IPA

The car (carrier)’s the star!

Revolution Trains has received EP1 samples of two of the three variants of its forthcoming  IPA car carriers in N.

These models represent the IPA-A single-deck wagons (known by the operator as TD452) which operate in permanently coupled pairs.

Originally built in the 1950s and 60s for the SNCF in France as double-deck units, the wagons were heavily modified for use by BR in the 1990s, with the top deck removed to fit in the restrictive British loading gauge.

As an experiment 20 pairs were fitted with vertical stakes to enable protective canvas sheets to be draped along the sides to protect the vehicles from debris. The modified wagons retain their stakes, but the side sheets are no longer used.

The models have finely detailed diecast metal decks for weight, and feature photoetched centre tread plates which allow vehicles to be driven along the length of the train for loading.

Although at first glance these wagons seem plain, there are visible end handrails and footsteps; these are represented using wire and etched metal, not moulded plastic.

The underframes feature plenty of separately fitted details, and the wagons are equipped with NEM couplers in kinematic sockets.

We have learned from the experience of the IZA Cargowaggon twins and on these wagons the coupler retaining plate is screwed in place.

While there is something of a shortage of modern cars in N, these vehicles are also associated with carrying Transit vans – for which the existing Oxford Diecast model is ideal!

We are still awaiting the third version of these wagons – with the side screens and roof.  These have taken a little longer than the others as the tool shop is still refining the moulds for the side screens to represent taughtly stretched canvas.

These twin wagons can be ordered here.

Once all samples are checked and approved we will request deco samples and then, assuming all is well, be ready to close the order book and begin production.

Experience tells us it’s almost impossible to give an exact timeframe as there are too many variables but we anticipate delivery of these models before Chinese New Year.

Revolution Trains would like to thank STVA for their co-operation in producing this model, and the team at Arlington Fleet Services for their assistance.

We are also offering this model in 00 gauge and the order book is expected to open shortly.

As ever, we will only produce models to order and while our products are stocked by selected traders they will be at a higher price than pre-orders.

 

Car carriers to get blown up…!

Revolution Trains is unveiling plans to offer their IPA car carriers in 00 gauge, 4mm scale at this weekend’s DEMU Showcase in Swadlincote.

Photo courtesy Jonathan Lewis

It follows repeated requests from 00 modellers asking us to upscale our forthcoming N-gauge model of these vehicles which is now in tooling.

Revolution is offering all three variants of these versatile wagons – flat twins, flat twins with side stakes and covered quads.

 

 

 

 

 

The prototype wagons were originally constructed as twin deck single wagons in the 1950s and 1960s, however when a need was identified in the 1990s for suitable vehicles for Channel Tunnel auto traffic, hundreds were converted into twin sets and rebodied to suit the British loading gauge.

They’re still widely used across the UK linking the sea ports with car factories and terminals for both import and export traffic.

The models will be to our usual high standards and feature high levels of added detail, NEM coupler sockets and be weighted to as close to NMRA standards as possible.

Once we have finalised pricing we will open the order book; the sooner we receive orders the sooner we can complete the CAD and get these models into tooling and then production.  As ever, we will only produce models if enough orders are received by the deadline.

What Car? (Carrier)

Revolution’s IPA car carriers are selling well (thanks to those who’ve ordered) and are now in tooling, but we have had some requests for more information about when, where and how these vehicles are used.

66172 approaches Didcot with 6X44 Dagenham-Mossend in 2014. This train is comprised entirely of IPA flat wagons, with and without stakes, with a single Quad set in the middle. Photo: Colin Brooks.

With the generous assistance of STVA we have prepared drawing illustrating some of the sample consists for these vehicles for the last decade.    We’ve also added a few “legacy flows” from before this period.

66002 on 6X52 Portbury-Mossend at Llandevenny. IPA covered quad sets are immediately behind the locomotive; the vans are on IPA-As with and without stakes. Photo: Alan Williams.

