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Blue Monday? No, (Blue Circle) Cemflo Friday!

Production of our Cemflo PCVs cement tanks is complete and the models are due to leave the factory early next week. We’re just waiting for quotes on air and sea shipping before deciding how they will be shipped, but it is likely that they will come by air so we would expect delivery to the UK within the next couple of weeks.

The Cemflo tanks are being produced for us by our friends at Accurascale who’ve done a great job on these distinctive looking tanks and sent us these pictures from the production line. We’ve put some ideas for train inspiration below.

IMPORTANT

If you would like to guarantee your Cemflo wagons at the pre-order price then please place your order now! The price will rise to our MSRP of £29.95/wagon (£89.85 per triple pack) when the models arrive.

Cemflo in our familiar plastic box packaging

Suitable for the early-1960s modellers to the late-1980s modellers, the Cemflo tanks were built between 1961 and 1965 for Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers (APCM) and are probably best known for their use on trains of Blue Circle cement from Cliffe, in Kent, to Uddingston on the outskirts of Glasgow. Later in their working lives, they also supplied a number of other locations, including Aberdeen, Dewsbury, Dundee, Grangemouth, Sunderland, and Widnes. The last Cemflo/PCV wagons were withdrawn from service in mid-1988.

Several types of locomotives were observed hauling Cemflo wagons during their time in service, including class 25s, class 26s, class 27s, class 31s, class 33s, class 37s, class 40s, class 45s, class 47s… even Black 5s, Jubilees,V2s, 9Fs and A4s!

Here are a few links to some interesting flows for inspiration:

A4 60026 at Stonehaven, June 1965

Perhaps the classic Cliffe-Uddingston train – D6582 and D6577 (later class 33s), April 1962

9F 92191 Summer 1962

AL5 E3090 (later 85035) at Leighton Buzzard, 1966

Class 20 retrieving a damaged Cemflo, August 1967

40014, at Chinley Junction, May 1979

08630 at Grangemouth, April 1987

47237 at Millerhill, April 1987

47596, 7M66 Dewsbury – Earles Sidings, June 1988

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Class 92s…but wait, there’s more!

As a final surprise, we are delighted to reveal that three extra Class 92s are being made available.

92008 ‘Jules Verne’ in original Railfreight livery, 92023 in Caledonian Sleeper and 92043 in GB Railfreight.

These were produced by Rapido in response to the high number of requests received from those who missed out after the deadline passed while the models were in production. These are 92008 ‘Jules Verne’ in BR Railfreight livery, 92023 in Caledonian Sleeper teal, and 92043 in GB Railfreight livery.

These models are DC only, and are available from retailers and from Revolution directly (where stocks are available – we have none of the 92023 Caledonian Sleeper models however retailers will have stock), priced at £175 each. Retailers will start to receive their stock later this week.

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Dyson-sational! Class 92 delivery updates and information

92s make it in 2020 – just!

On Christmas Eve the long-awaited N gauge Class 92 locomotives arrived from Rapido, and while this meant delivery before Christmas was not possible, we worked hard over the break to ensure deliveries of the first hundred or so orders did take place before the end of the year.

We are anticipating that by Friday January 15th all paid for models will have been despatched – please keep an eye on our Projects page for progress if you are still waiting for your model (all parts of your order (in your account) will also be marked as “Complete” when your order has been despatched). If you still have a balance to pay then you should have received an email from us – please log in to your account where you can pay any balance due. If you sent us a query or reply regarding your balance payment we will deal with that over the next few days.

Retailers who’ve pre-ordered the models will be receiving their stocks later this week once the last of the pre-orders has been sent. Also available, exclusively from Kernow Model Rail Centre, will be 92017 ‘Eddie the Engine’ in its distinctive Stobart livery.

For those of you looking for support information we’ve added some notes for owners and information on DCC in our support section (we will also add the manual and DCC settings shortly).

Kernow Exclusive 92017 ‘Eddie the Engine’

We’ve been overwhelmed by the response, and would like to say a big ‘thank-you’ to those who’ve uploaded images or videos, or sent them to us, of the models in action.

There are too many to acknowledge individually, but as a taster here are two 92s running on Simon Fenton’s awesome ‘Dallam’ layout; one on a long rake of Farish FIA intermodal twins, the other with Dapol silver bullets Kaolin carriers:

So far the response to the models has been very encouraging, and we would like to register our thanks to everyone at Rapido in Canada and China for all the hard work they’ve put in to help us bring these models to market. As ever with our crowdfunded models, it would never have happened without the support of those who pre-ordered and put their trust in us.

