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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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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 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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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!

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A painted lady…

Revolution Trains has received painted samples of its forthcoming N gauge model of Southern Region General Manager’s Inspection Saloon 975025 ‘Caroline.’

All model images courtest Tom Everitt.

The models were on display at the Great Electric Train Show at the Milton Keynes stadium and are now being assessed prior to final approval.

Above: A selection of images illustrating 975025’s long history, including its roll-out at Stewart’s Lane, its part in the Royal Wedding in 1981, in Network Southeast guise and as it operates now, usually propelled by a Class 37 locomotive. Photos ( clockwise from top left) courtesy Simon Cartlidge-Swain, Chris Leigh, Chris Wilson collection, Ian Buck, Steve Poole and Arran Aird.

Revolution is offering three variants of the saloon, covering periods from its conversion from a Hastings buffet car in 1969 up to its current condition when operated on behalf of Network Rail.

975025 as originally converted in blue grey livery with full yellow ends and chocolate brown underframe. Along with the windscreens, tunnel inspection lights and two-character headcode box the coach had SR 27-way jumper cables, so it could drive any similarly equipped unit or locomotive.
975025 in Network Southeast livery with black underframe and yellow axleboxes. At this time a high intensity headlight was added.
975025 ‘Caroline’ after naming in its current Brunswick Green livery with revised end light clusters and blanked over headcode panel

Some small adjustments will be made before production, especially to the yellow. The models have similar working light functions to the 00 versions, though the footstep light is absent in N, and a Next-18 DCC decoder socket.

The order book will be closing for these models on December 31st 2023. We strongly recommend ordering before then as our website has been known to crash if too many leave it right to the last minute!

However, if you do miss out these models are expected to be available from retailers, albeit at a higher price to allow for their margins.

Delivery of these models is expected in Q2 2024, but that may be subject to change.

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Revolution gets to GETS

Once again Revolujtion Trains is attending the Great Electric Train Show at Milton Keynes this Saturday October 14th and Sunday October 15th.

We’re on Stand 21, and it’s a chance for many of our supporters and customers to take a first look at our latest amples including decorated N gauge Cartic-4 car carriers, FNA-D flask wagons and ‘Caroline’ inspection saloons plus EP1 samples of our forthcoming London Underground 1938 stock trains and Class 175/180 DMUs.

There will be plenty for 00 enthusiasts to see too, incuding decorated samples of our KSA Rover ‘Cube’ wagons and timber carriers, YLA Mullets, Parrs, Super Tenches and Borails, plus EP samples of our exciting Cartic-4 wagons, new-variant JNA Ealnos box wagons for Touax, Cappagh and Network Rail (available to pre-order very soon) and, for the 009 fraternity, the EP samples of the Vale of Rheidol 2-6-2 steam locomotives we are producing exclusively for Model Rail magazine.

In addition we will have models on sale including N gauge Class 92s, IPA car carriers and Network Rail/Wascosa JNA wagons, along with 00 gauge FNA-D nuclear flask carriers.

As ever we will have our popular project progress chart on display, so you can see at a glance the status of any models you’re interested, and of course the team will be on hand to answer questions, listen to feedback or new product ideas and maybe let slip one or two upcoming secret projects.

See you at the weekend!

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Fantastic-4 – Revolution Cartic samples in 00 and N!

Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of its N gauge Cartic-4 car carrier wagons and EP1 samples of the 00 versions which are following closely behind.

00 EP1 samples of Cartic-4 variants with side mesh screens and with solid side screens, with or without roofs, as added in the 1980s.

As built 1960s-70s version of the Cartic-4 in N gauge with stanchions and safety ropes along the top deck in MAT Transauto livery.

The full 00 Cartic-4 is approx 814mm over buffers.

The Cartic-4s were built in the 1960s with a double-deck design to enable British Railways to satisfy the rapidly growing demands of the UK car industry. Some sets were also used for the new Motorail service allowing passengers to take their cars on holiday with them to destinations in south west England, Wales and Scotland.

Operators included MAT, Silcock & Collings and later STVA.

Originally designed with open sides, in the 1980s some wagons were fitted with ‘Expamet’ screens and others with solid panels to prevent damage from stones, ballast etc.

Revolution 00 EP sample of version with ‘Expamet’ side screens

As can be seen from the image above, the articulated joints are not dissimilar to the real thing and incorporate a common lower plate on the bogie pivot with an end vertical peg on the diecast lower deck of the unit dropping into a locating hole. The 00 model is shown but the principle is the same on the N gauge version.

