News - Revolution Trains

Time to the get the shrink ray out for….an APT-E

Revolution Trains announced the opening of expressions of interest in an N gauge model of the iconic APT-E at the International N Gauge Show (TINGS). Since Rapido Trains Inc produced their award-winning OO gauge model for the NRM we have been regularly asked if we would consider asking the NRM and Rapido if we could produce a model in N gauge.

OO model by NRM/Rapido Trains Inc

We are delighted that we have an outline agreement with the NRM and Rapido to produce the APT-E in N gauge. This in turn would result in a substantial donation to the NRM.

The Advanced Passenger Train – Experimental, or APT-E, was designed to be a test bed for new ideas. It incorporated lightweight construction, high power/weight ratio, good aerodynamics, improved brake systems and an innovative tilt system that would allow high speed operation on existing curves while maintaining both safety and customer comfort. The train consisted of four units – two power cars and two intermediate cars. The power cars each contained five British Leyland turbines originally developed for use in long distance trucks. These turbines were originally rated at 300 bhp each, later increased to 350 bhp each. The turbines drove an alternator which provided power for two traction motors. One of the intermediate cars was fitted with a passenger compartment, the other was stuffed full of instrumentation and electrical gear to allow the travelling engineers to monitor the various systems on the train. A diesel generator fitted in both of the power cars provided accessory power to provide all of the electrical power needed for these instruments.

The APT-E was tested extensively between June 1972 and April 1976 logging nearly 23,600 miles. On 10 August 1975, the APT-E achieved the British railway speed record of 152.3 MPH during trials on the Great Western Main Line. This record still stands for non-electrified rail travel in the UK.

Exact specifications and price will not be available until we start the serious design work, though we expect both the specification and price to be similar to the OO gauge model (price £225).

At this stage we are not asking for any money, just expressions of interest to establish whether there is sufficient demand to make the model.  If you are interested please complete our expression of interest form on our website at

Kernow joins the Revolution!

Revolution Trains is delighted to announce that Kernow Model Centre will be distributing our forthcoming N Gauge Class 390 Pendolino models, being produced by Rapido Trains of Canada.

Kernow are a highly respected name in model railway retailing and have the organisation and facilities to pack and send out our forthcoming Pendolino models far more quickly than we could, once they arrive from China.

In turn Revolution will have a limited number of Kernow’s N-gauge special commissions available to buy from our stand at the The International N Gauge Show this weekend.

The models are:

Class 37/0 Class Diesel Loco “William Cookworthy” No. 37 207 BR Blue Cornish Railways branding – £129.99


BR Mk1 GUV No. E86247 BR Maroon with Parcels Express branding – £34.99


China Clay 5 Plank Wagon Flat Triple Pack. Weathered with flat tarpaulin – £34.99


China Clay 5 Plank Wagon Triple Pack. Weathered with tent style tarpaulin – £34.99


China Clay 5-Plank Wagon Triple Pack in English China Clays livery – £46.99


Revolution Trains is on Stand 16 at the show.

Revolution ready to paint TINGS red… and silver… and black

Revolution Trains will be at The International N Gauge Show again this year with an exciting display showing latest developments in various new models.

Come and see us on Stand 16.

Rapido have airfreighted to us a pair of factory-finished and complete 9-car “Virgin Pioneer” Pendolinos to show.  Here’s a preview…



First Class centre car with nameplate

Some of the other versions are still in production and the entire shipment will be sent once all versions are ready.  We are expecting this to be sometime next month, though as previously explained a dust problem at the factory added to the delay.   We are glad to report that the paint finished on these models is superb!

For transition era modellers we also have the first livery samples of our forthcoming Class B tankers.  These are still available to order but once all the painted samples have been approved we will be closing the order book and getting the models produced.   We strongly recommend anyone who is still deliberating to come and look at the models and, if they like them, to order quickly to avoid missing the deadline.

Revolution Class B tankers. Shown in B/W for authentic early 60s atmosphere!

