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Class 59/1, 59/2 order deliveries

From the beginning of this week (May 13th 2024) there will be a short break in order processing and deliveries for the Revolution Class 59/1 and 59/2 models (and other recently ordered models such as 00 gauge Carolines) as one of our small team is taking on holiday.

In addition we will not be sending out Lokpilot pre-mapped E24 decoders and balance payment requests.

Simon, our Customer Service Manager will continue to address any problems with received models. If you are unfortunate enough to have an issue please contact him using the email address in your instructions.

We realise many customers are eagerly awaiting their models – especially given the very favourable reviews in the press and online – however we are only a very small team and we need a break from time to time too!

We’d like to thank all our customers for their patience and understanding, and expect order processing and dispatch to resume at the beginning of June.

Of course if you missed out on ordering direct you should be able to place an order with one of our retailers, most of whom have received their stocks now.

Rainbow Railways

In addition our limited edition ‘First and Last’ twin packs of Class 59/2s 59201 and 59206 in attractive National Power livery are now in stock with Rainbow Railways and available to purchase.

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Yes we Al-can in N!

Following a successful Expressions of Interest campaign Revolution trains is offering the Alcan PCA alumina tanks in N gauge 1:148 scale.

CAD has already been completed and once sufficicent pre-orders are received we will put the model straight into tooling.

At this time we have not finalised exactly which liveries will be available.

We expect to open the order book very shortly, and having already produced them in OO development and production is expected to be without too many hold ups.

The Prototype

The Alcan tanks are used to transport imported alumina between Blyth, on the north east coast, and the UK’s only remaining aluminium smelter at Fort William.

With Ben More dominating the background 66739 The Bluebell Railway eases the Alcan empties across the Finnan Viaduct at Crianlarich.

Built in 1988, the Alcan PCA tanks have been in frontline service for more than three decades and despite their relatively limited route they pass through some of the most spectacular scenery in the UK.

Class 55 55022 on the Alcans at Upper Tyndrum. The Deltic was hired in by GBRf to cover locomotive shortages in 2011.
Photo: Alistair Blackwood.

43 wagons numbered BAHS55531-55573 were built in 1988 by Powell Duffryn to design code PC020A for British Alcan Aluminium. Unusually the wagons have twin-link suspension with parabolic leaf springs, due to restrictions on the West Highland line.

BAHS55555 at North Blyth. Photo: Henry Pattison.

The wagons have always been pale grey with black underframes and discharge gear.

Originally introduced with the familiary Alcan logo, this was removed during the early noughties and following a takeover the wagons received Rio Tinto Alcan branding.

Subsequent changes of ownership led to revised Liberty/Lochaber labels being applied and then, from 2019, Alvance branding.

Like their OO predecessors, these models are likely to be packaged in sets of four, however the exact combinations of liveries and numbers has not been finalised.

We expect to open the order book shortly and hope to have the models ready to ship by Q1 2025, but this is dependent on expressions of interest converting into sales.

Thanks to all who expressed their interest and enabled us to move forward.

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Take Five! Revolution offers articulated Arbel car carriers

Revolution Trains is offering the imposing 5-piece articulated WIA ‘Sefoorss’ car carriers as its next wagon in OO and N.

Photo: Foulger Rail used under Creative Commons

CAD work on the model is complete, and the order book is opening imminently, with our usual great value EarlyBird price available to encourage early orders.

OO WIA CAD image

The Prototype

60 five-unit sets were ordered by BR’s Railfreight Distribution sector ahead of the opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994.

They were designed to offer complete protection and, being fully enclosed, meant that new cars could be shipped between the UK and continental Europe without needing to be waxed, saving time and money.

Brand new WIA units lined up at Tonbridge. Photo: Paul Wade.

Initially they were operated by Auto Care Europe, a partnership comprising RfD, SNCB and Cobelfret. Some outer wagons were adorned with the ACE logo and car maker markings too. On privatisation ownership passed to EWS and from around 2007 the DB Schenker (now DB) logo was added to the intermediate cars of some sets.

Photo: Mark Saunders
Photo: CA850 used under Creative Commons.

Though it is not immediately apparent from the outside, the wagons are double-decked and the entire roof canopy can be raised or lowered as one unit to aid loading and unloading.

In railfreight terms cars are light, but high volume, so the wagons are designed to maximise the use of space and completely fill the loading gauge, hence the angled contours of the roofs. Articulation is chosen as it both reduces costs, but cutting the number of bogies required, but also simplifies loading and unloading as cars can easily be driven the full length of the train.

Photo: Foulger Rail Photos-Creative Commons

The Model

The model features our usual refinements including separately fitted brake parts and articulation units designed to allow operation down to curves of radius 2. We’d like to thanks DB for their assistance and support in researching the model.

The OO CAD is complete and the N gauge CAD is under development.

The articulation units have been designed to allow the model to comfortably negotiate R2 curves, and for added realism the customer will have the option, for the tail end car, of replacing the tension-lock coupler with a cosmetic air pipe, in either the loose or stowed position, and a control box moulding that clips into the NEM pocket to recreate the look of the real thing.

We expect to open the order book soon, with options including original RfD blue, ACE blue and DB + DB Schenker branded units. Tooling is expected to start shortly with the models ready to ship in Q2-3 2025 depending on orders.

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Revolution in NEC evolution!

Revolution Trains is thrilled to be attending the inaugural Model World Live at the NEC this weekend April 27th and 28th.

You’ll find Revolution Trains on stand A27 – you’ll find it hard to miss us as we are diagonally left as you enter the show – and along with our usual display we will have new announcements in both OO and N.