The models feature a myriad of details, and several firsts for mass-produced British N gauge models, including a detailed bufferbeam at one end and a representation of the cab driver’s window blind – a distinctive and visible feature on the prototype due to the large windscreens.

So what can I run behind my new 92?

To help those interested in running accurate trains, we’ve prepared a handy guide to the kind of trains that Class 92s have operated.

They are true mixed traffic locomotives, designed originally for heavy cross-channel freight and ‘Nightstar’ international sleeper trains. They are also equipped with both pantographs for 25kV AC overhead supply and collector shoes for 3rd rail DC power; making them exceptionally versatile. They are also the only class of locomotive currently equipped and cleared for use on HS1, enabling continental-gauge swap-body containers to reach London by rail for the first time.

92023 at Chelscote with the Glasgow/Edinburgh Caledonian Sleeper. Courtesy Nigel Gibbs.

Caledonian Sleeper

The 92s are now the principle traction for Anglo-Scottish sleeper services between London and Glasgow/Edinburgh, though smaller diesels are used on non-electrified lines parts of the journey to Fort William, Inverness and Aberdeen.

The forthcoming Revolution Trains Mk5 sleeper coaches should be in production later this year, and will enable full, accurate rakes to be produced.

Mk 5 SLED Accessible sleeper – approved CAD

However, if you don’t have room for the full 16-coach rake don’t despair – as you can see from the table below, Covid has led to shorter rakes becoming authentic!

IWA bogie and IZA 4-wheel twin vans

Class 92s are also long-associated with international van traffic – primarily mineral water from central and southern France and aluminium between the UK and Germany.

IWA vans carrying aluminium between Ditton and Nievenheim, Germany. Photo courtesy Colin Pottle.
92036 “Bertolt Brecht” with a rake of IZAs carrying mineral water at Soulbury in 2013. Courtesy Andrew Chambers.

Again, both these traffics can be recreated thanks to Revolution Trains, with either our IZA Cargowaggon twins (some may still be available at retailers, and Revolution has a tiny number in stock) or with our forthcoming IWA vans in Cargowaggon or unbranded versions.

92010 on car train – photo courtesy Trevor Plackett

Automotive traffic has also been a staple for the 92s for many years, and the Revolution IPA car carriers can help in recreating these on your layout.

Here is a diagram showing just some of the huge variety of trains worked by Class 92s since 2005.

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Class 92s inbound!

The wait is nearly over for our Class 92s. The models left the factory mid last week and are currently at Heathrow awaiting delivery to us (updated: 23/12/20). If the models are delivered to us before Christmas (we’ll update this page once we know) then we will start to send out orders as soon as we get the models – that means the earliest deliveries are likely to be just after Christmas.

If your order(s) are fully paid then you don’t need to do anything other than check that your delivery address is up to date on your account (we check all orders against the latest shipping address on your account and update as necessary).

Outstanding payments

Payments by instalment plan: (deposits placed before 1 Jan 2019) if you paid a small deposit then there should be 3 payments in total for each 92 ( the initial deposit and 2 further payments). If any of the instalments for your order(s) are showing as Partially Paid or Pending Deposit Payment then it means one or more of the invoices is yet to be paid – please pay as quickly as you can so that we can send out your model(s).

50% deposit payments: (deposits placed after 1 Jan 2019) if you paid a 50% deposit then your balance invoice will not have been generated yet but we will generate it over the next few days.

Delivery updates

We realise that it can be frustrating waiting for orders, but please bear with us – there are hundreds of orders to send out and we send them out in order of when they were paid. We regularly update progress of where we have got to on our Projects page in the Notes section. Please don’t message us asking for an update on your order until all parts of your order have been marked as “Complete” – that means your order has been despatched – or until we have said that all orders have been sent and please bear in mind that there are still ongoing delays with the postal system.

Unfortunately there was a last minute delay affecting some of the DCC Sound fitted models so these models will follow in a separate delivery scheduled for just after New Year – if you ordered a mix of DC and DCC Sound models we will ship the DC models first if we reach your order before the remaining Sound-fitted models arrive.

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Something for Christmas and last posting dates

Looking for a present for a loved one or something for yourself? Our stock system doesn’t easily allow people to see what we have physically available for immediate despatch versus projects that are open for pre-orders as both use the “In Stock” status to allow orders to be placed (NB we indicate in the product descriptions if something is a pre-order for a model awaiting production), so we thought it might be useful to give a quick summary of models we have in stock for immediate dispatch.

