Revolution Trains is proud to be supporting the 2021 Railfan Fest this weekend April 10th and 11th.
The event comprises two live streams, running from 1700-2300 BST both days, featuring chat, features news and events aimed at Railfans worldwide. The times have been chosen to enable modellers in Europe and the United States to join live.
There’ll be modelling tutorials, virtual museum tours and interviews. At 1830 on Sunday the focus will be on N gauge, with Robin Grubba, the N Gauge Society’s trade liaison officer, joining Revolution’s Ben Ando to discuss all aspects of the smaller scale.
Robin will describe the benefits of N gauge models, and explain how the NGS can help anyone get started, while Ben will describe some of the work that goes into producing Revolution Trains models, as well as reminiscing about N gauge layouts he’s worked on including the NGS Northants and Cambs Area Group’s popular ‘Horseley Fields.’
Others supporting the event include Peco, the London Transport Museum, the North Norfolk Railway, Hornby, HS2 and Southeastern railway.
Introduced nearly a decade ago, the FWA Ecofrets being produced by Revolution in both 00 and N are now in use with three intermodal operators – Freightliner, GBRf and DB, and can be seen across the network.
Freightliner’s VTG green twin sets – sometimes referred to as ‘Shortliners’ – are primarily used on traffic from Southampton on traffic to the midlands and north-west England and Scotland, but can also be seen in south Wales.
DB operates an extensive network of intermodal trains between ports at Southampton, London Gateway, Liverpool and Felixtowe and terminals at Birch Coppice (Tamworth), Trafford Park (Manchester), Wakefield Europort and the newly opened East Midlands Gateway. Observations suggest the DB Ecofrets are focussed on the services between services between Southampton, Birmingham and Manchester.
In 2019 DB entered into an agreement with the logistics company Maritime to share the operation of intermodal trains. A new terminal has been opened at East Midlands Gateway, near Kegworth in Leicestershire, and six Class 66 locomotives have been repainted into Maritime’s attractive blue livery.
GBRf use FWA triple sets of their own and hired from VTG, all in dark blue livery. The VTG-owned versions carry the ‘Ecofret’ branding in large lettering on the upper surface of the decks. GBRf intermodal trains link the ports at Felixtowe, Southampton, Liverpool and London Gateway with terminals at Hams Hall (Birmingham), Birch Coppice, Doncaster iPort, Masborough (Rotherham), Trafford Park and East Midlands Gateway.
The diagram below shows a selection of sample consists indicating how Ecofrets can be mixed with other intermodal wagons for authentic formations on your layout, along with a map showing their primary routes. With the exception of the DB FCAs and FKAs all types are available or known to be under development in both 00 and N gauge.
Revolution is offering its Ecofrets in liveries as used by Freightliner, DB and GBRf to offer maximum variety to modellers’ intermodal trains. The order book has closed on the N gauge versions and they are in production now, though some will be available from retailers once they are shipped. The order book will remain open for the 00 versions for a short period longer.
Mercig Studios have sent us images of a couple of Revolution Trains models they’ve recently weathered for their customers.
First up is 92041 ‘Vaughan Williams’ which is a pristine Revolution Trains model that has been weathered and renumbered. Additional front end details and photo-etched BR logo and tunnel roundels (supplied with the model) have been fitted and the model has been medium-weathered.
This pair of IZA Cargowaggon twin vans has received a significantly heavier patina of dirt. In addition, subtle touches include the ‘wiped clean’ panels and the white patches on the Cargowaggon lettering itself, replicated the tendency of the real markings to peel off.
If you’re interested in finding out more Mercig Studios can be found here.
Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of all three main versions of its forthcoming 00 gauge FWA ‘Ecofret’ container wagons in red, green and blue.
There are now 232 FWA ‘Ecofret’ units in use with three operators: DB, Freightliner and GBRf and more are on order. Revolution is offering versions to suit all three operators, and the wagons have been designed to work with C-rail 40′ and 20′ containers.
The FWA was designed by VTG as a response to changing patterns in sea shipping and the dominance of the 40′ container. Traditional intermodal flats have 60′ decks; ideal for one 40′ container and one 20′ container (or three 20′ containers) but inefficient if there aren’t enough 20′ containers to fill the gaps. The shorter Ecofret – with its 40′ deck – means more containers per train and no wasted space, increasing the number of 40′ containers carried in a typical 512m train by more than 40%.