The show is an evolution of the traditional model railway exhibition , with not only trains on show but also also scale aircraft model displays, military dioramas and vehicle miniatures, radio control cars, aircraft, boats and more.

In addition the Railnuts – led by Peter Waterman and Chris Clenton – will have the latest incarnation of their Making Tracks 3 layout on display – and it’s been extended to 208ft long with the aim of setting a new Guinness record over the weekend as the world’s largest ever portable model railway.

MIlton Keynes in miniature on Making Tracks 3. Photo: Key Model World/Hornby Magazine

There’ll be our popular ‘Project Progress’ poster, plus new samples in both OO and N of our IHA steel carriers and a first chance to see some of our retailer exclusive Class 66 models.

In addition, we will have limited numbers of hard-to-get or sold out models that you may not be able to find elsewhere in both N and OO.

See you at the show!

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Deadline approaches as more Class 66 decorated samples unveiled…

As we countdown to the closing of the pre-order book for N gauge Class 66s at midnight on March 31st, Revolution Trains is delighted to unveil further decoration samples of the model.

The latest samples include 66848 in Colas Rail Freight colours, and 66128 in DB red livery.

66848 started life as Freightliner’s 66575, entering service in 2004. It has the original Tier 0 design, with bug-eye style lights. It was acquired by Colas in 2011.

66302 is a tier 1 design, with the expanded cooler group, smaller fuel tank and additional bodyside access door. It entered service with Fastline in 2008, before being acquired by Eversholt and leased to DRS, receiving DRS blue livery, before being passed on to GBRf in 2022. GBRf needed the locomotive in service quickly, so a full repaint was discounted; instead the DRS branding was simply replaced with large gold GBRf letters. This locomotive has revised lighting with the bug-eyes replaced by two-aspect BMAC light clusters. This combination isn’t available in our standard range, but can be ordered under our Revolution Bespoke service, which allows modellers to specify individual locomotives within certain parameters.

Also among the latest deco samples was 66128 in its striking DB red livery. This locomotive is a standard-build ex EWS machine except it has had the revised BMAC light clusters fitted. These show all five aspects when running forward. This model also has the UK standard horn grille, drop-head buckeye coupler and driver assistance mirrors fitted to the cabside.

These three models join the line up of other decorated samples already displayed at the Alexandra Palace and Glasgow shows, and all can be seen on our stand at the upcoming Model World Live event at the NEC on April 27th and 28th.

Please note that as ever with samples these are hand assembled and there are some fit and finish issues that will be improved ahead of full production.

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The final 59s…

Like the prototype, Revolution’s Class 59/1 and Class 59/2 locomotives are arriving a little after the pioneer Class 59/0 versions blazed a trail…

Time travellers… original ARC Southern 59/1, reliveried Hanson 59/1 and latest Heidelberg materials 59/1…
59/2s assemble! Right to left – original National Power livery, EWS, DB and most recent Freightliner

We expect to receive these models very shortly, and, as with the Class 59/0 models, will send them to fully pre-paid customers first. We will process balance payment requests as quickly as we can for other pre-order customers but rationalising these orders and processing them takes more time and we are always grateful for our customers’ patience as we work through them.

59/1 and 59/2 – what’s the difference?

The Class 59/1 locomotives were built for ARC Southern (then Hanson and now Heidelberg Materials) in 1990, while the Class 59/2 locomotives were ordered in the mid-90s by National Power and then sold to EWS, which became DB, and then Freightliner.

Superficially the locomotives do look similar, differing from the Class 59/0s by having the then-new BMAC standard light clusters. However the design evolved over time, and the main differences were in the roof and the underframe. The 59/2s, designed to carry coal into power stations, had frame mounted fire suppression cylinders and updated cooling tubes which are plainly visible on most images. Five of the six Class 59/2s also had two handles on each cab door.

Less obvious – but equally important to us! – are the roof differences in positioning of the radio pods and arrangement of catches on the access panels.

Class 59/1 – radio pods at outer ends of recesses and original panel catches.
Class 59/2 – radio pods in the centre of the recesses and additional roof catches. Note additional cab door handle.

As with the Class 59/0, we also have a limited supply of ESU E24 Lokpilot nano decoders pre-configured for this model to enable customers who do not wish to have sound to enjoy the full lighting functionality.

Kernow will also be receiving their exclusive models of 59101 in ARC revised livery, and Rainbow Railways will also be getting their ‘First and Last’ National Power twin packs featuring 59201 and 59206.

Rainbow Railways

Kernow have already received stocks of their exclusive model of 59002 in Mendip Rail livery, while Rails also have both original Europorte and current GB railfreight branded versions of 59003.

We’ve also received some more decorated samples of our upcoming Class 66, and these will form the subject of a post over the weekend as a reminder that the Class 66 pre-order deadline is looming, though we won’t close it fully until everyone has had a chance to select their Revolution Bespoke choices.

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It’s Gold, Silver and Bronze for Revolution!

Revolution directors Ben Ando (left) and Mike Hale with their BRM prize certificate

Revolution Trains would like to thank everyone who voted for us in the BRM/RM Web/World of Railways awards.

Our N gauge Caledonian Sleeper coaches scooped gold again, while we won silver for N Gauge manufacturer of the Year and Bronze for our Class 128 parcels unit and IIA-D Drax biomass hoppers.

We’d also like to congratulate the other winners, not just in N but in all scales and gauges.

The Awards were handed out during the recent London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace which was a very enjoyable show with plenty to see and a great chance for us to chat to customers new and old.

