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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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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.