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Swindon 120

Class 120 C504 at Hereford in 1975. Photo Hugh Llewellyn used under Creative Commons

Revolution Trains is offering the Swindon-built Class 120 cross-country units as its next powered model aimed at transition era enthusiasts.

This model builds on the development carried out for our Class 128 Diesel Parcels Unit, and will use the same tried and tested chassis to speed development and allow us to keep costs as low as possible while retaining the performance, specification and detailing expected of Revolution models.

Two-car Class 120 unit at Newport in 1966. Photo courtesy Hugh Llewellyn used under Creative Commons.

The units were built in 3 batches for the Western Region and Scottish Region and were introduced starting in 1958 with the final units being withdrawn in 1989. The units were in several variations of green before being repainted into BR’s new corporate colours – initially all blue followed by BR blue.

The fleet totalled 194 cars and these were built in three batches: 49 sets in 1958 for the Western Region; 7 sets in 1959 for the Scottish Region and an additional 9 sets in 1961 for the Western Region.

Three-car Class 120 in blue-grey at Birmingham New Street in 1985. Photo Steve Jones, used under Creative Commons.

The trains operated in formations comprising Driving Motor Standard Lavatory, Trailer Second Buffet Lavatory and Driving Motor Brake Composite.

The Revolution models will be offered in two-car and three-car sets in liveries reflecting the working lives of these stalwart workhorses; a selection of possible liveries is shown and they are expected to be available to pre-order from early next year. Please note these graphics are illustrative and not based on actual CAD design, which has not been completed yet.

BR green livery with whiskers. Approx 1958-64.
BR green livery with small yellow panel. Approx 1964-68.
BR early blue lviery with small yellow panel. Approx 1964-69.
BR blue. Approx 1968-1976.
BR Blue-Grey. Approx 1970-1989.

Unfortunately, no complete Class 120 units survived into preservation; the only remaining vehicle from the entire fleet is TSLRB 59276 at the Great Central railway in Leicestershire.

However, several vehicles – including a complete set – of the similar Swindon-built Class 126 units are preserved at the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway, and Revolution visited earlier this year as part of our preliminary research, however we are aware there are numerous differences between these and the Class 120s.

Revolution’s Mike Buick taking dimensions at the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway.

The Revolution Class 120 is in CAD design and once the prices and livery selections are finalised we will open up the order book, with the models expected late next year or early in 2024.

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Electro Star Quality in N

377105 passes Battersea. Photo Michael Garnett used under Creative Commons.

Revolution is proposing the Bombardier/Alstom ‘Electrostar’ family of trains as its next modern multiple unit in N gauge. The Electrostars cover a variety of prototypes from TOPS Classes 357, 375, 376, 377, 378, 379 and 387, though it is unlikely every variation can be offered.

375707 at Wandsworth Road. Photo John Ray used under Creative Commons.

The Electrostar family was manufactured at Derby from 1999 until 2017 with over 650 sets now in service for a variety of operators including: Southern; South Eastern; c2c; London Overground; GWR; Heathrow Express; Gatwick Express; and Great Northern as well as a number of historic train operating companies.

We have not yet finalised the liveries/variations we are offering, and as ever we are wary of over-promising while at the same time wanting to provide as much variety as possible. Among the versions we are scoping are:

Class 377 in Southern livery
Class 377 in SouthEastern livery
Class 377 in First Capital Connect livery
Class 387 GWR livery
Class 387 Gatwick Express livery
Class 387 Heathrow Express livery
Class 387 Great Northern livery

Once we have finalised pricing the models will go on sale for our usual low pre-order price, and while schedules are difficult to judge at the moment we would anticipate a 2024 delivery.

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Collect your N gauge EALNOS JNAs/MMAs at TINGS

For those of you who missed our newsletter announcement – our N gauge EALNOS JNA/MMA aggregate box wagons arrived at Revolution HQ this week and have been checked over.

Pre-production samples – not the final loads!

Shipments and balance invoices will begin to be sent out early next week, but if you would like to collect your order(s) at TINGS this weekend please let us know by 9am tomorrow morning (Friday 9 September) – to let us know please complete the short form here. You will be able to pay any balance due at the show.

Apologies for the short notice!

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Revolution at TINGS 2022

Once again Revolution Trains will be at The International N Gauge Show at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, on our usual stand 18 on the nearside right as you enter the show.

We always enjoy attending exhibitions as it’s a great chance to talk to our customers, supporters and friends and to let everyone see what we have got planned for the next 12 months or so.

Paul, Gareth and Mike on the Revolution stand at TINGS 2021. We’ve refreshed the stand for this year!

We will have copies of our free new catalogue for visitors to take away which for this show will be exclusively N gauge. Included are TWO new powered models and TWO new wagons aimed at those modelling the transition era right through to the present day.

