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Caroline goes to the ball…well Model World Live!

In addition to our standard display of samples and the latest information updates, we are pleased to announce that we will be offering the final limited stock of our award-winning OO/4mm SR inspection saloon 975025 / Caroline for purchase at the event. This includes all three striking liveries: blue/grey; NSE; and Network Rail green. The models will be available at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of £159.99.

For those of you unable to go to the show – fear not, we have reserved some of the stock for sale from our website and they will be available from 1000 on Saturday 26 April until stocks run out.

So if you missed out on our inspection saloon and would like one then now’s your chance!

Please note that stocks are very limited at the show and online!

As well as stocks of the SR inspection saloon we will have a selection of other stock (including some sold out items) available for purchase.

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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 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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KSAs in colour… Rover ‘cube’ and timber carriers impress

Revolution has received decorated samples of its 00 gauge 1:76.2 scale KSA Rover ‘Cube’ and timber carrier wagons for evaluation.

The prototypes were built in 1995 by Rautaruukki of Finland and intended to carry components for the Rover car company. These parts were large but light, so the wagons were designed to the limits of the loading gauge to maximise the number that could be carried.

Photo courtesy Kevin Payne.

In 2001, after Rover ceased operations, a number were transferred to the Malcolm Group for their Anglo-Scottish services tranporting bulky goods including bottled water, and two wagons were given their colourful red and blue colours.

Revolution is offering the Rover liveried models in maroon and grey in four twin packs, making a total of eight differently numbered wagons available.

Photo courtesy Gordon Edgar.

In addition, the two Malcolm wagons are available in their own twin pack and these will be available from our selected retailers.

Photo courtesy Tom Smith.

In 2012 several of the wagons were selected for conversion into timber carriers for Kronospan traffic from Scotland, north and south west England and south Wales to Chirk. In these trains KSAs are often mixed with the blue IWA ‘Rfnoos’ wagons already produced by Revolution Trains

Photos courtesy Steve Knight, Barry Lewis used under Creative Commons.

The conversion involved removal of the top covers, isolation of the centre well lift mechanism and addition of side stanchions. In addition, slats were cut in the outer ends to improve air flow in some wagons. Revolution is offering both designs.

Once the decorated samples have been checked and assessed the models will be cleared for production. There are some minor changes we want to make such as darkening the blue shade on the Malcolm’s versions.

The deadline for pre-ordering is December 31st 2023, with the models expected to be delivered in Q1-2 2024, subject to delays caused by Chinese New Year.

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Mullets can look good…

Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of its forthcoming 00 gauge BR Borail EB/EC and MB wagons, BRV and BRA steel carriers and YLA Mullet, YQA Super Tench engineering flats.

BORAIL MB (front) and BRV rear. Please note all the samples shown have accommodation wheels. Production models will have wheelsets of the correct scale diameter.

The Borails were built in the late 1950s and early 1960s as EB and MB variants (with five bolsters) and EC (no bolsters) for the Eastern and Midland regions to convey pre-stressed concrete beams and other long, heavy items. They had 8′ plate bogies, five-spoke handbrake wheels and twelve chain loops on each side.

Chain loops on each side are separate fittings. On production models the deck will be a slightly lighter shade.

Under TOPS in the 1970s they were coded BRV, then in the early 1980s 150 were fitted with air brakes, six bolsters, recoded BRA and used for steel traffic, particularly rails, primarily from British Steel Workington. These wagons were painted railfreight red during the rebuild.

The shade of Railfreight red will be corrected on this version, and the bolsters will be correclty configured.

Later the fleet was transferred to the engineers and given the fishkind name Mullet. Most received CE ‘Dutch’ livery. On some wagons the bolsters were removed and replaced with longitudinal baulks for carrying concrete sleepers; these were given the fishkind name Parr, while post privatisation some were designated Super Tench, having their upper body replaced with modular ISO standard mesh-sided cages.

Livery variations included variations in CE Dutch – with some wagons receiving Railfreight grey underframes; all-over mainline blue, and EWS maroon. Versions of these are all available to pre-order in packs with two wagons that complement each other.