Please note that the EP samples are just to check fit of parts and running – some fine details, such as the ribs on the roofs, are yet to be engraved into the moulds as they have been on the N gauge decorated version.

As our models need to cope with far tighter curves than the real thing there are two holes – one for those needing easier clearances, and one offering scale separation for those with more generous curves.

Revolution Cartic-4s on test over 2nd radius setrack S-curves.

Revolution is offering Cartics in both scales to cover the full lifespan of these fascinating and eye-catching vehicles. Although the N gauge decorated samples are shown below, the liveries and colour schemes will be the same in 00.

Introduced in 1966, the first production units were put into service by BR on Motorail trains, and by MAT Transauto and Silcock & Collings on new car deliveries.

From the early 1980s operators began making alterations to the wagons to protect their loads being damaged by thrown stones and so on.

Silcock & Collings’ solution was to add side screens, and later roofs, while MAT fitted Expamet mesh sides.

In the mid-1990s MAT was acquired by STVA, and in their final iteration the wagons received STVA’s pale grey livery with red lettering.

We are still accepting orders at the lower pre-order price in both scales, though the N gauge version is likely to close out in the next couple of months so production can begin with delivery estimated for Q2 2024.

The 00 gauge model has been thoroughly tested on 2nd radius curves and the next step will be painted samples in 4mm; these models are expected to ship in Q3 next year.

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Revolution records result for Railway Children

Thanks to everyone who entered our N gauge prize draw over the last week – the number of entries was beyond anything that we expected and together we raised £3840 for the Railway Children charity. These funds form part of our fundraising efforts along with our friends at Beacon Rail.

We used a random number generator to draw the prize winners earlier today and the lucky prize winners will be either receiving their prizes in the post over the next few days or we will be in contact if we need any additional information. All other entrants will receive a container (1 per entrant) and many have gone in the post today with more to go in the post over the next few days (if you are outside the UK we will combine your container with an order) – please bear with us as we’re also sending out a lot of models at the moment.

We will be running a similar prize draw for OO gauge customers in the run up to the Great Electric Train Show (GETS) at Milton Keynes Arena over the 14-15 October.

Thank you so much for all your generosity.

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Sparta Revolution plays (badly) for charity!

Revolution Trains – in its football alter-ego Sparta Revolution – took part in a 5-a-side football tournament with rail industry teams from Beacon Rail, GBRf, Freightliner, Avanti, Lumo, Progress Rail, Yellow Rail and Network Rail among others to raise money for charity in East London today, Thursday September 7th.

Sparta Revolution Top Row L-R: Ben Jones, Ben Ando, Alex Perkins, Simon Veasey, Mike Buick; Bottom Row L-R Jo Ando, Mike Hale, Amber Veasey

The annual tournament organised by Beacon Rail sees squads of eight from across the rail industry taking part in a day-long tournament to Power League rules, with all money raised going to The Railway Children charity, the same charity that will benefit from the N gauge Prize Draw Revolution is running now and over the weekend at TINGS.

The rules specify that every team should have at least one member of the opposite sex on the pitch at all times, and to help with the gender mix daughters Jo Ando and Amber Veasey gamely agreed to take part.

And as Revolution only has four employees our friends Ben Jones from Heljan and Alex Perkins from Cavalex also agreed to don the orange and black.

Unfortunately a crushing lack of skill and fitness saw Revolution make a clean sweep of results: Played 4, Won 0, Drawn 0 and Lost 4 with Revolution roundly thrashed by teams from Network Rail (the eventual runners-up), Avanti, GBRf and Freightliner. In the words of a Norwegian commentator in 1981, ‘our boys (and girls) took a hell of a beating…!’

In all the event raised well over £10,000 and, on the hottest day of the year, resulted in remarkably few casualties.

Revolution’s Mike Hale (L) and Ben Ando with Rob Dee, Beacon Rail Chief Commercial Officer

With TINGS approaching this weekend, and set-up day tomorrow, the timing may have been unfortunate as far as potential injuries were concerned but, other than a broken(!) wrist and a strained calf, the team made it through relatively unscathed and we look forward to seeing everyone this weekend at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre.

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It’s Radio Revolution!

Ben and Mike from Revolution Trains were delighted to be invited onto Jeremy Vine’s popular lunchtime show on BBC Radio 2 today, Thursday July 13th to talk about the fun to be had with model railways and demonstrate some of our latest models – including one of our sound-fitted locomotives.

