How it works

Our commitment to the models you want…

Since we started our first project in 2015 we’ve continually improved how we develop models and we’re continuing to learn with each new model.

Expressions of interest: We started off by asking for Expressions of Interest and only starting design work if there was sufficient interest – now we have much greater certainty of the demand for our models or knowledge of the size of various parts of the market – we still use Expressions of Interest for some models if we’re really not sure about the level of demand.

CAD and orders open: For all projects we get the CAD done (at our risk) and then once the CAD is complete we open up our order book for a particular model.  You can decide whether to pay in full up front or pay a 50% deposit.  If you pay in full you will receive your model first. We also guarantee that customers who trust us with their money can be sure that they will get the lowest price for the model.

Product development: the length of time taken to develop a model can vary hugely depending on the complexity of the model, but we always put developments in the News section of our website, in our newsletters (if you signed up for it!) and on our various social media channels. You can always check the summary of the latest developments by looking at our Project summary table. If the update you are looking for doesn’t seem to be available it is almost certainly because we have no news to report.

Production: once development is complete and samples are cleared, we will start production. Once the models are ready to leave the factory we will collect any balance due and when your model is complete it will be delivered to you by secure courier (normally Royal Mail).


What if lots of models hit their targets at once?

We think this is fairly unlikely as we will have a relatively limited number of items listed at any one time. However, if it does a declaration of interest is no commitment to buy.

Are you damaging the trade?

We don’t think so. We have lots of admiration and respect for model manufacturers and retailers but we understand there are some products that are just too “niche” to be brought to market in the usual way. We support retailers where we can by offering retailers the opportunity to stock our models for those customers who prefer to wait to see a model in the flesh before purchase, the trade-off is of course that models purchased through retailers are priced higher than models pre-ordered direct through us.

What security do I have?

We have over 5 years experience of producing well-regarded models and a track record of delivering the models that our customers want. We will only produce models with respected factories, and our dealings will always be loaded for the majority of the funding to be held until full production is underway.

Why bother with this website?  Why not just use Kickstarter again?

For our launch model, the Pendolino, Kickstarter was a great way of raising awareness of the possibilities of crowd funding.  However, having used it we do not feel it’s the best solution for the model railway market.  The strict time limit (maximum 60 days) and all-or-nothing nature of the funding are not ideal.  With Revolution Trains we’re still crowd-funding products, but we set the time limits and can allow longer for potential backers to learn about a particular project, or make up their minds.  We fund each project individually and we fund CAD ourselves and we set our project budgets such that our reserves can cover any funding gap for each project.

Isn’t this just glorified market research?

Up to a point, yes. Revolution Trains offers a “one-stop-shop” for modellers to come together to make niche or specialist models happen.  By ascertaining demand first, and adopting a crowdfunded model, we can press ahead with projects that manufacturers consider too risky, or unlikely to yield adequate sales.

Got an idea?

Have you got a great idea for a new product that you think that the market is missing? Or even a more niche idea that you think might not be suitable for the larger manufacturers? Have a look at our outline guidelines for model suggestions and send us your idea.