These are a selection of the twin packs available; full details of the complete range and wagon identies are on the order page. Please note N gauge graphics are shown; however the 00 versions are the same.

Detail features on these models include fine photo etched mesh sides, separate wire and plastic details, NEM couplers in kinematic pockets and four different designs of brakewheel.

Once the decorated samples are assessed feedback will be sent, and then the models will be ready to go into production. The order book will close in due course.

For those who prefer not to pre-order, these twin packs are expected to be available from retailers, albeit at a higher price.

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Nuclear secrets…

With our FNA-D nuclear flask wagons now in stock here with Revolution and with retailers we have received some enquiries from customers about the variations in hazchem panels applied to the models.

When loaded, the wagons are required to run with panels indicating the contents – for these wagons this is 3329 7 fissile nuclear material, which comes with assorted regulations for loading, transportation and unloading, and showing the Radsafe information line number for use if necessary.

In addition, the wagons can carry the appropriate ADR/EU orange hazard labels with the same 3329 code, though this is not always present.

When running empty – either to a nuclear site, for repair or maintenance, or as a barrier wagon or spare, the panels do not carry any warnings at all, and to enable our customers to replicate this we are offering one wagon – version 3 – which does not have the warnings present. This table shows the panels on each of the models on offer.

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Making Tracks 3 features Revolution Trains IPA carriers!

Whilst we’ve been busy sending out SR inspection saloons (975025/Caroline) and FNA-D nuclear flask carriers, we’ve also been delighted to support the fabulous Making Tracks 3 on show at Chester Cathedral – our IPA car carriers look the part depicting the Dagenham-Garston car train that passes through Milton Keynes regularly.

Chris Clenton, the project manager behind the Making Tracks layout, sent us this video and some great photos:

The train running on Making Tracks 3 comprises pairs of 00 gauge flat twins, flat twins with stakes and covered and sheeted quad wagons, all in STVA’s red livery. The models are also available in N gauge.

Making Tracks 3 incorporates remarkable levels of detail to enjoy even when trains aren’t passing, and has been designed to be fully interactive; young visitors can drive trains through the scenic section controlling trains via tablets; stopping them at the station or speeding through.

Chris estimates that so far more than 40,000 visitors have seen the layout, and ticket sales have raised many thousands for Chester Cathedral.

We’ve got a relatively small number of OO/4mm IPA carriers from the Shop section of our website (please don’t mix orders for stock items with pre-orders for future models!):

(If the version you want isn’t available from us some of our retailers might still have some stock).

IPAs in 00

Once the stock is sold out that is going to be it for the IPA car carriers for a while until we do a second run but don’t worry car carrier fans we’ve got plenty in the works announced (see our Cartic-4s available to pre-order in the Shop section) and unannounced!

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Vive la France! French steel carriers next in 00 and N!

Revolution Trains is offering the IHA ‘Sfhimmns’ canvas covered steel coil carriers as its next wagon model in 00 and N.

CAD is complete and the models in both scales are in tooling, however the 00 model is slightly more advanced than the N gauge version.

The stubby design, with its characteristic platform at one end above the buffers to allow staff to cross safely from one side of a train to the other, is a familiar sight on steel trains and often intermixed with other designs such as the Thrall-built BRA/BYA ‘Nissen hut’ design.

66303 on Dee Marsh – Margam service. Photo courtesy Roger Cutts.
Tata Steel Clayton battery hybrid shunter 930 shunts IHA wagons at Knuckle Yard, South Wales. This locomotive type is also being offered by Revolution Trains. Courtesy Clayton Equipment Ltd.

Photos: Clockwise from left – 66007 on Margam-Wembley enterprise, 2009. Courtesy Robert Catterson; GBRf 66755 with Grain-Margam service; 47212 in RfD livery at Kingswinford Junc. in 1995. Courtesy Dave Gomersall.

47805 ‘Talisman’ and 47769 ‘Resolve’ on hire to Colas with a short train for Dollands moor, 209. Courtesy David Smith.
Colas 56113 with imported steel from Boston bound for the Midlands in 2016. Courtesy GarstangpostT21.

