IPA car carriers

Revolution Trains is offering the family of STVA twin- and quad- wagon single deck car carriers in both N/2mm and OO/4mm.

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.

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 – all of which can frequently be seen together.

 

IPA-A flat twin. STVA red livery.

STVA flat twin with stakes. STVA livery.

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.

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. 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 and Bachmann’s IPA-X in OO/4mm.

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.

 

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