Our highlights included, from top: First showing for Island Line 2-car 1938 stock train in N, Francis Bourgeouis grabs a selfie with Revolution’s Customer Service Manager Simon, 00 IHA steel carrier first EP sample (missing some etched details), sublime N gauge layout City Basin Goods with Revolution Class B tankers, the Alexandra Palace TV tower, Revolution deputise for the Double Deckers on the shuttle bus, Lacey Dale – the Peak District in N, getting the stand set-up and an eyecatching (and deceiving) diorama from Peco.

Revolution’s next show is Model World Live at the NEC on April 27-28th, with Key Publishing.

This show marks a new departure as it features not just 35+ layouts, and numerous traders and manufacturers from the world of model railways, but also scale model aircraft, military model displays and radio controlled models. See you there!

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Revolution Class 59 – let there be lights!

Revolution Trains has delivered Class 59/0 locomotives to pre-order customers, and we are now working our way through those with balance payments due.

The first tranche of DC Silent and DCC Sound models are entering service on customers’ layouts, and we also have stocks of the dedicated ESU Lokpilot E24 silent decoders that are required for DCC users to enjoy the full suite of lighting features we have designed into this model.

The new E24 interface, which is set to be adopted as Next 28 in due course, was chosen because Next-18 was simply unable to offer the complete lighting options used by the prototype.

We have had some customers ask us about correct lighting for their models, so we have prepared these notes.

Class 59/0 lighting

The Class 59/0 locomotives operate with all headlights and marker lights on during both daytime and nighttime running as shown below. 59003, which operated abroad and is now owned by GBRf, is also fitted with an additional marker light above the cab windows.

When running light locomotive, the Class 59/0s show a pair of red tail lights at the back; again these are represented on the model however they can be turned off and on at each end by DC users using the switches on the DCC blanking plate and by DCC users with F3.

DCC users have additional lighting functions that allow them to replicate the locomotives when shunting. For this purpose the headlights are usually turned off, with just the marker lights left on, to avoid dazzling ground staff and as an indication that the locomotive is not about to leave for the main line. This mode can be selected with F6.

DCC users can also turn directional cab interior lights on using F4, but please note they turn off automatically when the locomotive begins to move as regulations dictate they can only be lit when the locomotive is stationary.

If any of your light aspects are not lit then please contact us using the email address in the instructions as this is not correct and indicates a failed LED.

CLASS 59/1 lighting

The Class 59/1 and Class 59/2 locomotives were built after the introduction of BMAC lighting clusters as standard on British locomotives, and so have different lighting functions.

DC users will have the models correctly lit for daytime running, which (from the driving position) has the right headlight and left marker light lit, and when running light locomotive red tail lights illuminated.

As with the Class 59/0 there are additional lighting functions available to DCC users, including shunt mode (marker lights at each corner only lit) and in addition a night mode, which sees the right side marker light and left side headlight switched on.

As with the Class 59/0 models DCC users can also turn the directional cab interior lights on when the loco is stationary.

Retailer exclusives

Our Class 59/0 retailer exclusives – 59003 in both versions of GBRf livery with Rails of Sheffield and 59003 in Mendip Rail livery with Kernow Model Rail Centre – have been delivered and are in stock now.

Kernow Model Rail Centre’s exclusive 59101 in revised ARC livery and Rainbow Railways’ ‘First and Last’ twin pack of 59201 and 59206 in National Power livery will arrive with the rest of the Class 59/1 and /2 models.

Class 59/1 and Class 59/2 deliveries

We asked the factory to double check the nameplates in the accessory bags for the Class 59/1 and 59/2 models and this has been done, with the locomotives expected in the next 2-3 weeks. Please note that again fully paid-up customers will receive their orders first while we send out balance payment requests. Please give us a chance to work through these before emailing to enquire about your order – we realise everyone is looking forward to receiving their models and we are keen to get them to you and working as fast as is practicable!

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Revolution at Alexandra Palace…

Once again Revolution is attending the London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace on Saturday March 16th and Sunday March 17th.

Revolution is on Stand 7 in the Great Hall, and you can find us at the far end opposite the famous Rose window, designed by Maria McLafferty as part of the rebuild following a large fire in 1980.

We will have the latest samples on show – including our upcoming IHA steel carrier in 00 and Island Line tube train in N – and you can also inspect other models under development. We’ll do our best to answer questions about anything you’re waiting for and it’s a great chance to pitch your ideas too!

We’ll also have a limited number of models on sale, including some long sold-out models that we found while checking over stock levels.

See you at the show!

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Revolution takes gold in Model Rail awards!

Revolution Trains is proud to have been awarded a number of Gold and Silver awards in the Model Rail model of the year 2023 awards.

Revolution’s Mk5 Caledonian Sleeper coaches took first place in the N gauge Rolling Stock category, and our IIA-D Drax hopper wagons came second in the poll voted for by readers of the magazine. Together, these models accounted for 43% of the vote.

Other N gauge results saw our Class 128 Parcels railcar take second place in the N gauge powered model category, just 3 percentage points behind the winner, Rapido UK’s Class 28 Co-Bo diesel locomotive.

In the N gauge Manufacturer of the Year category Revolution Trains took silver, coming in behind Graham Farish by Bachmann.

In 00 gauge Revolution also enjoyed success, with our Southern Region General Manager’s saloon ‘Caroline’ taking silver in the Coaching Stock category, behind Accurascale’s 4mm Mk5 Caledonian Sleepers. The sleepers were clearly a popular prototype with modellers, and again the winning margin was just three percentage points.

In the 00 wagon category our FNA-D nuclear flask wagon was very unlucky to be nudged into fourth position; with 9% of the vote it was an agonising half a point behind the second and third placed models: the Rapido Trains UK SECR six-wheel brake van and GWR ‘Toad’ brake van, which each polled 9.5%.

