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Class 59/1, 59/2 order deliveries

From the beginning of this week (May 13th 2024) there will be a short break in order processing and deliveries for the Revolution Class 59/1 and 59/2 models (and other recently ordered models such as 00 gauge Carolines) as one of our small team is taking on holiday.

In addition we will not be sending out Lokpilot pre-mapped E24 decoders and balance payment requests.

Simon, our Customer Service Manager will continue to address any problems with received models. If you are unfortunate enough to have an issue please contact him using the email address in your instructions.

We realise many customers are eagerly awaiting their models – especially given the very favourable reviews in the press and online – however we are only a very small team and we need a break from time to time too!

We’d like to thank all our customers for their patience and understanding, and expect order processing and dispatch to resume at the beginning of June.

Of course if you missed out on ordering direct you should be able to place an order with one of our retailers, most of whom have received their stocks now.

Rainbow Railways

In addition our limited edition ‘First and Last’ twin packs of Class 59/2s 59201 and 59206 in attractive National Power livery are now in stock with Rainbow Railways and available to purchase.

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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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Caroline goes to the ball…well Model World Live!

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

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

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

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

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

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Take Five! Revolution offers articulated Arbel car carriers

Revolution Trains is offering the imposing 5-piece articulated WIA ‘Sefoorss’ car carriers as its next wagon in OO and N.

Photo: Foulger Rail used under Creative Commons

CAD work on the model is complete, and the order book is opening imminently, with our usual great value EarlyBird price available to encourage early orders.

OO WIA CAD image

The Prototype

60 five-unit sets were ordered by BR’s Railfreight Distribution sector ahead of the opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994.

They were designed to offer complete protection and, being fully enclosed, meant that new cars could be shipped between the UK and continental Europe without needing to be waxed, saving time and money.

Brand new WIA units lined up at Tonbridge. Photo: Paul Wade.

Initially they were operated by Auto Care Europe, a partnership comprising RfD, SNCB and Cobelfret. Some outer wagons were adorned with the ACE logo and car maker markings too. On privatisation ownership passed to EWS and from around 2007 the DB Schenker (now DB) logo was added to the intermediate cars of some sets.

Photo: Mark Saunders
Photo: CA850 used under Creative Commons.

Though it is not immediately apparent from the outside, the wagons are double-decked and the entire roof canopy can be raised or lowered as one unit to aid loading and unloading.

In railfreight terms cars are light, but high volume, so the wagons are designed to maximise the use of space and completely fill the loading gauge, hence the angled contours of the roofs. Articulation is chosen as it both reduces costs, but cutting the number of bogies required, but also simplifies loading and unloading as cars can easily be driven the full length of the train.

Photo: Foulger Rail Photos-Creative Commons

The Model

The model features our usual refinements including separately fitted brake parts and articulation units designed to allow operation down to curves of radius 2. We’d like to thanks DB for their assistance and support in researching the model.

The OO CAD is complete and the N gauge CAD is under development.

The articulation units have been designed to allow the model to comfortably negotiate R2 curves, and for added realism the customer will have the option, for the tail end car, of replacing the tension-lock coupler with a cosmetic air pipe, in either the loose or stowed position, and a control box moulding that clips into the NEM pocket to recreate the look of the real thing.

We expect to open the order book soon, with options including original RfD blue, ACE blue and DB + DB Schenker branded units. Tooling is expected to start shortly with the models ready to ship in Q2-3 2025 depending on orders.

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Revolution in NEC evolution!

Revolution Trains is thrilled to be attending the inaugural Model World Live at the NEC this weekend April 27th and 28th.

You’ll find Revolution Trains on stand A27 – you’ll find it hard to miss us as we are diagonally left as you enter the show – and along with our usual display we will have new announcements in both OO and N.

The show is an evolution of the traditional model railway exhibition , with not only trains on show but also also scale aircraft model displays, military dioramas and vehicle miniatures, radio control cars, aircraft, boats and more.

In addition the Railnuts – led by Peter Waterman and Chris Clenton – will have the latest incarnation of their Making Tracks 3 layout on display – and it’s been extended to 208ft long with the aim of setting a new Guinness record over the weekend as the world’s largest ever portable model railway.

MIlton Keynes in miniature on Making Tracks 3. Photo: Key Model World/Hornby Magazine

There’ll be our popular ‘Project Progress’ poster, plus new samples in both OO and N of our IHA steel carriers and a first chance to see some of our retailer exclusive Class 66 models.

In addition, we will have limited numbers of hard-to-get or sold out models that you may not be able to find elsewhere in both N and OO.

See you at the show!