Ben Ando, Jeremy Vine and Mike (S)Hale!

Jeremy’s show is by far the most popular lunchtime programme on British radio with around 7 milion listeners every day, and has had some very special guests over the years.

The chance to go on to talk up the hobby we all love was not to be missed especially as recently attention has been returning to more practical hobbies and away from the virtual world of computer screens. If you want to listen the segment is from 1:37 onwards:

The locomotive you can hear operating is one of our N gauge Class 59 diesels; we also showed Jeremy one of our new run Class 390 Pendolinos and our JNA box wagons in both 00 and N.

During the conversation Jeremy admitted that he had come close to starting out in model railways himself, after hearing about Rod Stewart’s amazing layout, but in the end was slightly daunted by the various skills needed and the scale of the work involved. Instead, well known cyclist Jeremy decided to buy himself a penny-farthing bicycle!

After the main sequence there was a short phone-in section and it was great to talk to Dan Evason of Tunnel Lane Model Railways too!

It’s always a pleasure to talk about – and talk up – the World’s Greatest Hobby!

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Revolution at DEMU Showcase – again!

Revolution Trains will again be attending the DEMU Showcase event in Sutton Coldfield this weekend, June 17th and 18th 2023.

Both Mike and Ben are long-standing members of DEMU – the modelling society intended for those modelling diesel and electric subjects – and Showcase is invariably the first entry in the exhibition calendar every year.

As well as a chance to demonstrate some of our latest samples, such as the N gauge Class 313 units, FNA-D flask carrier and incoming Pendolino production samples it is also a great social occasion and we enjoy chatting to friends old and new about all things model railway!

We are on stand 8 this year, just inside the entrance next to our friends at Rainbow Railways.

See you at the show!

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Revolution backs DB and Drax!

Revolution Trains would like to thank our friends at DB Cargo UK and Drax Power for inviting us to join a locomotive naming ceremony at York in honour of Martin House Children’s Hospice this Friday June 2nd.

66190 was the locomotive selected by DB for the honour and arrived into the station for the ceremony gleaming from a fresh repaint and ready for the unveiling, which was carried out by representatives of Martin House, Network Rail, and DB accompanied by families who’d used the services of the hospice.

Martin House fundraising head Rosie Mellor-Silvester leads the unveiling of the distinctive nameplate.

DB Cargo UK’s head of sales Roger Neary told those watching that in four years of fundraising, primarily through a series of exclusive charter excursions, DB, Network Rail and the wider rail industry had raised an incredible £200,000 for Martin House.

He vowed this work would continue, adding that the naming would help to raise awareness of the charity as the locomotive carries its name around the network.

Revolution was invited because of our previous support of Martin House, having worked with Drax and Rails of Sheffield to raise funds for the charity through sales of our N gauge models of Drax’s striking IIA-D biomass hoppers.

Several twin-sets were repackaged for the day with commemorative Martin House/Drax branding for on-the-day presentations and to be auctioned to raise more for Martin House.

Drax Power head of logistics Mark Gibbens and Rosie Mellor-Silvester with Mike Hale and Ben Ando from Revolution.
Revolution Trains IIA-D biomass hoppers in current Drax ‘Renewable Pioneers’ liveries. These are still available in limited numbers from Rails of Sheffield.

The ceremony was followed by a short railtour from York to Gascoigne Wood and on to Drax itself, where guests were given a brief tour of the power station which is Western Europe’s largest.

The DB/Drax railtour passes Knottingley with newly named 66190 leading and 60044 bringing up the rear. Photo: Martin Elsey/Creative Commons

The train comprised Mk2b generator (Formerly BFK) M17105, Mk2f FOs M3325 and M3345 and MK2f RFB M1200, all in blue grey livery, top-and-tailed by 66190 and 60044.

Due to the requirement for a reversing manoeuvre 60044 led the train for part of the journey. Photo courtsesy Phil Precious.

Revolution’s friend and celebrity rail enthusiast Francis Bourgeois joined us on board and, while an 00 modeller himself, surprised us by saying the production samples of Revolution’s Caledonian Sleeper coaches and decorated samples of our Silverlink Class 313s (his favourite train!) might just convince him to begin an N gauge side project…

Finally, special mention must be made of the team at Toton that prepared 66190 for its big day out.

66190 resplendent at York

The locomotive had been immaculately repainted and was beautifully turned out with white wheel rims, a shiny new exhaust and incredible gloss finish.

