Archives for BenAndo

Another Earlybird deadline day!

It’s another Revolution earlybird deadline day!

IPA covered twin/quad in 00
IWA Sfins in N

At midnight tonight the earlybird price for the 00 IPA open and coverered car carriers and the N IWA vans and timber carriers ends.

From tomorrow these models can still be preordered but the prices will be higher.

IPA car carriers in 00/4mm

As well as the covered version shown above available in twin and quad sets, the IPA wagons are available as open twins and open twins with stakes.

All types are available in original STVA pale grey, STVA “tomato red” and (quad set only) new Groupe CAT blue.

From midnight the twins will be £60 (£55 earlybird) and the quads £120 (£110 earlybird.)

IPA open twin
IPA twin with stakes

IWA vans and timber carriers in N/2mm

In N, the IWA Sfins vans (Norsk Hydro, unbranded and Cargowaggon liveries) and Rfnoos timber carriers (GERS/Touax blue) will go up from midnight to £70 for a double pack from the earlybird price of £65.

NOTE: The N gauge IWAs are all being sold in pairs, with two differently numbered models, and additional numbersets available for most versions.

IWA Rfnoos timber carrier in N

The next earlybird deadline is 31st July for the FWA Ecofrets in 00, when the prices will go up for green twin sets from £95 to £100 and for blue/red triples from £125 to £135.

For all upcoming deadlines and the latest information on other models in development please see our projects page.

Revolution flasks ready for production

Revolution Trains has closed the order book for its forthcoming KUA nuclear fuel carrier twin packs, in preparation for the models going into production.

Photo courtesy Tom Walters

These huge wagons are used to transport spent fuel from Royal Navy nuclear submarines from Devonport in south west England and Rosyth in Scotland to Sellafield.

Built in 1998, there are two in service numbered MODA95770 and MODA95771 and Revolution is offering both packaged together in a twin set.

The wagons don’t just have different numbers; almost every marking is either in a different style or location, and Revolution has done all it can to accurately replicate this.

Although the Revolution order book is now closed, those who missed out can pre-order their models from exclusive stockists Rails of Sheffield here.

The models are expected to be ready to ship by Q4 2020.

Deadline Day May 31st!

Midnight on Sunday May 31st is the earlybird deadline for the forthcoming Revolution Trains N gauge FWA “Ecofret” wagons twin and triple sets and KUA quad-bogie nuclear flask wagon twin packs, plus the IWA Sfins2 vans and Rfnoos timber carriers in 00.

You will still be able to order these models after the deadline, but the price will be higher.

To give N gauge customers a little extra time, we have extended the earlybird deadline for the IWA Sfins2 vans and Rfnoos timber carriers in N by a month to June 30th.

For all deadlines and information on other ongoing projects, see our Project Page

Upscale downscale from Revolution!

In response to customer demand, Revolution Trains has decided to upscale its popular HOA hoppers from N to 00, and simultaneously downsize its well-received MMA/JNA “Ealnos” hoppers from 00 to N.

Revolution HOAs – about to get blown up!
Revolution Ealnos – that shrinking feeling!

The CAD for the 00 HOA is almost done while shrinking the 4mm box wagon down to N is not quite completed yet.

Preliminary CAD for 00 HOA

The 00 HOA will be offered in the same liveries as those already produced in N, namely EWS Construction, Cemex, DB red, Ermewa/Tarmac grey and VTG/Mendip Rail silver.

Similarly, the N Ealnos model is likely to be offered in DB Red, Ermewa/Tarmac grey, VTG Blue, GBRf blue and VTG/Mendip Rail silver, however since the 00 model was produced more versions have appeared, including dark red Touax and mid-blue VTG and Cappagh branded versions; and it may be these are offered instead of some of the previous versions.

Touax JNA at Westbury. Photo courtesy Jo Alder.
VTG JNA at Westbury in new mid-blue livery. Some wagons in this colour carry large “Cappagh” branding. Photo courtesy Jo Alder.

Once CAD work is completed on both these models and we are ready to begin tooling we will be opening the order books. As ever there will be a “best value” earlybird price to encourage early orders and help us progress these projects speedily.

Ecofrets ahoy!