There will also be plenty to see for those following our progress over the last 12 months.

Class 128 Diesel Parcels Units – Decorated Samples on show – order book closing immediately after the show.
Class 59 diesel locomotives – all versions on show. Order book closing soon.
Southern General Manager’s Inspection Saloon TDB975025 ‘Caroline’ – EP1 sample.
Class 313/4 PEP unit. EP1 sample.
Cartic-4 car carriers. EP samples.

We will also have available to purchase at the show a previously unannounced new model – this will be available to buy from Saturday morning.

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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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Revolution at Rails

We had a great time at the Rails Open Day yesterday; for those that couldn’t make it we’ve prepared a quick one-minute watch showing the highlights including our N gauge Class 59s, 00 gauge HOA decorated samples and first EP of the 00 Alcan PCA tank.

We were asked plenty of questions about all our models at the show and hopefully we answered them all. Face-to-face we are usually far more indiscreet about our plans than we are online – as long as Chatham House Rules apply!

The most common question we were asked was: “How long before your Mk5 coaches/Drax hoppers/Caroline saloons/any other product will be here?”

The answer is that even for models currently in production it is very difficult to know. This is because, although things are improving all the time, the lingering effects of Covid are still making precise scheduling almost impossible.

Issues including, but not limited to, sudden power cuts or power rationing, staff shortages, revised working arrangements to allow for social distancing and supplier issues (caused by the same problems) are having a regular but completely unpredictable impact on production times.

There is little we can do about that, so once models are tagged as in production asking us when they are ‘due’ or ‘expected’ is unlikely to get a definite answer – we put a summary of all the information we have on our Projects page. Once we know the models are shipped we update the project overview and will start sending out balance invoices, so that’s a big clue that they’re imminent!

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Sweet CaroliNe

Revolution unveiled an early sample of its N gauge model of the Southern Region General Manager’s Inspection saloon TDB975025 ‘Caroline’ in N gauge at the Rails Open Day today.

Caroline – ‘kitchen’ side.

The model received represents the saloon as it operates currently in green with new light clusters, rectangular step lights, no third rail pick-ups and the recently fitted CET equipment, as it appeared on the Revolution’s recent ‘Sweet Caroline’ railtour.

Photo courtesy Dan Foster/Aviation Photos.
Image showing the interior from the ‘kitchen’ side.

Inside, the model has the correct present day armchairs and driver cab arrangement. Other versions, in original BR blue grey and Network SouthEast, will have era specific details and we will be unveiling models of these versions in due course.

Once decorated samples are prepared these will be shown and then the model will go into tooling. You can pre-order ‘Caroline’ at the lower pre-production price of £130.

The 00 gauge models of the saloon are in production now and are expected before the end of the year.

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EMD-esirable diesels arrive!

Revolution Trains has received decorated samples of its forthcoming Class 59 diesel locomotives. These models are now in the final stage of development before going into production.

59001 in 1986 original Foster Yeoman livery and 59101 in original 1990 ARC Southern livery

All the samples will be on display at the upcoming International N Gauge Show at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre on September 10th-11th.

The first 59/0 locomotives were delivered with the exhaust port on the left side and single dampers on the outer bogie axles. With experience, this arrangement was changed. Foster Yeoman were presented with an American-style locomotive bell by EMD and this was fitted to the No. 1 end of 59001 as can be seen above.

Appropriately, the Class 59 locomotives themselves revolutionised the expectations of the UK railfreight industry in terms of both haulage and reliability when they entered service in 1986.

59003, Merehead 1986. Photo: Nigel Menzies, used under creative commons.

They were the first mainline diesel built for the UK market in the United States, and the first privately owned locomotives that British Rail permitted.

59001 + 59101 showing the differences between exhaust port location and bogie dampers.
Class 59/2 locomotives in original National Power livery.

The original four Foster Yeoman 59/0 locomotives arrived in 1986, the second batch of four ARC locomotives in 1990 (along with an addional loco for Foster Yeoman) and then in 1994-5 six more Class 59s entered service with National Power. These were designated 59/2 and again featured extensive differences to the earlier versions, with prominent fire suppression systems, buckeye couplers and altered end details and revised roof latches and radio pods.

The Class 59/2 locomotives in National Power livery are available to pre-order as a twin set of 59201 (with commemorative bell) and 59206 exclusively from Rainbow Railways here.

In the late 1990s the Class 59/0 locomotives received a revised Foster Yeoman livery. ARC was taken over by Hanson the Class 59/1s were repainted and the Class 59/2 locomotives passed into the ownership of EWS and were similarly reliveried.

59004 in revised Foster Yeoman livery.
59204 in EWS maroon and 59101 in Hanson livery.