With dozens of car trains running on the network every day, this is just the tiniest fraction, but offers an indication of the sheer variety of consists and shows that when it comes to automotive traffic, literally anything goes.

The diagram also indicates how Revolution’s IPAs can work with other models such as the N Gauge Society Cartic-4 kit and the Etched Pixels/Ultima WIA Arbel 5-unit.  The FIA-twins fitted with ISO car carrying panels could be a possible modelling project using the Farish intermodal twins as a starting point.  The biggest gap is the IPA-X twin and quad sets.  The twin has been produced by Bachmann in 4mm scale, and it would be excellent should they seek to reduce this model to 2mm.

92010 in Caledonian Sleeper livery at Northampton. There is a red Quad set immediately behind the locomotive, and behind it an FIA twin with car carrying ISO decks fitted. Photo: Trevor Plackett.

If you fancy doing some of your own research to decide what models to order, we recommend using photo sites such as www.flickr.com and www.smugmug.com.  One tip is use the train headcode or the origin and destination in the search box.

Current services include 6M66 (Southampton-Garston, Jaguar/Landrover), 6X77 (Dagenham-Didcot-Mossend, Ford) and 6X52 (Portbury-Mossend)

“Cartics, IPAs, TDTs – what are they called again?”

The nomenclature around the car carriers can be confusing.  Their owners STVA describe them as TDT-452 or TDT-852.  This code reflects the number of axles (either four, on a twin, or eight on a quad-set) and the year of first introduction – 1952.

Under TOPS they are coded IPA-A (uncovered versions) and IPA-B (covered) while to many enthusiasts all car carriers are simply referred to as “Cartics”, after the original articulated 4-unit sets (“Car-Articulated”) introduced in the 1960s.

90028 on Mossend-Southampton empties at Beattock. A mix of Quads, flats and flats with stakes, all in red. Photo: Jonathan Lewis.

 

History

When built in the 1950s and 1960s the wagons were used in France and had two decks.

The opening of the Channel Tunnel created demand for car carriers that could operate in Britain and Europe.  The TDT-452s had UIC-approved running gear and brakes, but were out of gauge for the UK.   And while a fleet of 5-unit WIA Arbel fully covered car carriers had been ordered there was a growing requirement to carry cars and the newly emerging people carriers and SUVs which were too big for these twin-decks.

The answer was to remove the double-deck body and add new sides, with Channel-compliant ferry attachments, while retaining the original chassis and running gear of the TDT-452s.

Introduced into service in the UK by RfD, and subsequently taken on by STVA UK on  its formation in 1996, the TDT-452s – coded IPA-A under TOPS and in the UIC 43 87 4333 series – were an immediate success.

However, particularly for high value vehicles such as Jaguars, Landrovers or Range Rovers, a need was identified for more protection.  Some of the TDT-452s were fitted with side-stakes to allow canvas to be stretched across the sides, and while this was partly successful a more drastic solution was identified, and some of the wagons were remarshalled into 4 unit quad-sets and given roofs as well as side canvas panels.

These were coded TDT0852, or IPA-B under TOPSs, and given UIC 43 87 4384-prefixed numbers.  42 quad sets were completed, and during the conversion there were some alterations to brake gear.  Also, the very last three were not fitted with ferry hooks as it was realised these were redundant.

On introduction the wagons were given a livery of very pale grey/white with red STVA lettering, however from the early 2000s a new STVA corporate colour (known as “Tomato Red”) was applied across the fleet, with the STVA branding reversed out in white. There are now very few wagons carrying the original livery.

 

 

 

Leamington reflections, VEA views and Cargowaggon arrivals

It’s been a tiring but rewarding weekend at The International N Gauge Show at Leamington.

As many will know our IZA Cargowaggon twin vans arrived with seconds to spare on Friday evening, meaning that our normally tidy stand became a scene of model mayhem – at least for the first few hours – with a combination of those keen to see our new offerings and those who’d come to collect their wagons.