Samples of our eagerly awaiting Class 92 will also be on show, and as this model is progressing through the artwork stages we will be happy for supporters to come and have a good look at the model and the many parts that go into it…

Revolution/Rapido Class 92 first sample


Exploded photo showing the sophistication of the tooling

We will have news of our Class 320/321 EMU project and will be trying to turn expressions of interest – which were very encouraging – into hard orders so we can get this model into tooling.

It’s being produced by Rapido, like the Pendolino and Class 92, so quality is assured.

We now have complete CADs of both types and are very keen to commence tooling.


We will have updates on our other projects including the KFA container flats (nearly ready for production) and the forthcoming HOA and IZA wagons – CADs approved for both models.



We will also have stocks of Project Railway Honour Class 66 locomotives available to buy, but they are selling fast… so don’t miss out!

66418 “Patriot” – supporting the ABF and the only N gauge model currently available with the latest Freightiner – Genessee and Wyoming branding.

We will also have exciting news of the first of our proposed projects for 2018 – come and see us on Stand 16.

Production delay

Rapido Trains have just informed us that some of our projects will be delayed by month or two due to problems with airborne dust being generated by a ceramics  plant near their factory.

Production has now resumed, but this unexpected turn of events has delayed some of Rapido’s own projects, and Revolution’s own Pendolino in N and 00 TEAs.

In their newsletter published this weekend Rapido say:

You may have noticed that our factories (plural) have been a bit slow on deliveries lately. We certainly have. The LRC factory is still finding its feet and the Rapido factory moved to a new and improved location. The old location was near a bunch of ceramics factories so the air was quite dusty, requiring us to redo a lot of shells that got dust in the paint. The new location is in a much cleaner part of Dongguan and should save us a lot of time in the long run.

This has put us a bit behind schedule, but we’re working overtime at both factories to catch up.

Rapido have apologised to us, and we are sorry too, but unfortunately there seems to be little anyone could have done to prevent this.

If you are coming to the International N Gauge Show on September 9th and 10th this year please come and see us on stand 16 and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

This delay only affects models currently in production with Rapido and will have no impact on our KFA container flats, Class 92 locomotives or Class B tanks.


Pendo stupendous!

Our friends at Rapido Trains have sent us a short video showing a production Pendolino being put through its paces having arrived in Canada this week.

Rapido put the model to work on their gradient test layout – a ruthless rollercoaster of Kato Unitrack with a sharp 4% (1 in 25) slope on the far side of the loop.

The V-transition between the two gradients is the equivalent of hitting an 8% (1 in 12.5) gradient from the flat, as this image shows.

The model under test is not quite the correct configuration, for some reason it has two standard trailers deputising for the pantograph cars at the #3 and #9 positions; we put this down to over-excitement when getting the models out of the box…

You can see the complete video here: IMG_6068

It’s also not quite a fully finished model – the cars were plucked from the assembly line before some of the final tampo printed numbers and lettering were added so it could be rushed to Rapido HQ for testing.

Customer models are now having those details added and should be ready for shipping toward the end of August.

Allowing for a 6-week voyage we are hoping to have them with our customers by mid October.

Revised CADs for Twins – let there be lights!

Revolution has received revised CADs for the forthcoming IZA Cargowaggon twin vans, and now the version with flashing tail lamp has also been included.

The main correction was adding the distinctive holes in the angled frames on each end, and this has been done too.  Also, the models now correctly have the parking brake wheel on one of the pair only.

Other minor corrections include the addition of the small corner footstep and grab handles below the buffers, as well as an improved centre coupler.


But the main event is that the model now has provision for the working flashing tail lamp option.

The lamp is a plastic moulding, while the lens protrudes from inside the wagon where the PCB with battery holder, LED and flashing control circuits is placed.

Both standard versions and flashing tail lamp versions can be reserved and as ever we will only produce enough models to supply those who order before the deadline.

Class B samples approved

Revolution Trains has received second EP samples of the forthcoming Class B tanker, and these have been tested and approved.

Set of EP2 samples includes both chassis types; original on the left, revised with auxiliary spring dampers on right.

The samples have been assessed by design engineer Colin Allbright and by us and some minor issues around the fit of some parts and the couplers have been addressed.