In due course the Class 59/2 locomotives joined their sisters on Mendip stone traffic, and as repaints became due the Class 59/0 locomotives went into Aggregate Industries colours while the 59/2s received DB red.

59005 in Aggregate Industries livery. 59005 was built later than the other 59/0 locomotives and has a unique combination of details, which have been faithfully replicated.
59201 in DB red. The roof grille will be corrected to grey on production models!

In 2019 the contract to move stone from the Mendip quarries was won by Freightliner. While the 59/0s and 59/1s remain in their AI or Hanson liveries, Freightliner is progressively repainting the 59/2s into its own orange Genessee and Wyoming livery.

59203 in Freightliner G&W livery.
The present day – Aggregate Industries and Freightliner liveries.

The last chapter in the Class 59 story involves the single loco 59003. It was sent on long term hire to Germany in the late 1990s, and for this it was fitted with a UIC standard light above the cab windscreen and other modifications were made.

Then, in 2015, it was acquired by GB Railfreight and returned to the UK. Originally painted in GBRf’s Europorte scheme, it was later repainted into more standard GBRf colours. Both of these versions can be reserved exclusively from Rails of Sheffield here.

The Revolution Class 59 will have a full suite of lights, factory-fitted speakers in every model (and DCC Sound versions of all our variants available) and the DCC socket is accessed by a removable centre section – which replicates the arrangement of the prototype.

The switches that enable DC users to deactivate the red tail lights when running with a train can also be seen.

These decorated samples will be assessed and some small amendments to colours will be adjusted, and customers should also note that these were assembled and painted by hand using components from the first test mouldings, and as ever some small adjustments will also be made to improve fit and finish, especially of the etched parts.

Other than the exclusives you can pre-order any Revolution Trains Class 59 from our shop page here:

We are looking forward to showing these models off as the show season gets into full swing, and would be interested in any feedback. We expect the order book to close during the autumn, though we have not yet set a date.

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Revolution on the road again…

Revolution Trains is preparing for a busy show season, and will be at the first of four upcoming exhibitions next weekend at DEMU Showcase at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall next weekend, July 23rd/24th.

Come and see us on Stand 5 in the Auditorium where we will have our usual display showing decorated and EP samples of upcoming models including the N gauge Class 128 parcels units, Class 59 locomotive, Class 313 unit and Borail, Mullet, Parr and Super Tench flat and Cartic-4 wagons and 00 gauge HOA hoppers, TUA tankers (exclusively with Rainbow Railways), Borail, Mullet, Parr and Super Tench flat wagons.

We will also be unveiling an all new 00 model, and for those who cannot attend the show this will also be announced here on our website at 1000 on Saturday July 23rd.

DEMU is the society for those modelling diesel and electric outlines, and following its cancellation due to Covid in 2020 and 2021, and the loss of its long-time former location in Burton-on-Trent, this is the first Showcase in Sutton Coldfield and Revolution is delighted to be able to continue our long-standing support of DEMU and its annual Showcase event.

Entry is free or DEMU members, while for non-members ticket prices are Adults £11, U16 £8, Famlies (2 adults + unlimited children U16) £27.

Revolution models on display at the Bath and West of England Showground in April 2022.

If you can’t make it to Sutton Coldfield we will also be attending The International N Gauge Show at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre on September 10th-11th, the Great Electric Train Show at Milton Keynes on October 8th-9th and the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC on November 26th and 27th.

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Summer Deadline Day…

The Revolution pre-order book will be closing at midnight on June 30th for our N gauge Class A fuel tankers and MTV/ZKV Zander box wagons.

Class B and Class A tankers in Esso livery. Note Class A will have catwalk and ladder details and red solebar on production models.

The Class A tankers were designed and built, like the Class B’s previously offered by Revolution, in the late 1950s. They were designed jointly by Charles Roberts wagon builders and Esso, and being fully power-braked they revolutionised the transport of benzene and heavy fuel products.

BR 92 2-10-0 92239 with Esso tanks at Wolvercote Junction, 1962. Photo Ben Brooksbank used under Creative Commons.

The Class A tankers were introduced in a livery of silver tanks and red solebars. Later, the tanks were painted grey, while the Class B tankers, designed for less flammable heavy fuel oil, were painted all over black. Because class A fuels were lighter, the tanks were slightly longer, as can be seen from the models, however the chassis remained the same.

Double-headed Class 33s at Oxford with a mixed train of Esso empties in 1964. Photo Ben Brooksbank used under Creative Commons.

The trains often ran in mixed rakes, operating primarily from Esso’s huge refineries to much smaller terminals.

In later years the Esso tankers had the branding placards removed, and some were used by Staveley chemicals. These versions are available to pre-order too.

Class A in Staveley Chemicals and Esso unbranded liveries. Note production models will have etched catwalks, ladders and red solebars.

In addition we are offering two variants of the Class A tanks used for water in the well-known Chipmans weedkiller trains.

