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Mk5s arrive…

Revolution Trains has received first EP samples of its forthcoming Mk5 Caledonian Sleeper and Mk5a Trans Pennine Express coaching stock.

Left to right: Caledonian Sleeper Mk5 seated, club and accessible sleeper cars.
TPE Mk5a T1, T2 and DT cars.

Caledonian Sleeper Mk5 coaches

The Caledonian Sleeper cars are of four types: Seated, Club (with wifi dom on roof), Accessible Sleeper (PRM) and Standard Sleeper. Each vehicle is unique with accurate underframe, interior and bodyshell variations.

Mk5 Caledonian Sleeper Club car and Accessible (PRM) Sleeper.
Mk5 Caledonian Sleeper Seated car.

The models feature working Dellner type couplers in kinematic NEM pockets, though each pack will also include standard NEM couplers to enable the models to be coupled to a locomotive, as well as full interiors, saloon, cabin and vestibule lighting as standard, numerous separately fitted details – especially on the undersides – and photo-etched grilles where appropriate.

Detail showing etched parts, interiors, wifi dome and inside bearing bogies on Mk5 Club car.

Revolution is offering a total of eight different packs to enable complete Lowlander (London Euston-Glasgow/Edinburgh) or Highlander (London Euston-Aberdeen/Fort William/Inverness) rakes to be recreated or to allow shorter rakes representing the split portions of the trains to be modelled.

The diagrams show normal operating arrangements – during the last 14 months Lowlander and Highlander trains have operated from time to time in shorter forms due to reduced loadings.

92023 at Chelmcote with Caledonain Sleeper in January 2019. This train can be recreated with Revolution Trains’ Class 92023 and Mk5s.
Photo courtesy Nigel Gibbs.
Accessible (PRM) sleeper and Club car.

Trans Pennine Express – Beacon Rail Mk5a coaches

Trans Pennine Express operate their Mk5a sets in permanent rakes of five branded Nova 3 in push-pull mode with Class 68 diesels. Each set features a driving trailer (DT), standard trailer with bicycle rack (T2), two Standard trailers (T3) and a first trailer with standard draw gear at the outer end (T1).

TPE DT + T2 car.

The Revolution models feature the same kinematic couplings and similar levels of detailing to the Mk5 sets and are available to pre-order in two complete 5-car sets.

Inner end of T1 car, and outer end of DT car.

In addition to the interior saloon and vestibule lighting on all cars as standard, the DT features directional head and tail lights at the cab end.

Underside of DT car showing details, wire sanding pipes and bogie bearings and power pickups.
TPE Nova 3 at Keckwick in January 2019. Photo courtesy Dave Harris.
Caledonian Sleeper and TPE operating routes.

Once the samples have been assessed and checked decorated samples will be prepared before the models go into production.

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Decorated samples are MMA-rvelous…

Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of its forthcoming MMA/JNA ‘Ealnos’ box wagons in N gauge.

N-EAL-101A MMA wagon in DB red livery

There are now nearly 1000 Ealnos in service, with more on order, and since their introduction in 2016 by DB they have rapidly become the dominant big box wagon on the network. DB wagons are coded MMA under TOPS, all other versions are coded JNA.

DB Cargo MMA ‘Ealnos’ wagons being unloaded at Warrington Dallam freight terminal in 2019. Photo courtesy Peter Laithwaite.

As well as being used on well-established flows from quarries in the Derbyshire Peaks, Midlands and Mendip hills in Somerset, they are often seen on spot hire trains usually in VTG dark blue. The spot-hire trains are usually used for short-term flows and since all they need for loading or unloading is a bucket grab they can be seen almost anywhere.

N-EAL-104A JNA in VTG blue ‘spot-hire’ livery
59206 with Ealnos wagons in Touax red and VTG Mendip rail silver. Photo courtesy Dave Kirwin.

Mendip stone trains – previously operated by DB, but now handled by Freightliner – use both VTG silver and Touax red JNA wagons; both among the variants offered by Revolution.

N-EAL-108A and N-EAL-105A

The wagons are also used for stone trains from quarries in the East Midlands, some with Tarmac branding and some without, and these versions are also being offered along with two versions in GBRf livery and in the latest Cappagh mid-blue. The Cappagh wagons operate in both branded and unbranded versions, and both are available.

