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Revolution Class 59 – tooling completed

Revolution’s upcoming Class 59 diesel locomotive model in N is a step closer with our manufacturing partners in China advising us that tooling is complete and sending us some images of the first test mouldings.

59/0 bodyshells, in original form without roof radio pods, fuel tanks and pick-ups

The images also show the lift-off centre body panel to allow straightforward installation of a Next-18 DCC decoder and control of switchable lighting functions, and the fuel tanks with speaker recesses. Speakers will be factory-fitted to every model so upgrading to sound is simple.

The pin-point axle power pick-up can also be seen, with the ‘floating’ centre axle designed to maintain optimum contact even on uneven track sections.

EP samples are likely to follow shortly to allow us to inspect all the components for accuracy, crispness and fit, and to begin testing the chassis.

We would like to thank everyone who has already pre-ordered, enabling us to reach this point in the model’s production so quickly.

All Revolution Class 59 versions can still be reserved at our low Early-Bird price of just £114.95 with free postage until September 30th, after which the price increases to our standard pre-order price of £125. Models are expected to be available from partner retailers after production is complete, but these will be at the full RRP, which is likely to be around £150.

In the coming weeks we are expecting to receive EP1 running samples for testing and if possible we will have them on display on our stand at the Great Electric Trains Show at Milton Keynes on October 2nd and 3rd.

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Revolution – back on the road!

Revolution Trains would like to say a big ‘thank-you’ to the organisers and all who attended the International N Gauge Show this last weekend at the Warwickshire Event Centre.

It was great to get a chance to meet up again with our customers and supporters after such a long break, show off our latest new items, make a couple of new announcements, chat about our forthcoming Class 59 and other planned models and give away lots of catalogues.

Second time out for Revolution’s new stand and new shirts. Shorts and trainers model’s own.

It was only the second time we’d attended with our new, larger display stand. Its first, and only, showing beforehand was at Model Rail Scotland in Glasgow in February 2020 – so we were a little slow remembering how to set it up!

The Revolution stars of the show were the first EP samples of our forthcoming Class 128 diesel parcels unit. Three were on display, including WR versions with and without gangways and LMR version with centre headcode boxes, however we are tooling other variants. You can pre-order a Class 128 in BR green, BR blue or Royal Mail red here.

WR Class 128 with gangways and headcode boxes. Photo courtesy TomE/N Gauge News
LMR Class 128 with centre headcodes. Photo courtesy TomE/N Gauge News

We had also recently received part-painted samples of our Mk5 coaches in TPE livery. Please note these are not full decorated samples, but a test print for the factory to check we are happy with the quality of the printing of the tricky bodyside ‘fades.’ Like the Class 128s these samples only arrived the day before the show and we will be sending feedback and corrections in due course.

TPE M5 Driving Trailer (coach A) and Open First (coach E) print samples. Photo courtesy TomE/N Gauge News

Also on display were similar test prints for the forthcoming Drax Power IIA-D biomass hoppers being retailed exclusively by Rails of Sheffield.

Drax biomass hopper ‘Renewable Pioneers.’ Photo courtesy TomE/N Gauge News

We have also received these images of the Mk5 Caledonian Sleeper decorated samples. Though too late for the show, they are en route and should be here shortly. Mk5 coach packs in TPE and Caledonian Sleeper livery can be pre-ordered here.

From front: Club Car, Seated Car, Standard Sleeper, Accessible sleeper

Our two new offerings – the 1938 tube stock and K-type all-steel Pullman coaches – seemed to go down very well!

Draft CAD of 1938 stock tube train
The Bournemouth Belle with K-type steel bodied Pullmans in the consist. Photo courtesy Ben Brooksbanks/Creative Commons

All the new announcements, and the latest on our existing plans, are listed in our new mini-catalogue.

If you were unable to attend the show and missed out on a catalogue we’ll be including them with all new orders or you can download a copy below.

Our Revolution discounted bundles of a Class 92 locomotive with car carriers or container flats seemed popular and we will be repeating this with the (shrinking) amount of remaining stock at our next exhibition.