As ever we’d like to thank all those who voted for us, and offer our congratulations to all fellow winning manufacturers in all categories and scales.

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Revolution upscales to offer 320, 321 in 00

Revolution Trains is offering the Class 320 and 321 Electric Units in 00 gauge, having previously produced these trains in N, after extensive lobbying from 4mm enthusiasts in both England and Scotland.

Revolution’s N gauge Strathclyde PTE Class 320 flanked by Network Southeast and London MIdland Class 321s.

The models will be available in a variety of liveries and will feature directional lighting, DC Silent and DCC versions with sound and working deployable (though not conducting) pantograph.

N gauge Class 320 in Strathclyde PTE Carmine and Cream livery produced as an exlusive for the AMRSS/Model Rail Scotland.

Prototype notes

The Class 321 4-car units were built at BREL York in the late 1980s and early 1990s to replace first generation suburban units on trains operating from London Euston to the Midlands, London Liverpool St to East Anglia and around Leeds.

London Midland Class 321 at Milton Keynes, 2015.

The success of the Class 321s – nicknamed ‘Dusty Bins’ after a character from the then popular TV quiz show 3-2-1 – led to a 3-car version, designated Class 320, being built in 1990 for suburban services around Glasgow.

Class 320 in Scotrail Saltire livery by Tom Smith

Introduced on the North Clyde line, they have also been used on the Argyll line, Cathcart Circle and between Glasgow and Lanark.

On privatisation the Class 321s were split between Silverlink, Great Eastern and Arriva Rail North, and through various franchise changes have seen use with London Midland, First Capital Connect, Northern Rail and Greater Anglia/Abellio.

The 00 model

CAD work is underway and although based on the N gauge version we produced using extensive drawings and access provided by owners Eversholt, it will be fully extensively and upgraded for the 00/1:76 scale version.

N Gauge CAD for the Class 321.

Once we open the order book we will confirm the livery options available to order. In N gauge, for each livery offered at least two running numbers were produced and it is likely we will repeat this in 00.

The models are likely to be priced in line with our other 00 unit models at around £300 for the 3-car Class 320 and £350 for the 4-car Class 321, with DCC Sound etc around £100 extra, and we will be opening the pre-order book shortly to enable customers to reserve their models.

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Revolution at Model Rail Scotland

Revolution Trains will be on Stand A16 at Model Rail Scotland at the SECC in Glasgow from February 23rd-25th.

We’ll have some exciting news for both 00 and N gauge enthusiasts – with a distinctly Scottish flavour – plus all the latest samples of new and upcoming models on display, including more decorated samples of our upcoming Class 66 locomotives in N and EP1 samples of our Class 175 and 180 units.

As ever we will have our popular Project Progress poster on display, and some items for sale off the stand.

Any customers who have ordered Class 59/0 locomotives can collect them provided they let us know in time – please fill in the form here.

If you missed out on ordering direct you should be able to place an order with one of our retailers. Or you can order one of our exclusive 59101 in the brand new Heidelberg Materials livery (as shown above on the production sample!).

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Revolution to supply pre-mapped non-sound decoders for N Class 59

With the Revolution Trains N gauge Class 59 locomotives in the final stages of production we are aware that some DCC customers will not be familiar with the new E24 decoder interface that the locomotive uses.

DCC Sound models are supplied with the fully configured decoder fitted, however to supply the needs of those who prefer DCC Silent we have also decided to stock a limited number of pre-mapped ESU E24 Lokpilot 5 Nano decoders.

Pre-production samples shown

Revolution chose the new E24 design because it offers significantly greater functionality than the existing Next 18 standard. In the coming months it is anticipated that E24 will be adopted as the new Next 28 norm.

The E24 allows us to offer fully functioning day and night running, working cab interior lights, along with two shunt/yard modes (marker lights and no headlights) and independently controlled tail lights for light engine, top’n’tail operation or parked mode. This level of functionality is simply not possible on Next 18.

The E24 decoder is also smaller. This makes it easier to fit in N gauge models and means that more internal space can be used for weight, enhancing the performance of the locomotive.

Fitting the decoder is a simple matter of removing the centre cover and blanking plate and pressing the E24 decoder into position. All models are supplied with full instructions.

The ESU E24 Lokpilot 5 Nano decoders available from Revolution Trains are pre-configured to ensure the lighting functions on your model work according to the function list supplied with your model.

Please note that you must select the correct type of decoder for your model – there are two versions of decoder:

  • Class 59/0 (version 1)
  • Class 59/1 and 59/2 (version 2) – the 59/1 and 59/2 share the same lighting decoder

They can be ordered for £36.95 via our shop.

Depending on order numbers we are hoping to send the E24 Lokpilot 5 Nano decoders to customers with their models, and the first batch of Class 59s are expected shortly. If you have pre-ordered and not paid in full you will receive a request to pay your balance in due course – please do not contact us about payment until you have received this message.

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Revolution and Trains4U twin-set for the forces

Popular Peterborough-based retailer Trains4U has commissioned Revolution Trains to produce an exclusive twin pack featuring the two GBRf ‘military’ Class 66 locomtives – 66723 ‘Chinook’ and 66775 ‘HMS Argyll’ in N gauge.

The models will be sold as a pair in an exclusive presentation box and every sale will include a donation to charities linked to the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy.

66723 (ZA723) Chinook

66723 was named ‘Chinook’ in 2008 in honour of the RAF’s 7, 18 and 27 squadrons, based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, which is the home of the Royal Air Force’s Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter.