We realise that it has been an unusual and tough year for many and we’d like to spread a bit of Christmas cheer, so in the spirit of Christmas we’re offering a 5% discount for orders over £100 between now and 17 December on in stock items (please note that this discount is only applicable for in stock items and won’t work for orders for future products). To get the discount place your order as normal and in the discount code box use the code: 5XMAS2020. The code will only apply to in stock items listed below and we reserve the right to refund any orders mixing in stock and future orders – all orders for models in development should continue to be placed as separate orders per product range.

The last date we can guarantee delivery before Christmas is if we receive your order by 17 December 2020 (for UK orders only, for international orders some of the last guaranteed posting dates have already passed so we can’t guarantee that non-UK orders will be delivered before Christmas but we will do our best).

In stock items (available for immediate dispatch):

N gauge

IPA car carriers: limited remaining stock now on sale!

OO gauge

Please remember the discount code only applies to the items listed on this page and please don’t mix with orders for future projects – thanks!

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Gypsum containers from Revolution

Revolution Trains is offering N gauge enthusiasts yet another load for their intermodal flat wagons in the form of two types of 20′ gypsum container.

A and B type containers on PFA flats. Wagons and gypsum containers being sold separately.

Gypsum is a vital constituent in plaster and plasterboard as well as cosmetics, toiletries and fertilizers. It can be mined, but is also a by-product from power stations, and gypsum traffic has been a lucrative source of revenue for the railways for many years.

It can be carried in open box wagons, but in the late 1980s various batches of 20′ containers, to several similar designs, were introduced and these remain in service. Gypsum trains run across the network; notable flows are between British Gypsum at Mountfield, near Hastings in East Sussex, and Newbiggin in Cumbria and power stations in Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, and Cheshire among others.

60041 with gypsum containers on PFA wagons

Originally carried on 4-wheel PFA wagons, nowadays they are conveyed on standard 60′ intermodals such as KFAs (as previously manufactured by Revolution), FEA-Bs, FCAs and IFA Megafrets. When introduced they were painted white, with the blue British Gypsum logo of the time on a placard, however by the late 1990s they were being repainted blue and a revised logo was introduced.

Nowadays, many have had the logo, and even the placard on some containers, removed, and they tend to be fairly heavily weathered.

Gypsum containers as offered by Revolution on Tiphook KFA 93330. Photo courtesy Dan Adkins.

Gypsum containers currently in use are 20′ long with various arrangements of bodyside ribs, owner placards and end doors and Revolution is offering two types: one with full height bodyside ribs and one with a top rail.

Type A gypsum container
Type B gypsum container

The models are being manufactured for Revolution by Accurascale, based on their well-received 00 versions, and will be offered in two triple packs, priced at £17.95 each, less than £6 per container.

Pack 1 – British Gypsum original white livery. Please note contents may vary slightly from those shown.
Pack 2 – British Gypsum revised blue livery. Please note contents may vary slightly from those shown.

These models are expected to be produced alongside our forthcoming PFA container flats, and we hope to have them by Summer 2021.

Gypsum containers on Revolution Trains KFA container flat
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Deadline alert – December 31st!

December 31st marks a keys order or earlybird deadline for several Revolution models, so we have put them all here as a reminder so no one needs to miss out on our low pre-production prices.

Final order deadline: 00 IWA Sfins2 van in Norsk Hydro, Cargowaggon and unbranded liveries

Final order deadline: 00 IWA Rfnoos timber carrier in Touax livery

Final Order deadline: N FWA ‘Ecofret’ container flat in Green twin and Red or Blue triples as operated by Freightliner, DB and GBRf

Earlybird price deadline: N Class 390 ‘Pendolino’ in Avanti, Virgin flowing silk, Virgin Pride and Virgin original liveries

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Accessorize – with Revolution couplers!

Update 02/12/2020: we underestimated the demand for our NEM screwlink couplers and the initial batch sold out in less than 12 hours! We’ll be able to source a few more packs, but we will investigate placing a much larger order.

Since offering our IPA car carriers (and before that the IZA Cargowaggons) we’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve been asked to supply the realistic, fixed couplers supplied with the models as accessories.

So we’ve listened – and here they are!

The couplers are designed to represent the screwlinks used by nearly all British freight rolling stock, and some passenger vehicles. They are being offered in two lengths – short (14mm length overall) and medium (19mm length overall) and have NEM tongues at either end.

19mm coupler (left) and 14mm coupler

They are one-piece mouldings and cannot be coupled and uncoupled; they are designed to offer a more realistic and discreet appearance than the traditional N gauge coupler on fixed rakes of wagons.