As well as being wasteful, the empty 20′ spaces on 60′ container flats cause turbulence, which increases drag and fuel consumption, hence VTG’s decision to name the FWA ‘Ecofret’ to emphasise its green credentials.
While Freightliner operate the Ecofret in twin sets, DB and GBRf use triple sets. The centre car is slightly different to the outers and can carry either two 20′ or one 40′ container, with rotating centre spigots. This feature has been replicated on the Revolution Trains model.
As well as high levels of detail on the underframe, the bogies feature separately fitted torsion bars and prototypically accurate printing on the top corner of the bogie frame – we believe this is a first for an 00 model.
The Revolution Trains FWA Ecofrets are still available for pre-order, but we will be closing the order book soon to commence production.
Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of its IWA ‘Sfins2’ vans and ‘Rfnoos’ timber carriers in N.
Their 00 gauge big brothers are already in production, and with the N gauge order book recently closed these samples are for final checking before production of the 1:148 scale versions.
Some very small changes are being made – a couple of missing data panels need to be added, a colour corrected and the end handrails should be white, not black, but broadly speaking we are delighted with the fine lettering and application.
160 ‘Sfins2’ vans, given the TOPS code IWA, were built in Germany in 1987. They became known as hold-all vans and the roof and sides of each half were a single component that could be raised and slid away using the handwheels at each end; enabling them to be loaded from the sides or above. This versatility saw them used on a wide variety of traffic including fertiliser, water, steel, bagged clay, palletised goods and newsprint.
In 2006 40 were converted to timber carriers – the roofs and sides were removed and side stanchions were added.
For more information about the wagons and some sample consists see our projects page here.
The Revolution range allows for all these options, with vans in Norsk Hydro, Cargowaggon and unbranded liveries, and timber carriers with Touax branding.
The vans entered service in 1987 in Norsk Hydro livery for fertiliser traffic, and in Cargowaggon livery for more mixed use including mineral water, cement, metals and palletised goods.
The timber carriers are being supplied as delivered, with eight blue bifurcated ‘double’ stanchions on each side, however in use some of these were removed and additional single red stanchions added. Their position has varied from wagon to wagon, and at different times, so these will be included in a bag for the modeller to fit according to prototype.
The order book has closed for these models with Revolution now and those who have pre-ordered will have their models dispatched as soon as we received them, which is likely to be in just 12 weeks. Don’t worry if you missed out on pre–orders as several of our partner retailers will have stocks.
As can be seen above, the wagons are the perfect accompaniment to the recently released Revolution Trains Class 92 electric locomotive.
Now that the Chinese New Year holiday is over and we are well into the Year of the Ox, Revolution Trains has received latest information on the development of its new projects and production of existing ones such as the Sonic Models 56xx 0-6-2T locomotive and our Class 320/321 electric multiple units, both in N. Due to Covid and other factors some models are a little delayed, we understand that this is always disappointing to customers but we would rather the factories made sure that the models were as good as possible rather than rushed out.
We have also agreed a slight delay to the start of the production of the second run of Pendolinos as many of our customers asked us for more time to be able to place an order.
The latest information is on our Projects Page – before contacting us asking for an update on any projects please check the Projects Page – we do our best to keep it updated and it always has the latest information.
Revolution Trains has received stocks of its first 0-gauge locomotive; the Class 37/4 in exclusive DRS ‘Compass’ livery.
The models have been made for Revolution by Heljan, and feature the same specification as their standard 37/4 model with motors on each bogie, working roof fan and extensive customer-fit end details. Spares of the delicate cab nose aerials, air pipes and bogie retainer chains are also included with every model.
Stocks are limited and a large proportion were pre-sold and have already been shipped to customers. The remaining models are available to order now for immediate delivery priced at £599 each.
CAD has been finalised on the forthcoming Revolution Trains Class 313 and 314 ‘PEP’ electric multiple units.
Versions with the original and revised headlights are being offered, and with the CAD almost signed off tooling will begin shortly.
Once the models are delivered we anticipate that some models will be available from retailers, but at a higher MSRP to include their margins.
The launch liveries are:
In addition to the variants offered above, there are interesting specials and one offs. These will not be part of Revolution’s own production, but we are hopeful of producing one or more as a retailer exclusive.
Revolution is also offering the very similar Class 314 units that operated in Scotland from the late 1970s. There are some minor differences with the 313s and these will be depicted where possible. Please note there are some configurations with the CAD that need tweaking, such as the shoegear which is not present on the 314.