When named the locomotive was fitted with cast nameplates which also featured the three squadron crests and an outline of the Chinook, and was in the First livery.

66723 Nameplate. Photo courtesy Rob Reedman/Creative Commons

In 2017 the locomotive was repainted into GBRf livery, retaining the name but gaining the large number ZA723 and a large orange Chinook silhouette on the bodyside, along with the RAF Ensign on the left cabside.

Photo courtesy Mick Page.

66723 was built in 2006, and was one of the first batch of GBRf Tier 1 (low emission) 5-door locomotives. Revolution’s Class 66 tooling allows for this variant, with the combination of bug-eye headlights, extended cooler group grilles, revised bogie with lifeguard deformation cut-outs and a smaller fuel tank.

Revolution 66723 CAD variation

66775 (F321) HMS Argyll

66775 was built in 2015 and is one of the very last batch of Class 66 locomitives built at Muncie, Indiana.

66775 at market Harborough. Photo courtesy David Page/Creative Commons.
66775 at Eastleigh in 2017. Photo courtesy Dave Kirwin.

In 2017 in a ceremony at HM Naval Base Devonport the locomotive was named after the Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll. Along with the cast nameplate the locomotive was adorned with the ship’s number, F321, and a replica of her funnel crest on each side of the no. 1 end cab.

Photo courtesy Steve Knight/Creative Commons.

Like 66723, 66775 is a Tier 1 5-door locomotive, however having been built in the United States, not Canada, it has significant variations including the revised cab vent position, front panel seam and revised 2-part repositioned BMAC lights.

Revolution 66775 CAD variation.

Like all Revolution’s forthcoming Class 66 models, these will feature the ESU E24 Nano decoder interface, allowing for fully authentic light and sound features.

Although not available in DCC Sound form, all models incorporate a factory-fitted speaker, allowing for a simple plug-and-play sound upgrade.

Revolution’s Ben Ando said: “Revolution has previously supported the Royal British Legion, through sales of its ‘Poppy Pendolino’, and we are delighted to be able to do the same for other important charities in the military family.”

Trains4U owner Gareth Helliwell said: “GBRf has a major presence in Peterborough and I am delighted to be able to offer these locomotives which are a familiar sight across the network.  In addition I am keen to recognise our debt to the armed forces and we are guaranteeing a minimum donation of at least £1500 to each of these good causes.”

Each twin pack retails at £325.00 and can be ordered exclusively from Trains4U, with delivery expected Q3/4. We hope to have decorated samples to show in the coming weeks.

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Revolution goes green with Heidelberg

Revolution Trains has agreed a licence with Freightliner and Heidelberg Materials to offer newly repainted 59101 in its striking new green livery.

59101 in the sidings at Whatley Quarry in early December 2023.

The locomotive had been in Hanson colours since the late 1990s, but parent company Heidelberg Materials recently announced a complete rebranding of the company, and 59101 was selected as the recipient of the new colours.

The repaint was carried out by Arlington Fleet Services at Eastleigh, and following its completion Revolution Trains was invited to the locomotive’s Whatley home depot to check colours and measure all the relevant logos and lettering.

After its arrival on shed in the early hours of Tuesday December 5th, we were given access to the locomotive in the shed at Whatley quarry, then invited to watch as the locomotive left with its first service train – a rake of box wagons bound for West Drayton coal sidings in London.

By happy coincidence the rake included several examples of the JNA ‘Ealnos’ wagons released by Revolution Trains in VTG blue, Mendip Rail silver and Touax deep red.

Revolution has added a limited number of this model to the production run and they are available to pre-order direct from us, in sound and non-sound versions now! We’ve only got a very small number of sound versions but if you miss out on a factory-fitted sound version upgrading the loco to DCC sound is very simple and you can buy the same sound project that we recorded from Legomanbiffo through DC Kits.

Section from the painting diagram for the model.

The 59s are in the final stages of production and are likely to arrive in two batches – the first batch are the 59/0s which are expected in early February (production samples should be with us early next week) followed by the 59/1s and 59/2s after Chinese New Year in late Feb – March.

We’ve got exciting news about the non-sound E24 DCC decoders to come in the next few days.

You can place an order from our online shop now (please don’t mix with other products which will arrive at different times).

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Revolution supports Railway Children

Revolution Trains was invited to Crewe station by operators Avanti West Coast in January to present a cheque for £3,480 to well-known charity Railway Children.

The cash was raised through a raffle held late last year in which numerous N gauge models were on offer – including hard to find items such as the Network Southeast Class 321 electric unit, and every entrant received a container.

Vulnerable children can find themselves frightened and alone on the rail network and Railway Children charity works to help them by training rail staff, the police, and other workers in identifying youngsters and in handling them effectively and safely.  The charity also funds ‘safe spaces’ in major railway stations where they can be given food, water and shelter.

Avanti West Coast Crewe Customer service assistant Ant Stanley and station manager Taryn Banks help as Cath Gresty from Railway Children receives a cheque from Revolution Trains directors Ben Ando and Mike Hale.

Cath Gresty from Railway Children said:  “We are fortunate to have some very generous supporters in the rail industry, but receiving a donation from those who manufacture miniature scale models of trains is a new experience, and we are very grateful to all those model enthusiasts who entered the prize raffle and helped raise this money, which we will put to good use helping vulnerable children on the rail network.”

Revolution’s Ben Ando said:  “Revolution is always looking for ways we can partner our friends in the railway industry in supporting the charities they promote and we are delighted that the proceeds of our raffle, along with the money raised by Beacon’s 5-a-side football tournament we played in, will benefit such a worthy cause. 