We will have them on our stand at The International N Gauge Show at Leamington on September 9th and 10th, and anticipate closing the order book soon after that.

Watch this video for more information and to see them in action:


A Grand Day Out

This week we met up with Jason and Gareth from our manufacturing partners Rapido Trains who are visiting the UK.

Rapido’s Gareth Bayer with 34081 “92 Squadron” – a Battle of Britain class light Pacific designed by O.V.S Bulleid for the Southern Railway from 1945.

We spent a very pleasant day shuttling up and down the line between Wansford and Peterborough on the Nene Valley Railway in Cambridgeshire.

The railway offers a regular timetable of steam trains during the summer and Mk1 compartment coaches provided the perfect setting for our discussions.

As well as a very enjoyable catch-up and the chance to discuss some future possibilities, Rapido showed us the latest samples of the forthcoming KFA container flat.

Unpainted EP2 sample of the KFA. This version has VNH-1 bogies and the parking brake wheels mounted on the body.

KFA fitted with Revolution Trains/C-Rail 40′ hi-cube container in UASC livery and Graham Farish 20′ standard height container in Maersk Sealand grey.

What’s good for the real railway isn’t always good for small scale models, and the skeletal design of intermodal flats – designed to save weight and maximise the payload that can be carried – means that in N such models tend to be very light, and this can make them temperamental runners.

Our first EP samples were acceptable, but we asked Rapido to think outside the box and they have managed to increase the weight by around 25% by thickening up the underfloor metal chassis members and replacing the moulded plastic air tank and buffers with the same parts cast in metal – extra weight and no loss of detail.

Cast metal air tanks and buffers add around 1g to the weight of the wagon – that may not sound like much but it all adds up.

We continue to be impressed with Rapido’s enthusiasm and willingness to innovate.  This really justifies the faith both partners have shown in each other, and hopefully that you our supporters have shown in us.

Cargowaggon CADs

Revolution Trains has received the first CAD files for the forthcoming Cargowaggon Twin vans.

These are first drafts and some details remain to be added.

Some corrections are required too.  The CADs show parking brake wheels on both cars, when in fact they are on one only.  Also there are some details still to be added such as the document clip, a horizontal handrail on the end, some rivet detail and the circular holes in the angled end uprights.

Since the vehicles are permanently coupled the inter car connector is a solid bar.

With the chassis removed the body mounted NEM coupler can be seen, while with the body off it can be seen that each vehicle will have a chunky steel weight to take it to NMRA standards, as also specified for our TEA tankers.

Once these alterations have been made we will post revised CAD images.  So far the take up on these models has been excellent and we are hoping to be able to commence tooling reasonably soon, with samples potentially here by the Warley National Model Railway Exhibtion at the NEC in November which we will be attending.

We have had numerous emails asking us about whether we would offer these wagons in 00 and this is being given consideration.


Class 92 installments glitch

It has come to our attention that some of you may have received invoices for the 3rd installment of the Class 92 project.

Pleas don’t worry too much about any invoices for 3rd installments I think there has been a glitch with a recent software update (but difficult to check from a small tablet on the other side of the world).

Obviously if you pay the 3rd invoice no harm will come to your order (though I can’t vouch for your bank account!).

Apologies for any inconvenience. We will let people know deadlines for paying various installments as we know that some of you have yet to receive invoices for second installments!


Colourful hi-cubes

Revolution has received painted samples of the forthcoming 40’hi-cube containers being produced in a joint venture with C-Rail Intermodal.

The 40′ hi-cube is the world’s most common container, but previously unavailable in British N 1:148 scale.  Modern container trains feature a characteristic “stepping” in height between the standard height and hi-cubes; now modellers can recreate this distinctive feature.

They are also designed to fit perfectly onto the KFA container flat that Revolution are producing with Rapido Trains of Canada; this model is almost ready to go into production.

KFA with Maersk Sealand 20′ standard height box, and Maersk 40′ hi-cube, at Whittlesey, Cambs.

Revolution Trains/Rapido KFA sample loaded with Farish 20′ standard container and our new Maersk 40′ hi cube.