The Class 314s have carried four liveries; Revolution is initially offering those covering the period from 1983, when the first blue grey unit received the striking Strathclyde PTE orange and black, until 2019 when the last 314s were withdrawn.
Once the tooling begins we will be opening the order book – it will likely be a couple of months time. As ever there will be a discounted Earlybird price for the first couple of months or so, after which it’ll go up to the standard pre-order price.
Thanks to everyone who joined us for our seventh Facebook Live this evening. For those who missed it, or don’t do Facebook, here is a recording of the full episode.
Please note there is the traditional sound glitch at the start, so you may wish to zoom straight to 12:30 for the ‘proper’ start. There is also a slight sound glitch at the start of the Class 128 update that lasts approx 45 seconds.
Revolution Trains has received EP1 samples of the Drax Power IIA-D biomass hoppers, which are available to order exclusively from Rails of Sheffield.
The models represent the 225 IIA-D ‘Tafoos’ hoppers now in service with Drax power and used to transport biomass from sea ports on Merseyside, Tyneside and Humberside to Drax Power station in Yorkshire. Drax is the UK’s largest power station, generating more than 6% of the UK’s power needs, and is expecting to convert to 100% biomass in 2021.
The EP1 samples are to check the fit of parts and that the basic dimensions are correct. The prototypes are 17640mm over headstocks, which is 119mm in 1:148 scale.
The models are being offered in twin packs in three different iterations of Drax livery – original, Northern Powerhouse and the new ‘Renewable Pioneers’ versions. They are being retailed exclusively by Rails of Sheffield.
Revolution Trains has received first egineering samples of our forthcoming MMA/JNA ‘Ealnos’ box wagons in N.
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.
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.
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.
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
9-pillar without door
This version is suitable for Ermewa and Ermewa/Tarmac versions N-EAL-101A/B/L/C/D
11-pillar with door
This version is suitable for GBRf and Ermewa/GBRf versions N-EAL-106A/L/B/C
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
Revolution Trains has confirmed the liveries and unit numbers it is offering of the Class 128 diesel parcels unit.
Midland Region versions (55987-990)
M55987 green with single whiskers and centre head code boxes and M55990 BR blue with full yellow ends, centre domino head code boxes
Western Region versions (55991-996)
W55994 green with single speed whiskers and split head code boxes and W55991 Blue FYE with marker lights and corridor
55992 RM red with corridor and 55993 RM red no corridor.
The factory is currently making the final CAD changes and once complete we will open the order book. Obviously CAD has taken longer than we anticipated – for which we apologise – we wanted to be sure that the CAD covered all the many variants of 128s (a surprising number for a class of 10!).
In response to (overwhelming!) customer demand, Revolution Trains is making its poseable Brecknell Wills high-speed pantographs available as spares.
The pantographs will be priced at £6.95. They are made of injection-moulded plastic with photo-etched metal heads and painted base insulator pots. As supplied these are intended as cosmetic accessories, they are unable to collect current, and are un-sprung but poseable.
They include full instructions to assist with fitting, and are available to order immediataly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once CAD is complete the models will be available to pre-order.
Revolution Trains is to produce the all-new Class 93 tri-mode locomotive being built for Rail Operations Group by Stadler as its first powered model in 00/4mm scale.
Rail Operations Group has ordered ten of the new Class 93 locomotives, with options on a further 20, and the first is to be delivered in early 2023.
The Class 93 is designed to operate on 25kv overhead power supply, with an inboard diesel engine, or using heavy duty batteries; allowing it to be almost silent while in stations or other built up areas while optmizing efficiency across the network and maximizing low carbon benefits. The Class 93 will be able to run at speeds of up to 110mph and the diesel power unit is specified to be powerful enough for prolonged mainline running, not just ‘last mile’ operation.
Revolution Trains is delighted to have been chosen by ROG and Stadler to produce the Class 93 tri-mode locomotive, which is arguably the most exciting and innovative development on the real railway for many years.
Neil Bennett, Executive Chairman of Rail Operations Group, said: “Along with our well-established rolling-stock movement business, we have very exciting plans for the Class 93 including low-carbon logistics services operating at speeds of up to 110mph. I am delighted to be working with Revolution Trains on reproducing the locomotive in model form.”
This will be Revolution’s first powered model aimed at 00 gauge/4mm scale modellers, but Revolution has already delivered, or is developing, six 00 wagons: TEA tankers, MMA/JNA ‘Ealnos’ box wagons, IZA Cargowaggon twins (a Kernow exclusive), IWA ‘Sfins2’ vans, IWA ‘Rfnoos’ timber carriers and FWA ‘Ecofret’ container flats.