Class A tankers in Chipman Nomix green and plain black.

In the mid 1970s, having been replaced on fuel trains by higher capacity monobloc wagons, many Class A and Class B tankers were converted to box wagons. The tanks and discharge gear was removed, and a simple box body fitted. These were initially coded MTV and used primarily for stone and sand.

Two of the various MTV options available.

In later years many found their way into the engineers fleet, being recoded ZKV and given the fishkind name ‘Zander.’ Initially given a yellow box rim, many went on to receive CE Dutch livery and some lasted though until the introduction of the shadow railfreight companies and the end of vacuum braked stock.

ZKV in original brown livery with yellow lip
ZKV in CE Dutch livery

As with many Revolution models, the Class A tankers and MTV/ZKV wagons are available in singles and triple packs with different livery variations and running numbers. See order page for details.

We anticipate these models will be available from our usual retailers after production, however the price will be higher to include their margin.

NGS Hunslet with Revolution Trains Class B tankers.

We are also re-running our very popular Class B tankers in a variety of liveries, including Esso, Regent and unbranded, and with new running numbers, however these will only be available from retailers. If you want to reserve yours we recommend you contact your preferred Revolution stockist to let them know.

Delivery schedules are hard to predict at the moment, due to the lingering impact of the pandemic, however we anticipate these models will be shipped in Q3-4 2022. We will update the project page if this changes.

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Delicious memories of Sweet Caroline…

World of Railways’ Phil Parker has published a video of the Revolution Trains Sweet Caroline railtour that took place just a week ago.

In the video you can step aboard Caroline and Revolution’s Ben Ando explains the thinking behind producing the model, some of its features and describes some of the challenges involved.

975025 ‘Caroline’ in 2008-2015 ‘Viridian Green’ – this version only available from Rainbow Railways. BR Blue-grey, Network Southeast and present day Brunswich Green versions will be available from selected retailers for those who missed the pre-order deadline.
The seats match!

The Caroline models shown in the video are the pre-production decorated samples; for those who pre-ordered the models are now in production and delivery will be – by the end of Q3.

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Good times never seemed so good…

Would you board a train with these people?

Revolution Trains’ long awaited – and much delayed due to Covid – ‘Sweet Caroline’ railtour on board the former Southern Region General Manager’s Saloon 975025 Caroline finally took place this weekend carrying the Revolution team, our guests and our competition and charity auction winners.

From behind by tractor…

Traction for the day was provided by 37418 ‘An Comunn Gàidhealach’ in its stylish BR large logo livery. The locomotive is named after the Assocation founded in 1891 to preserve and develop the Gaelic language, making its Highland stag motif especially appropriate.

After all on board had been given a goody bag featuring a variety of mementoes of the day, we set off, with our driver Carl at the controls accompanied by driver conductor Tom, who had joined us at the last minute (after some frantic phone calls and emails!) when GBRf came to the rescue as it was realised that Carl did not sign for all of the planned route.

Our driver Carl, guard Andy and driver conductor Tom – his knowledgeable commentary was an invaluable and unexpected bonus of the trip.

Our route took us from Derby, southwest to the WCML, north to Cheshire and into Manchester before looping round via the Hope Valley line and back via the huge locomotive depot at Toton. The route was designed as a loop, with no reversals, to optimise our use of Caroline’s unique ability to permit passengers to ride in the saloon with the driver.

Those on board included those who had won our ‘Sweet Caroline’ competition for those who pre-ordered a model – some coming from as far afield as Ireland and Australia – and the high bidder in our charity auction to raise money for cancer research UK.

As well as enjoying the on-board catering and views, the opportunity was taken to examine the Revolution pre-production model samples – even comparing the colours of the seating on the model to reality!

Don’t mock the moquette…

As some may know, the saloon is named after Caroline Mayo, a long time employee of the RTC who died of cancer in 2019. There is a photograph of her and explanatory plaque on board.

Caroline Mayo

After leaving Crewe we stopped briefly at Sandbach for a photo-opportunity, the light drizzle failing to dampen the spirits.

Scruffs at Sandbach…

On the freight only branch via Middlewich we stopped briefly in the loop there to allow GBRf’s 66759 with limestone from Hindlow to Small Heath in JNA box wagons (as offered by Revolution Trains) to pass.

We were nearing Manchester. Of course it was raining.

After skirting south Manchester we picked up the Hope Valley route via New Mills and Chinely and on to Edale, by which time by some miracle the sun had started to come out.

Sweet Caroline speeds along the Hope Valley. Photo courtesy Andrew Taylor.

Although the best views are forward, the rear saloon was popular as it had far better acoustics…

Is it a tractor? Is it a growler?
Bennerley viaduct. Opened in 1878, closed in 1968 and reopened as a walking route in January this year.
Heavy freight at Toton depot. Sadly some of these locomotives are unlikely to turn a wheel again.
GBRf’s 66708 ‘Glory to Ukraine.’