Revolution Trains has received EP1 samples of its forthcoming FWA “Ecofret” intermodal wagons in 00 and N.

Big fret little fret…

Coded FWA under TOPS, and Sfgkmmss under the international UIC system, they were developed by wagon leasing specialists VTG in 2012.  They are in service with Freightliner in twin sets and with GBRf and DB Cargo in triple sets. 

Ecofret triple set in GBRf blue on the ECML.

They are shorter than traditional flats – 40’ instead of 60’ – because in the modern world 40’ containers far outnumber smaller 20’ boxes so they can be loaded with significantly less wasted space.   There are currently 232 vehicles in service, split between double and triple sets, with a further 84 sets on order.

FWA Ecofret twin at Coatbridge Freightliner Terminal. Photo courtesy Tom Smith.

The FWA Ecofret is the first model that Revolution Trains have been able to crowdfund simultaneously in both 00 and N gauge, and we would like to thank all those who’ve already pre-ordered to help the project progress so quickly.

Research trip to GBRf Peterborough depot

We’d also like to thank GBRf and VTG UK for their assistance in helping us research and develop this model.

Components of a single N-gauge car

The prototypes have fixed spigots on each outer car, and can only carry 40’ boxes, however the centre car on the triple sets has additional rotating spigots in the centre to allow a pair of 20’ containers to be loaded.

The Revolution 00 model has been designed with similar spigots, allowing customers to load their models as they wish.

Centre car loaded with 2 x 20’ containers by C-Rail
Spigots in raised position.
Spigots flipped over to allow 40’ container to be loaded.

Bogies are to our usual high standards and in 00 separate dampers have been fitted.

These sets can be ordered now at the special early-bird prices of £70 (green twin) and £95 (blue, red triple) in N and £95 (green twin) and £125 (blue, red triple) in 00.

Order N gauge Ecofrets

The N-gauge earlybird price ends on May 31st, in just 5 days time, so you are strongly urged to order now to get the best price.

N gauge triple set

Delivery of all models is expected in Q4, though it is possible this will change due to coronavirus.

O-la-la! Class 37 in 0-gauge from Revolution!

Revolution Trains is teaming up with Heljan to offer its first 0 gauge/1:43 scale model – a limited run of 37405 in the stylish Direct Rail Services “Compass” livery.

Photo courtesy Neil Downing

The Heljan model is highly detailed, digital and sound-ready, and features a 5-pole motor on each bogie, rotating roof fan, directional head, tail and headcode lighting and detailed cab interiors.  The livery has been extensively researched and the model will be painted and printed to artwork generated by Revolution.

This release builds on the launch of Heljan’s successful and award-winning Class 37/4 locomotive and offers Revolution a chance to assess demand in the O-gauge market.  If successful, Revolution will examine options for upscaling other models to the “senior scale.”

This release is not crowdfunded but is being backed by an angel investor to offer DRS fans and 0-gauge enthusiasts a much sought-after livery.  The DRS “Compass” livery is being produced exclusively for Revolution by Heljan under licence from DRS and numbers are limited.

Originally numbered D6982, the locomotive was built at English Electric’s Vulcan Foundry and entered service in 1965.  Two decades later it became one of a number of Class 37s rebuilt and fitted with electric train heating at Crewe Works and was renumbered 37405.  Following privatisation it was sold by EWS to Direct Rail Services in 2011, overhauled at Barrow Hill and re-entered service in 2013. Today, 37405 remains in the DRS operational fleet (XHAC – Kingmoor 37/4), retaining its iconic ‘Compass’ livery. The locomotive has worked a variety of trains including passenger, charter, test trains, empty stock moves and nuclear flasks, across the UK.

Photo courtesy Rob Sandford

Revolution Trains would like to thank Direct Rail Services for their assistance in producing this model.

Artwork has been approved and the model is available to pre-order now for £599 including postage. Payment can be in full now or in two installments of 50% each.

Delivery is expected in December 2020/January 2021.

Revolution Trains Facebook Live #3

If you were unable to watch our Facebook Live live, or wish to watch again, you can do so via our Facebook Page or here:

Thanks to all who joined us live!

Badger us for a badger!

Revolution Trains is asking for expressions of interest in a new N gauge model of the pioneering Class 89 electric locomotive 89001.