N-EAL-106C GBRf/Ermewa and N-EAL-107A VTG/Cappagh.

Some versions are available with flashing tail lamps (look for the L code suffix) and the wagons will be provided with drop-in moulded loads. The images show the loads before final stone texture is engraved in the tooling.

As always, the wagons will feature Revolution’s high levels of detail and reflect our obsession with accuracy, including three different arrangements of brake equipment.

Models have prototypically accurate variations in brake gear.

Other versions on offer include VTG mid blue, VTG plain silver and Ermewa unbranded grey.

Subject to some very small amendments and adjustments these wagons are now approved and awaiting a production slot. We expect to close the order book within the next 6-8 weeks, but until then they can be ordered at the low pre-production price.

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Parcels to go!

Revolution Trains has opened the order book for its forthcoming Class 128 Parcels unit, with a low Earlybird price of £120 available until midnight on 16th July 2021.

Revolution is offering six versions, covering the entire lives of these units from their introduction in 1960 to their final withdrawal in 1990, and in both Midland Region centre headcode and Western Region gangwayed versions.

CAD has been approved and tooling is underway. We are anticipating that EP1 samples will be here in 6-8 weeks.

M55990 at Manchester Victoria. Photo courtesy Mark Carter.

As well as the gangway/non-gangway variation, the tooling has been designed to allow variations including round, oval or clipped buffers, sandbox variations, differences in exhausts and plated headcode boxes.

For those modelling the BR Green/transition era, two models are on offer: M55987 in green with speed whiskers, and W55994 in BR green with speed whiskers.

BR Blue era enthusiasts have M55990 in Parcels Service livery with domino headcode displays – as carried from the mid-1970s until its withdrawal, and W55991 also in all-over blue with plated headcodes, representing this unit from 1981 onwards.

Finally we are offering two units in the eye-catching 1980s-90s Royal Mail red livery; one has plated-over headcode boxes but retains the gangway, the other has the last end variation: fully flush with the gangways removed.

Note: CAD images show approved designs. Some details (eg buffers, exhausts) may vary on production models following further research. Livery diagrams are basic graphic images for illustrative purposes only.

N-128-55987A – M55987 in BR green with speed whiskers

N-128-55994A – W55994 in BR green livery with single speed whiskers

N-128-55990A – M55990 in BR blue with yellow ends and domino headcode display

N-128-55991A – W55991 in BR blue with yellow ends and plated over headcodes with marker lights

N-128-55992A – 55992 in Royal Mail red with gangway and plated over headcodes with marker lights

N-128-55993A – M55993 in Royal Mail red with plated gangway and plated headcodes

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Summer double deadlines!

It’s June and Revolution Trains has TWO order deadlines for FOUR models fast approaching…

00 gauge FWA ‘Ecofrets’

00 FWA ‘Ecofrets’ in green/Freightliner, red/DB and blue/GBRf!

Revolution’s 00 gauge 4mm scale Ecofrets have been produced with the assistance of VTG, from works drawings, and feature a host of separately fitted and accurate working detail parts, including rotating spigots in the centre car of triple sets that, like the prototype, allow them to carry either one 40′ container or one or two 20′ containers.

N gauge Class 390 Pendolino

N Gauge Class 390 Pendolino in original Virgin livery.

Voted ‘N Gauge Model of the Decade’ by the readers of Model Rail magazine, our highly acclaimed Class 390 Pendolino – manufactured by Rapido Trains – is back!

This is the chance to pre-order both 9-car and 11-car models in the original, classic Virgin livery or the more recent Avanti, Virgin Flowing Silk, Virgin Flowing Silk Pride and Department of Transport plain ‘ghost liveries at our low Revolution Trains pre-production price.

Pendolino at Beattock in Avanti part livery, also among the selections on offer. Photo courtesy Arran Aird.

But wait, there’s more…

00 IPA car carriers

Covered quad sets available in STVA pale grey, STVA red (post 2006) and Groupe CAT blue (post 2020)

Revolution Trains recently received decorated samples of its 00 gauge, 4mm scale IPA car carriers in all variations and these are being prepared for production at the end of next month.

STVA’s single deck IPA car carriers were introduced in the mid-1990s in open twin sets, subsequently to enhance protection for the vehicles being transported some were fitted with side stacks, and then some were fitted with side panels and roofs and remarshalled into quad sets.