92032 + STVA flat twin and flat twin with stakes – one of numerous discouted bundle deals available

Finally, on a personal level, it is always rewarding to see our models in use on layouts and, hopefully, giving enjoyment to both operators and viewers.

Revolution IZA Cargowaggon twins on ‘Millfield Yard’ by Pauline McKenna.

Meldon West, pictured below, was another beautiful layout representing a small west country quarry during the 1990s late BR/Sectorisation era. An ideal setting for a Revolution Class 59…?

Our next show will be Hornby Magazine’s Great Electric Trainshow at Milton Keynes next at the start of October and we will post details of our stand number etc when we have them. See you there!

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Revolution says: come to the party!

There are just days to go until the first major exhibition Revolution has been able to attend since February 2020.

The International N Gauge Show (TINGS) is ON this coming weekend September 11th and 12th – and Revolution is doing its bit to welcome everyone back with a new FREE mini-catalogue, lots of new samples on show, some show-only discounted special offers and the unveiling of two all-new models.

Grab a Revolution mini-catalogue – one of the two all-new models is on the front so we’ve had to hide it!

The two models being unveiled at TINGS are both N gauge, not surprisingly, and for one the CAD is complete and the order book will be opening very soon, while the other is a project that will begin in earnest in Q4 2021. If you can’t attend the show the new models will be unveiled on our website here shortly after 10am on Saturday.

It will be the first time we have attended TINGS with the new, larger stand that was first unveiled at Model Rail Scotland last year (if we can remember how to put it up!) and we will be happy to talk about our new announcements and answer any questions on existing projects. While we have been delighted and surprised with the numbers joining us for our Facebook Lives, we also know nothing quite beats face-to-face interaction to get the latest news and answers to your questions!

We expect to have a variety of samples on show (though some are still en route as I write this!) including Mk5 coaches, Class 128 parcels units, IIA-D biomass hoppers, PFA container flats, IWA vans and timber carriers, MMA/JNA box wagons and possibly some preliminary mouldings for the all-new Class 59.

Show-only Bundle Deals

In order to do our bit to support the return of live exhibitions Revolution is offering some great ‘show special’ bundles with discounted prices on several model combinations, all based on prototypical formations.

There are small numbers of Class 92 locomotives availalble in RfD, EWS, DB and GBRf liveries and any of these can be combined with either two IPA car carrier twins or one IPA covered car carrier quad or a KFA container flat triple for a 5% discount on the total price.

While stocks remain you can combine any 92 with any wagon liveries. The drawings below are suggestions based on observations of the real thing, but any combination that meets the requirements qualifies for the discount. And if you wish to buy additional wagons we will include them in the discounted total too!

91001 + IPA twin with stakes STVA grey + IPA twin flat STVA grey
92032 + IPA twin flat STVA red + IPA twin with stakes STVA red
92003 + IPA covered quad STVA grey
92032 + covered quad STVA red
92036 + KFA triple pack (each wagon has different numbers)
92009 + KFA triple pack + 20′, 30′ and 40′ containers – see below for our great offer on containers!

In addition to the 92 bundles we will be offering discounts on PCV ‘Cemflo’ wagons and containers.

Purchases of three or more Cemflo triple packs (ie 9 or more wagons) will qualify for a 5% discount. This offer applies to both Blue Circle and TOPS versions, while stocks last, and in each triple pack all the wagons are differently numbered, making a total of 21 differently numbered wagons across the seven available packs.

PCV ‘Cemflo’ TOPS livery (left) and Blue Circle livery.

For our containers, produced in association with C-Rail, we are offering a 5% discount on purchases of 5-9 models, and a 10% discount on purchases of 10 or more. This covers all containers still in stock, from the extremely limited number of tank containers, to the 30′ bulk containers, 40′ hi-cube reefers and most recent 40′ dry box containers in Tex and Hyundai colours.

You’ll find Revolution Trains on the right as you enter the hall, on the first aisle between Cheltenham Model Centre and Rails of Sheffield.

But if you can’t make it to TINGS don’t despair: with Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC cancelled this year Revolution Trains has taken the decision to attend the Great Electric Train Show at Milton Keynes on October 2nd and 3rd – we will post more details about this show nearer the time.