Revolution’s Mike Hale added: We’d like to thank all our customers and supporters for taking part, and we are planning similar events during 2024 with other hard-to-find or sold out models from our 00 gauge range.”

Avanti also fielded three teams in the football tournament; Revolution only met Avanti 3 and was roundly thrashed by them!

Taryn Banks, Avanti West Coast station manager for Crewe, said: “Supporting the community is important to us, and we were delighted to facilitate the presentation of this money to Railway Children, which is based close by in Cheshire.”

A small section of the impressive photographic display documenting the story of Crewe station and Avanti West Coast.

In addition to Railway Children, Revolution Trains has supported the Royal British Legion and Martin House Hospice and is looking forward to continue supporting charities of its own choice or those nominated by its friends in the rail industry, in 2024 and beyond.

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The Revolution round-up: 2023, a year of consolidation and catch-up

As 2023 draws to a close it’s time for Revolution’s annual look back on the last 12 months of activity.

The enormous global disruption caused by the Covid pandemic has led to delays and some frustration, however it is clear that our manufacturing partners in China are now returning to normal levels of production.

Revolution Tattoo impression courtesy of steelcapjo.

This has meant that in the second half of 2023 a variety of long-awaited projects have finally been delivered, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their patience, goodwill and loyalty.

Raising funds, talking trains and a new recruit…

Highlights of the year have included: recruiting a fourth member of the team, Simon Veasey, to the position of Customer Services Manager; the opportunity to support our industry friends Beacon and GBRf by playing, with our friends from Cavalex and Heljan, in a charity football tournament; supporting Drax’s chosen charity Martin House Hospice through a donation from sales of the N gauge biomass hoppers with Rails of Sheffield; being given the opportunity to talk up the hobby on the Jeremy Vine programme on Radio 2, the UK’s most listened to lunchtime radio show; the Class 313 farewell railtour, meeting internet celebrity rail enthusiast Francis Bourgeouis; contributing to the enormous success of Railnuts’ Making Tracks 3 at Chester Cathedral; and as ever visits to real-railway locations to research new projects, including the exciting Rail Operations Group/Stadler Class 93 locomotives.

The Show does go on…

We attended a variety of shows in 2023 including Model Rail Scotland, the Festival of Railway Modellng at Alexandra Palace in London, DEMU Showcase, the International N Gauge Show, the Great Electric Trains Show at Milton Keynes and, of course, the Warley National Model Railway exhibition at the NEC.

We’d like to thank Paul Churchill (below, second left) for stepping in to join the team whenever we need it!

Shows are very important to us as they give us a chance to not just display exciting upcoming models but also to meet with our supporters and customers and listen to what you have to say about what we have done and what we should be doing. We may not always agree, but we always try to listen!

We also do our best to upload photos and short videos when we are attending shows so anyone who can’t attend can at least get a flavour of the event, and what we have on display.

In 2024 we will be attending these shows:

  • DEFINE, Risley Memorial Village Hall, Derby. 6 January.
  • Revolution at Rails of Sheffield. 13 January.
  • Model Rail Scotland, the SECC Glasgow. 23/24/25 February
  • London Festival of Railway Modelling, Alexandra Palace. 16/17 March.
  • Model World Live, NEC, Birmingham. 27/28 April.
  • DEMU Showcase, Sutton Coldfield. 15/16 June.
  • The International N Gauge Show, Warwickshire Exhibition Centre. 14/15 September.
  • The Great Electric Train Show, Milton Keynes. 12/13 October.

Models of the Year…

Despite the difficulties, 2023 has proved to be one of our most productive years ever for delivering new models.

In N, the long-awaited Class 128 Diesel Parcels Units finally arrived, and the amazing reaction to their smooth running has given us the encouragement to speed development of other models that can utilise the chassis, most obviously the already announced Class 120 units.

We also received the Mk5 Caledonian Sleeper coaches, second run batch of Class 390 Pendolinos and PFA container flats. In addition the TPE Mk5as are now en route and expected in the UK very early in the New Year.

We are aware that some customers had difficulty with the running of the first batch of these, so the Mk5as were all re-checked and anyone still having problems is encouraged to reach out to our Customer Services Manager as we have identified a variety of straightforward remedies.

Other N gauge models arriving in 2023 included the popular MMA/JNA box wagons, Class A and Class B tankers and their associated MTV/ZKA ‘Zander’ box wagon conversions.

In OO the models delivered have included the FWA ‘Ecofret’ container wagons, Southern Region General Manager’s Saloon 975025 ‘Caroline’, FNA-D nuclear flask wagons and just this month the second run of TEA tankers.

Deadlines and developments…

We’ve offered fewer new models this year than usual, largely because we wanted to catch up with a few of the more delayed previous announcements.

Nonetheless work is proceeding well on models that are either in production or close to it, and 31st December 2023 is the pre-order deadline for the N gauge Southern General Manager’s Inspection saloon and Cartic-4 car carriers, and in OO the KSA Rover ‘cube’ vans and timber carriers, BR BRV/BRA Borails, YLA Mullets, YQA Parr and Super Tench engineer’s flats.

Other models continue to move through the development cycle, and as ever the latest information can be found on our Projects Page.

Models in production are the Class 59 diesel and Class 313/4 Electric Multiple unit in N. Also coming very soon are the OO Alcan PCA powder tanks and HOA hopper wagons.

Class 175/180 DMUs in OO – EP1 samples have been received and are being tested. Below are a couple of sneak preview photos, with better images coming soon. These samples will be on show at the DEFINE show in Derby on January 6th.