There are around 250 of the type in use for transporting high-grade steel on a variety of flows. These include domestic steel from South Wales to destinations in the midlands, north and south-east of England and via the Channel tunnel to customers in France, Belgium and Holland.

IHA wagons at Botlek in the Netherlands. The smaller British loading gauge is very apparent in this image courtesy of Paul van Duin.

These wagons are also used to feed imported steel from ports on the east coast and Thames estuary to steel terminals inland.

Left: 08507 shunts IHAs over the swing bridge at Boston Docks. Courtesy 6089 Gardener. Right: IHAs at Wolverhampton Steel Terminal. Courtesy Stephen Burdett.

Protoype history

The first batch of 48 wagons were built by Fauvet Girel in 1991, registered in France and given the UIC code Sfhimms; the ‘f’ in the code signifying their suitability in the smaller British loading gauge. Further batches were built in 1993 and 1998.

There are very minor variations between batches and these are accounted for in the Revolution tooling.

Now owned by wagon leasing company Ermewa, the wagons have red bogies, underframes and ends and grey canvas covers.  Some have yellow discs painted in the covers signifying they are reserved for domestic traffic only.

Recently, as the canvas covers came due for renewal, wagon owners Ermewa began adding its branding more prominently.

These graphics are for illustrative purposes only and not approved painting diagrams.

A further batch of similarly-coded wagons was built in 2008-9 by Astra Rail (now Greenbrier) in Romania and finished in GE (now Touax) blue livery, however these are to a different design and are not the subject of this model.

Model features

The wagons feature our usual levels of detailing with lots of separate parts and photo-etched platforms at one end and NEM coupler pockets in kinematic mounts.

The models are also designed for easy conversion to EM or P4 standards, with axles set at 26mm. The brake blocks on the model will be supplied correct for its 00 wheels, but additional mounting holes have been incorporated into the frames to make widening them straightforward.

Formations and destinations…

During our research we have identified numerous flows these wagons are used on however it is quite possible there are others we have not come across.

The majority of the flows on the diagram are now operated by DB, however the Margam-Dee Marsh and Grain-Llanwern contracts are now in the hands of GBRf, on occasion using hired in locomotives. The Trostre-Tilbury trains and those carrying imported steel from Boston use Colas traction, often Class 56.

One reason for offering these wagons, as our popular sample consists diagram shows, is that they tie in very nicely with other models already available – such as the BYA from Bachmann, IGA from Heljan, IWA from Dapol and JSA from Accurascale, enabling enthusiasts to depict more authentic steel traffic.

We would like to thank Ermewa and DB/Axiom for permission to use their logos and IP and their generous help with information and facilitating close up inspections of the real thing.

We are hoping to have first samples of these models for evaluation very soon, with delivery expected by summer next year.

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Easy come, easy (car-)go…OO/4mm Caroline and FNA-Ds arrive!

Update 02-8-23: models have cleared customs and will start to be sent out to customers on 3 August. All SR inspection saloon / Caroline and FNA nuclear flask carriers balance invoices generated – please check your account on our website if you haven’t received an email.

The 400m ‘Suezmax’ ONE TRADITION is currently unloading at Southampton with a container of valuable cargo onboard. The ONE TRADITION has a capacity of over 20,000 TEU (Twenty foot equivalent units) and regularly carries upwards of 9000 forty foot containers. Amongst its current cargo is a container full of our OO/4mm SR inspection saloons and FNA-Ds. We expect the container to be unloaded and go through customs clearance over the next few days with delivery to us late this week/early next week. As soon as we receive the shipment we will check the models over and then start to send out the models to customers with fully-paid orders.

Order processing

We have started to generate balance invoices for customers who paid a deposit on either model (update 27-7-23: all the balance invoices for SR inspection saloon / Caroline and FNA-D nuclear flask carriers have been generated) – if you have a balance to pay you should receive a balance invoice in your email or if not in your account on our website.

If you need to change your delivery address please update the shipping address in your account but also please send us an email if you changed it since 24 July (otherwise your order might not get updated in time). Thanks!