The model will be to 4mm:1ft scale, 1:76.2 with RP25-110 wheels with space for EM/P4 fitting. They will feature our usual high levels of detailing including photo-etched and separate parts where appropriate, prototypical lighting arrangements, 21-pin DCC socket, and heavy metal chassis with full provision for DCC Sound. DCC Sound-fitted models will also be available.
We will offer multiple numbers, factory-fitted buffer-beam details at one end (though a spare NEM coupler will also be included for customers who wish to couple the loco at both ends) and we will investigate the provision of a DCC operated pantograph mechanism.
The full specicifation is subject to revision during the design phase, but will be confirmed by the time we open the order book.
Rail Operations Group has exciting plans for the Class 93, and while initially they are likely to be used mainly to service ROG’s existing and well-established rolling stock movement business, the company also sees the locomotives being used as part of its proposed ‘Orion’ high speed centre-to-centre low carbon logistics trains as well as 110mph intermodal services. For more information see here.
ROG is planning to begin trials of its first converted Class 319 units in April 2021. The images below show the first unit being unveiled last month.
The Class 93 models will be offered in ROG’s stylish green and black launch livery, and it is understood that they are to be named after Roman Gods.
The terms of the licence – which covers both 00 and N gauge models – mean that ROG and Stadler will work closely with Revolution, sharing important technical specifications, 3D data and design drawings, to ensure the models are as accurate as possible and that any changes made during construction are incorporated.
Class 93 Initial Specification
Heavy diecast chassis with smooth electric motor and flywheels and provision for DCC and Sound
4mm-ft/1:76.2 scale 00 (16.5mm) gauge, with provision for simple conversion to EM/P4
Separately applied etched metal or fine plastic details
NEM coupler sockets with fully detailed, factory-fitted bufferbeam at one end (second coupler in accessory pack)
DCC provision: 21 pin decoder socket
Prototypical lighting arrangements, switchable for DC users where necessary
Twin speakers on sound-fitted models
RP25 (110) wheels with provision for simple conversion to EM/P4
We will investigate options for a DCC operated pantograph mechanism, though the pantograph itself will be cosmetic
It is intended that the models will be delivered as soon as possbile after the prototypes enter service.
Revolution Trains’ next Facebook Live is scheduled for 1930 on Tuesday February 23rd, just 48 hours from publication of this reminder.
Please join us for updates on several ongoing N and 00 gauge projects, plus announcements of new powered and unpowered models – including (subject to final licence sign off) our first 00 gauge locomotive…
Revolution Trains is honoured and proud to have been voted 2020 N gauge Manufacturer of the Year by the readers of Model Rail magazine.
In addition, Revolution’s KUA MoD nuclear flask carrier was voted rolling stock model of the year in the same awards.
Naturally Ben and Mike are thrilled and delighted with this accolade, and would like to thank those who voted for Revolution Trains, and all who’ve supported them during what has been a tough year for everyone.
Revolution would also like to congratulate all the winners, in every scale and category, on their awards.
We’ve got a number of order deadlines coming up that we thought it would be helpful to summarise our latest thinking. We’re conscious that many customers have been going through difficult times with the impact of COVID-19 and/or just the proximity to Christmas just passed so we try to give as much time and notice as possible, plus we offer the choice to pay a deposit rather than the full amount.
Pendolino (second run) – we had indicated that the order deadline was likely to be end-January to mid-February but in response to customer feedback we will give people more time to place orders. We’re just confirming the production schedule with the factory but we anticipate that the order deadline will be extended to either the end of February or end of March 2021. We don’t want to delay production too much so it is a balance between being fair to those who have already ordered and those who would like a bit more time. We will confirm the order deadline within the next 7-10 days.
IWA holdall vans and timber carriers – we are ready to start production of the N gauge models of these wagons and had previously set a deadline of 31 January 2021, with Chinese New Year (12 February) coming up we will delay the deadline accordingly to Sunday 14 February 2021.
Ecofret FWA twin and triple containers sets – the deadline for the Ecofrets was due to be 31 January but due to production schedules we have had to delay production slightly so we will announce a new order deadline after Chinese New Year.
For those of you looking for delivery updates on particular models we update the Projects summary with the latest information that we have as soon as we can – if there is no estimated delivery date on there it is because we don’t have one yet. Please note that until models physically arrive with us they are estimates (as delays can and do happen at various stages even during shipping!).