In all we are offering 6 different liveries:




Hamburg Sud




Note fine end printing and details


As can be seen the painting and printing is very fine, with the lettering on the ends legible and the locking bars neatly picked out in silver for added finesse.

Combining the Revolution/C-Rail Intermodal 40′ hi-cubes with standard height 20′ and 40′ containers from Farish and Dapol allows those enthusiasts who care to recreate realistic and accurate intermodal trains.

UASC container on KFA wagon.


The 40′ hi-cubes make an ideal accompaniment for the Project Railway Honour Class 66418 “Patriot” also available now from Revolution Trains, with proceeds going to ABF The Soldier’s Charity.

66418 “Patriot” on Leeds-Felixtowe intermodal at Soham.

Pre-order yours now for £6.50 each.  For these models we are not producing models to order, but we and C-Rail have simply produced a set number of each, and when they are gone they are gone.

Pendolino proximity…

The Pendolinos are getting close… these are the latest shots we have been sent by Rapido showing progress on painting, lettering and assembling the Revolution Trains/Rapido Class 390 Pendolino models.

As the colours and lettering go on the models really come to life, though of course this driving car still needs cantrail stripe, number window glazing, lights and wipers adding!


The interiors are not being forgotten of course, the image below shows those for Coach C, the shop car.


To make it easier for customers to couple up their models correctly each car will be clearly labelled on the underside.


Of all the images sent, perhaps this gives the best sense of the sheer scale of this project.  This tray contains around 350 bogies, and in all the factory has to make, paint and assemble bogies for 11,000 vehicles-  which equates to another 61 trayfuls like this!!  Incredible!!

Rapido’s attention to detail is stunning.  Even the pantograph bases are being separately painted, correctly, in Virgin red.

And as well as the numerous warning labels on each end, the pipework is being painted too.

The Revolution order book has closed for the Pendolinos now, however the models can still be pre-ordered from our partner retailers C&M Models, Collett’s Models and Kernow.



It’s summer holiday season, and we are taking a short break, so if you have emailed Revolution in the last few days please allow two weeks for a reply.  We aren’t ignoring you – just taking a breather!



Symphony No. 92!

Revolution Trains was delighted to be invited to Polmadie depot in Glasgow to record the exclusive sounds for the DCC Sound version of our forthcoming Class 92 model.

Photo courtesy Tom Smith

We were hosted by Serco, Alstom and GBRf who very kindly put Caledonian Sleeper liveried 92014 at the disposal of our sound expert Legomanbiffo to record both inside and out, with sounds ranging from the loco being switched on to the sanders being actuated.

And, sad as we are, we couldn’t resist posing our test sample on the real thing:

Revolution would like to say a huge thank-you to Alstom’s team at Polmadie and to Serco and GBRf for supplying the locomotive and driver to make this possible.

You can still order a Revolution Trains Class 92 in Caledonian Sleeper and 5 other liveries in both DCC Sound and DC silent versions.  The sample is continuing testing and once it has passed we will be ready to move to production.

This video offers a low-res preview of one of the horn combinations…naturally the sound recording made today is of significantly higher quality!





Class 321 complete CAD set plus other news

Rapido have sent through revised CADs showing all four vehicles that comprise the Class 321 unit.

The 4-car 321s are formed of DTCO-PMSO-TSOL-DTS.  The Scottish 3-car units are comprised of DTS-PMSO-DTS.

Driving Trailer Composite Open


Pantograph Motor Open Standard


Trailer Standard Open Lavatory


Driving Trailer Standard Open


The new CADs incorporate improvements to the windscreen area, front air dam and also feature interiors.

There are a few further refinmenents required.  Once the CADs are approved we will be ready to move to tooling.  At this time we would encourage anyone interested in this model who has not already pre-ordered to sign up.


Rapido are making more progress on the Class 390 Pendolino models which are now in production and still scheduled for delivery toward the end of the summer.

This image from a couple of weeks ago shows power cars awaiting their final black and white passes and then tampo printing and assembly.