After returning to Derby, and saying goodbye to some guests, the majority of the party remained on board as we reversed back into Loram’s depot for an additional treat.

Loram’s EDU – Engineering Delivery Unit.

Sweet Caroline hi-viz vests were donned, and the party was led on a tour of Loram’s workshops at Derby, and we were given a guided tour by rail maintenance and ops director Ross.

As well as Caroline, Loram maintains Network Rail’s test vehicles including the New Measurement Train and Ultrasonic Test train, and those who wished to were able to climb on board and see the equipment for themselves.

Spot the easy-to-spot spotters.

The success of the day has encouraged us to think of other ways we can use our contacts in the industry to enable our customers to get more of an insight into the ‘real’ railway, and raise money for good causes, and we will be saying more about this in due course.

And finally we would like to sign off by saying a huge thank-you to Ross, Carl, Darren, Shanice and Andy from Loram, Tom from GBRf, Andrew, Charlotte, Steve, Neil and Sir Peter at Network Rail, Stephen at Procast for the superb headboard, and our guests on the day Gareth, Paul, Seb, Stewart, Bob, Mark, John, Eamon, and the two Philips.

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Revolution’s second first, and third show of 2022!

Revolution Trains was delighted to be awarded N Gauge Manufacturer of the Year in the BRM/RMWeb/World of Railways British Railway Modelling Awards 2021 at the recent London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace.

The Revolution crew (L-R Paul, Ben, Gareth) clutching the award.

It’s Revolution’s second such honour of the year, coming soon after we were given a similar accolade by the readers of Model Rail magazine, and again we would like to offer our sincere thanks to all who voted for us. Naturally we’d also like to extend our congratulations to all other winners and nominees.

The show itself was enormously enjoyable and one of the busiest we’ve attended; during the weekend we were able to meet many dozens of existing, and hopefully future, customers and we saw significant interest in the new generation of high-fidelity N gauge models from visitors who told us that until recently they would not have considered the scale.

The historic Alexandra Palace transmission tower

Although we had numerous N gauge samples on display, we also took the opportunity to give one of the decorated samples of our forthcoming 00 gauge model of the SR General Manager’s saloon 975025 ‘Caroline’ (albeit missing its nameplates!) a run on Mike Buick’s excellent ‘Oak Rad’ layout.

Please note this is a pre-production samples and some aspects will be improved when production starts soon. Although the Revolution order book is closed this model will be available at selected retailers.

975025 ‘Caroline’ with suitable DRS propulsion!

Revolution’s third outing of 2022 is in just a fortnight’s time, when we are delighted to be supporting the first full exhibition organised by Britain’s Biggest Model Railway, the enthralling Heaton Lodge Junction built by Simon George.

The enormous 0 gauge layout forms the centrepiece of a new show at the Bath and West Country showground running from April 8th-10th, and among other layouts and exhibitors the Revolution stand will be present with decorated and EP samples of all our forthcoming models on display. More details can be found here.

Frosty scenics on Heaton Lodge Junction

As ever – see you there!

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It’s showtime – again!

Revolution Trains will be attending the London Festival of Railway Modelling this weekend at Alexandra Palace in London.

It’s the first time we have attended an exhibition in the capital; we were due to be there back in 2020 but we all know what happened then!

Revolution Trains is on Stand 8 in the Great Hall

We’ll have our usual stand with decorated and prototype samples on show of many forthcoming models including the N Gauge Class 59, Class 313 ‘PEP’ unit and Drax Power IIA-D biomass hopper, and 00 gauge HOA hopper, Borail/Mullet wagons, TUA Caustic Soda tanks and SR Manager’s Saloon ‘Caroline.’

Feel free to come and have a chat with us about our existing models, our newly announced Class 175/180 units or FNA-D nuclear flask wagons in 00 or N, or let us know anything else you think we should be offering!

N Gauge Class 180 CAD
N gauge Class 175 CAD
Early 00 gauge FNA-D CAD. Please note there is much detail to be added.

Alexandra Palace itself is a magnificent location for a show with a rich history well beyond its modern use as an exhibition centre.

Photo used under creative commons
Photo used under creative commons.

Access via public transport is straightforward via the nearby Alexandra Palace station on the ECML, Wood Green tube station on the Piccadilly line or numerous local bus services. A free shuttle bus will be running between the overground and underground stations and the venue.

You can book advance tickets here. See you there!

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Revolution goes nuclear – again!

Revolution is offering the new-build FNA-D nuclear flask carriers as its next wagon model in 00 and N.

68005 with FNA-D at Ravenglass.