Medium couplers on Revolution Trains TEA tankers

The shorter couplers are those supplied with the IZAs and IPAs and are suitable for vehicles with no buffers, or where kinematic coupler mounts allow vehicles to “open up” on tight, trainset curves of less than around 381mm (15″) radius. The longer ones are intended for vehicles with buffers, or without kinematic coupler mounts.

Medium couplers fitted to Dapol HIA hoppers.

Although Revolution’s fixed couplers are designed to fit any model with NEM coupler pockets, we have not been able to test them on every model available and due to huge variations in coupler position, buffer lengths, wheelbase, and whether the sockets are kinematic, body or bogie mounted some trial and error may be required.

The couplers are being offered in packs of 10 priced at £4.95 and three variants s are on offer: 10 x short, 10 x medium, and a mixed bag of 5 of each short and medium.

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Bio-massive news from Revolution!

Revolution Trains is offering the huge Drax Power IIA biomass hoppers as its next N gauge wagon. These wagons were introduced from 2013 and are used across northern England to ferry biomass from east and west coats sea ports to Drax Power station in North Yorkshire.

60076 on 6E09 Liverpool Docks – Drax at Brighouse in October 2019. Photo courtesy Neil Harvey

CAD has now been completed and the models are in tooling. They feature NEM couplers and lots of separately fitted details including door opening actuators, brake equipment, discharge doors and wire pipes and rails.

Drax, near Selby in North Yorkshire, is the world’s largest biomass-fuelled power station and generates 15% of the UK’s renewable electricity. To do this requires 25,000 tonnes of biomass each day.

Drax Power Station, North Yorkshire. Image courtesy Drax Power

The biomass from Europe and North America arrives by sea at the ports of Liverpool, Tyne, Immingham and Hull and is transported to Drax by rail. To sustain its needs, Drax operates around 17 trains every day.

IIA-D wagons preparing to unload at Drax. Photo courtesy Drax Power.

The wagons are loaded through full length roof doors, and at Drax they automatically dump the biomass via underframe chutes onto conveyor belts leading two four huge storage domes, where the biomass is kept dry and in a nitrogen-rich atmosphere to avoid the risk of fire.

Drax biomass storage domes. Photo courtesy Drax Power

Originally, redundant coal wagons were used, but because biomass is lighter than coal the wagons were completely full before their maximum tonnage was reached, reducing efficiency. To address this, Drax ordered an entirely new design of wagon, specifically for biomass, with hoppers in the centre and outside each bogie, and with a body profile at the limits of the UK loading gauge.

Photo courtesy Dave Kirwin

225 of these wagons – coded IIA-D under TOPS and with the UIC designation Tafoos – were built for by WH Davis between 2013 and 2015, and each carries enough biomass to generate a full year’s supply of electricity for 32 homes.

66706 with Drax hoppers on Gauxholme viaduct. Imagine recreating this in N! Photo courtesy Neil Harvey

The wagons were first outshopped in vinyls carrying a stylish Drax livery of grey, black, blue and green; odd-numbered wagons receiving an A version, even-numbered wagons receiving a B version with the pattern designed to “run on” across adjacent wagons. In 2018, a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ branded version of the livery was introduced, and last year some wagons were also revinyled into a blue scheme with large photos and the message ‘Renewable Pioneers.’

One version of the Renewable Pioneers livery.

These models will be available exclusively from Rails of Sheffield, and are being sold in twin packs – one with each version of the livery – for £79.95. Versions will be available in original, Northern Powerhouse and Renewable Pioneer liveries.

We are expecting EP1 samples early in the New Year and the for the finished models to be shipped in the summer of 2021, however these timeframes are indicative and subject to possible Covid disruption.

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PFA-bulous coal and nuclear waste container wagons

Revolution Trains has received samples of its forthcoming PFA container wagons with open-top coal or half-height nuclear fuel containers.

The models feature a diecast chassis to give enough weight, even when running empty, and lots of separately fitted details.

The wagons were built in 1986 to carry containerised coal from collieries in the UK to Ireland, with the coal tranported in bright yellow “Cawoods” liveried open-top containers. In the mid-1990s the operation was taken on by British Fuels, and the containers repainted red.

56132 with Cawoods containers in 1989. Photo courtesy Mick Page
66208 with British Fuels and CPL containers in 2002. Photo courtesy Neil Harvey

In the 2000s several of the wagons were acquired by DRS and used to convey low level waste or as runners for other flask wagons. The coal containers had been designed for the wagons, and had cut-outs on the underside to clear the wheel flanges, however because the DRS containers did not have these the wagons were fitted with ISO-compatible frames to ensure the containers were clear of the wheels. Our models will replicate this feature with a removable photo-etched part.