Built by Brush Traction in 1986, the locomotive has had something of a chequered history – operating for periods on the ECML for both BR (when it was named Avocet) and GNER, but also laid up for extended intervals due to failures.

89001 at Barrow Hill in 2011. Image courtesy Les Chatfield used under Creative Commons Licence.

It is now owned by the AC Locomotive Group and the possibility of a return to mainline use has bot been ruled out.

89001 at Doncaster in 2003. Image courtesy Phillip Scott used under Creative Commons Licence.

In service, 89001 was primarily partnered with Mk3 coaches in BR blue-grey, Inter-City or GNER blue liveries, all of which have been released fairly recently.

If it goes ahead this model will be produced by Accurascale, using research generated for a similar 4mm model, and would be expected to retail at roughly £175.

An expression of interest does not mean a firm commitment to buy, but does give us an indication of whether there is sufficient demand for this model for us to proceed.

Sweet Caroline from Revolution

Photo courtesy Steve Poole

Revolution Trains is offering the historic celebrity inspection saloon 975025 Caroline as its next model in 00/4mm scale.

TDB975025 in “as built” condition with headcode box and jumper cables

During its long life Caroline has carried Princesses and Popes, seen vast areas of the network and is now earmarked for the National Collection once her working days are over.

Revolution would like to thank LORAM and Network Rail for their kind help and assistance in developing this model.

Revolution research trip to LORAM Derby

As an additional bonus, those who order before 31st August 2020 will be entered into a free draw to join us on a free and exclusive “Sweet Caroline” railtour. 

The Revolution Trains Sweet Caroline railtour will travel from Derby on a circular route taking in the WCML via Crewe and Stockport before heading across to the Peak Peak District and reaching the Midland Mainline before returning.  The exact route and date is yet to be finalised and will of course depend on the relaxing of social distancing rules.  Those on board will be able to enjoy the saloon facilities and food will be provided.  Traction is expected to be a DRS Class 37.*

The handful of guests will be chosen in a draw held during a Revolution Trains Facebook Live event in September.

TDB975025 carried Prince and Princess of Wales on the first leg of their honeymoon in 1981. Photo courtesy David Hills.

TDB975025 entered service as the Southern Region General Manger’s Inspection Saloon in 1969.  It was converted from buffet car S60755 taken from Class 203 “Hastings” unit 1031, built eleven years earlier. Originally fitted with SR 27-way jumper cables, 3rd rail shoegear and with two-character headcode boxes, it was outshopped in BR Blue Grey with yellow ends. 

Traction was usually provided by Class 33 or 73 locomotives but from time to time the saloon would also be coupled to the front of passenger units such as VEPs and CEPs and used as a driving car.

Photo courtesy Michael Hart

In 2006 ownership of Caroline passed to Network Rail, and the saloon was extensively rebuilt by RVEL in Derby and repainted into a bright turquoise “viridian” green, the non-standard colour attributed – probably apocryphally – to a mix-up when paint was bought from a local DIY shop!

During this rebuild the headcode box was plated over, the SR 27-way jumper cables were replaced with blue-star connections, LED tail lamps were fitted and 3rd rail pick up equipment removed.

Photo courtesy Tony Callaghan.

In January 2015 Caroline emerged again from the Derby paint-shop in yet another livery – BR Southern region Brunswick green – which it carries to this day.

Operationally 975025 Caroline has been used for BR General Manager meetings, track inspection and line testing far and wide, but is perhaps best known for its many celebrity and VIP duties.  These include:

  • July 1981 – formed part of Royal Wedding train and HRH Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales travelled in the saloon from London Waterloo to Romsey.  TDB975025 was at the rear of the train and carried a specially created crest.
  • May-June 1982 – carried Pope John Paul II from Gatwick airport to London Victoria on the first stage of his celebrated tour of the UK, the first ever by a reigning Pope.
  • May 1992 – formed part of the Class 50 farewell tour on the West of England line.
  • October 1992 – working with 73112 ‘University of Kent’ became the first train to travel from London Waterloo into the Channel Tunnel – being propelled roughly 150m into the bore.

