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Pendolino – more details added.

Just a quick update to show that the front hatch has now been rendered removable, to allow our Pendolino model to be “dragged” prototypically by a diesel locomotive across non-electrified lines.  For clearance reasons a coupler cannot be permanently fitted; removing the hatch will expose a pivoting NEM socket to which the modeller can fit a standard coupler or another of their choice.  Also a couple of smaller details around the nose and end have been incorporated.

DMSO 692xx 12-08-15 4

The prominent seams adjacent to the cab side windows – that mark the join between the aerodynamic nose and the standard profile of the body – are also present now.  In the image below I have highlighted the construction lines in black to make them easier to see.

DMSO 692xx 12-08-15 3

We are close to approving these drawings now – just a couple of very small issues to sort out..



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Red TEAs in Scotland


The distinctive red VTG tanks moved to Scotland from South Wales appear to have started work.  Photographer Tom Smith sent us these shots of the red VTG tanks passing through Coatbridge Central on a Grangemouth train with the more usual older style BP green tanks.


Red TEAs in Scotland

Red TEAs 2
Red TEAs 2



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Pendolino Interiors finalised


We have received revised versions of the interior mouldings.  This is standard class with standard seating, for coaches E, F and U.

interior 301 - 1

Following feedback, the designers have now changed the profile of the seats to more accurately reflect the distinctive curved seating used by Virgin in the Pendolino trains.  This moulding is for Coach J – first class with disabled toilet.

interior 302 - 1

This comparison of the Shop area (Coach C) plan with the same section as depicted shows the attention to detail being offered.  Even the seat in the small guard’s cabin is, correctly, of a different type.

interior 303 - 2

PTSRMB interior 2


The designers have even depicted the two types of table – single and twin-leaf – that Pendolinos carry.

interior 301 - 4

The CADs previously seen of the trailer vehicles are now ready for approval, once the driving cabs are approved the model will move to tooling.

Revolution Trains will be at The N Gauge International Show at Leamington Spa this September – and we plan to have prototyped samples on show.  Come and ask us more about our projects.


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Pendolino CAD moving to approval phase

We are now close to approving the various CAD drawings for the Pendolino. All the interior cars are pretty much there – we are just waiting for the all-important driving cabs before we can move to tooling.

This is an overview of Coach U – vehicles in the 653XX number range.  These vehicles have pantograph wells but no pantographs and with coach F form the pair of additional cars in 11-car sets, and are part of the add-on sets for those wishing to depict delivery trains.

TS 653xx 290715

The component on the far right is just the coupler mech from the adjoining vehicle that the CAD designer has added to “virtually” check clearances etc.

The Pantographs have been improved and are now accurate depictions of the unique Brecknell Willis pantographs fitted to Pendolino trains.  These differ slightly from the standard high speed pantograph because they are designed to operate on tilting trains.

PTF 695xx 290715

There is some work still to do on the main coach interiors, however the cab interior is looking ready:

Pendolino Cab interior
Pendolino Cab interior
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More Pendolino CAD images

A couple more images from the CAD. The bogies are pretty much there now. The dampers are separate parts to allow the bogie frames to be correctly recessed…

The PTF and PTSRMB vehicles have now had the pantographs added. These are plastic mouldings, and poseable, rather than sprung, since we felt that more people operate their models without contact wires than with!! We’d like to thank Brecknell Willis who sent us excellent drawings of the real thing to help us get this right. There are still a couple of mods to the collector needed – the ends should be less angular – but we think we are definitely getting there.


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Revolution Pendolino – first CAD drawings

Here are some preview images of the almost ready CAD drawings of the Pendolino. Very soon we are expecting the designers to have completed the first stage of the design, and once we are happy we will post some images of the complete model to allow our customers to offer their feedback.
DMSO roof and bodyside
653XX vehicle pantograph well. Note there is not actually a pantograph on these vehicles.
653XX under frame and skirts.
Once the CADs are approved we will move to the next stage of the project, converting the 3D images into steel tools that will mould the actual parts of the model.   We are very happy with the overall shape and look of the model – the hard work is in making sure all the smaller details are right!
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Set number choices

We’d like to thank all those that voted for their preferred Pendolinos. The majority of our customers did register their votes, so the counting process has taken a little longer than we’d anticipated, but here are the results. However, there are a couple of caveats which are explained below.

390001 Virgin Pioneer
390005 City of Wolverhampton
390006 Tate Liverpool
390045 101 Squadron

390104 Alstom Pendolino (Alstom livery)

Pendolino - livery button - Alstom
390114 City of Manchester
390122 Penny the Pendolino
390138 City of London
390151 Virgin Ambassador (Business is Great Britain livery)

Pendolino - livery button - businessPlus, of course, 390103 Virgin Hero (Poppy Pendolino)

Pendolino - livery button - poppy

We had originally expected to offer 5 9-car and 5-11-car, however not only do we have more orders for 11-car trains, but also the 9-car selections are heavily skewed towards 390001 and 390045, while the 11-car voting was more evenly spread out. This means that the 5th choice 9-car set had far far fewer votes than the 6th choice 11-car set. The split is also complicated by the fact that the Poppy Pendolino could almost be considered a separate item on its own, meaning we could argue the split is more like a 5 for 11 and 4 for 9 car.

There were also a couple of almost-ties, in which case we have tried to select variety (eg offering City of London instead of City of Liverpool, as Tate Liverpool had already made the cut).

We are sure that the selections will not please everyone, but hopefully they offer a reasonable spread of interesting colour schemes, geographically diverse cities and notable identities. And, of course, they were selected by our customers, which as far as we are aware is a first for any mass market range of new models.