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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 upscales to offer 320, 321 in 00

Revolution Trains is offering the Class 320 and 321 Electric Units in 00 gauge, having previously produced these trains in N, after extensive lobbying from 4mm enthusiasts in both England and Scotland.

Revolution’s N gauge Strathclyde PTE Class 320 flanked by Network Southeast and London MIdland Class 321s.

The models will be available in a variety of liveries and will feature directional lighting, DC Silent and DCC versions with sound and working deployable (though not conducting) pantograph.

N gauge Class 320 in Strathclyde PTE Carmine and Cream livery produced as an exlusive for the AMRSS/Model Rail Scotland.

Prototype notes

The Class 321 4-car units were built at BREL York in the late 1980s and early 1990s to replace first generation suburban units on trains operating from London Euston to the Midlands, London Liverpool St to East Anglia and around Leeds.

London Midland Class 321 at Milton Keynes, 2015.

The success of the Class 321s – nicknamed ‘Dusty Bins’ after a character from the then popular TV quiz show 3-2-1 – led to a 3-car version, designated Class 320, being built in 1990 for suburban services around Glasgow.

Class 320 in Scotrail Saltire livery by Tom Smith

Introduced on the North Clyde line, they have also been used on the Argyll line, Cathcart Circle and between Glasgow and Lanark.

On privatisation the Class 321s were split between Silverlink, Great Eastern and Arriva Rail North, and through various franchise changes have seen use with London Midland, First Capital Connect, Northern Rail and Greater Anglia/Abellio.

The 00 model

CAD work is underway and although based on the N gauge version we produced using extensive drawings and access provided by owners Eversholt, it will be fully extensively and upgraded for the 00/1:76 scale version.

N Gauge CAD for the Class 321.

Once we open the order book we will confirm the livery options available to order. In N gauge, for each livery offered at least two running numbers were produced and it is likely we will repeat this in 00.

The models are likely to be priced in line with our other 00 unit models at around £300 for the 3-car Class 320 and £350 for the 4-car Class 321, with DCC Sound etc around £100 extra, and we will be opening the pre-order book shortly to enable customers to reserve their models.

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All iN for Alcan PCA tanks in N?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Revolution at Model Rail Scotland

Revolution Trains will be on Stand A16 at Model Rail Scotland at the SECC in Glasgow from February 23rd-25th.

We’ll have some exciting news for both 00 and N gauge enthusiasts – with a distinctly Scottish flavour – plus all the latest samples of new and upcoming models on display, including more decorated samples of our upcoming Class 66 locomotives in N and EP1 samples of our Class 175 and 180 units.

As ever we will have our popular Project Progress poster on display, and some items for sale off the stand.

Any customers who have ordered Class 59/0 locomotives can collect them provided they let us know in time – please fill in the form here.

If you missed out on ordering direct you should be able to place an order with one of our retailers. Or you can order one of our exclusive 59101 in the brand new Heidelberg Materials livery (as shown above on the production sample!).

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Class 59 – delivery and invoice updates!

Latest update (8/5/24): from the end of this week there will be a short break in despatching in 59s as one of the small team is on holiday. We will update this page when orders start to be despatched again (plus we update your order status when it has been despatched!).

50% of /1 and /2 orders sent out (all the paid in full up front orders, no deposit/balance orders have been sent yet) as of 10/5/24. 75% of balance invoices for the 59/1s and 59/2s are generated so please resist the urge to send us an email “just to check” – that will only slow things down – thanks!

All 59/0s paid in full in advance despatched, plus all 59/0 deposit+balance orders paid up to 1/4/24 despatched. All 59/0 balance invoices generated.

Just like the real 59s, our models of the 59/0s have arrived before the 59/1 and 59/2 sub-classes! We have just finished checking over samples of each version of Class 59/0s (ie 59001 to 59005 in all liveries) and the first orders have started to be sent out.

Posting orders and change of address

All fully paid orders will be sent out by Royal Mail. If you need to update your address please login to your account on our website and update your delivery address – if you update your address after 15 February 2024 please also send us an email using the Contact Us form otherwise your order might go to your old address.

If you have a balance to pay please see below.

Non-sound DCC ESU Lokpilot decoders

The non-sound DCC ESU Lokpilot decoders arrived with us on 22 February and we will start to post them with 59 orders after Model Rail Scotland.

Order status – has my order been posted?

You can check where we have got to in terms of posting orders (or generating balance invoices) on our Project overview page – sorry to repeat this but every time we send out orders we get emails asking for order updates. Please do not send us emails asking if your order has been posted, it just slows us down! Once your order has been posted your order status will be updated to “Complete” in your account – please give it 7-14 days from when your order is marked as despatched before asking what has happened to your posted order.

If you paid a balance please read the note below!

Balance invoice to pay?