If you missed out on our pre-orders some of our retailers still have models available to order (they should receive their allocations next week).

Please note when you pay a balance invoice the website automatically updates the deposit part of your order to “Complete” and sends you an email saying your order has been despatched – this is an automatic software bug that we can’t change. Your order is actually despatched when we mark the balance part of the order as “Complete” ie despatched.

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ROG invites Revolution to see the 93…

Revolution Trains has been able to go and visit the first of the new Class 93s – 93001 – at the depot being used by its owners Rail Operations Group as a base for the approvals procedures now needed before the locomotives can enter service.

The Class 93s are tri-modes – able to draw power from 25kV OHLE, from an onboard battery pack or from a 1200hp Caterpillar diesel.  They are designed as a flexible go-anywhere option (one reason why, unlike early renders, the finished loco has a yellow front panel) and this week ROG have been displaying the new arrival to a succession of potential users.

Our visit is going to be the first of several as we adapt the CADs we already have (derived from information sent by Stadler) to match the locomotive as it is built and incorporating alterations made during that process. 

Draft CAD image. Even a cursory glance will reveal numerous variations between this and the as-built locomotive

For example, some parts of the underframe have been altered or reconfigured and initially the design followed European practice in not having cab door windows; these have since been added and will be to our CAD of course.

For ROG the next stage is a combination of testing both in Britain and abroad and there may well be further changes to ensure the locomotive conforms to any further gauging, safety, operator or staff requirements and these will be incorporated. 

While we are keen to develop this model as quickly as possible we will not begin the expensive tooling until the locomotive is in its ‘service’ condition; furthermore the licence we have with Stadler and ROG stipulates that the models must not be released before the locomotives begin to enter service.

We’d like to thank the team at ROG for welcoming us yesterday, and for a rather nice guidebook, and look forward to providing further updates as the project develops. In the next week or so look out for a short video giving more detailed information about this trip and the next stage of the locomotive’s development and introduction.

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Class 175 and 180 in OO/4mm available to pre-order now!

Our much-anticipated Class 175s and 180s are now available to pre-order in OO gauge/4mm scale. If you order before the end of July 2023 you will benefit from our discounted early-bird prices!

The Class 175s are £215 (increasing to £225 after 31 July 2023) for 2-car units or £255 (increasing to £270 after 31 July) for 3-car units.

The 5-car Class 180s are £330 at early-bird prices (increasing to £350 after 31 July 2023).

As well as our low prices you can also take advantage of our deposit option (pay half now and half on delivery) if you would like to spread the cost. All units are DCC ready, but DCC sound versions are available of all versions.

We are offering a selection of liveries:

Class 175 in Arriva Train Wales and Transport for Wales liveries (both offered in 2 or 3 car sets):

Class 180 in Grand Central and First Dynamic Lines (choice of Hull Trains or First Great Western (First Great Western not shown.)

Missing liveries

Some of you may have noticed some missing liveries. We would really like to offer these to 4mm modellers but sales in N gauge have not been great, so we are asking for expressions of interest in these versions. If we get sufficient expressions of interest in any of these liveries we will put them on sale. Please submit expressions of interest as soon as possible but no later than 31 August 2023. Please note this is not a commitment to purchase and so there is no benefit in waiting until the deadline – the sooner we know that there’s interest the better!

Class 175 First North Western

Class 180 First Barbie (Great Western or Northern) and EMR

If you would like to express interest in any of these liveries please complete the short form here before 31 August 2023.

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Cartic-4mm (OO) order book opens!

It has been a while since we announced the OO/4mm version of our forthcoming Cartic-4 models – apologies for the delay, this has largely been due to some refinements to the CAD that took longer than we anticipated (unfortunately it isn’t as simple as pressing a button to go from one scale to another!).

We’re pleased to announce that the OO Cartic-4 CAD is complete and the model is now in tooling – as a result our order book is now open.

