These models were delivered to the UK in late-November 2019.
The models portray the single unit PFA/KFA container flats built for Tiphook from 1987-88.
240 of these wagons were built by Rautaruukki of Finland: the first 40 numbered TIPH93242-81 and delivered with Gloucester GPS bogies, the remainder numbered TIPH93290-489 and fitted with Sambre & Meuse VNH-1 bogies. (The VNH-1 bogies look very similar to cast-frame Y25 bogies but have some structural differences.)
Originally they were all coded PFA under TOPS, however this was soon changed to KFA.
(Photo courtesy: Tom Smith)
The first wagons were used to carry contaminated spoil from Chatham Dockyard to Stewartby in Bedfordshire; over the years they have been used for domestic refuse, containerised paper from Fort William, gypsum, MOD traffic and intermodal services.
The map shows primary flows since 2010. Currently they are in use with Freightliner on intermodal services, DB Cargo on intermodal and MOD traffic, GBRf for containerised gypsum and Network Rail for RHTT and other engineering modules. As the map shows they travel widely, and there are often other short term flows for specific contracts; and the map does not show Network Rail trains as these can travel widely – a pair of KFAs were recently recorded at Victoria station!
Because they have buffers at both ends the wagons are more flexible than other container units that are often in fixed rakes, hence their longevity.
Like our popular TEA tankers, the model is being produced for us by Rapido Trains of Canada.
To ensure adequate weight the two longitudinal ribs, bogie bosses and lower end sections will be die cast in metal, while there will be detailed plastic deck and separately fitted brake parts and pipe runs.
Illustrated below is a CAD of the type with GPS bogies. This also has distinctive circular edged buffers; the other variant will have VNH-1 bogies and rectangular buffers.
The models also feature kinematic NEM couplers and numerous separately fitted detail parts.
Six liveries are being produced, with several different numbers in each.
Guide to the PFA / KFA versions
Please note that although we’ve indicated when the different variations were introduced, as they are wagons there was no guarantee that all the wagons would have been repainted/refurbished at the same time so there was often a lot of overlap between the versions (eg for current operations you will still see a mix of version 5 and 6, for early 90s you would see any of versions 1, 2, 4 or 5 etc)!
Version 1: PFA as delivered with blue body and pale blue GPS bogies. (Suitable from 1987 onwards)
Version 2: KFA with yellow GPS bogies and Tiphook placard. (Suitable from 1990-2 onwards)
Version 3: KFA refurbished for Network Rail with black body and yellow GPS bogies. (Suitable for post-privatisation)
Version 4: PFA as delivered with blue VNH-1 bogies and TIPHOOK RAIL branding. (Suitable for 1988 onwards as built)
Version 5: KFA with TIPHOOK RAIL branding and blue (not black as shown below) VNH-1 bogies. (Suitable for early 1990s onwards)
Version 6: KFA with small Freightliner branding and black VNH-1 bogies. (Suitable for post-privatisation)
To keep prices down, we are not supplying the wagons with containers and they are designed to be compatible with those of other manufacturers.