DRS PFA seen in 2013 in use as a barrier wagon between the locomotive and a FNA flask carrier. Photo courtesy Ray Forster.

Once these models have been tested then decorated approval samples will be prepared, and the models will go into production. We are expecting to close the order book early in 2021, with the models likely to be shipped in summer 2021. Order now to take advantage of our low pre-production price.

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Pendo is go!

Following our recent expressions of interest exercise, Revolution Trains is opening the order book for a second run of the award-winning Class 390 Pendolino model in N by Rapido Trains.

390045 “Virgin Pride” in Flowing Silk rainbow livery. Photo courtesy Lewis Hurley

We are offering only those models that came close enough to justify production; if orders are healthy we will look to increase the variety available. The options we are offering are:

390049 “Virgin Express” – Virgin original livery (striped doors), 9-car.

390152 “Virgin Knight” – Virgin original livery (grey doors), 11-car.

390010 “Cumbrian Spirit” – Virgin Flowing Silk livery, 9-car.

390130 “City of Edinburgh”Virgin Flowing Silk livery, 11-car.

390045 “Virgin Pride”Virgin Flowing Silk Rainbow livery, 9-car.

390156 “Pride and Prosperity” – Avanti livery, 11-car

390047 – Avanti part-branded livery, 9-car

390001 “Bee Together” – DfT Ghost livery, 9-car.

If orders for a particular version exceed expectations then we may add additional number sets. Delivery of the models is expected in Q3-4 2021, though this may change due to circumstances beyond Revolution and Rapido’s control. Early bird prices are available until 31 December 2020 with the order book likely to close end January – mid-February 2021 with production starting immediately after Chinese New Year 2021.

The Revolution Trains/Rapido Trains Class 390 Pendolino was the first fully crowdfunded complete model train to reach the UK Marketplace. It features power cars at both ends, pin-point pick ups on every wheel with power transfer throughout the train via electrically conductive couplings, and working table lamps in first as standard.

The new versions will be updated with Next-18 DCC interface and as before all power cars will have factory fitted speakers, to make converting to DCC or DCC Sound a snap.

In a poll carried out by Model Rail magazine the Revolution/Rapido Class 390 Pendolino was voted N gauge Model of the Decade.

390119 “Unknown Soldier” in DfT ‘ghost’ livery at Lune Gorge. Photo courtesy Cameron Walker.
390104 “Alstom Pendolino” in Avanti part-branded livery at Beattock. Photo courtesy Arran Aird.
390005 passes Dordon with 1A3 Manchester Piccadilly – London Euston in 2018.
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Box CADs ticked!

Revolution Trains has approved the CAD designs for its planned MMA/JNA ‘Ealnos’ wagons in N gauge. The models follow their well-received 00 counterparts, and use much of the same research with detail differences between those operated by DB and VTG accurately reflected, but in addition we have added the latest versions introduced by Touax.

MMA box wagon as operated by DB Cargo

The DB operated wagons – in their distinctive red livery – are primarily associated with stone traffic from quarries in the Peak District and the Midlands to locations across the network. They have 9 bodyside ribs and underframe mounted parking brake wheels and associated equipment.

Built by Astra Rail and introduced in 2012, there are now well over 500 of these box wagons on the network. Those in use with DB are coded MMA under TOPS; the remainder are coded JNA. In UIC nomenclature all are referred to as ‘Ealnos.’

Line up of 00 models: VTG blue, Ermewa grey, DB red.

The wagons operated by VTG have different brake equipment. Some are dedicated for Mendip Rail traffic and carry a branded or unbranded silver livery; others are available for spot hire and in a dark steel blue.

VTG version with longer air tank, 11 bodyside ribs and bogie-mounted parking brakes.

Others are in service with Ermewa/Tarmac and feature further variations of bodystyle and braking. Earlier this year, several more batches of Ealnos arrived in the UK and entered service with VTG, Cappagh and Touax. The Touax wagons, in their eye-catching dark red livery, have 11 bodyside ribs with no door and combine the longer air tank of the VTG versions with the body-mounted parking brakes of the DB MMAs.

Touax JNA with appropriate body style and brake equipment.
Touax JNA ‘Ealnos’ at Westbury. Photo courtesy Jo Alder.

Like their 00 counterparts, and Revolution’s IZA Cargowaggon twin vans in N, these models are being offered with a factory fitted flashing tail lamp. Because this has to be fitted inside the box body, all the models will also be supplied with a false moulded ‘load’ to disguise the mechanism. The load can easily be removed to replace the batteries, and of course can be omitted from non-light fitted versions for those who wish to run their wagons empty.