Over the next few weeks we will update the website to add set choices. If you voted for one of the selected sets and have paid in full then we will update your order.  If you voted for one of the selected sets but paid a deposit or if you didn’t vote for one of selected sets then we will ask you to make your order choice via our website.

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Murco Red tanks in Scotland

23 of VTG’s red tankers have been moved to Scotland for use on Grangemouth traffic.

The wagons involved are VTG88115-37.  These were formerly used for Murco traffic from South Wales, and are in all-over red livery with blue VTG lettering.  The wagons were built in 2006 and are of the same type being offered by Revolution.

This is believed to be the first time the red VTG tankers have been seen north of the border.

They were moved north on Friday June 11th 2015.  60011 took the train as far as Carlisle, where 66170 took over.


66170 hauls 23 VTG TEA tankers towards Grangemouth
VTG88117 and VTG 88132 are seen behind 66170 heading towards Grangemouth.

Photo courtsey Tom Smith.

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TEA announcement

Revolution announces 21st century tankers as second model

Revolution Trains – the new company that uses crowd-funding principles to produce niche train models – is to produce an all-new model of the latest generation of petroleum tankers in N gauge.

Photo courtesy VTG
Photo courtesy VTG

The model to be produced by Revolution represents the TOPS-coded TEA wagons introduced from 2006, of which there are now several hundred running across the network.

The model will be produced by Rapido Trains of Canada, who are currently working on Revolution’s N-gauge Class 390 Pendolino model.

Ben Ando, of Revolution Trains, said: “These wagons have been in service for nearly a decade, are in a variety of attractive liveries and operate over large parts of the network. They’re an obvious choice.”

Mike Hale, of Revolution Trains, said: “We are hoping to appeal not just to those customers who ordered a Pendolino, but also modern image N Gauge enthusiasts who model other parts of the country. A high-quality model of such an important type of wagon is long overdue.”

The model will feature an injection moulded body with photo-etched catwalks and separately fitted brake gear and discharge chutes, allowing small but significant prototypical differences between wagons to be depicted.

The largest single operator of these wagons is the well-known leasing firm VTG, and the model is being produced with their full assistance and co-operation.

Paul Lugg, VTG’s Fleet Sales Manager, said: “We operate these wagons for several customers on the real railway, and they offer significant operational and environmental benefits over older designs. We are delighted that a high quality model of these important vehicles is going to be available.”

Courtesy Tom Smith/Revolution Trains
Courtesy Tom Smith/Revolution Trains

The models can be ordered via Revolution’s website singly or in packs of three, with different running numbers on each wagon. They will be available in three VTG liveries – red, blue and grey – along with EWS grey and Freightliner green, subject to company approval.

A triple pack will also be available in the stylish green-and-white and blue-and-white colours of Greenergy, the UK’s newest bulk fuel rail operator. The operating efficiencies of rail travel were a significant factor in Greenergy’s decision to operate its own fleet of wagons. We will be working with Greenergy’s designers to make sure the livery is as accurate as possible.

Photo courtesy Greenergy
Photo courtesy Greenergy

Andrew Owens, Greenergy Chief Executive, said: “We’ve recently regenerated rail infrastructure allowing us to transport over two million litres of fuel (the equivalent to over 50 road tankers) with each train load. Our branded wagons have really caught people’s attention, and I am looking forward to seeing them in miniature!”

In use, the wagons operate from Grangemouth refinery to destinations in Scotland and Northern England, from refineries or storage terminals on Teeside and Humberside to the Midlands and the South West, and from South Wales to central England. Furthermore, new flows are expected in the next 12 months.

TEA route map
TEA route map

Revolution Trains aims to produce models that are considered too niche – or risky – for the mainstream manufacturers. Revolution Trains offers an alternative – a crowd-funding community where members can support proposals, nominate new ones and watch as these pet projects reach the point of being funded and produced.

You can see further details of the proposed models on the project page and you can register your interest in models/liveries here.

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Pendolino – preliminary CAD

We’ve just received the first draft CAD of the Pendolino driving car.  Purchasers can log in to their account and get a sneak preview of the CAD and some of the point cloud data images (on the Pendolino Developments page – only accessible by Pendolino purchasers).

There is still a lot of detail to be added, but the basic shape is starting to get there.

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First Pendolino scan images

The first 3D scan images are now in – you can see a teaser below!


We’ve also received some more CAD from Virgin – again a sample here:


If you’ve placed an order for a Pendolino then you can view all the images (and latest updates) here (please note you must be logged in to your account – the user name / email and password are the ones you supplied when you placed your order).

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Pendolino Laser Scanned!

We’ve now laser scanned a Pendolino power car at the Virgin Talent Academy at Crewe.  The weather was cold, dull and overcast – but not rainy – apparently ideal scanning conditions!  If it’s too bright, or the surface is wet and shiny – reflections can make it a lot harder for the laser to get a clean fix.

Scantech at work
Scantech at work

The laser scanner is made by Leica and costs around £70,000.  It’s known as a “time of flight” scanner – that is, it measures the time it takes the light to travel out and be reflected back, and from that calculates the precise distance to the point.  It generates a million data points per second, and at the range the scan was carried out is accurate to +/- 0.3mm.  When this is scaled down for N gauge the error margin is around 2 micrometers!

The Leica scanner
The Leica scanner

The whole process took around 3 hours and involved the two operators – David and Jonathan McCrory of Scantech International – postitioning the scanner at various points and allowing the laser to make a sweep.  They first scanned around the train at low level, to ensure bogie and underframe detail was captured, before using a tripod and the platforms present to scan further up and eventually along the roof to ensure the entire body was scanned.

The resulting “point clouds” from each pass will be stitched together, cleaned up and extraneous items such as the track and any fencing/shrubbery removed to give Rapido’s CAD designers a clean outline to begin designing the model.  Look out for more updates soon!