CAD is almost underway on the 00 model with the N gauge version following soon afterward. This image shows the main components taking shape however a closer look will show that considerable work remains to be done. This includes adding the headstock details, flask cover locking bars and operating mechanism and making some minor corrections.

40 wagons were built by WH Davis at Langley Mill in Nottinghamshire between 2014 and 2016 and are designed to replace the ageing 1970s-built fleet, that last of which is understood to have been scrapped in 2020.

37716 and 66126 at Sawmills. Photo by Rob Reedman used under creative commons.

They are used across the network to ferry spent fuel from nuclear power stations and facilities to Sellafield in Cumbria for reprocessing. The trains are operated by DRS and are almost always either top-and-tailed or double headed to insure against locomotive failure.

Once the CAD work is complete the order book will open and the model will be sent for tooling. Look out for our limited time EarlyBird price.

We would hope to see samples by the summer, with delivery of the models expected early next year.

Revolution would like to thank DRS and WH Davis for their assistance in providing drawings and access to assist in production of this model.

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Revolution on the road – part two

As we confirmed last weeek, Revolution Trains will be attending this weekend’s Model Rail Scotland show by the Association of Model Railway Societies of Scotland.

The show is on from Friday February 25th until Sunday February 27th, and is the first for two years after last year’s was cancelled due to Covid.

Revolution Trains will be on stand B31 and is looking forward to seeing friends old and new.

Revolution always enjoys the Glasgow show – often dubbed ‘the friendly show’ – and we were last here two years ago. Little did we know what was heading our way!

We will be offering two new projects – one multiple unit, one wagon – and these will be unveiled here on our website and at the show which opens on Friday at 10am.

Once again – see you there!

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It’s a clean sweep for Revolution!

Revolution Trains is proud and delighted to have been voted N gauge Manufacturer of the Year for the second time running in the Model Rail Model of the Year Awards.

Incredibly, Revolution won twice as many votes as the next nearest rival. The full results are:

1Revolution41.1%
2Kato19.7%
3Graham Farish17.4%
(Others21.2%)

These awards are voted for by the readership, not chosen by a panel of experts, making them especially valuable.

But wait – there’s more…!

Photo courtesy George Dent, Model Rail magazine

Revolution’s Class 92, produced by Rapido Trains, was voted N gauge Locomotive of the Year in a much closer contest – just pipping the Kato CLass 800/0 at the post – 25.9% to 25.2%!

And to complete the hatrick, Revolution’s IPA car carriers took gold in the N Gauge Rolling Stock of the Year category!

IPA twin sets – flat, flat with stakes, covered wth side screens – in STVA red and original pale grey
IPA quad set in Groupe CAT blue

Second in this category was the EFE Rail ‘Shark’ ballast plough, and the Revolution PCV Cement hoppers, produced for us by Accurascale, and our own FWA ‘Ecofret’ container flats were third equal.

PCV ‘Cemflo’ wagons in TOPS and Blue Circle versions
GBRf FWA ‘Ecofret’ triple set. Freightliner twins and DB red triples also available.

We still have stocks of the IPA quad sets in Groupe CAT blue livery and PCV cement hoppers plus very limited numbers of some of the other models. If you wish to acquire some of these award winning models then go to our shop:

Naturally we would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who voted to us, and offer our warmest congratulations to all the other winners.

Revolution on the road again

Next weekend (February 25th-27th) we will be at Model Rail Scotland at the SEC in Glasgow. It’s our first chance to visit Scotland since 2020, and we are very much looking forward to catching up with everyone who can attend.

The Scottish Exhibition Centre (just out of view) is in the shadow of Glasgow’s famous Finnieston Crane, now preserved but once used to load North British locomotives for export around the world.

We expect to announce a new unit and new wagon on the opening morning, plus we will have a *free* catalogue for show-goers to pick up which includes the new items and summarises our current ongoing projects.

See you there!

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Hold-all the horses – it’s a 3-2-1 countdown for Revolution!

With the majority of our OO gauge IWA holdall vans and timber carriers sent out to customers we thought it would be helpful to provide a quick update of what we’ve got coming up.

OO gauge: we’d hoped that our OO/4mm Ecofret FWA freightliner 40′ flats and IPA car carriers would be on the high seas unfortunately it looks as one of both of these models won’t quite be complete before Chinese New Year (CNY) with the result that they will both be delayed by a couple of months. We’re waiting for final confirmation from the factory producing these models in case we can get one of the models out before the CNY holidays.

Revolution Trains IWA holdall vans in OO/4mm – timber carrier conversions also available.

Our OO/4mm IWAs have been sent out over the last 2 weeks to approx 95% of our customers – there’s a small batch of UK and international orders to send out (plus a few orders that we’re waiting for balance payments on).