As a reminder, we’re offering the iconic Cartic-4 articulated car carrier in OO-gauge/4mm scale in the following versions (with 2 set numbers for each version – just select set A or B). The models will be offered in original form with top rails in Motorail, MAT and Silcock & Collings liveries.

In MAT and STVA liveries with mesh side screens.

And in the distinctive Silcock & Collings/Silcock Express versions with side screens and side screens with roofs.

All versions are now available to pre-order at the early bird price of £109.95 per quad set. The early bird discount will be available until 13 June 2023 after which the standard pre-order price will be £124.95. We expect the models to arrive in Q4 2023 – Q1 2024.

You can pre-order all versions from our shop by clicking on the button below.

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It’s TEA time – again!

Revolution Trains is offering a second run of its highly popular TEA tanker wagons in OO gauge 1:76.2 scale.

Verisons in VTG red and EWS are among those being offered

First proposed at Warley in 2015 (yes – eight years ago!!) and delivered in 2018 the ‘modern style’ 100t TEA tanker was Revolution’s first OO model and to some extent helped to set the standard for features Revolution has come to be known for: accuracy, numerous alternate running numbers and high levels of detail with a focus on subtle variations.

60010 at Kingsbury Fuel Terminal. Photo courtesy Tom Smith.

On our TEAs these differences include the style of ladder – with our without the anti-climb guards, discharge chutes – single or bifurcated, brake equipment and variations in tank vents and man-lids.

VTG grey, red and blue versions

The models will be available singly in improved packaging but with multiple running numbers of most versions, and we have carefully chosen liveries to include our most popular existing versions and complementary new variants.

The class of 2023…

All new versions will have different running numbers to those previously offered.

EWS livery: wagons 870203, 870247, 870272, 870309.
VTG red: wagons 88117, 88130, 88134, 88140.
VTG grey: wagons 88167, 88169, 88170, 88173
VTG plain blue: wagons 88144, 88156
Freightliner green 871002
VTG green (Freightliner rebranded) 871006
VTG dark blue with environmental message: 8370 7792 042-4 ‘Railfreight delivers…. with less congestion’
VTG dark blue with environmental message: 8370 7792 049-9 ‘……caring for the environment’
Greenergy green debranded: 8370 7792 026-7
Greenergy blue debranded: 8370 7792 003-6, 8370 7792 017-6

Please note these graphics are illustrative and are not to scale or fully colour corrected.

The new run of TEA tankers will be available from retailers or can be ordered direct from Revolution Trains. We have managed to keep the MSRP the same at £48.95 per wagon, even though it is more than five years since these wagons were last produced.

Which TEA is right for me?

While the useage has remained largely the same since we first prepared our TEA route map, the main difference is that the debranded Greenergy wagons are now used largely from Puma’s refinery at Milford Haven to the west of England and the Midlands. The EWS liveried wagons also seem to be more widely used.

60040 works 6B33 Theale-Margam past Shrivenham. Photo courtest Foulger Rail Photos/Creative Commons.

The green ex-Freightliner batch are seen largely with the grey and blue VTG types on trains from Humberside to the Midlands, while the Dalston train from Ineos Grangemouth to Dalston in Cumbria is mainly operated by a mix of red and grey VTG tanks, with the occasional blue mixed in.

60059 with Humber-Kingsbury train. Photo courtesy Rob Reedman/Creative Commons.
60056 with the Dalston-Grangemouth empties. In the background can be seen the conical Gateside ‘Bings’ (former colliery spoil heaps) that are being incorporated into a land art project known as The Crawick Multiverse by American artist Charles Jencks. Photo courtesy Dave McAlone.

As can be seen above, the Dalston train usually comprises 18 wagons between Grangemouth and Carlisle, but because the unloading siding at Dalston can only accommodate six bogie tanks, the train is tripped in shorter consists from Kingmoor yard to the terminal, making for a very modellable train.

A fascinating video explaining the full sequence can be enjoyed here, with thanks to ‘Northumberland Snapper’ for documenting these manoeuvres:

Freightliner has also used these wagons, in VTG grey or green, to supply its locomotive fuelling point in Ipswich, often in short consists of 2 or 3 wagons, again offering modellable potential for those with smaller layouts or tighter budgets.

