depicting the late 80s to the present day.

With months the CAD designs were approved, the model sent for tooling and we have just been sent images of the first moulded shots – see news item immediately preceding this one.

 

In June we heard from Rapido that the TEA tanker was going into production. However, the models took significantly longer to actually produce than expected – because the many markings on the tanker barrel could not be tampo printed in a single pass, due to the its curved shape.

In the end, and depending on the livery, each barrel took at least three passes per colour per side – for some model that made a total of more than a dozen separate applications. Add to that the many different detail parts – up to 70, for some configurations – and it is not surprising that the factory later informed us that these models were among the most intricate they had ever been tasked to produce.

Quarter 3

By the DEMU Showcase exhibition in July we had received a second Pendolino sample with modified couplers. This was immediately tested and while the robustness of the new couplers was immediately apparent, there were still some issues with the performance on tight “train set” curves. After a couple of weeks of ongoing testing to establish where corrections were needed, the another redesign began.

The first sample of the OO TEA – announced after many requests from 4mm modellers – were also on show for the first time.  These models are now being rest run and we are expecting production in the New Year.

Revolution 00 TEA tankers under test on Guy Molyneux’s “Whatley” layout

At TINGS in September we unveiled plans for another 1960s era model – the Class B tanker.  We had tried to offer a model previously to enthusiasts favouring this era but the Class 21/29 did not earn adequate support to proceed.  Following a well argued campaign from enthusiasts on the web we decided to offer the Class B tanker.

These distinctive wagons were seen across the network from the late 1950s to the 1990s in both block trains and cut into mixed freights in smaller numbers.  Many modellers will remember them with nostalgia as the subject of the popular Airfix 4mm kit.

We have already had CAD drawings produced in an effort to encourage interest, however so far the response has been disappointing.  We will give this model until February 2017 to gather enough support, otherwise it will be cancelled.

We also announced 40’hi-cube containers – the world’s most numerous type – in N in conjunction with C-Rail and first samples were unveiled before Christmas.  Six liveries will be available – Maersk, MSC, Hamburg Sud, Hanjin, Evergreen, and UASC.

Quarter 4

Shortly after TINGS – in October – we received word from Rapido that the production TEA tankers had landed, and so it was that we spent three weekend packing and dispatching Britain’s first ever crowdfunded RTR models – to universal acclaim.

One magazine wrote that the models were a “benchmark for quality, fidelity and value” while another reviewer felt that they were “exquisite, in terms of prototype fidelity, decoration and performance.”

Photo: Andy York

Included with the TEA tankers were a flyer announcing our next powered model in N – the Class 92 electric.

These much-requested locomotives fit in well with our West Coast theme, and we have secured the full co-operation of Brush Traction, enabling a research visit to be arranged shortly after.

The response to this model has been excellent, and with the assistance of Brush engineers and others progress has been rapid, with CADs now complete with tooling expected to begin in January.

Our last major date in 2016 was the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC in late November, where once again we were able to meet many of our supporters – and others – and announce another new model:  the HOA hopper.

Original EWS Construction is one of five liveries on offer

Response to this model has been exceptionally good and already the design work has begun, with 3D CADs expected early in 2017.

So as 2016 draws to a close we look back on a year in which we have delivered our first model, tooled two more, completed or continued design work on three more and announced a fourth and fifth.

Next year – with the continued help of all our supporters – we look forward to delivering more models and offering more choices.

To sum up, we would like to thank everyone who has ordered from us, the model railway press, RM Web and the N Gauge Forum and exhibition organisers for enabling us to communicate with and meet our supporters, and our Rapido Trains colleagues in Canada and China who have delivered such fabulous models.

Or, in the words of one respected magazine assessing our TEA tankers:  “Revolution has definitely delivered a quality product and there is much more to come…”

See you in 2017!

 

HOA hopper route map and example trains

The response to our HOA wagons has been tremendous so a big thank-you to anyone who has backed this project so far.  The sooner we get to our “minimum order” requirement the sooner we can begin work.

We know our route maps and sample consists are popular, but providing these for the HOAs has been something of a marathon as they are so widespread.  Also, with the introduction of the very latest batch for VTG/Mendip Rail they are reaching new destinations – particularly in the South East of England – almost every week.

This map is an attempt to show the main quarries and corresponding terminals served by these vehicles. We are continually revising it in the light of information received and do not claim it to be exhaustive.  It is likely to need ongoing updates as the VTG/Mendip rail HOAs are being introduced into new flows all the time.  Equally, some of the traffic shown, such as the sand train between Middleton Towers and Ayr, appears to have lasted for a relatively short period.

 

The sample consists show that in use, these wagons are often operated in mixed trains with some of the many other hopper designs in service, and one of the reasons we selected this wagon is that it complements existing models such as the Farish RMC JGA, the N Gauge Society JGA kit (a slightly different version) and the older Farish PGA in Lafarge or Arc colours although while the original painted colour remains the branding is usually painted out.

hoa-sample-consists

The full example consists PDF can be downloaded here: hoa-sample-consists

Where appropriate the sample consist document lists both the type of hopper and shows whether an appropriate model is available.

Thanks again to all who have supported this project, and as soon as we reach the minimum level of orders required to move to the next phase of production we will let everyone know.

 

Stone hopper next from Revolution

The HOA aggregate hopper is the next modern wagon to be proposed by Revolution Trains.

Photo courtesy Gareth Bayer

The model will be produced for us by Rapido – who produced our very well received TEA tankers – and will feature similar levels of details and attention to accuracy,

Nearly 200 of these wagons are in service with three operators in five different liveries, and they are used for stone trains from quarries in central England, the Mendips and have also seen service on Anglo-Scottish sand trains for glassmaking.

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HOA hoppers are used by Tarmac to distribute aggregate from quarries in the Midlands to destinations in the South East.

We are working with all three of the wagon owners – DB, Ermewa and VTG  as well as the operators Tarmac and Mendip Rail – and have permissions to produce all the liveries these vehicles have carried.

The first 68 wagons were delivered in 2006 in EWS Construction colours.

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Almost immediately a large number were repainted into the blue/grey colours of Cemex, one of the largest customers, and these hoppers, in mixed Trains with those in grey, ran from quarries in the Derbyshire hills to locations across the country.

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Once EWS became DB Schenker a small number of HOAs were repainted into the new house colour of red.  Observations show that the positioning of the DB logo and lettering varies from wagon to wagon; in our triple pack we will replicate this.

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In recent times demand for aggregate traffic has grown, and after identifying a need for more hopper wagons both wagon hire companies Ermewa and VTG decided to place more orders with Astra Rail.

The Ermewa wagons are a pale grey and also include Tarmac branding.

img_4837

Those supppplied to VTG are silver and are used for traffic from the Mendip quarries in Somerset, bearing the VTG logo and that of Mendip Rail.  Mendip Rail operate in a pool, and these wagons are often hauled by Class 59 locos in Mendip, Yeoman and Hanson liveries.

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At this time we are not seeking any money, just expressions of interest, however we have already prepared 2-D drawings and these will be rapidly turned into 3D CADs if uptake is encouraging.

 

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Guide price for this wagon is £30 each, or £90 for a triple pack.  As ever, ordering direct from us by the order deadline guarantees you the best price.