Caroline was formally designated for the National Collection in December 2008, and once no longer required by Network Rail will be preserved for the nation alongside its Royal Wedding counterpart, Class 73 electro-diesel 73142 (73201) Broadlands.

CAD of “Caroline” in current form with revised light clusters and plated over headcode box.

The Revolution Trains model has been extensively researched and is designed to set a new benchmark in RTR rolling stock.  It will feature accurate headcode and light variations, fully sprung buffers, era-specific driver’s desk, a highly detailed interior with separately-fitted era-specific chairs and numerous underframe parts. Flicker-free directional lighting, interior lighting solebar lighting and DCC options are being offered.

Researching the interior
CAD cutaway showing interior details

The liveries on offer are:

Version 1 – BR Blue Grey with small totem as built 1969-1984
Version 2 – BR Network Southeast 1991-2003
Version 3 – Network Rail SR Brunswick Green 2015-present

Delivery is expected in early 2021.

Revolution Trains would like to thank Network Rail, LORAM and Serco for their assistance in producing this model and arranging the “Sweet Caroline” tour.

We are also exploring the possibility of offering this model in N gauge and to assess demand we are asking N gauge customers to register their interest.

*The exact route, date and traction for the Revolution Trains Sweet Caroline railtour may be subject to alteration depending on circumstances beyond the control of Network Rail/Revolution Trains.

COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

1). Invitees will be selected from all customers who have registered on the Revolution Trains website and ordered a Revolution Trains model of Caroline, in any livery, before August 31st.

2). Invitees will be selected by Revolution Trains during September, and notified via email.  Invitations are entirely at Revolution Trains discretion, and their decision is final. Those receiving a notification email must confirm their attendance before the deadline given or their place will be reassigned.

3). Places on the tour are not transferable and have no cash equivalent value. Invitees who subsequently find they cannot attend should inform Revolution Trains via email, and we will reassign their place.

4). Invitees accept that Revolution Trains may retain some personal data for the purposes of administration of this railtour only.

5) ‘Caroline’ is not a vehicle in normal passenger use, and unfortunately does not offer wheelchair access.

6). Entering this competition confirms acceptance and understanding of these terms and conditions. Invitees may be required to accept additional terms and conditions to attend the tour itself.

Revolution Trains Facebook Live #3

Revolution Trains is hosting its third Facebook Live tomorrow evening, Tuesday May 26th, at 1930BST.

We’ll have new announcements, a couple of EP1 samples to unveil in two scales, plus other news, a reminder about upcoming order deadlines, the chance to ask us questions in real-time and another special guest appearance – by popular demand – of Mr Mike Hale.

We look forward to seeing you next Tuesday!!

Revolution – coronavirus update

As the UK begins to emerge from the lockdown necessitated by the onslaught of the coronavirus, we wanted to update everyone on its impact on Revolution’s scheduling and model delivery.

Progress on previously announced models such as the Class 128 parcels car, Class 313/4 PEP units and IWA vans/timber carriers has proceeded largely unaffected, as this can be carried out at home.

In production at the moment are the Class 92 electric locomotives and IPA car carriers; this was delayed by the lockdown in China at the start of the year but is now fully resumed and we are expecting the models shortly.

Revolution Class 92 and IPA car transporters – coming to your layout?

For obvious reasons, our plans to research and develop new models have been disrupted as we have been able to travel to conduct research trips, meet with TOCs and so on.

However, while our programme has been delayed slightly, we will have some exciting new projects in both N and 00 to announce very soon.

We had intended to announce these at the DEMU Showcase exhibition, which we attend every year, but as this is no longer possible they will be unveiled in our third Facebook Live, coming soon.

The two we have hosted so far have proved very popular with well over 3000 views so far!

Strathclyde PTE Class 320 sample shell unveiled during Facebook Live

For those ordering models we have in stock, postal services have also been disrupted and this is likely to continue for some time.

If you are expecting a delivery, please don’t panic if your model seems to be taking a long time.

All our models are tracked, so if after 14 days you have not received your items then please contact us and we will investigate.

Our understanding is that the delays are caused by a combination of reduced post office opening times and of social distancing in warehouses meaning there are fewer people to sort parcels.

Pendolino voted Model of the Decade!

