Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

Any more for any more…Class B tanks?

We’re delighted to announce as part of the NGF Virtual Exhibition 2021 that we will be re-running our award-winning Class B 35t tanks. These popular Class B 35t tanks were introduced in the mid-1950s and lasted until the early 1990s.

35t Class B tanks

In a change to our normal practice we will not be accepting direct pre-orders and all orders to go through a normal retail channel.  We will still only produce according to pre-orders so if you want to guarantee your order please place it before the order deadline (to be confirmed in due course but likely to be September/October 2021) with your preferred retailer. Our MSRP is kept the same as the first run at £26.95.

We are offering the same livery selection as the first run but all versions will have different numbers to the original run. NB there are 4 number versions of the Esso livery to reflect the popularity of that livery in the first run. All other versions we are offering 2 number versions with prototypical livery and labelling variations. 

For the second run we will offer the following versions:

Esso livery: 3300, 3305, 3546 and 3705 (Era 5-7)

Mobil Charringtons: 202 (with black Charringtons label as shown) and 249 (with white Charringtons label) (Era 5-6)

Unbranded black with ZRW TOPS code for depot waste fuel oil: ADB999065 and ADB999073 (Era 7-8)

Regent: 375 and 404 (Era 5-6)

Texaco: TEX47878 and TEX47859 (Era 6-7)

United Molasses: UM204 (with brown barrel ends) and UM258 (with blue barrel ends) (Era 6-8)

The models will go into production alongside our forthcoming Class A tanks and MTV/ZKV Zander wagons and we estimate delivery will be Q1 2022.

The following retailers have already agreed to start taking pre-orders: C&M Models, Derails, East Somerset Models, Hattons, Kernow MRC, KMS Railtech, Rails of Sheffield, Rainbow Railways, TMC. If your preferred retailer is not on the list please ask them to send us an email to ask about stocking the Class B tanks.

Please remember to place your pre-order with your retailer if you would like to guarantee your order!

Posted on

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

Posted on

New containers come floating into stock!

Following on from our range of N gauge containers developed with C Rail Intermodal our latest collaborations have just landed in stock and are now available to order from our shop. Two new liveries of our very popular 20ft tank containers: Eurotainer and Bertschi liveries; and two more liveries on our 40ft hicube containers: Hyundai and TEX.

Whilst updating the stock of the new versions we’ve also found a very small number of some previous liveries of tank container (Nichicon) and hicube (Hanjin, UASC and MSC) but only a very limited stock! We’ve still got reasonable stocks of our most recent containers the 30′ bulk containers and 40′ refrigerated “reefer” containers.

All the containers can be ordered now from our Shop – just click on Shop then follow the navigation: 2mm/N gauge In Stock to see the containers available.

Posted on

Big 37 meets even bigger 37….

Revolution Trains and Heljan presented Nuclear Transport Solutions/Direct Rail Services with display models of their 0 gauge Class 37 model 37405 in Compass livery, in a ceremony in front of the real locomotive at Crewe Gresty Bridge depot on June 30th 2021.

Left to right: Ben (Revolution Trains), Andy Grundy (NTS/DRS), Ben Jones (Heljan)

NTS/DRS’s stylish dark blue compass livery has long been a favourite of model railway enthusiasts and Revolution was delighted to be able to produce these models with Heljan and would like to thank NTS/DRS for their assistance.

Revolution Trains/Heljan Class 37/4 37405 in DRS Compass livery

Andy Grundy, Head of Engineering (fleet and technical) accepted the models on behalf of NTS/DRS from Revolution’s Ben Ando and Heljan’s Ben Jones and said: “These impressive models will go on display in a case in our reception area, so everyone at NTS/DRS can enjoy them.”

37405 undoubtedly oblivious to her 1:43 scale counterpart

Ben Jones of Heljan added: “We were delighted to work with our friends at Revolution Trains and NTS/DRS to produce these superb models and it’s great that some have found a good home in Crewe and Carlisle alongside their big sisters.” 

A limited number of DRS 0 gauge class 37 37405 models are still available.

Posted on

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.

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.

Posted on

Mk5s arrive…

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

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

Caledonian Sleeper Mk5 coaches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trans Pennine Express – Beacon Rail Mk5a coaches

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

TPE DT + T2 car.

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on

Decorated samples are MMA-rvelous…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Models have prototypically accurate variations in brake gear.

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

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

Posted on

Parcels to go!

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

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

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

M55990 at Manchester Victoria. Photo courtesy Mark Carter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on

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.

Posted on

Multi-coloured car carriers…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.