Also coming soon: EP 1 samples of the IHA steel carrier in 00 and N.

Other models in development at the CAD stage are the Class 120 DMU, K-type Pullmans and Class 377/387 Electrostar EMUs in N.

The next models going into production will be the Class 66 locomotives in N. The Earlybird price closes at the end of January 2024 with models expected to ship in the summer or early autumn.

Decorated samples of the EWS and DRS variants were shown at Warley; others will be unveiled over the coming weeks.

Your model – your choice

With the Class 66 Revolution is also introducing Revolution Bespoke, an opportunity for you to personalise your fleet of locomotives. For a small premium your model, in one of our standard liveries, can be supplied not with our own standard number but with another number of your choice, subject to accuracy.

Limited editions are also being planned. The first to be confirmed is 66788 Locomotion 15 in GBRf livery.

This model is being offered under the Railway Icons range created by Rails of Sheffield and the National Railway Museum and a share of profits will be used to support the important work on rail preservation and heritage carried out at Shildon.

Coming up in 2024…

Revolution has lots of exciting new models coming in 2024, with announcements expected over the course of the year, and as ever we will often time them with shows so you can talk to us about them.

These will include new locomotives in OO and N along with new units, wagons and possibly coaching stock too.

All that remains now is to wish all our customers and supporters a very Happy and Peaceful 2024 and our hope that you continue to enjoy your railway modelling!

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66788 Locomotion 15 announced as first Class 66 exclusive

Revolution Trains, Locomotion Models and Rails of Sheffield are joining forces to offer 66788 Locomotion 15 as an N gauge exclusive model.

66788 Locomotion 15 at Rivenhall End in 2022. Photograph courtesy David Smith.

The locomotive was named in September 2019 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the opening of Locomotion in Shildon, partner museum to the National Railway Museum in York and home to a large number of historic items from the national collection.

Locomotion has a particular role in highlighting the vital role the railways have had in moving freight, and naming the locomotive in its honour is especially appropriate.

GBRf engineering director Bob Tiller and Head of Locomotion Sarah Price at 66788’s naming ceremony at Shildon.

Sarah Price, Head of Locomotion, said “The naming of ‘Locomotion 15’ in 2019 was a wonderful way to celebrate the museum on our 15th anniversary, so I am looking forward to seeing the engine brought to life in miniature.”

The locomotive will join the Railway Icons range, a joint initiative between Locomotion Models and Rails of Sheffield.

Stuart Brown of Locomotion said: “We are thrilled to be working with Revolution Trains for the first time on the first N-Gauge model in the Railway Icons range.”

Revolution’s new Class 66 locomotive will feature the very latest in detailing, light and sound features, and the tooling allows for 66788 to be correctly depicted as the former EWS locomotive 66238 acquired by GBRf in 2018.

The model will feature accurate details including swinghead buckeye coupler and control lever, loco location beacon on the horn grille and original BMAC design lights.  It will not have the distinctive driver cab mirrors as these have been removed by GBRf.

The model can be preordered now from either Locomotion Model or Rails of Sheffield and is priced at £159.95 (DC Silent) or £254.95 (DCC Sound.)

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It’s time for Revolution’s red death!

Revolution Trains Class 66 EP1 sample.

Revolution Trains is offering the Class 66 as its next diesel in N gauge. In a departure from our normal practice, the model has been tooled and samples have been tested and approved with decorated samples imminent.

In addition, we have created Revolution Bespoke – which will allow you to specify your own individually numbered loco when ordering!

The models are being offered in both original 4-door tier 0 (UIC 1) and low emission 5-door tier 1 (UIC 2) versions, and our tooling suite allows for prototypical variations in bodyshells, underframes, bogies, horn grilles, marker lights, tie-down loops, sandboxes, light clusters, buffers and couplers.

This means that we can offer not only the ‘standard’ EWS, Freightliner and GBRf versions but some of the more interesting variants including those repatriated from Europe, with UIC standard features, and the last batch built at Muncie, Indiana, with distinctive cab end recesses.

The prototype

The Class 66 revolutionised railfreight in Britain when it entered service a quarter of a century ago, and there are more than 500 of the type in service. On their introduction in 1998 they rapidly became known as the ‘red death’ as their power and reliability led to the rapid withdrawal of numerous older British Rail types.

The Red Death begins: 66001 at Toton TMD in 1998. Photo: Tim Horn, Creative Commons.

After acquiring Britain’s railfreight businesses in the 1996 rail privatisation, Wisconsin Central’s Ed Burkhardt’s quickly realised that large numbers of powerful, reliable new locomotives were needed if he was to make a success of the fledgling English, Welsh and Scottish Railway.

Having examined the US-built Class 59s, with their unparallelled levels of reliability, he placed an order with EMD for 250 locomotives to a similar design.

Designated Class 66 under TOPS, the new locomotives were faster than the 59s, had a greater range, and were supplied with radial (self-steering) bogies, for reduced track wear. To speed things up the Class 59 ‘outline’ was used as it was known to conform to the British loading gauge – a factor that would significantly reduce the time needed for UK approval and certification.

Since then the design’s versatility and reliability have seen it ordered by most other UK freight operators.

The model

Like the locos ordered by Ed Burkhardt, Revolution’s model builds on our successful Class 59 with many shared chassis parts and a similar specification. This includes photo etched grilles all round, numerous separate body and detail parts and a plethora of tooling options to allow prototypical variations in bodyshell, bogies, lighting arrangements, horn grilles, cab windows, cab interiors and underframes.

Revolution Class 66 sample on ‘Chirk’ by Allen Pearson.