The Revolution/Rapido Trains Virgin Class 390 “Pendolino” has been voted N-gauge Model of the Decade by Model Rail.

Naturally we are thrilled with this result, and would also like to commend the runner-up models in the category; the Hornby-Arnold Brighton Belle and Graham Farish by Bachmann Midland Pullman. To win against such superb competition is an honour indeed.

We’d like to thank everyone who voted for the model, everyone who stepped up and joined our original crowdfunded campaign to produce the model, and of course our partners at Rapido Trains in Canada, without whom it would never have seen the light of day.

The voting ‘ceremony’ can be viewed here.

For those who missed out first time round, we are finalising plans for a second run of models. These will include versions in original Virgin livery, Virgin “Flowing Silk” livery and, pending agreement, Avanti “Coalescent” livery.

”Flowing Silk” test print. Note this is not a completed deco sample.

As ever, these models will be produced to order and numbers are limited. The order book is expected to open soon.

Puzzle it out with Revolution!

Fancy some fun – and slightly addictive – puzzling?

See if you can put together this 70-piece jigsaw of this image of a Virgin Pendolino and Scotrail Class 320 on the blocks at Glasgow Central Station in 2017.

It’s a scene you’ll soon be able to recreate with Revolution Trains models – but in the meantime, good luck puzzling!

Anyone for 321? (Or 320…)

Revolution Trains has unveiled teaser samples of two versions of its forthcoming 320 and 321 units in N.

Although London Midland, Network Southeast and Scotrail Saltire versions are confirmed for production, other potential liveries from the long lives of these units have still not reached the minimum orders needed to go ahead.

Strathclyde PTE orange. It was known as red.
Silverlink 321. Not silver!

The two closest to production are the Class 320 in original Strathclyde PTE livery, and the 321 in Silverlink colours. So we have had bodyshells factory-decorated in a last ditch effort to generate the additional sales needed to get them over the line.

Only the DTSO in each version was done, and the shells have been mounted on unpainted EP1 sample chassis, so the air tanks, front air dams and yellow panels/light covers (which are separate parts) are unpainted. Plus the production models will have window frames picked out in pale aluminium.

Even so, we think they look pretty good!

The Strathclyde livery lasted from the introduction of the 320s in 1990 until the early 2000s when it was superseded by the carmine and cream livery, while the Silverlink 321s saw service on Suburban services from Euston to Birmingham, Bletchley and Northampton, making them ideal to run alongside our Virgin Pendolinos. After transfer to FCC some remained in the livery on Kings Cross commuter services to Cambridge, Peterborough and Ely.

Unfortunately we have had to take the decision to cancel the First Capital Connect version – we will contact all customers who placed an order for an FCC 321 to ask if they would like an alternative livery or a refund.

However, the popularity of the Scotrail Saltire livery means we can add an additional number to this version – 320318 is also available to order alongside 320315 (any one who has ordered more than one Saltire 320 will be asked if they would like to switch one of the units – no need to do anything at the moment).

You can get behind these models – or order any of the other versions – here.

Revolution wired for sound… at last!

If you missed our second Facebook Live or want to enjoy it again and don’t want to go to Facebook itself you can view it in the frame above.

It features latest news and CAD images of the Class 128, IWA van/timber carrier and PFA container flats in N, plus IPA wagons in 00 and news of a new blue car carrier, plus information about a big order deadline coming at the end of May!

00 IPA approved!

CAD designs for the forthcoming IPA car carriers in 4mm scale/00 gauge have been approved, and the models are now ready for tooling. We are just finalising a few details with the factory and then the order book will be opened – please keep an eye out on our website for an announcement.

Original flat version. One half of twin shown.
Flat version with stakes
Covered twin with side screens and roofs

The prototype wagons were originally built in France in the 1950s and 1960s, as single unit double-deck car carriers, but were repurposed in the early 1990s. The top deck was removed, new sides fitted and they were marshalled into twin sets.

Later, some were fitted with side stakes to support canvas screens, others received roofs to provide greater cover. Subsequently a large number received this modification and most were remarshalled into four car sets.

All variants are being offered in N and 00 will follow suit.