N gauge: following swiftly on the heels of our OO IWA models are the N gauge models which should be with us over the next week. We’re starting to send out balance invoices and we will keep our Projects overview page up to date with progress on sending out balance invoices and then the models.

Then to cap off the 3-2-1 of arrivals in the UK will be the long-awaited class 320s and 321s. To get the models to customers as quickly as possible they are being airfreighted in two batches. The first batch should arrive in the next week or so (subject to customs clearance) and will contain:

  • Class 320s: ScotRail Saltire; undecorated white with yellow ends; Strathclyde Carmine & Cream (exclusive for AMRSS and on sale at Model Rail Scotland)
  • Class 321s: London Midland; undecorated white with yellow ends

The second batch will leave around the end of January and will contain:

  • Class 320s: Strathclyde Orange
  • Class 321s: NSE; Silverlink

Balance invoices for 320s and 321s will also start to be generated over the next week and again you will be able to follow progress on our Projects page.

If you have a balance to pay on IWAs or 320s/321s we’d be grateful if you could pay your balance as quickly as possible so that we can get the models to you! As usual we will combine orders where it makes sense to (we won’t be able to combine IWA and 320/321 orders) and orders will be sent out in order of when the orders were placed. As usual the deposit software generates a new balance invoice for each order line and we can’t combine orders, however if you prefer to pay by BACS/bank transfer then please feel free to total up your balance invoices and make a single payment.

If you have updated your delivery address after today (19 January 2022) please drop us a note to let us know that we will need to check/update your shipping address as we may have generated address labels from this date.

We completely understand that everyone wants their models as quickly as possible but we’d be really grateful if customers didn’t email or message us until we’ve said that all orders have been despatched (or you’ve had tracking details for your order and it hasn’t arrived within 7-14 days (please allow longer for international orders!)). We always do our best to send out models as quickly as possible and having to reply to queries about orders that haven’t been despatched yet only slows things down for everyone. Thanks for the understanding!

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A new face for the new year

Revolution Trains is delighted to announce that well-known railway modeller Mike Buick is joining as a third full-time member of the team from the beginning of 2022.

Mikel is a keen railway modeller in all scales and his layout Oak Road, which depicts a stretch of the Great Western Berks and Hants line in 4mm scale, has been widely admired on the exhibition circuit since debuting in 2017.

Oak Road 00 layout by Michael Buick. Michael has a passion for HSTs! Photo courtesy Richard Watson/Hornby Magazine.

As well as being a popular attraction the layout also raises money for the charity Meningitis Now. Having survived meningococcal meningitis at the age of 20, Mike is dedicated to supporting research into the disease.

Mike Buick with a replica of the nameplate from HST power car 43041.
The layout depicts a rural west country station with adjacent virtual quarry. Note Michael’s beautifully weathered Revolution Trains JNA box wagons in VTG/Mendip Rail livery. Photo courtesy Richard Watson/Hornby Magazine.

“I have been interested in railways for as long as I could talk,” says Mike.  “Joining Revolution Trains is a fantastic opportunity and I am looking forward to bringing my passion, CAD design skills and eye for detail to the job.”

Did we mention Mike loves HSTs? Photo courtesy Richard Watson/Hornby Magazine.

“I used to go train spotting as a kid and had both N Gauge and OO Gauge Trainsets until I found cars motorcycles and women,” continues Mike.

“After a brief dabble back in to N Gauge around 1999 I didn’t really start playing with model railways again until 2010 and eventually after a few years at Fareham & District MRC, I started building Oak Road in 2016. It’s also no secret that I have a passion for HSTs, both model form and 1:1 scale.”

Oak Road even includes a 3D printed representation of Michael on the platform, photographing the trains. Photo courtesy Richard Watson/Hornby Magazine.

Mike’s role at Revolution will be to provide greater capacity for project design – so we can develop more new models – and to improve our customer service.

“With more and more projects under development it was becoming clear we needed to recruit someone to help Revolution grow,” explains Revolution co-director Mike Hale. 

“We are confident Mike’s enthusiasm and skill are what we need as we move forward with our plans.”

He’ll be the third permanent member of the team, joining company founders Ben Ando and Mike Hale, and will also represent Revolution at exhibitions alongside long-time helpers Paul Churchill and Gareth Atkinson, who have full-time jobs outside the hobby.

Revolution on the road. Look for a new face at our next exhibition!

“Mike will be a familiar face to many in the hobby,” said Revolution co-director Ben Ando, “and we are confident he’ll be a good fit in our small but dynamic team.”

During a varied career Mike has previously worked in property and has his own recruitment company.  Among his other interests he lists bass guitar, music production and admits to having been a keen BMX cyclist – until injury forced retirement!

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Revolution Round-Up 2021

It’s the time of year again when, fingers laced over distended stomachs following an over-indulgent Christmas, we look back and take stock of the year that has passed.