If you’re keen to learn more searching on Flickr for still photographs, or YouTube for videos, of your preferred route will give a good indication of what the consists are.

These models are going into production next month and are expected to arrive in the summer, however China is subject to ongoing Covid issues so this date is an estimate, not a guarantee!

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New boxes from Revolution!

Revolution Trains is offering another run of its popular MMA/JNA ‘Ealnos’ box wagons in OO gauge/1:76.2 scale in a host of new liveries.

Revolution MMA box wagon in DB red livery.

There are now more than a thousand of the type in operation now, with more to come, and since Revolution produced its first run of these models nearly four years ago further new versions have arrived in Britain.

These include the eye-catching Wascosa/Network Rail yellow, bright Cappagh blue and the dark red of Touax.

JNA in Wascosa livery. Photo Mark Saunders.
60046 with Cappagh JNA box wagons. Photo: Mark Few.
59104 with Touax and Mendip Rail JNA wagons at Kintbury. Photo: Foulger Rail – Creative Commons.

We will also offer the most popular of the original liveries including the original MMA in DB Red and the JNA in MRL. Other versions on offer will include the revised Ermewa/GBRf livery. The tooling will be modified to allow the accurate depiction of detail changes featured on some of the newest versions.

These models will be available to pre-order from Revolution Trains, but will also be available to purchase from our growing network of retailers. As with the previous versions, some variants will be offered with battery powered flashing tail lamps.

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Welcome back Warley!

Warley is back! The UK’s largest model railway show returns to the NEC after a forced three-year hiatus and Revolution will be there on stand C15 – come and see us!

We will have two new brochures free to collect – one dedicated to our offerings in 00 gauge, and one to N gauge.

We will have all the latest samples to view including the first decorated sample of our OO/4mm FNA-D nuclear flask carriers (we will publish more images on our website next week) and the first EP sample of the N gauge version as well as many other samples.

OO gauge/4mm scale FNA-D livery sample
N gauge/2mm scale engineering prototype (EP) sample

If you would like to collect an order for OO/4mm IPA car carriers or Ecofret container flats (or any other in stock items) please send us an email by 7pm Thursday 24 November – we will confirm if it is possible or not.

Each

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4mm/OO HOA aggregate hoppers – livery samples and order deadline

The factory recently sent us decorated samples of our forthcoming HOA aggregate hoppers. 4 of the 5 liveries are shown below (editor: not sure what has happened to photos of the Ermewa Tarmac version!). We will have them on display at the Great Electric Trains Show in October and at Warley in November.

Cemex livery
EWS Construction livery
DB Schenker livery
VTG Mendip Rail livery

We have a few tweaks to make to improve the decoration but we’re largely very happy with them.

The twin packs are priced at £71.95 each to pre-order from our website – just click on Shop – and the order book will close at the end of November (30 November) to allow production to begin with delivery scheduled for late Q1 2023 – early Q2 2023.

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Incoming…IPA car carriers and Ecofrets!

Our OO/4mm IPA car carriers and Ecofret/FWAs are both in transit from China to the UK and we expect them to land at Southampton over the next few days. Once the models have cleared customs and been delivered to us, we will check the models and start to send them out to customers whose orders are fully paid.

IPA car carriers

The IPAs will be sent out first so we’ve been generating balance invoices for IPA customers – all the balance invoices have now been generated. If you haven’t received your balance invoice(s) please check your spam box of your email or login to your account on our website where you should see any available balance invoices.

IPA car carriers in STVA red

IMPORTANT!

If you pay all your balance invoices then your deposit order will automatically mark itself as “Complete” and send you an email – please note the explanation at the bottom of these emails ie your order is not despatched until both halves of the order are marked as “Complete” – in this case this means that only when the balance orders are also marked as complete.

Secondly, if you have moved address please update your shipping address in your account. If you have updated your shipping address since 21 August 2022 please let us know (otherwise we can’t guarantee that we will have picked up the change!).