Although the CAD is now complete we will not open the order book to begin tooling until some of our other N gauge models – including FWA ‘Ecofret’ container flats, IWA ‘Sfins2’ vans and IWA ‘Rfnoos’ timber carriers – are in production. We recognise that the current economic difficulties are putting pressure on modelling budgets, and we want to give all our supporters the opportunity to budget for these useful wagons.

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Goods inbound!

Like London buses our models are never just one arrival at once – both our N gauge IPA car carriers and KUA nuclear flask carriers are on their way to us and should clear customs for delivery to us in the next 7-10 days.

As a result we’ve started to send out balance invoices for the IPA car carriers and we will shortly be starting to send out balance invoices for KUAs. As ever our deposit software can only generate separate balance invoices for each line of your original order(s), and unfortunately it isn’t possible to combine the invoices (trust us it creates a lot more work for us).

If you haven’t received any (or all) of your expected balance invoices please login to your account and check if there are any new invoices available for payment – sometimes the email system doesn’t send off all the notifications.

If you need to change your address, as usual, please update the shipping address in your account – it won’t feed through to your existing orders but we check the account address when we generate the shipping labels.

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It’s Glas-go and Silver(in the)pink!

Revolution Trains is happy to confirm that proposed models of the Class 320 in Strathclyde PTE orange and Silverlink blue/green will be going ahead, after enough pre-orders were received before the deadline.

Strathclyde PTE Class 320 DTSO Sample bodyshell shown with undecorated air dam, glazing, chassis and interior.
Silverlink County Class 321 DTSO Sample bodyshell shown with undecorated air dam, glazing, chassis and interior.

Although these models have not been as popular as our other versions – Network South East, London Midland and Scotrail – we are able to make them happen thanks to a wave of orders just ahead of the deadline and our manufacturing partners in China agreeing to reduce the minimum order number.

The final deadline for the Class 321 units is September 20th, and until then latecomers can still order the Strathclyde Class 320 or Silverlink Class 321 as well as our previously confirmed Network SouthEast and London Midland class 321s and Scotrail Saltire Class 320s. For each of these models two different running numbers are available.

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It’s Sweet CaroliNe!

After an enthusiastic response from modellers Revolution is delighted to confirm that we are offering the amazingly versatile former Southern Region General Manager’s Saloon 975025 “Caroline” in N gauge as well as 00.

37421 with Caroline at Lichfield Trent Valley in July 2020. Photo courtesy Simon Cartlidge-Swain.

Caroline was converted from the buffet car of a former Hastings unit in the late 1960s, as a saloon for the General Manager of the Southern Region of BR to entertain VIP guests, but was also used by the engineers for line inspections and assessments. Originally numbered TDB975025 and with a kitchen and catering on board, it rapidly became known as the “gin palace” and an invitation on board became something of a golden ticket.

975025 with a group of County Council officials during the 1980s. Photo Courtesy Gordon Pettit, former Southern Region General Manager.

The secret of the saloon’s success is its versatility; being derived from Hastings line stock – which was built to a tighter loading gauge than most BR vehicles due to clearance issues on that line – it can travel on virtually any part of the network, and with driving controls can be both loco hauled and propelled and – almost uniquely – allows invited guests to see the railway from a driver’s point of view.

975025 at Clapham Junction in Network Southeast livery. Photo courtesy Arran Aird.

In the late 1990s, after the end of BR and the demise of Network Southeast, TDB975025 was purchased by Belmond Pullman but little used, until being acquired by Serco and refurbished, given the name “Caroline” and repainted into dark green with yellow ends. Since then Caroline has been largely associated with DRS traction.

Caroline in present day livery being propelled by DRS’s 37409 in heritage large-logo livery. Photo courtesy Steve Poole.

Caroline now resides at Derby with LORAM/Network Rail and is widely used for track inspections, line repair assessments and still, occasionally, to entertain VIPs. The saloon is about to be fitted with toilet retention tanks, suggesting her future on the mainline is assured for some years to come. Caroline has also been earmarked for the national collection once her service life is over.

Revolution research trip to Derby

Revolution’s N gauge model of Caroline will offer similar specifications as the 00 model, with lots of separate parts, power pick ups, kinematic couplers, directional headlights, search lights and tail lights (or illuminated headcode boxes depending on the era) and interior detailing with working saloon lights. CAD for the 00 model is almost complete and we anticipate CAD for the N version will be shown very soon.