Few will remember 2021 as a great year, however despite difficulties in the UK and China we have managed to progress numerous projects, with more exciting news to come.

Revolution Class 92 92003 ‘Beethoven’ with a train of IPA car carriers in original STVA livery. An IZA Cargowaggon twin can be seen lurking behind. Photo courtesy S. Allen.

The year began with us picking and packing hundreds of our eagerly awaited Class 92 locomotives after the consignment arrived just ahead of Christmas. The locomotives were available in RfD, EWS, DB, GBRf and Caledonian Sleeper liveries, with Kernow receiving their exclusive Stobart versions.

One reviewer described the models as ‘the best N gauge locomotive yet produced’ and the reactions of those receiving them on social media were similarly positive.

Other models delivered this year were the Sonic Models GWR 56xx 0-6-2 tank locomotives, PCV Cemflos manufactured for us by Accurascale and the FWA ‘Ecofret’ container flats, all in N gauge, and our first 0 gauge project – an exclusive Heljan 37405 in DRS Compass livery.

Last week – just before Christmas – we received the IWA Sfins-2 vans and Rfnoos timber carriers in 00 and these are being dispatched now.

The N gauge versions are expected to be leaving the factory very soon, but obviously won’t make it before the end of the year.

We had hoped for more models to be delivered over the last 12 months, but the reality of learning to live with the ever-present threat of a pandemic hindered this.

All our models are produced with a combination of processes but the most labour intensive is the fitting of the many dozens of tiny details that bring the models to life. This is all done by hand, on a production line. But if workers have to be socially distanced then the number on any given line can be severely reduced. In practice, if a production line has half the workers it would normally have, then that process will take twice as long. In addition the skilled workers – the production line managers, tampo print masters or CAD designers – may be off sick themselves or isolating.

Add into this the well-documented problems with international logistics and power problems that have seen some factories limited to two- or three-day a week production and it rapidly becomes clear how production that would normally take three months could take twice that or longer.

Models that we had hoped to deliver in 2021 but will now come in 2022 include the Class 320 and 321 units in N, aforementioned IWA vans and timber carriers in both scales and 00 FWA Ecofrets and IPA car carriers. Fortunately, all the indications are that all these models will arrive in Q1 2022.

The PFA container flats and second run of Class 390 Pendolino models are also in development and should be delivered in 2022.

Development on previously announced models has continued; again perhaps slightly slower than we would have liked but for very obvious reasons. These include the MMA/JNA box wagons in N, SR Manager’s saloon Caroline in 00, Mk5 coaches in Caledonian Sleeper and Trans Pennine Express variants and Class 128 diesel parcels car. EP samples of the Class 313/314 PEP units are expected in the next fortnight; some sample mouldings have already been received.

New models announced in 2021 included our Class 59 diesel in N – ideal to go with our HOA hoppers or JNA box wagons, Class 18 diesel hybrid shunter in 00, 1938 tube stock and 1928 ‘K-type’ Pullman coaches in N and Cartic-4 car carriers and BR Borail/YLA/YQA flat wagons in both scales. All these are on progressing as planned, and at various stages of development.

An exciting development has been the emergence of new retailer relationships; as well as the Drax hoppers commissioned by Rails of Sheffield, and scheduled for delivery in 2022, we are producing an caustic soda TUA tank wagon in 00 gauge for Rainbow Railways. We expect to have news of more commissions in Q1 2022.

We have continued our Facebook Live events as exhibitions we would normally attend such as Model Rail Scotland and DEMU Showcase were cancelled, however we were delighted to attend The International N Gauge Show (TINGS) and The Great Electric Train Show later in the year.

Would you buy a model train from these men?

The Great Electric Train Show also saw Revolution’s KUA nuclear flask carriers receive Hornby Magazine’s N gauge rolling stock Model of the Year award; in February Revolution had been named N gauge Manufacturer of the Year by the readers of Model Rail magazine, and our KUA nuclear flask wagons voters the best N gauge wagon of 2020.

L-R: Ben Ando, Mike Wild (Honrby Magazine Editor), Mike Hale.

Readers of Model Rail may be interested to know Revolution’s Ben Ando will be starting a regular column in Model Rail in the New Year discussing aspects of modelling from the point of view of both an enthusiast and a manufacturer.

Looking ahead to 2022 we are obviously very hopeful that the problems of the pandemic begin to recede as the virus mutates into less virulent strains and the global vaccination programme takes hold. As ever, we tend to time new announcements with the delivery of models; once the Class 320/321 models are delivered we are expecting to offer at least two new mulitple units in N gauge, while we also expect to have exciting news about new wagons in both scales.

And last of all, Revolution is growing – as well as new models and shows, we will be unveiling a new addition to the team in early 2022. Happy New Year to all our friends and supporters!!