The checking is done; the CADs are approved. Now we just have to wait for the tooling to take place and the first Pendolino test shots to arrive.
If, like us, you’re struggling to contain your excitement then here are some calming images to help you relax. We like to think of them as a little zen-gauge…
And for those that asked on Saturday and Sunday, checking against the 3 sample cars we estimate that when coupled up on the track the 9-car trains will be 1492mm in length, and the 11-car trains 1820mm.
The Class 390 Pendolino CADs for the intermediate cars have now been approved for tooling.
The cab cars have also been improved on condition of one very minor correction.
This is the arrangement for light clusters on the driving car:
This image shows working the table lamps in first class vehicles:
At the International N Gauge Show at Leamington Spa this weekend we displayed stereolithographs produced for us by the Jewellery Department at Birmingham City University. These enabled us – and the many visitors to the show who admired them – to visually check that the models looked “right” in terms of detail and presence, and that they are the correct scale dimensions.
Once Rapido have sent us sampled produced from the toolings we will be sure to post images.
The production cycle will now see us approve mouldings, test and debug a working train and check livery samples.
Once that is done Rapido will ask us to specify the number of models we wish to produce. At this point we will close the order book and that will be the number produced.
There will be no additional models available post production, so please make sure you keep an eye on this site to ensure you don’t miss the deadline!
Tooling has commenced on the Revolution Trains TEA tanker now that all CAD drawings have been approved and signed off.
Working with Rapido Trains, we believe these models will bring a new level of sophistication and authenticity to the British market.
Although the TEA tankers look similar, there are subtle differences between batches and many of these are being reproduced, leading to five different configurations:
This represents the first wagons built by Greenbrier in the number series VTG88115-42. These are in VTG red livery.
On this type, as with most of the rest of the builds, there are two top hatches with a three part vent in the centre of the wagon:
It also has the shorter type of air tank and single discharge nozzles each side:
The second type (1b) represents the wagons in VTG blue (VTG 88143-56) and VTG grey (VTG 88157-74)
These have the same air tank arrangement and discharge equipment as type 1a but only one central hatch, the triple vent at one end and a blanking plate at the other:
The next type represents the wagons originally built for EWS, now DB Schenker, (870200-344) and Freightliner (871001-6). 151 of this type were built, making it so far the most numerous variant.
These had the original arrangement of twin top hatches and central triple vent but differed below the barrel with bifurcated discharge nozzles and a longer air tank:
The last wagons built (so far) for VTG incorporate the larger air tank, but the single discharge nozzles. they also feature the twin hatches and central vent on the top of the barrel:
Some of this final batch were delivered in Greenergy livery and are dedicated to this company’s traffic between northern England, the Humber refineries, the midlands and south Wales. These have an additional outflow relief (coloured blue on the CAD) adjacent to one of the discharge pipes at one end:
For all types the walkways will be photo etched, and the models feature NEM couplers in pivoting close-coupler sockets and separate wire brake pipes and actuator rods.
The tooling should take around 6-8 weeks and we are hoping to have first shots during November.
The Revolution Trains – Rapido Class 390 Pendolino in N will be the first RTR mass-market model to be provided with a DCC Sound option.
This has proved popular with customers, and last night we were invited to Alstom’s Longsight traincare depot in Manchester – the home of Virgin’s Pendolino fleet – to record the sounds of the real thing.
Longsight handles 15 Pendolinos each night. From 2208 the units begin to arrive in the depot and are first sent through the carriage washer and a laser scanner that can register anything from the thickness of the brake pads to the state of the pantograph’s carbon contact heads to check whether they need changing. From there they are sent into one of 15 reception sidings for overnight work to begin. An initial one hour exam is followed by a thorough clean. On-train diagnostics will have communicated ahead with the depot control room and fitters will already know what, if any, specific repair work is required.
Inside the workshops longer term maintenance is underway – at the moment the fleet is undergoing a programme of 800,000 mile “H4” examinations which involve full bogie changes and replacement of the emergency couplers – so the entire nose assembly has to come off!
One of those undergoing its H4 exam was 390103 – the Poppy pendolino and one of the ten models we are offering. With the trains in this conditions we were able to record some sounds not otherwise possible, though we had to be careful not to get in the way as the work is very tightly rostered.
Most of the recording was done outside; this is generally preferred by our sound recordist Legomanbiffo as there is no chance of any unwanted echoes, or the clang of a dropped spanner, that can mar the recording. He tends to take at least 3-4 captures of any given sound to be sure of a good “take.”
Strict depot rules meant that the sounds of the horn had to be recorded before 2300 to avoid incurring the wrath of local residents. Alstom likes to be a good neighbour!
Even though this was Manchester we got lucky with the weather – the only precipitation was from the water washers – just one of over 20 separate sounds we recorded. Who knew a Pendolino made so many different sounds?
Huge thanks to Dave Jones and everyone at Alstom Longsight depot for helping us to ensure our N Gauge Pendolino with DCC Sound will have the best quality and most accurate sounds possible.
Revolution have approved the CAD drawings for the TEA tanker and the model will now be sent for tooling.
The final version features body-mounted NEM couplers, etched walkways and numerous separately fitted details.
The early build VTG versions feature short air tanks and appropriate brake piping.
There are variations in hatch configurations – our tooling allows for this. Some VTG versions comprise (from the ladder end) blanking panel – manlid – triple vent; as shown above, others have two manlids and are configured manlid – triple vent- manlid.
The EWS (Now DB Schenker) and Freightliner versions have twin discharge chutes and yaw dampers at each outer end next to the bogie frame.
Close up showing the distinctive “twin” discharge nozzles on these versions, and the strengthening rib detail of the rear face of the headstock and the buffers that will feature on all models.
We will shortly be adding these variants to our shopping pages to allow customers to start confirming their orders, and hope to have samples to show at the N Gauge International Show at Leamington in September.
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.
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.
We are close to approving these drawings now – just a couple of very small issues to sort out..
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.
We have received revised versions of the interior mouldings. This is standard class with standard seating, for coaches E, F and U.
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.
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.
The designers have even depicted the two types of table – single and twin-leaf – that Pendolinos carry.
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.
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.
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.
There is some work still to do on the main coach interiors, however the cab interior is looking ready:
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.
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.
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 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!
After an abortive first attempt to laser scan a Pendolino on January 29th that had to be abandoned due to snow we will be trying again on Monday Feb 2nd. Our schedule was that the scan would be completed “late Jan/early Feb” so the delay should not set us back appreciably.