Caroline 00 CAD – still under development

Initially we are offering the same three variants as in 00: BR Blue grey with headcode boxes and 3rd rail power pick-ups, BR Network South East with headcode boxes and 3rd rail power pick ups, and Network Rail green with LED light clusters and high intensity headlight. Please note the graphics below are purely indicative of the livery, and not based on the model CAD designs.

Caroline offers a complete train-in-a-box, and can be both hauled and propelled.

The early-bird price of £115 is available until October 31st, at which time the price will go up to the standard pre-order price of £130. In addition, anyone ordering before September 11th will join our existing 00 customers in being entered into a prize draw to win a place on our ‘Sweet Caroline’ railtour next year (which will be drawn and announced the weekend of 12/13 September)

The model is expected to be ready to ship in early 2021, though as ever delivery schedules can alter due to circumstances outside Revolution’s control.

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Tilt to another Pendolino…

Revolution Trains and Rapido Trains are seeking expressions of interest in another run of Class 390 Pendolino models.

390005 in Virgin ‘Flowing Silk’ livery. Photo courtesy John Whiting.

Since the launch of the original model – which became the UK’s first fully crowdfunded model train and won ‘Model of the Decade’ in the recent poll by Model Rail magazine – the fleet has undergone several livery changes.

When the fleet came up for repainting in 2018 the DfT – in case of franchise change – required that the trains received the now-standard predominantly pale grey livery.

To comply, but add their own flourish, Virgin created the ‘flowing silk’ livery, and one Pendolino, 390045, was given a rainbow version of the livery and named Virgin Pride.

390045 Virgin Pride. Photo courtesy Lewis Hurley.

When Virgin lost the franchise, the vinyls were removed, leaving the entire fleet in the DfT plain pale grey ‘ghost’ livery.

390119 “Unknown Soldier” in the Lune Gorge. Photo courtesy Cameron Walker.

The new franchisee, Avanti West Coast, unveiled two Pendolinos in its own stylish colours in December 2019, however since the advent of lockdown, and ongoing uncertainty about the future of the franchising system, full reprints have been deferred and only power cars are being revinyled, with intermediate cars unchanged.

390154 in part-Avanti livery at Rugely Trent Valley. Photo courtesy curly42.

Revolution and Rapido are both very keen to produce another run of Pendolino models, and Rapido have already test-printed the difficult flowing silk design, but because it is difficult to assess demand for the various different options we are beginning the process by seeking expressions of interest.

Test print of flowing silk markings. Please note the rest of the model is not fully painted.

If the models go into production the pre-order price is expected to be £330 for 9-car sets and £370 for 11-car sets, with the later MSRP significantly higher.

The deadline is September 30th 2020 but as we are not asking for any deposit or financial commitment please do not delay if you are interested.

The possible options are (liveries will only be produced if there is sufficient interest – if there is sufficient interest in particular liveries we will look at producing multiple numbers):

9-car 390010 ‘Cumbrian Spirit” flowing silk livery, no window stripe.
9-car 390013 “Blackpool Belle” flowing silk livery, window stripe.
11-car 390130 “City of Edinburgh” flowing silk livery, window stripe.
9-car 390045 “Virgin Pride” rainbow silk livery.
9-car 390001 “Bee Together” DfT ghost livery.
9-car 390050 “Virgin Invader” original Virgin livery with sriped doors.
11-car 390119 “Unknown Soldier” DfT ghost livery.
11-car 390156 “Pride and Prosperity” early Avanti livery*.
11-car 390153 revised Avanti livery*.
11-car 390152 “Virgin Knight” original Virgin livery with grey doors.

As ever the models will only reach production if there is adequate interest, and all versions will be packaged in attractive book sets of complete trains, with power couplers and working table lights in First Class as standard.

For those requiring them, aftermarket drop-in light bars will also be available to purchase.

We are not proposing any 5-car sets at this time, as there was very low demand for these in the first production run, possibly because the price differential between a shortened 5-car set and the full and accurate 9-car set is relatively small.

*Avanti livery subject to agreement.

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3…2…1… It’s the Final Countdown!

Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of its forthcoming Class 320 and 321 electric multiple units in N.

Class 320 in Scotrail Saltire livery – production models will have blackened wheels!

Some amendments are needed but these are relatively minor and we are now ready to set deadlines for ordering so the models can enter production.

The models feature high levels of detailing, full interiors, low profile motors that do not obscure the windows and switchable head and tail lights and interior saloon lighting as standard.

The pre-order price is just £195 for the 3-car Class 320 and £220 for the 4-car Class 321.

In addition, it is nearly time to finalise the totals, and this means some options that have not reached minimum order thresholds will be culled.