Ecofret FWAs

The Ecofret FWAs will follow shortly after the IPAs have been sent out and we will update this page with details of when balance invoices have been generated and Ecofrets are being sent out.

Ecofret FWAs (L to R): VTG green, DB red and GBRf blue with Ecofret branding

Updated: 30/8/22

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Battery diesel hits the road…

The Clayton CBD-80 and CBD-90 models in development by Revolution Trains recently featured on an episode of the TV show ‘Train Truckers’ on the Yesterday Channel. Yesterday is one of the family of channels broadcast by UKTV, which is part of the BBC.

In the programme specialist haulage form Allelys are tasked with transporting one of the Sellafield CBD-80 variants from Clayton’s plant in Burton to the Chasewater Railway for testing.

Previously Allelys had also moved a CBD-90 locomotive on behalf of steelmaker Tata, who operate a fleet.

Photo: Allelys.
Photo: Allelys.

The programme also features the similar, but heavier, CBD-90 locomotives being built by Beacon Rail and now in service with GBRf at Whitemoor depot. These featured in our own video to introduce the models.

The models are now in tooling and EP1 samples are expected in the next 6-8 weeks, following approval of the CAD diagrams some weeks ago.

Beacon CBD-90 with single light
Beacon CBD-90 with BMAC lights
Tata Steel CBD-90

Train Truckers S2 EP2 can be viewed here

The Revolution Trains introduction video can be seen here

These models can be pre-ordered exclusvely from Rails of Sheffield here

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Aluminating tanks from Revolution!

Revolution Trains is offering the distinctive Alcan PCA alumina tanks, used between Blyth and Lochaber Aluminium Smelter near Fort William, in the Scottish Highlands, as its next OO wagon model and we’ve prepared a short video to launch the model which is currently in tooling.

With Ben More dominating the background 66739 The Bluebell Railway eases the Alcan empties across the Fillan Viaduct at Crianlarich. Photo: Terry Callaghan.

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.

66740 with the Alcan tanks at Whifflet. Photo: Tom Smith.

In addition they have been hauled by a wide variety of traction including Classes 26, 37, 47, 56, 60, 66 and perhaps most remarkably, Class 55 Deltic 55022 in 2011.

26036 with Alcan tanks bringing up the rear at Beattock in 1990. Photo: Dave McAlone.

To assist with research Revolution recently visited the Lochaber smelter.

Prototype History

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 Blyth. Photo: Henry Pattinson.

Introduced in a plain grey livery with blue ‘Alcan’ branding, by the mid 2000s the Alcan logos had faded and resembled dusty grey triangles, and the end ladders were removed.

37413 “Loch Eil Outward Bound” with Alcan tanks at Crianlarich in 1991. Photo: Alan Mitchell.

In 2008 Alcan was amalgamated into Rio Tinto Alcan, and while the basic livery remained the same new red branding was introduced.

BAHS55559 at Stirling’s Yard in Rio Tinto Alcan livery. Photo: Tom Smith

Following the purchase of the Lochaber aluminium smelter in 2016 by GFG Alliance the wagons were progressively relabelled in Lochaber Power/Liberty and more recently with Alvance branding.

BAHS55568 in Alvance branding, BAHS 55566 wih Lochaber/Liberty branding. Photo: Tom Smith.

The Model

The Alcan PCA tanks feature four top loading hatches, a full length catwalk and access ladders on each side.  The ladders were removed around 2005-2007 and versions with and without ladders, with appropriate liveries, will be offered.

PCA original version with ladders
PCA revised with ladders removed

In addition some wagons have had the plate on the discharge chute removed, and this will be supplied as a customer fit part to allow both options.

The models feature NEM pockets and are designed for straightforward conversion to EM or P4. Tooling is almost complete and first samples are expected next month.

Revolution is proposing versions in a wide selection of the liveries carried by these tanks to allow every era of these interesting wagons to be depicted.

Operations

Lochaber smelter is just outside Fort William in the West Highlands of Scotland and was opened in 1929. The enormous power requirements of alumium smelting require that plants are located close to suitable power supply. It would take the average family 20 years to use the electricity needed to produce just one tonne of aluminium!

