Posted on

Mullets with style – in 00 and N!

Revolution Trains is offering the BR Borail EB/EC ‘fishbelly’ flat wagons, and air-braked YLA Mullet, YQA Parr and YQA Super Tench derivatives, as its next wagon in both 00 and N gauges. These wagons were introduced at the end of the 1950s and many remain in use now, albeit rebuilt.

25140 with BR Borail wagons in mixed train at Loughborough. Photo courtesy John Dedman.

These wagons were built in batches between 1959 and 1961. The original Borails were either fitted with five bolsters (Borail EB, diag 1/483 ) or had plain decks (Borail EC, diag 1/482) and were used primarily for pre-stressed concrete beams, girders or lengths of rail. They were fitted with 8′ plate bogies and vacuum brakes, and in the 1970s coded BRV under TOPS.

Revolution BR Borail EB with bolsters, chain loops and plate bogies
BR Borail BRV at Workington. Photo courtesy Paul Bartlett.

In 1981-2 150 BRV wagons were fitted with air brakes, Y25 bogies and new decks on top of the original decking. The wagons were re-coded BRA for use carrying rail in the Speedlink network. The five stanchions were replaced by six of a slightly different design, and tensioning ratchets were added to each side. Within a short time they began to be transferred to the engineer’s fleet, and given the fishkind name Mullet.

66711 with short engineers train of 3 x OCA and 1 x YLA Mullet at Charlton in 2019. Photo courtest Adam Snow.
Revolution YLA Mullet with air brakes, tensioning ratchets and Y25 bogies
BR YLA mullet wagon – still in Railfreight red – at York. Photo courtesy Paul Bartlett.

Some of the air-braked conversions were rebuilt without bolsters but with two longitudinal timbers for carrying sleepers, and recoded YQA Parr. They also feature end flaps and small corner footsteps. Revolution is offering this variant too.

Revolution YQA Parr with Y25 bogies, longitudinal timber baulks and end plates.
33113 at Stratford with rake of YQA Parr sleeper carriers in 1990. Photo courtesy Michael Hart.

In 2010 several were rebuilt again; deck equipment was removed and ISO engineers’ modules with drop-down doors and mesh sides were fitted. These retained the YQA code but were redesignated Super Tench.

YQA Super Tench at Eastleigh in 2020. Photo courtesy Dave Kirwin.
Revolution YQA Super Tench with ISO modules on deck.

Due to their versatility, strength and usefulness numerous YLA Mullet, YQA Parr and YQA Super Tench wagons remain in use in 2021. They’re used for carrying almost anything the engineers may need to transport between depots or to and from possessions include rail, sleepers, equipment and waste.

YLA Mullet carrying crane lifting beam at Northampton in 2015. Photo courtesy Dan Adkins.
66703 with YQA Super Tench wagon and JNA Falcons at Eastleigh in 2020. Photo courtesy Dave Kirwin.

The Revolution Trains models will cover all variants and tooling allows for numerous detail differences and prototypical variations in buffers and brake wheels to enable specific wagons to be accurately represented.

Air brake equipment on YQA Parr model.
Research visit to the Dean Forest Railway

Revolution Trains would like to thank the Dean Forest Railway for allowing us access to examine and measure one of the YQA wagons in their fleet, and would recommend anyone looking for a good day out to book up and enjoy a trip in their beautifully maintained stock. You can book here.

GWR Small Prairie 5541, built 1928, at the Dean Forest Railway in April with mixed raike of BR Mk1 and Mk2 stock.

The models will feature our usual attention to accuracy and detail, and the order book will be opening soon – look out for our limited-period low EarlyBird price.

The models are now in tooling and delivery is expected Q1-2 2022.