We are expecting production of the models to begin in October, with delivery expected in Q1 2021.

To manage this process we are setting TWO deadlines:

DEADLINE 1 – August 30th 2020. Last chance to order models on the ‘at risk’ list. After this we will assess order numbers and decide whether these models are proceeding or not. If not, anyone who has ordered will have the option of switching to another livery or receiving a full refund.

The models on the ‘at risk’ list are:

Class 320 Strathclyde PTE
Class 321 Silverlink

DEADLINE 2 – September 20th 2020. Final deadline for all model orders before production. Models already confirmed for production are:

Class 320 Scotrail Saltire – two running numbers available. By arrangement with the Scottish Ministers.
Class 321 Network SouthEast – two running numbers available
Class 321 London Midland – two running numbers available

IMPORTANT – CANCELLED LIVERIES: the following liveries have been cancelled due to lack of orders: First Capital Connect (FCC), Plain White and Northern.

If you ordered one of these and specified a second choice livery that’s already confirmed, or still in the running, you need DO NOTHING NOW.

If you did not specify a second choice livery (or ordered a First Capital Connect Class 321) then TELL US WHAT YOU WANT clicking on the livery change form button below. If we do not hear from you by 30th August 2020 you will receive a refund.

When completing the livery change form please include all the details requested and complete a separate form for each cancelled order.

Note there is no Class 320 livery choice form, since anyone ordering a Strathclyde PTE model has already registered a second choice.

Of course, if you ordered any of the confirmed liveries you don’t need to do anything other than relax and wait for your model to arrive!

Class 321 to 600? It’s a breeze!

Class 600 ‘Breeze’

Incidentally, as we near production Alstom and Eversholt have revealed that the Class 321 units are themselves about to enjoy a rebirth as hydrogen powered trains – the very first of the all new Class 600 series classification on TOPS.

For more information about this exciting development see here.

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Delivering your parcels…first 128 CAD

WR region 128 (as built)

Revolution Trains is pleased to show the latest CAD images for our forthcoming N gauge Class 128 Parcels unit. We’ve submitted our corrections to the factory and once those are ironed out we will announce the price, versions and open the order book.

The main “spotting” notes between the versions are that the 4 Midland Region 128s were built without a corridor connection and had a centre headcode box, whereas the Western Region 128s were all built with corridors (though many were later removed) and split headcode boxes. Other variations were plated or removed headcode boxes, marker lights, sandboxes on bogies, 3 different types of buffer (clipped, oval or round) and a variety of exhaust types.

WR region 128 (as built)
WR 128 with corridor connection, split headcode boxes and sandboxes.
MR 128 (55987-990) with no corridor and centre headcode box
WR 128 with plated over corridor and marker light in the headcode box
Former WR 128 with plated corridor and removed/plated headcode boxes replaced with marker lights

Once the factory have made the CAD corrections we will finalise the versions we are offering and open the order book (not all variants are shown above eg 55991/2 kept their corridor connections to withdrawal in late 1990 but lost their split headcode boxes) .

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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

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Top Secret Revolution KUAs break cover…

Revolution Trains has received painted samples of its forthcoming twin pack of MoD KUA quad-bogie nuclear flask carriers.

MODA95770 & MODA95771

These giant wagons are used to transport spent nuclear submarine fuel from HM dockyards at Rosyth, on the Firth of Forth in Scotland, and Devonport in south west England.

They are also used, on occasion, to transport material from the nuclear research facility at Dounreay on the far north coast of Scotland, via an interchange at Georgemas Junction.

Often used in pairs, they are, if loaded, invariably accompanied by escort coaches carrying security personnel.

Revolution is offering both wagons in a twin pack enabling modellers and collectors to own the “complete fleet” and comprising virtually a complete train in a box.

Revolution would like to thank DRS for all their assistance with these models. Allowing us to properly research these secretive wagons enables us hopefully to do them justice.

MODA95770
MODA95771

Although both wagons in service are virtually physically each has noticeably different markings and Revolution has been at great pains to accurately represent this. Note the different anchor icons, TOPS markings and data panels.

And to make these models extra-special, Revolution is even incorporating the axle numbers and wheel profile markings on the bogies – the first time we’ve been crazy enough to try this!

These photographs are cruelly enlarged – the wheelbase lettering, though legible, is barely 0.2mm tall!

Another key difference is that 95771 has a clearly visible ripped label patch at one end of the hood – as can be seen in the photographs above by Paul Berry – and this too is being represented.

Once these decorated samples have been approved we will be ready to close the order book. It is unlikely these models will be repeated so we’d urge anyone interested to order now to avoid missing out.