Lochaber smelter generates the power it need using hydro-electric turbines spun by vast quantities of water piped from Loch Treig via a tunnel through the base of Ben Nevis and down five huge pipes into the plant.

Five enormous pipes feed water to power Lochaber’s hydro-electric turbines. Photo: James Dean Shepherd.

Aluminium is produced in a two-stage process. Aluminium ore (Bauxite) is first converted into alumina, then smelted into aluminium ingots.

Molten aluminium being poured into casting moulds at Lochaber. Photo: GFG Alliance.

The alumina used at Lochaber is processed at Aughinish in County Limerick, Ireland – the largest such plant in Europe – then shipped to the Port of Blyth, where it is unloaded into three large silos before being sent by rail to Fort William.

Bulk carrier Arklow Willow is unloaded at Blyth, prior to the alumina being railed to Lochaber. Photo: Chris Phillips, used under Creative Commons.

When introduced the wagons were also used, on occasion, to supply alumina to the Lynemouth smelter, around 7 miles north of Blyth, however these trains ceased when it was mothballed in 2012.

At the present time the trains, running under the headcodes 6S45 (loaded) and 6E45 (empties) run north on the East Coast main line via Dunbar and Millerhill to Mossend, then across via Helensburgh Upper onto the West Highland line to Fort William.

66737 with diverted Alcan tanks at Denton Mill. Photo: Dave McAlone.

Diversionary routes can include north of Mossend via Gartcosh or avoiding the ECML using the Tyne Valley line via Hexham to Carlisle and then the northern West Coast main line.

Sample consists

The models are in tooling now with samples expected very soon, and the order book is open now – just click on Shop in the website menu.

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ROG 93 revealed…

The first locomotive of the new Class 93 tri-mode fleet being built for Rail Operations Group by Stadler has not been completed yet, and their entry into service is probably a year away, but despite this our designers have been making progress on CAD of the model in 00, and we thought modellers may be interested in seeing progress.

The CAD has been produced from drawings and 3D files kindly provided by Stadler’s engineers to assist us in production of the model.

As can be seen there is plenty of detail, although the pantograph has not yet been added to the roof. On the finished models it will be positioned at the near end in the image above, and will be controllable under DCC.

The prototypes are designed to be a medium power ‘go anywhere’ locomotive designed to fulfil Rail Operations Group’s core business of moving new (or in service) trains around the network as well as powering new high-speed parcels and city-to-city light intermodal traffic.

The design of the cab draws on Stadler’s house style and is clearly influenced by the company’s very successful Euro Dual family of locomotives. Although Rail Operations Group released an artist’s representation of the finished locomotives when they announced their plans, there may yet be some adjustments to the final livery designs.

The underframe will feature a host of separately fitted details; much of the underframe shares a commonality with the Stadler-built Class 88s in operation with DRS, part of Nuclear Transportation Service, which is a subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

The chassis design is still subject to possible change; this cutaway view shows the current arrangement with Plux-22 DCC interface below a panel at the ‘diesel’ end of the locomotive, and space left at the far end for the pantograph operating servo, as well as the fully detailed cab interiors.

The models will be highly specified with a full suite of working lights, DC silent and DCC Sound options and along with a working pantograph. The image above shows the cooler group with one of the photo-etched grilles removed to show the fan detail.

Other details include numerous separate parts on the bogies and representation of the Dellner coupler carried by the locomotives to enable them to couple to many of the numerous classes of unit they will have to move, as well as modern coaching stock such as the Mk5As in service with TPE.

While this represents an excellent start there remains plenty to do to complete the design work, and once the first of the prototype locomotives are nearing completion Revolution expects to visit Stadler’s manufacturing plant in Valencia to photograph and measure the fine details, and check for changes made to the design plans during construction. Tooling will not begin until we are sure testing is completed and no visible alterations are required.

We won’t know the final cost of the model until the CAD work is complete and all specifications fully locked in therefore we do not expect to open the order book for these models until early 2023, however we will keep our supporters updated on this exciting project as we pass through each stage of development.