N gauge versions are in production now.
Covered quad set in original STVA grey livery

In 2017 STVA was taken over by Grench automotive logistics giant Groupe CAT, and recently the first vehicles were repainted by Arlington at Eastleigh. An image of the prototype can be found at Carl ‘s Railway Photos.

We are delighted to say we have been able to add a very limited number in this livery to the N gauge production run.

N-IPA-271A Groupe CAT dark blue

The Groupe CAT version will also be available for 00 modellers to pre-order with STVA pale grey and STVA red.

IWA underway!

CAD work for the forthcoming IWA van and timber carriers in N is now complete.

The 4mm versions are slightly further ahead, with EP1 samples expected soon, and work has now started on livery diagrams.

IWA Sfins2 van CAD in N
IWA Rfnoos timber carrier CAD in N

The models feature our usual specification of couplers in kinematic NEM sockets with kinematic mounts, lots of separately fitted detail parts and will be weighted for good trackholding.

The timber carriers are being supplied with the large “double-stanchoins” as delivered, however many have had these rearranged and additional narrower stanchions fitted too; these will be supplied separately for the modeller to fit to choice.

The liveries on offer will be as the 00 models: Norsk Hydro, Unbranded and Cargowaggon for the vans and GERS/Touax for the timber carriers.

KUA earlybird deadline set

Revolution Trains has concluded the assessment of the KUA decorated samples, and with this stage complete the models will soon be cleared for production.

The earlybird price of £139.95 for the pair will close at the end of May, with the price rising to the RRP of £159.95 thereafter.

The models are being supplied as a pair for two reasons: firstly, it is the only way to make such a niche vehicle cost effective, and secondly because, with only two wagons in existence, this enables modellers to have “the complete fleet” with correct prototypical differences between each one.

MODA95770
MODA95771

We think it is unlikely we will every produce these models again, so this limited run could be the only opportunity to order, especially at the current low price.

We anticipate the finished models will be ready to ship toward the end of the summer.

Facebook not-quite-live

Thanks to all those who joined us on Facebook yesterday evening for our first Facebook Live – apologies for the sound gremlins that made it hard to hear what was being said.

Typically we solved the problem within seconds of the broadcast ending, and if you missed out a recorded version is now available to view on our Facebook page here

Features of Cemflo EP1 samples being described

As well as the Cemflos in the image above, the Facebook Live gave us the opportunity to talk about the KUA nuclear flask wagons, unveil the new Sonic Models 56xx versions and show off the preliminary CADs for the PFA container flats.

In these difficult times, and with exhibitions we’d planned to attend at Alexandra Palace and the DEMU Showcase cancelled, this offers us a way to keep our supporters and customers up to date with our projects and answer the kinds of questions we might be asked at a show.

Unfortunately, due to the sound problems, the Q&A aspect of the event could not take place, however we are planning to repeat this in another 2 weeks or so when we have more progress to report and now the sound problems are sorted.

Join us then!

PFA container flats – CADs delivered.

Revolution Trains has received preliminary CAD drawings of our forthcoming PFA container flats from Accurascale.

PFA with coal container

The models are available to order loaded with either Cawoods yellow containers, British Fuels red, BNFL half-height low-level waste containers or in DRS black but unloaded for use as runners. Note that the placard on the container shown in the CAD will be removed, as it is not correct for the Cawoods type, being added for those containers in use with CPL distribution which at this time we are not producing and the “pips” on the top corners of the containers will also be taken off.

Because many modellers will want to run their wagons unloaded, the entire deck component (white in the CAD) will be in diecast metal to ensure there is enough low-down weight in the model for good running.

Beneath the wagon is all the detail you’ve come to expect from Revolution Trains, and the couplers are in pivoting NEM pockets, however the low deck and axle positions mean there is not enough room for a kinematic mechanism.

56132 on Blyth-Ellesmere Port Cawoods containers in 1989. Photo courtesy Mick Page.
68002 and 68004 with single nuclear flask wagon and three empty PFA runner wagons in 2019. Photo courtesy Andy Parkinson.

We have requested a few very minor tweaks to the CAD images, and we are still waiting for the diagram of the low level nuclear waste container, but once this is all signed off we will be ready to ask Accurascale to proceed to tooling.

You can order your PFA container wagons here