The wagons started out in STVA pale grey livery, then all were repainted Tomato Red from 2006. Since Groupe CAT took over STVA the wagons are progressively being repainted into their dark blue livery.

N gauge PFA container flats

PFAs with low level waste container and British Fuels and Cawoods coal containers

The Revolution PFA wagons, being manufactured by Accurascale and based on their highly praised 4mm scale model, are available in triple packs with Cawoods coal containers, with British Fuels containers, with half-height low level waste containers and also unloaded for use as DRS barrier wagons.

The models feature exceptional levels of detailing, NEM coupler sockets and much of the underframe is diecast metal to maximise weight and optimise running qualities.

Revolution Trains is also offering two versions of the gypsum containers that were associated with these wagons among others.

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Multi-coloured car carriers…

Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of its upcoming IPA twin and quad car carriers in 00 gauge 4mm scale.

4-car covered IPA units are available to pre-order in original STVA pale grey, STVA red and the latest Groupe CAT blue.

These wagons were originally built in the 1950s and 60s as double deck units for the Societe Nationalé des chemins de fer Francais (SNCF) in France.

In the 1990s, in anticipation of an increase in international car traffic via the Channel Tunnel, automotive logistics specialist STVA converted large numbers for use in Britain by removing the top deck to fit the British loading gauge, creating low deck flat twins. They were given STVA’s pale grey livery, subsequently repainted red. Both these variants are available from Revolution Trains

Revolution Pack 00-IPA-101A
Revolution Pack 00-IPA-111A/B

Soon after introduction, in an experiment to counter damage to vehicles caused by stones either thrown up from the ballast or by lineside miscreants, stakes were added to the sides of some wagons to allow canvas sheeting to be stretched across them. Though the experiment was not widely adopted the stakes remain on the converted wagons, even when they were repainted into the updated red STVA livery.

Revolution Pack 00-IPA-121A
Revolution Pack 00-IPA-131A/B

In the early 2000s, to permit the wagons to be used for larger SUVs and high value cars, side panels and roofs were permanently fitted, and while a small number remained in use as twins the majority were remarshalled into quad sets. These wagons were initially in pale grey, then red, and earlier this year the first set emerged from Arlington Works in new Groupe CAT blue livery. Again, all variations are available from Revolution.

Left to right: 00-IPA-471A Groupe CAT blue, 00-IPA-461A/B STVA red, 00-IPA-451A STVA pale grey.
66172 with mixed rake of flats, flats with stakes and covered IPAs on a Dagenham-Mossend train. Photo courtesy Colin Brooks.

The wagons feature diecast metal decks, for weight, and numerous separately applied plastic and metal detailing parts.

Wire locking bars, handrails and photo etched metal footsteps.
Photo-etched linking plate with representation of checker plate finish.
Vehicle-specific plastic and metal brake details, kinematic couplers, realistic inter-car couplers and underfloor labelling to simplify assembly on the track.
Both the open and covered versions are ideal for use with 1:76 vehicles such as the Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover Evoque by Oxford Diecast, seen on the show layout at Trains4U in Peterborough.

The wagons are still available to pre-order now for£60 (twin sets) and £120 (quad sets) however the order book will close at midnight on July 31st 2021 and then the models will go into production, with shipping expected in the Autumn.

As ever with Revolution Trains models, they may be available from stockists afterwards but at a higher price.

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Caroline steps out…

EP1 samples of the SR General Manager’s Saloon ‘Caroline’ have passed running tests, showing no issues being both pushed and pulled, with the kinematic couplers performing as expected.

A list of tooling improvements has been compiled – primarily confirming the addition of details such as rivets and engraved lettering which is often omitted before first mouldings are approved – and once these have been completed decorated samples in BR Blue Grey, Network Southeast ‘toothpaste’ and Network Rail Brunswick green will be prepared.

Once decorated samples are checked and approved the order book will close and Caroline will go into production, with shipping expected by the end of the year.

Revolution Trains would like to thank Trains4U in Peterborough for allowing us use of their 00 test track.

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Caroline looking sweet…

Revolution Trains has received EP1 samples of its forthcoming 00 gauge/4mm scale model of the SR General Manager’s saloon 975025 ‘Caroline.’

These samples are being checked for fit and details. Once they are approved some further engraving will be done – such as adding rivets – then decorated samples will be prepared.

