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All iN for Alcan PCA tanks in N?

Revolution Trains has just released OO/4mm versions of the attractive Alcan PCA tanks and we invite expressions of interest in production of these tanks in N/2mm.  

Revolution Trains 00 gauge Alcan tanks in original Alcan, Rio Tinto Alcan and Alvance liveries.

We anticipate that the tanks would be produced in quad packs and be priced at a similar level to the OO tanks ie £149.95 per 4 wagons. We’d aim to offer the same liveries as 00 – original Alcan, Alcan debranded, Rio Tinto, Lochaber Liberty and Alvance – subject to sufficient demand.

These wagons have been used since their introduction in 1987-8 to transport alumina from the bulk sea terminal at Blyth to the UK’s only remainng aluminium smelter at Lochaber, near Fort William in Scotland.

When introduce they operated in shortish rakes of around 12 wagons. These were often marshalled into Speedlink or Enterprise services, and in the hands predominantly of class 37s, though class 26, 56 and 60 locos were also used. Following privatisation, the contract was won by EWS (now DB) and 66s began to be used.

Since 2010 the contract has been in the hands of GBRf and, while 66s continue to dominate, occasional traction shortages have seen 37s, 57s and even a class 55 Deltic step in.

If you’re interested in purchasing any of Alcan PCA tanks in N please complete the expression of interest form (it isn’t a commitment to purchase but please be realistic!).  The deadline for expressions of interest is 30 April 2024.

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Alcans arrival!

Revolution has received EP1 samples of its forthcoming 00 gauge, 1:76.2 scale Alcan PCA alumina tanks. These models represent the fleet of wagons diagram PC020A which have been in use since the late 1980s transporting alumina, which is used to make aluminium, from Blyth in Northumberland to the UK’s only remaining aluminium smelter at Lochaber at the base of Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands.

Alumina PCA sample in as-built form with ladders.
Alumina PCA without ladders as currently operated.

When built the wagons had ladders, however these were removed in the early 2000s. They entered service with Alcan, were subsequently taken on by Rio Tinto and are now operated by Alvance.

Revolution research trip to Lochaber Smelter.

The models feature a wealth of separately fitted details to the underside and fine, photo-etched catwalks.

Close up showing photo-etched catwalk and array of underframe detailing.

The wagons operate through some of the most beautiful scenery in the British Isles. In BR days they were usually hauled by Class 37 locomotives; then after privatisation EWS brought in Class 66s.

37413 “Loch Eil Outward Bound” leads the North Blyth – Fort William Alcan tanks over the River Fillan at Crianlarich. Photo courtesy Alan Mitchell.

Nowadays GBRf operates the trains. Standard traction remains the Class 66, though in 2011 GBRf hired in Class 55 Deltic 55022 due to traction shortages.

Photo courtesy: Arran Aird.

Revolution is offering the models in packs of four differently numbered wagons in all the liveries they’ve carried during their long lives.

If you want to find out more about the fascinating operations at Lochaber smelter, in the stunning highlands of Scotland, or are interested in the operations of these iconic wagons, see our video here:

These samples will be on show at the Rails Open Day on Saturday August 27th. The next step is to generate the livery drawings so decorated samples can be prepared for approval, and then the models will go into production with delivery expected next year.