Surely, we mused as the day came to an end, it was deserving of a limited edition N gauge model to Revolution standards that, like our Drax hoppers, could generate more funding for such a good cause…

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Pendolini Avanti!

Revolution has received production samples of the second run of its award-winning N gauge Class 390 Pendolino models from Rapido Trains.

Pendoline-up: Back to front: Original Virgin, Virgin flowing silk, DfT ‘ghost’ grey, Virgin Pride, Avanti.

Eight different versions are being produced in both 9-car and 11-car formats. They are 9-car and 11-car in original Virgin livery; 9-car and 11-car in Virgin flowing silk livery, 9-car in DfT ‘ghost’ unbranded livery, 9-car and 11-car in Avanti livery (though the 9-car set has the partial version of the Avanti livery) and additionally the 9-car Virgin Pride livery.

Once given approval we expect to begin shipping the models to customers in the next 4-6 weeks.

Pre-order customers will receive their models direct from Revolution; anyone interested in acquiring one of these models who did not pre-order will find limited numbers available from selected retailers in due course, with an MSRP of £450 for complete 9-car train sets and £499 for complete 11-car train sets.

Shorter 5-car sets have not been produced on this occasion as sales in the first run were relatively low and far outstripped by sales of the full 9-car and 11-car trains.

The Revolution Trains Class 390 Pendolino was voted N Gauge model of the decade by the readers of Model Rail magazine.

All models feature working directional headlights, marker lights and tail lights and operating table lamps in First Class, however Revolution will also have stocks of Pendolino lighting bars for those that wish to upgrade their models with full interior lighting.

In addition, all models are factory-fitted with speakers so adding sound is a snap. We recommend the sound project recorded for this model by Legomanbiffo at Longsight depot in Manchester.

Recording sound at Longsight depot for the original Pendolino models.

DCC on the new models has been upgraded to Next-18, but customers should note that some decoders, whether silent or sound, may require CV changes to ensure correct operation of directional motors and lighting. These are explained in the documentation with the models. Users of the Legomanbiffo sound files or decoders will not need to make these changes.

These models, like the original Class 390 Pendolinos, are being produced by Rapido Trains UK and Revolution would like to thank them for their hard work and enthusiasm for this project.

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A new Revolutionary joins the team!

Revolution Trains is delighted to announce that Simon Veasey has joined us as our Customer Services & Warranty supremo!

Photoshoot! Revolution Trains directors Mike Hale (L) and Ben Ando (R) present Simon with his new shirt!

With a background in customer-facing repair and support for electrical appliances, Simon’s role will be to improve Revolution’s customer care, speed up enquiry responses and enhance our after-market product support.

In addition he is an enthusiastic modeller and will be known to some for his DCC Sound fitting service in multiple scales.

He has also volunteered at the Colne Valley Railway in Essex, taking special responsibility for maintaining the attraction’s miniature railway, a 7¼” gauge line that runs parallel to the main line.

Simon’s skills will enable Revolution to provide a better experience on the occasions when a customer requires assistance or a model needs to be repaired. In addition his technical expertise will enable us to further refine the ease of repair and quality assurance aspects of our products.

Simon said: “I am delighted to be joining the guys at Revolution and helping to not only improve their customer service but also play a part in the design of the models to make them not just simpler to repair but also less likely to need attention”.

“Revolution is a small but exciting company with big plans – and not just in N gauge – and I look forward to being a part of that.”

Mike Hale said: “We identified a need for a dedicated customer support agent some time ago, and we think Simon’s skillset is a good fit for what Revolution needs to take our standard of customer service to the next level.

Revolution at Warley: L-R Mike Hale, Paul Churchill, Ben Ando, Mike Buick

Simon’s appointment takes the full-time Revolution team to four, as he joins company founders Ben Ando and Mike Hale and project designer Mike Buick, seen above with our Class 92 repairs supremo Paul Churchill.

Ben Ando added: “We have achieved a lot for such a small company and now is the time for us to take the next step in our growth. We have no intention of getting too big, but recruiting Simon will give us the opportunity to expand in a cautious, measured and sustainable way.”

Simon’s appointment will allow Mike Buick to focus on his core role researching and developing new models. We believe this will enable us to progress existing projects faster through the development stage and offer a wider variety of new items.

Simon will be making his ‘first team debut’ on the Revolution Trains stand at this weekend’s Celebration of N Gauge modelling organised by the N Gauge Society at the National Railway Museum in York, Come and meet him and the rest of the team attending!