SR saloon as originally converted with SR 27-way jumper cables.
975025 Caroline as presently configured with new light clusters and plated headcode box
Image showing the contrast between the different ends. This required two different bodyshells to be tooled.
Underfloor view of present day Caroline with centre toilet retention tank at near end, and next to it the switches for controlling the headlights, tail lights and interior lights.
Interior showing original configuration
Present-day Caroline has seats matching those currently in use

A short history of Caroline

In 1969 the Southern Region of BR converted a former Hastings buffet car into a saloon that could be used both by the General Manager for entertaining VIPs, to allow the CE head to inspect infrastructure and for running at linespeed over recently maintained track to uncover dynamic issues resulting from work carried out during engineering possessions.

TBD975025 shortly after conversion at Stewart’s Lane. Photo courtesy Ian Buck.

Among its more mundane use, the Saloon enjoyed a certain cachet after being used by both the Prince and Princess of Wales following their marriage in 1981, and by Pope John Paul II on his visit to the UK the following year.

In 1991 it received Network South East livery, then in 2003 it was refurbished by SERCO – losing its headcode blind and gaining new light clusters – before passing to Network Rail. Caroline is now in a dark Brunswick Green livery and was recently fitted with a specially designed toilet retention tank, ensuring compliance with current regulations. Network Rail has told Revolution Trains that Caroline’s unique ablility to enable to allow a locomotive to be driven from its front consoles, while also providing accommodation and catering facilities, mean there are no plans for withdrawal.

Revolution is offering Caroline as originally converted, in Network Southeast livery and in present day Network Rail guise.

It is anticipated that decorated samples will be received later this summer, before production in late summer/autumn.

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Revolution finds caustic soda at the end of the Rainbow…

Revolution Trains is teaming up with Scotland-based retailer Rainbow Railways to offer TUA caustic soda tank wagons in 00 gauge, 4mm scale.

40129 at Golborne in 1983 with ICI caustic soda tanks and brake van. Photo courtesy Richard Clayton.

CAD has been completed and the model will be going into tooling early next month.

28 of these tankers to design code TU013A were built by Standard Wagon of Heywood in 1977 for caustic soda traffic from ICI’s Mond works in Cheshire. They were owned by leasing company TRL and numbered TRL 70700-70727.

They featured pedestal suspension, a lagged barrel to a slightly narrower diameter than tankers intended for petroleum traffic, a short catwalk with ladders on each side and distinctive over-ride protection barriers at each end.

25207 at Wigan Springs Branch in 1984 with a short rake of ICI caustic soda tanks. Photo courtesy John Turner/53a models.

When built they were painted in ICI’s livery of dark blue-grey barrel with bright orange solebars and black underframes. They were used for deliveries of caustic soda liquor (sodium hydroxide) from ICI’s plant at Mond in Cheshire to destinations including Corkickle, Burn Naze, Stevenson in Scotland and Haverton Hill in north East England.

TRL70726 in original ICI Mond Division livery with TRL branding. Photograph courtesy Paul Bartlett.

From the mid 1980s ICI’s requirements for the wagons fell and they started being taken on by Pan Ocean (in the original livery with the ICI logo painted over) for its trains from Ellesmere Port and by ATO from Immingham to destinations in south-west, north-west and north-east England and Scotland, often as short cuts of wagons in Speedlink services.

TRL 70717 (mislabelled TTA) in use with ATO. Note Tiger branding. Photo courtesy Paul Bartlett
90147 on Mossend-Willesden Speedlink service in 1992 with two ATO TUAs immediately behind the locomotive. Photo courtesy Robert Catterson.

In 1988 some of the wagons began to see use in china clay slurry traffic. Twelve assigned to ECC International were repainted into its attractive blue livery for use between Burngullow (in Cornwall) and Aberdeen.

TUA TRL70727 (again mislabelled TTA) at Mossend Yard in china clay traffic. This wagon still carries its original livery with the branding painted out. Photo courtesy Tom Smith.
TUA TRL70711 at Radyr in ECC lnternational livery. Photo courtesy Huw Millington.
90025 at Preston in 1990 with Speedlink train including ECC tanks. Photo courtesy Neil.

This map gives an overview of the use of these wagons. They are thought to have gone out of use in the early 2000s.