Fortunately on both Saturday and Sunday things calmed down a little after lunch and we were able to see something of the show.

Cargowaggon vans waiting to be unloaded in the yard on Annston, a wonderfully atmospheric layout depicting a secondary line in the Midlands.

Most rewarding was seeing our Pendolinos, TEA tankers, Class B tankers and now Cargowaggon vans giving pleasure on so many of the layouts.

Back on the Revolution stand many came to see the factory painted samples of the new VEA vans.  Once we have received and checked painted samples of all the variations in BR Maroon, BR Railfreight Red/Grey and RfD dark grey and yellow these models will go into production, and are expected by Q1 2019.

VEA van in the colour officially known as BR Maroon that really looks like brown.

The door handles are stamped metal to make them the correct profile, rather than the usual wire.

Many visitors commented on the exquisite underframe detail – such a distinctive feature of the prototype.

Those who were not admiring the VEAs or collecting Cargowaggons came to pick up our first “catalogue” – or rather, 4-page leaflet – showing all our plans for the next few months.

Below are all four pages so those who did not attend the show can see what we are offering:

P1

 

P2

 

P3

 

P4

In terms of timings, we are expecting to close the order book for the KFA container flats at the end of this month, and the Class 92s probably 4-6 weeks later.

We’ll most likely open the order book for the Sturgeon and HOA in a couple of weeks or so, followed by the Class 128, Cemflo and IPA toward the end of the year.

As well as offering what we hope our fellow enthusiasts will want, we are also trying to stagger our products to give supporters a chance to budget!

The Class 320/321 is expected to go to tooling very soon.  Unfortunately Rapido trains are no longer able to produce this model for us, so we have decided to switch production to another manufacturer.  Although we are sad Rapido will no longer be involved we would like to publicly thank them for their superb work so far which will help to ensure the finished model is of high quality.

Here’s to an IPA with Revolution!

Revolution Trains is offering the family of STVA twin- and quad- wagon single deck car carriers as its next modern wagon in N.

92010 with Garston-Dagenham car train comprising various IPA wagons at Northampton. Courtesy Trevor Plackett.

These wagons are in use with STVA and are used for new vehicle transportation between factories, car terminals and sea ports.

CAD work is already underway on the first variant, with others due for completion soon.

 

Revolution is offering three distinct variants – the open twin-wagons, the open twins fitted with side stakes, and twin and quad sets with canvas side covers and roofs.

 

IPA-A flat twin. STVA red livery.

 

IPA-A loaded with vans. We believe our model will go well with vehicle models from manufacturers such as Oxford Diecast. Photo courtesy Martyn Read.

 

STVA flat twin with stakes. STVA livery.

These vehicles often run in mixed rakes, with all three types present in the same train.

 

IPA-B covered twin with side panels. STVA livery.

 

 

IPA-B covered quad set with side panels. The majority of the covered wagons run in sets of four, which comprise pairs of twins permanently coupled.

 

IPA-B quad set. Photo courtesy Martyn Read.

In July Revolution Trains was invited to Eastleigh to photograph and measure these wagons, and we would like to extend our gratitude to both STVA and Arlington Fleet Services.

Amazingly, these wagons were built in the 1950s and 1960s for use in France as single units; however during the 1990s they were reconfigured as twins, cut down to suit the British loading gauge and brought to the UK for service where they remain.

Builder’s plate showing wagon dates from 1960.

STVA have also provided numerous drawings and technical data to ensure our model is up to our usual standards of finesse and detail.

The deck will largely be metal to ensure good track-holding and performance.

We are expecting to open the order book for these models soon, with delivery Q3/4 2019.

As ever, we can only proceed beyond the CAD stages if enough people pre-order, but with a dearth of car transporter models available to those depicting present day operation, and yet automotive traffic being such an important traffic, we hope these models will be popular.