Project Railway Honour class 66 pre-production sample

The Dapol model of Class 66 66418 “Patriot” which is raising money for ABF the Soldiers’ charity through Project Railway Honour has proved remarkably popular.  As well as providing web hosting and an ordering interface, Revolution Trains stepped in to send out these models when Gareth, the man behind the project, was deployed overseas.

Unfortunaely, the recent arrival of the Class 92 sample and Class 321 CAD drawings, along with our attendance at the DEMU Showcase last weekend, has meant that there have been delays in sending out orders lodged in the last few weeks.

These will be sent out as soon as possible and we would ask supporters of Project Railway Honour to bear with us.

321 power car first CADs

Rapido have sent through the first CAD drawing of the inner power car for the upcoming Class 321 electric multiple unit.

There is still detail to be added at the ends (gangway etc) and some more detail in the pantograph well.

Couplers and other items also need to be drawn up.  This model can still be ordered via our website.

Class 320/321 first CADs received

Hot on the heels of the first sample of the Revolution Trains Class 92 come first CAD drawings for the previously announced Class 320/321 EMUs.

The drawing is still in its early stages, and some details, such as couplers and interiors, are missing, as are the gangway bellows and end corridor doors.


This vehicle is the Class 321 DTCO.  Once the designers know we are happy with the shape and detailing they will use them as the basis for the other vehicles in the 4-car unit, as all the sections are fairly modular.

We feel the distinctive front end has been well captured, though the corner cutouts at the top of the windscreen should only be present on the non-driver side.

The Class 320 units used in Scotland are 3-car sets and have DTSO vehicles at both ends, with no DTCO.

These units are still available to order; however we will be rationalising the liveries down fairly soon as some are nowhere near minimum order quantities.

We have been holding off this task until CADs are received in the hope that once potential supporters see evidence of the likely quality and fidelity of the model they will decide to take the plunge.  If you are interested in a particular livery we urge you to back it before it has to be dropped.

Revolution Class 92 sample arrives with a roar!

Revolution Trains has received the first EP sample of the forthcoming Class 92 locomotive in N.  The model is being produced by Rapido Trains, who’ve done a sensational job in an amazingly short time.

Frustratingly the model could not get here in time for this weekend’s DEMU Showcase event that we attended, and did suffer some very slight damage in transit- hence the wonky buffer.

The next step is to assess the tooling and discuss with Gareth Bayer, the designer at Rapido, whether any modifications are required, though first impressions are very good.

The pantograph well is beautifully detailed, and the side enclosure panels are separate parts to create the accurate “undercut” of the prototype.

As well as the finished model, we received several sets of parts to allow us to assess them individually. This gives a good idea of the sophistication of the model.  For duplicate parts like the pantograph, windscreens and bogies we have shown one set only for simplicity.  From the top there are the pantograph components, the fine roof electrical conduits, separate ventilator pipes, pantograph well enclosure panels, front end air dam, detailing, buffers, main body. cab interior, cab glazing, etched windscreen wipers, front handrail, upper chassis + parts, chassis weight, lower chassis with underframe, driveshaft with universal joint to worm, coupler, NEM socket, bogie, brake parts and footsteps.

The bogies have separately fitted sandbox covers at each end and are supplied with mouldings representing the conductor shoes in both raised and lowered positions.

The next step is to test the motor and drive mechanism, and double check the fit of all the parts and the accuracy.  Rapido in Canada have their own sample too and will be carrying out similar tests using all their experience so we can pool notes and deliver the best model possible.

The model is still available to order though once we are happy and sign it off for production we will be closing the order book, and are hopeful that the models will be ready for delivery by early 2018.

It’s twins for Revolution Trains

Revolution Trains is offering the ubiquitous Cargowaggon twin ferry van as its next RTR model in British N-gauge 1:148 scale.

IZA twin 27 80 2794 008-3 at Hoo Junction December 1986. Courtesy Paul Bartlett.

100 twin sets were built by Duewag of Germany for Cargowaggon in 1986, and the vast majority remain in service.

92036 “Bertolt Brecht” with a rake of IZAs carrying mineral water at Soulbury in 2013.Courtesy Andrew Chambers.