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Rainbow caustic soda tanks dazzle…

Revolution Trains has received EP1 samples of the 00 gauge, 1:76 scale TUA caustic soda tanks it’s producing for Rainbow Railways.

The models feature sprung buffers, NEM couplers, photo-etched catwalks and numerous separately fitted detail parts.

Catwalks are photo etched and two variants of the manlid are being produced

The samples have been checked for running and fit of parts and some very minor amendments are being made. In additionl fine details (such as rivets) will now be added to the moulds.

28 of these wagons were built by Standard Wagon in 1977 for Tiger Rail Leasing (TRL) and used for caustic soda traffic from ICI’s Mond Division works in Cheshire.

The wagons were used largely in Speedlink services to customers across Britain, with destinations including Corkickle, Haverton Hill, Dalry, Grangemouth, Purfleet, Seal Sands and Wigton.

TRL 70726 at Stoke. Photo courtesy Paul Bartlett.

Later they were debranded, and some were transferred to ATO, receiving their red letter logo.

TRL 70717 at Immingham. Photo courtesy Paul Bartlett.

In 1988 Tiger Rail repurposed 12 wagons for carrying china clay slurry for ECC and repainted into their mid blue livery.

TRL 70711. Photo courtesy Huw Millington.

The next step is for decorated samples to be prepared, and once these are approved the models will go into production.

The models are priced at £35 each and only available from Rainbow Railways. Reserve yours here.

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International Revolution!

Revolution Trains is delighted to confirm it will be attending the 2021 International N Gauge Show at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre on 11th and 12th September 2021.

This will be our first show since Model Rail Scotland in 2020, as the Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace, DEMU Showcase, TINGS and Warley in 2020 and Model Rail Scotland and DEMU Showcase this year were all cancelled due to Covid, and we are very much looking forward to meeting and chatting to our friends and supporters.

Class 128 EP sample

We are expecting to have plenty of new items on display including EP1 samples of our forthcoming Class 128 unit, decorated samples of our Mk5 coaches in Caledonian Sleeper and TPE liveries and Drax Power IIA-D biomass hoppers and possibly EP samples of our Class 59 locomotive. Tooling is complete, but it’s a race against time to see if the PCBs to control the lights can be sourced in time.

The images show the various ends, roof sections and some of the hundreds of copper electrodes used to erode the cavities in the tool steel that comprise each moulded part, illustrating why the mould tools can cost many thousands per model.

Revolution will also have a small number of models for sale – these primarily comprise cancellations and the small amout of excess stock we always order to cover replacements etc – and we will be offering some items in ‘train packs’ based on authentic consists seen on the mainline – see posters on our stand for details!

For more information about the show, and to pre-book tickets, see here.

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That Friday Fifty-Nine Feeling…

During one of our recent Class 59 research trips Ben and Mike from Revolution Trains recorded a short video discussing details of the locomotives and discussion of why it’s been selected a Revolution’s next locomotive.

If you’ve a spare five minutes, enjoy!

The video features a tutorial on the differences between the subclasses and even individual locomotives, showing how the model will fathfully replicate these, lots more information about the details and features and plenty of heavyweight action involving the real thing.

We’d like to thank the hundreds (yes!!) who’ve already pre-ordered at our amazing EarlyBird price of £114.95, with free postage. We have decided to end the EarlyBird offer period at the end of September, to give everyone a chance to enjoy this offer, after which price goes up to the standard pre-order £124.95.

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Revolutionary EMD from Revolution!

Revolution Trains is offering the iconic Class 59 diesel as its next locomotive model in N gauge.

On their introduction in 1986 they heralded a revolution in traction on Britain’s railways. They were the first privately owned and American-built diesels to operate in Britain and set unprecedented levels of reliability; their success led directly to the now ubiquitous Class 66 – arguably the most successful design of the modern era.

59005 at Hothfield in 2014. Photo used under Creative Commons.

CAD is complete and the model is ready for tooling to begin. We anticipate that first moulded samples will be here in 6-8 weeks, and the model will be available to pre-order for a low EarlyBird price of £114.95 with Free Postage for a short period, before moving up to the standard pre-order price of £124.95, with a subsequent MSRP after production of £150.