The models will feature NEM couplers, sprung buffers, separate plastic, wire and photo etched parts and will be weighted for smooth running.

There were some minor detail variations between the wagons, at different times, and these have been catered for in the design. Two different designs of manlid have been recorded, and in later years some wagons ran without the solebar placards.

TUA with revised manlid and no load placard.

In the first run nine different numbers will be available in ICI orignal livery (with a split between TRL and TIGER branding), four each will be available in ATO and ECC International , and two in unbranded original livery.

These models are being produced exclusively with Rainbow Railways of Linlithgow in West Lothian, and are not available to pre-order from Revolution Trains. There’ll be an earlybird pre-order price of £35, rising to £40 in due course. For more information, or to secure your order, see here.

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Sonic wows with 56xx production samples

Sonic Models has sent through production samples of the forthcoming 56xx 0-6-2 GWR steam locomotive. This is Sonic’s first powered model in N gauge for the British market.

5633 in BR unlined late crest livery

Twelve different versions are available to pre-order, in four GWR and four BR liveries, covering the lengthy and hard-working lifespan of these ruggedly good looking tank locomotives.

6623 in original GWR green with GREAT WESTERN lettering

The models feature high levels of detailing, and all eight wheels pick-up power – even the lightly sprung rear pony wheel. The model is configured to allow a speaker to be fitted in the bunker and the DCC socket is located such that a 6-pin ‘right angle’ decoder can be concealed in the cab.

5609 in GWR green with ‘shirtbutton’ motif

The tooling has been designed to offer a variety of detail differences, including short or long top feeds, tapered or cylindrical buffers, standard or heavy duty wheel weights and with or without the smokebox door number plate.

5616 in GWR green with Egyptienne serif GWR lettering
5644 in GWR green with simplified ‘austerity’ sans-serif block lettering
6639 in BR black with early emblem

The arrival of the production samples is the last stage in the manufacture, and once these are checked and approved the main batch will be cleared for shipping, though ongoing restrictions and capacity shortages in international freight mean that this may take longer than the 4-6 weeks that would normally be allowed.

Sonic’s second powered N gauge model – another steam locomotive – has already been tooled and engineering prototype samples are being assessed. It will be unveiled shortly after the 56xx models have arrived and are being dispatched to pre-order customers.

All models can be ordered from Rails of Sheffield here.

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APT-E in N hits the buffers…

Revolution Trains has reluctantly cancelled its plans to produce a model of the experimental APT-E in N gauge.

Revolution had high hopes that we’d be able to offer an N gauge version of the wonderful APT-E but it’s more than three years since we suggested the idea and expressions of interest have only reached 75% of our target. 

To give our supporters a sense of certainty and clarity we feel it is only fair that we make a clear decision to step aside from this project, in the hope that another, better-placed manufacturer can come forward.

We share the disappointment of those who’d pledged for an APT-E and we still believe the APT-E can be a viable model in N and are optimistic that it will be produced by an alternative manufacturer in the not too distant future.” 

While Revolution Trains had opened expressions of interest for the APT-E, no money was taken as pledges never reached the threshold for the project to be formally launched.

The gas-turbine powered APT-E operated in the early 1970s and was a vital test bed for a variety of technologies that are now commonplace, including high-speed wheel profiles and tilting mechanisms.  In 1975 it set a UK rail speed record of 152.3 mph.

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Revolution Railfans!

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.’

Horseley Fields station. Photo courtesy Chris Nevard/Model Rail magazine.
Horseley Fields looking south. Photo courtesy Chris Nevard/Model Rail magazine.

Others supporting the event include Peco, the London Transport Museum, the North Norfolk Railway, Hornby, HS2 and Southeastern railway.

You can join the event either via the We Are Railfans website or here on Facebook

Ben has also taken part in a We Are Railfans audio podcast discussion with Sam and that can be listened to on this link now.

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Ecofret inspirations…

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.

Freightliner Class 70 70008 on 4M61 Southampton-Trafford park at Rugely in 2019. The train is almost entirely formed of FWA Ecofrets, Courtesy Bob Foster.
Brand new sets of FWA twins at Coatbridge Freightliner terminal. Photo courtesy Tom Smith.

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.

