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A different class…

Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of the 35t Class A fuel tankers and MTV/ZKA Zander box wagons which are scheduled to go into production shortly.

Class B tank (left) and new Class A tank in original Esso silver. The Class B tank has the top details that are absent from the Class A. Note that the solebar of the Class A tanker will be painted red for production.

The Class As are designed to partner our award winning Class B tankers from 2017, as following their introduction from the late 1950s the two types often worked together, with the Class A tankers having a longer barrel as they carried lighter, more volatile fuel.

Class B and Class A tanks at Thameshaven in 1960. Photo Robin Webster used under Creative Commons.

The barrels sent for checking have been posted on Class B sanple chassis for photography; the production models will have the correct red solebars as shown in the painting diagrams.

Artwork for Esso revised livery with grey barrel

You may also notice the sample models are missing the photo-etched catwalks and ladders, and moulded manlids and vents (of two different types), that will be featured on production models. As with the original Class B models the chassis will feature either the original or revised suspension as appropriate.

As well as the original silver and revised grey Esso versions, these are still available to pre-order in Staveley Chemicals, Esso de-branded and weedkilling green or black variants.

Staveley Chemicals and Esso debranded.
Chipman’s weedkilling train water tanks in green and black variations .

In the British Railways modernisation plan of 1955 a need was identified for new, faster power-braked wagons and with the rapid growth in requirements for petrochemicals Esso and Charles Roberts Ltd jointly developed a new design of 35t tank wagons. The Class A tankers were used for lighter, more volatile fuels, and the barrels were therefore longer than the Class Bs designed for heavier fuel oils.

BR 2-10-0 92019 at Hartford in 1965 with a mixed rake of Esso Class A & Class B tankers. Photo Ben Brooksbank/Creative Commons.

The addition of Class A tankers to our range enables the accurate depiction of fuel trains from the late 1950s and 1960s which often ran with a mix of both types. If a Class A tank was marshalled at the front then planked open wagons were included to act as barriers to protect the traincrew in the event of an accident. If the train was double headed the barrier wagons were not necessary as the second locomotive provided the required separation.

BRCW type 3s D6527 + D6505, at Oxford with a mixed train destined for Fawley in 1964. Photo Ben Brooksbank/Creative Commons.

In the mid-1970s, as higher capacity tank wagons entered service, 150 redundant tank wagons were converted to box opens to carry stone and sand, and given the TOPS code MTV.

Original MTV conversions

In the late 1980s many were transferred to the engineer’s fleet, recoded ZKV and given the fishkind name Zander.

Revolution is offering these box wagons in original brown, engineer’s revised versions with yellow top rail and fully repainted Dutch variants. Various individual wagons are being offered, with numerous subtle differences including patch painting and varied labelling.

ZKV Zander in early engineers livery
ZKV Zanders in later CE ‘Dutch’ livery, one with ‘Mainline’ branding

The full listing of liveries on offer can be found on our shop page, and these wagons can be still be reserved with Revolution for a short period at the pre-order price of £19.95 each, or for some versions in triple sets with different numbers at £59.85.

In addition, a further run of Class B tankers will be produced to accompany these models, however the Class Bs will be on sale via retailers in the usual way.

We anticipate that Class A and MTV/ZKV models will be available from retailers too after production, but at a higher price.