Revolution’s tooling allows for all sub-classes to be correctly depicted, with numerous differences in lighting, roof and bogie details, and unique locomotives 59003 and 59005 are also being offered.

59/0 in updated condition with yaw dampers, revised bogies, NRN pods and altered exhaust.
59/1 with revised lighting, underframe, bogies and roof details.
59-2 with drop-head buckeye coupler, sub-class specific roof details and external fire extinguishers.

The Class 59 is Revolution’s second N gauge locomotive, and follows on from our highly regarded Class 92 described in one review as …the best ‘N’ gauge model yet? We think so: nothing can match the fidelity of detail which Revolution Trains has achieved…

With the Class 59 we plan to go even better – with all grilles photo-etched, including the distinctive front air horn grille, with numerous separately fitted detail parts and supports on the distinctive solebar area, separate windscreen wipers, full interiors, photo etched lashing loops and front footsteps.

We are also building on our experience of the Class 92 chassis. The Class 59 will have a heavy diecast mainframe, internal lighting connections via tabs to minimise wiring, low gearing for smooth and powerful running, factory-fitted speakers in a fuel tank designed to act as the baffle and Next 18 DCC socket and lighting switches accessed by a simple lift-off centre panel – which replicates the engine access panel on the real thing.

NEM coupler sockets in kinematic mounts will be fitted, with a Rapido type N gauge coupler fitted at one end and the other supplied super-detailed. A spare Rapido will be included in the accessory bag for those who wish to have operational couplers at both ends.

The model has been in development since last year, and we are expecting first samples in the next few weeks. We’d like to thank GBRf, Freightliner, Arlington Fleet Services, Progress Rail (EMD) and Mendip Rail for their help and assistance so far.

The order book will be opening very soon, with our EarlyBird price available for a short period.

The Class 59s – a short history

59003 at Merehead in 1986. Photo used under Creative Commons.

The Class 59 represented a revolution when it made history on its entry to service in 1986 as the first privately owned mainline locomotive to operate on the British network.

Foster Yeoman, which operated heavy stone trains from quarries in the Mendips, had decided to buy its own locomotives as there was nothing in British Rail’s traction fleet that could meet its needs for power and reliability.

Built by Electro-Motive Diesel at its plant at La Grange, Illinois, the first four Class 59/0s – in their striking silver and blue livery – were an immediate success offering exceptional haulage and previously undreamt of availability and a fifth was duly ordered. In use some changes were made to the bogies to improve ride quality and NRN roof pods were added.

Amey Roadstone Corporation (ARC) decided to follow suit and in 1990 took delivery of four locomotives designated 59/1 in the ARC house colours of grey and mustard.

59101 at Hallam in 1991. Photo used under Creative Commons.

The ARC locomotives saw the exhaust port moved away from the driver’s door and alterations to lighting arrangements and roof hatch catches.

The final batch of six locomotives were built for National Power and arrived in Britain in 1994-5. In a striking blue and pale grey livery, with red and white detailing, the Class 59/2 fleet was used to supply power stations in the Aire valley at Drax, Eggborough and Ferrybridge with limestone from Tunstead and coal from collieries including Maltby, Gascoigne Wood and Kellingley.

59204 at Burton Salmon. Photo used under Creative Commons.

In all fifteen Class 59s were built and all remain in service with a variety of operators and in liveries including Hanson, Freightliner G&W, GBRf and DB.

59202 at Dundas in 2010. Photo courtesy Graham Roose.

They are primarily used on heavy stone trains from the Mendip quarries to destinations in the south of England, however GBRf’s 59003 is used more widely, and the class is also often seen on engineer’s trains. In the past the Class 59/2s – under National Power, EWS and later DB – were seen widely across the north of England.

The 59s are often seen hauling the JNA box wagons and HOA hoppers previously produced by Revolution, making it an ideal addition to our range.

The PTA box wagons and KPA hoppers used in the 1980s and 1990s are available from the NGS as kits.

59001 at Southcote Junction in 2017. Photo courtesy Steve Poole.
59101 at Farnborough in 2020. Photo courtesy NathTrains.