DB Class 66 66101 on 4M71 Southampton-Birch Coppice at Basingstoke in 2019. The first two wagons behind the locomotive are both DB red FWA Ecofret triple sets. Photo courtesy Mark Few.
DB Class 66 66065 on 4M71 Southampton-Birch Coppice at Leamington Spa. As in the image above, the first two wagons behind the locomotive are DB red Ecofret triples. Photo courtesy Goff Daft.

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.

Maritime-liveried Class 66 66090 at Eastleigh in 2020 with DB FWAs behind the locomotive. Photo courtesy Chris Addoo.

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.

Class 66 66747 on 4Z26 Felixstowe North – Mexborough at Ely in 2016. Photo courtesy Keith Partlow.

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.

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Mercig’s mucky marvels…

Mercig Studios have sent us images of a couple of Revolution Trains models they’ve recently weathered for their customers.

Photo courtesy Mercig Studio.

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.

Photo courtesy Mercig Studio.

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.

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Primary Colours: Red, Green, Blue Ecofrets!

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.

Ecofrets Assemble!

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.

Red (DB) and green (Freightliner) FWAs loaded with C-rail 20′ and 40′ hi cube containers.
Freightliner FWA twin set
FWA green twin set at Coatbridge Freightliner terminal. Photo courtesy Tom Smith.

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.

FWA in VTG green with C-Rail 40′ hi-cube and standard height containers
FWA Ecofrets are widely used

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.

GBRf Ecofret triple set at Huntingdon loaded with 2 x 40′ and 2 x 20′ containers.

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.

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It’s gold and bronze for Revolution!

Revolution Trains is delighted to have won Gold in the 2020 BRM/World of Railways/RM Web N Gauge Rolling Stock cateory for our KUA nuclear flask carriers twin pack.

We are particularly delighted as it was a closely fought contest, and we managed to beat off the challenge of the superb Graham Farish LNER/BR Thompson coaches.

Revolution also received the Bronze award in the Manufacturer of the Year category.

We’d like to thank everyone who voted for us and our models, and congratulate Graham Farish and Dapol for their Gold and Silver awards respectively in this category.

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Mini-van marvels…

Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of its IWA ‘Sfins2’ vans and ‘Rfnoos’ timber carriers in N.

Norsk Hyrdro, Cargowaggon and unbranded IWA Sfins2 vans

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.

IWA Rfnoos timber carrier

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.

Almost all of the lettering is legible under a glass – even the door safety warnings on the top of the third panel

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.

37420 with six Norsk Hydro wagons 6E48 Hallem Marsh – Immingham at Water Orton in 1991 . Photo courtesy Kevin Payne.
92002 6M14 Dollands Moor – Ditton Foundry. Acton Bridge 2014. This traffic still runs. Photo courtesy Colin Pottle.

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.

IWA Rfnoos timber carriers with eight double stanchions, as delivered. Photo courtesy Neil Harvey
Rfnoos with four blue double stanchions and additional red single stanchions.

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.

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Read All About it! Projects updated!!

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.

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Big blue comes into view!

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.

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PEP talk – Class 313/314 CAD unveiled!

CAD has been finalised on the forthcoming Revolution Trains Class 313 and 314 ‘PEP’ electric multiple units.

313 DMSO – current version with hi intensity headlight

Versions with the original and revised headlights are being offered, and with the CAD almost signed off tooling will begin shortly.

Centre car with pantograph

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:

BR Blue-Grey. 1976-late 1980s
BR Network southeast. 1986-mid 2000s.
SIlverlink Metro. 1997-2007
London Overground 2007-2013
First Capital Connect ‘Urban Lights’ 2006-2014
Great Northern ‘Urban Lights’ 2014-2019
Southern ‘Coastway’ 2010-present.
Note: the prototypes have photo vinyls next to the door not featured in this preliminary impression.

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.

313121 Network Rail ‘Delivering future signalling’ 2014-present
313201 Southern heritage BR Blue. 2017-present.
This is the first 313 PEP unit built, and was repainted after being confirmed for the National Collection.
Arlington Fleet Services T7 EMU translator car twin set.
These two former driving cars are used for loco-hauled MU positioning moves.
Note T7 units will have standard couplers at non-cab end, not power coupler illustrated.

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.

Class 314 DMSO

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.

Strathclyde PTE 1983-2013.
Scotrail 2011-2019.

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.

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Revolution Trains Facebook Live #007

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.

START TIME: 00:12:30