Of more than 500 Class 66s in service in Britain there are only a handful that we cannot offer, and while we are not attempting to produce every version immediately over the coming years, we do look forward to filling the gaps in the options available to N gauge enthusiasts.

Like our Class 59, all Revolution Trains Class 66 locomotives will be supplied with one end superdetailed with full air dam and cosmetic couplers/air pipes at one end and slotted air dam with standard N coupler in NEM pocket at the other, however all models are supplied with duplicate parts so you can configure your model with superdetailing or working couplers at both ends should you prefer.

Liveries

Revolution is offering a selection of locomotives in our standard range including all the main operators. Named locomotives will come with the name printed on the bodyside at 95% size plus photo-etched nameplates for the customer to fit.

66083 – EWS

‘Standard’ EWS version with original BMAC lights, swinghead buckeye couplers and driver cab mirrors. 66083 is still carrying this livery in 2023.

66538 – original Freightliner

With ‘bug’eye’ lights representing second batch ordered by Freightliner. 66538 is still carrying this livery in 2023.

66704 – orginal GBRf

As first batch of seven delivered to GBRf with early logo and BMAC lights. Cab colour golden yellow.

66404 – DRS ‘Compass’

Represents first batch delivered to DRS in 2003 with bug-eye lights.

66128 – DB red with large logo

Depicted in 2016+ condition with revised BMAC lights.

66848 – Colas Rail Freight

With bug-eye lights is one of the locos acquired by Colas from Freightliner.

66795 – GBRf

Ex-Euro loco repatriated from Germany with ‘Euro’ details including extended horn grille, UIC cab interior and rectangular buffers. Supplied with Bescot LDC nameplates. Cab colour bright orange.

66303 – DRS plain blue

Low emission locomotive with modified BMAC lights.

66720 ‘Wascosa’ – GBRf

Low emission version with bug-eye lights and Wascosa branding. Supplied with ‘Wascosa’ nameplates.

66623 – Freightliner Genessee & Wyoming livery

Early G&W repaint from mid-2019, with revised BMAC lights.

66752 ‘The Hoosier State’ – GBRf Europorte livery

First of the last batch of locos built at Muncie, Indiana (which is nicknamed the Hoosier state) with revised details including cab front recess and extended sandboxes.

Please note graphic images are illustrative only.

Introducing ‘Revolution Bespoke…’

In addition Revolution has partnered up with Rainbow Railways to offer a new service so you can order not just the loco you like, but the individual running number you want too.

For a small premium any of our standard livery models can be ordered with your choice of number and, if appropriate, fitted etched nameplates. This work will be carried out by Rainbow Railways after the factory decorated base models are here and you will receive your chosen the locomotive soon after the main production is shipped.

The cost for this is £20 for printed details, £30 for printed details plus fitted photo-etched nameplates.

EWS maroon. Possible numbers: 66004-200. . Can be supplied with DB logo instead of EWS where appropriate.
GBRf blue. Possible numbers 66701-7 GBRf. Can be supplied with original or revised GBRf lettering.
Freightliner original. Possible numbers 66538-81, 66607-22 original Freightliner.
DB red. Possible numbers: 66004-200. Note: model has revised light clusters so is only suitable for refitted locomotives.

Revolution Bespoke also applies to DRS, revised GBRf and Colas versions.

Full options and prices will be available after Warley.

DCC, lights and sound

Like our Class 59, the Class 66 will feature ESU’s new E24 nano decoder. These decoders are smaller than Next 18 but offer significantly more functions, enabling all lights to be individually controlled and enabling us to offer fully prototypical working lights on DCC with directional headlights and marker lights, cab interior lights, two different yard modes for shunting and park mode.

With a nod to the prototype, the DCC decoder socket, and DC lighting switches, are accessed by removing the centre engine panel.

As with our other powered models Revolution is offering DC Silent and DCC Sound versions, with different sound files for the original locomotives and the low emission variants.

Prices and timelines

Because we have already reached the EP sample stage with this model the duration of the pre-order period will be significantly reduced, and we expect to put these models into production soon after Chinese New Year in late February, with delivery expected in late summer/early autumn 2024.

The standard models are available to order until 31 January 2024 at a discounted Earlybird price of £144.95 DC Silent and £239.95 for DCC Sound, after which the price will rise to the MSRP of £159.95 DC Silent or £254.95 for DCC Sound.

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Revolution at Warley 2023

As usual Revolution Trains will be attending the Warley National Model Railway Show in Hall 5 at the NEC next Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November 2023.

We are on stand D51 – at the far end of the hall directly in front of the entrance – making us easy to find, though you might get distracted on the way…

Warley is the UK’s largest show and 2023 is its 29th year at the NEC. This year’s event will feature over 80 layouts, and along with Revolution Trains there are more than 120 traders and manufacturers. The show is consistently voted Britain’s best model railway exhibition, and is a must-see for many enthusiasts.

Our display this year is a little larger, to reflect Reviolution Trains’ steady and measured growth, which is why we have moved from our usual spot, but our display cabinets will still be crammed with all our latest samples for you to examine as well as our next N gauge powered model, which is being officially announced on Wednesday morning.

There’ll also be our popular Progress chart and we will have new catalogues available to pick up for free in both 00 and N and regular show goers know we are always much more indiscreet about our future plans and projects when chatting face-to-face; with the caveat that secrets shared in person are not broadcast on the web! So far no one has betrayed our confidences – so thanks for that!

In additon we will have limited stocks of some models on sale including our 00 FNA-Ds and N-gauge Class 92s, Wascosa JNA box wagons, STVA car carriers, PCV cement wagons and various other models.

See you at the show!