In 1997 Foster Yeoman agreed for 59003 to be sent to Germany. To work abroad it was fitted with a top marker light and UIC buffers. The locomotive was acquired by GBRf in 2014 and repatriated and repainted. With the assistance of GBRf Revolution Trains has tooled the correct detail variations for this version too.

CAD for 59003 in present-day condition following its return from Germany. Note top marker light and rectangular buffers.
59003 at Eastleigh in 2020. Photo used under Creative Commons.
59202 Avonmouth-Whatley.
59206 and 59005 at Langley Burrell. Both above photos courtesy Jo Alder.

The Class 59 will become Revolution’s second N gauge locomotive, moving ahead of the previously announced Class 93 which will go into CAD design alongside the real things toward the end of this year.

Although relatively small in number, our extensive research has revealed large numbers of detail differencies and idiosyncracies within the class which we will be replicating where possible.

The CADs are the result of many hours of work and the analysis of dozens of precise measurements to accompany works drawings.
59206 at Bedworth in 2020. Photo courtesy Steve King.

What’s on offer

For a small class, the Class 59s have carried numerous liveries. Revolution has secured licences including the very latest Aggregate Industries, GBRf and Freightliner G&W schemes and these will be among the models offered.

Please note these graphics are for illustrative purposes only; some small markings are omitted, colours are representative and some details may be altered for production models. To see which models are available to order now please follow the link above to our shop. Please note that dates given do not apply to every locomotive, but cover the period the livery was in use on at least one of the class.

Class 59/0

Foster Yeoman originalperiod 1986-2000
Foster Yeoman revisedperiod 1998-2015
Aggregate Industriesperiod 2008-present

Class 59/1

ARC originalperiod 1990-2000
Hansonperiod 1999-present

Class 59/2

EWSperiod 1998-2012
DB Schenkerperiod 2009-2020
Freightliner G&Wfrom 2020

Retailer Exclusives

Revolution is also delighted to be offering these retailer exclusives.

59003 with Rails of Sheffield.

Revolution is teaming up with Rails of Sheffield to offer GBRf’s 59003 featuring all the detail amendments mentioned above. When it entered service with GBRf it featured red/blue roundels at each end, however in 2020 the locomotive was repainted and given a more standard GBRf with a rectangular centre blue panel. Both versions are being offered.

59201/59206 twin pack with Rainbow Railways.

In addition, Revolution is joining with Rainbow Railways to offer the Class 59/2’s stylish original ‘National Power’ livery in an exclusive ‘First & Last’ twin pack comprising both 59201 ‘Vale of York’ and 59206 ‘Pride of Ferrybridge’. Both locomotives feature prototypical variations; 59201 features the bell at the No1 end and single handled cab doors, while 59206 has twin handled cab doors and revised end air pipe positions. These models will also include cosmetic buck-eye couplers; these were removed when the locomotives were taken on by EWS.

It is anticipated that samples will be ready for testing in the next 6-8 weeks with production expected in Q2 2022.

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Sonic 56xx arrives and next model unveiled

Revolution Trains has received stocks of the Sonic Models 56xx 0-6-2T locomotives. Customers who ordered from Revolution will see their orders fulfilled by us.

All versions are being sent out

There are lots to work through, and we are dispatching orders in the sequence they were received, so please allow 14 days before contacting us if your model has not arrived.

Please note there is a small correction to the parts list on the back page of the instructions. The models were designed with a small cover to clip over the gear tower, however during production it was noted that this fouled the bodyshell. As it was not essential to the operation of the mechanism it was deleted, however the instruction sheets had already been printed.

Corrected instruction sheet

If you missed out on pre-ordering these models then some remain in stock at Rails of Sheffield here.

Sonic’s next model is the LNER 0-6-0 J50 tank locomotive.

Engineering Prototype samples are already being tested and the model is being retailed exclusively by Rails of Sheffield. For more information, and to order, see here.

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Revolution at the NGF Virtual Exhibition

Revolution would like to thank all who organised the N Gauge Forum’s virtual exhibition over the weekend July 16th-19th. The show is now over, but for those who missed Revolutions contribution of three short films they can be viewed below. Each is roughly ten minutes long.