Coded IZA under TOPS, under the continental UIC system they were initially designated Habbfis, though this was later changed to Hfirrs 3.  Their success led to further builds of 50 pairs each in 1989 and 1991.

When introduced they were used on the Dover-Calais train ferries and they are certified for Channel Tunnel use.  The primary traffic for these wagons from the continent is mineral water, however they are or have been used to transport a wide variety of goods within Britain including bagged clay, newsprint, whisky, beer, cider, pet-food and metal.

A pair of IZA twin vans and two bogie vans behind 31142 on a Norwich-Whitemoor train at March in 1989. Courtesy Mick Page.

They have been recorded across the network, from Cornwall to the north of Scotland, from Kent to South Wales, from East Anglia to the Midlands and North West, and to the south of France, the Netherlands and Germany.

They can be seen both in block trains, or in smaller cuts in Enterprise (formerly Connectrail) wagonload trains, as well as MOD services.

47200 with three Cargowaggon twin sets immediately behind carrying cider between Exeter and Mossend, 1992. Courtesy Mick Page.

They were built in permanently coupled pairs to take advantage of European grants available at the time aimed at encouraging the use of wagons with 4 axles.  The brake gear is such that the they cannot operate separately; if one derails then the pair must be taken out of service.

Courtesy Ernie Puddick

When introduced, the majority carried Cargowaggon branding, though a small number of sets carried the Perrier logo as they were used on mineral water traffic from central and southern France to Britain.

We will be offering both liveries, along with the slightly revised Cargowaggon livery brought in later, when the wagons were given modified lettering and the ferry hooks and axleboxes were painted yellow.

We are working with Touax, the present owners of these wagons, to ensure our model is as accurate as possible and we would like to thank them for all their assistance in drawings and site visits.

Our model will feature expected levels of fidelity and detail, with injection-moulded plastic bodies, separately fitted detail parts and handrails, kinematic NEM couplers on the outer ends and a inner coupler ensuring the wagons are a scale distance apart.

We are also offering one pack with a factory fitted, battery powered flashing tail lamp at one end, for additional authenticity and realism.

Look out for the flashing tail light option!

The models are priced at £36 for each twin, £108 for a triple pack with different numbers and £40 for the twin fitted with a flashing tail lamp.

Once we have enough pre-orders we will authorise tooling to begin and, as ever, we will only produce enough models to satisfy pre-orders.

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.


Class 92 payment installments & Project Railway Honour 66s

Those of you who paid a deposit for our Class 92 models will start to receive an invoice for the second installments – NOT EVERYONE WILL RECEIVE THEIR INVOICE AT THE SAME TIME, so please do not worry if you have not received your invoice yet!  The second and third installments are timed to coincide with tooling and production but are triggered a number of months after you paid your original deposit (we will let the website process invoices automatically for a period and then manually trigger any more recent orders). This is completely irrelevant if you paid in full! To pay your invoice please log in to your account and there should be a link associated with the invoice giving you the payment options.

In other news the Project Railway Honour Class 66 Patriot models have arrived from Dapol.

Project Railway Honour class 66 pre-production sample

Pre-production sample, not the final model!

The shipment was delayed in transit and unfortunately Gareth has been posted away from his normal base.  As a result Revolution Trains will process the despatch of the models. The models will be packaged with their certificates and posted out as quickly as possible, given the constraint that this work will have to fit around “proper” jobs. Please do not email us asking us when your model will arrive – the answer will be as soon as possible (and slows down the despatch process).

Alternatively if you wish to collect your model from us at DEMU’s Showcase exhibition on 3/4 June 2017 then please let us know – just drop us an email.

There are still a limited number of limited edition models available for purchase – you can buy them through our website here or if we have any left they will be available for sale from the Revolution Trains stand at DEMU’s Showcase exhibition in Burton.

We have had a few reports of problems with our card checkout process - some users have reported a "Bad Gateway" error. If you get this error when paying by card please check your account to see if the order has been processed (do not re-submit the card payment otherwise you might be charged twice!). Our hosting company are investigating the issue. Dismiss