In the first film, Mike Hale (R) and Ben Ando discuss how Revolution grew out of a scheme to crowdfund a Class 390 Pendolino train in N gauge. Despite some stumbles along the way, the company has now delivered many thousands of models.

In the second film, Ben and Mike run through the production of the models; how they’re selected, how the price is determined, and what other stages have to be managed before they finally arrive in the UK and are dispatched to customers.

In the third and final video we run through nearly every project we have under development at the moment, with some samples not previously shown, and hint at some future possibities. We also confirm our announcement on Friday of another run of the award-winning Class B tankers in N gauge, via retailers only.

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Revolution back to exhibitions, virtually…

Revolution Trains is delighted to be taking part in the NGF Virtual Exhibition this weekend, July 16th, 17th and 18th.

The show runs from 1900 on Friday, and will feature 30 layouts, demonstrations, interviews and features including three short films contributed by Revolution Trains.

Each film has a theme; the first explains how Revolution Trains was started as a crowdfunding venture to produce an N gauge Pendolino model and grew from there; the second discusses how we select, research and develop models and in the third we give a comprehensive rundown of all our ongoing projects with some exclusive updates, teasers as to our future plans and a new announcement.

Revolution Trains is delighted to be supporting the NGF show and hopes all N gauge enthusiasts will find something to interest them. The link will take you to the show itself once it’s started, until it does it’ll take you to the preview page shown above where you can watch trailers and find out other information: NGF Virtual Exhibition

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Pendo and Eco cut-off approaching…

It’s another Revolution Trains double deadline – at midnight on June 30th 2021 we will be closing the order book for the N gauge Pendolino second run, and the 00 FWA ‘Ecofret ‘ container flats in twin and triple sets.

Once the order book closes these models will not be available to buy from us before production is completed.

Pendolino in N – new liveries

Revolution/Rapido Class 390 Pendolino in original Virgin livery

For the second run of our N Gauge Model of the Decade, we are offering the original Virgin liveries along with the new-look Avanti and revised Virgin Flowing Silk liveries, along with the plain DfT livery still present on some sets.

390154 at Rugely Trent Valley. Photo courtesy curly42.

The models will be to the same specification as the original model, with the only change being the installation of a Next-18 decoder socket for those wishing to convert to DCC.

All models will feature power cars at each end, power transfer couplers offering electrical pick-up throughout the train for super-smooth performance, working table lamps in first class trailers as standard and factory fitted speakers to make upgrading to DCC Sound a snap.

The pre-order price is £350 for a complete 9-car train (£360 for Virgin Pride including charity donation), and £380 for a complete 11-car train. All models in this run are DC Silent. For those who prefer not to pre-order models will be available from selected retailers after the order book closes with higher MSRP.

FWA ‘Ecofret’ container flat twin and triple sets in 00

FWA wagons left to right green twin set (Freightliner) red triple (DB) and blue triple (GBRf)

Freight wagon lessor VTG designed the Ecofrets, which have shorter 40′ decks than earlier container flats, in recognition of the domination of world sea shipping traffic by the 40′ box. Trains of older 60′ flats can have gaps if there are not enough 20′ containers, leading to inefficiency.

FWA deck 4520 086-7 at Freightliner’s Coatbridge terminal in June 2021. Photo courtesy Tom Smith.

The Revolution models are designed to accommodate 40′ containers from C-Rail. Like the prototype, the triple sets have hinged centre spigots meaning that they can carry both 40′ and 20′ containers.

DB red and VTG green FWA wagons loaded with C-Rail containers
Triple set centre car showing hinged container fixing spigots at centre, like the prototype

Twin sets measure 380mm over coupler faces; while the triples are 555mm over coupler faces. The models are available to pre-order until midnight on June 30th 2021 for the pre-order price of £100 (twins) and £135 (triples). For those who prefer not to pre-order we anticipate models will be available from selected retailers after the order book closes with higher MSRP.

The next Revolution deadline day is July 31st, when the order book closes for the N gauge PFA Container flats and 00 gauge IPA car carriers.

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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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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.