We will start to generate balance invoices for 59/0s only over the next few days. Once your balance is paid we post orders in the order that they were paid ie your order goes into the despatch queue once fully paid.

If you pay a balance invoice then your original deposit is automatically marked as “Complete” and an email is automatically generated saying that your order has been despatched – whilst we send out orders as quickly as we can, the reality is that there are only 1 or 2 of us despatching orders at any one time and we’re not superhuman! The email is automatically generated by our deposit system and we can’t change it – your order is not despatched (despite what the email says) until the balance half of your order is also marked as “Complete”.

What about the class 59/1s and 59/2s and mixed orders?

Unfortunately final production of the 59/1s and 59/2s didn’t quite make it out of the factory before Chinese New Year however we expect both sub-classes shortly and we will update our website as soon as we have a confirmed delivery schedule.

If your order contains both 59/0s and 59/1s or 59/2s we will ship the models separately at no extra cost to you.

If you missed out on ordering direct you should be able to place an order with one of our retailers. Or you can order one of our exclusive 59101 in the brand new Heidelberg Materials livery (as shown above on the production sample!).

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Revolution Bespoke – how does it work?

As you may be aware with the launch of our forthcoming N gauge Class 66 we also announced a new option to allow customers to tailor their models – Revolution Bespoke. Working with our friends at Rainbow Railways we can take factory finished bodyshells and apply individually-tailored livery details (numbers, additional branding or livery elements and nameplates) onto our base liveries.

So far we have offered the following Class 66 sub-classes for bespoke livery application:

  • Colas 66/8 (early bird ended)
  • DRS or GBRf 66/3 (early bird ends 29/02/2024)
  • DRS or GBRf 66/4 (early bird ends 29/02/2024)
  • GBRf ‘original’ livery 66/7 (early bird ended)
  • DB 66/0 (early bird ends 08/03/2024)
  • Freightliner Genesee & Wyoming orange – there will be no bespoke option for as 66623 is currently the only Freightliner 66 in that livery with those lights and body details.
  • Remaining GBRf 66/7s – Europorte variations and “standard” GBRf livery variant (66798 only) (early bird ends 12/03/2024)
  • Freightliner green 66/5s and 66/6s (early bird ends 20/03/2024)

The final batch to upload are the EWS 66s. We have been through thousands of images of 66s to match the livery variations with the body shell details that we’re offering in our first run of 66s (so that you don’t have to!). Having said which we’re sure that we will have missed some combinations – if you find a version that you would like and that we’re not offering please let us know and if we have the correct combination of details we will add it.

Early bird pricing

As we’re releasing the bespoke options in a rolling programme we guarantee that there will be at least 4 weeks of early-bird pricing for each version – starting from when the bespoke option is published and ending as noted above. We will update the list above as we publish new livery options.

How to order?

Revolution Bespoke will only be available direct from Revolution (standard range items are available to all our retailers). Use the dropdowns on the relevant model page to select the livery variation, number and DC/DCC ready or DCC sound (plus in some cases named or un-named) – once you select all the options the image will update to the relevant livery variation so that you can see what you will get.

Please note that once production has started we can’t cancel or change your loco as these will be bespoke models produced to order (statutory rights still apply).

How it works?

The list of available variations all represent real combinations of livery and details (we have been through a lot of research to enable this!). The base livery will be factory finished, but the final touches eg the side numbers and changes to logos or additional logos will be printed by Rainbow Railways along with any finishing touches eg etched nameplates.  

When will I receive my model?

The Revolution Bespoke models will finished by Rainbow Railways once the models arrive so will arrive with customers later than the standard versions to allow time for customisation. We are aiming to start production of the 66s in April 2024 with the models currently due to arrive late-Summer-Autumn 2024.

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Revolution to supply pre-mapped non-sound decoders for N Class 59

With the Revolution Trains N gauge Class 59 locomotives in the final stages of production we are aware that some DCC customers will not be familiar with the new E24 decoder interface that the locomotive uses.

DCC Sound models are supplied with the fully configured decoder fitted, however to supply the needs of those who prefer DCC Silent we have also decided to stock a limited number of pre-mapped ESU E24 Lokpilot 5 Nano decoders.

Pre-production samples shown

Revolution chose the new E24 design because it offers significantly greater functionality than the existing Next 18 standard. In the coming months it is anticipated that E24 will be adopted as the new Next 28 norm.

The E24 allows us to offer fully functioning day and night running, working cab interior lights, along with two shunt/yard modes (marker lights and no headlights) and independently controlled tail lights for light engine, top’n’tail operation or parked mode. This level of functionality is simply not possible on Next 18.

The E24 decoder is also smaller. This makes it easier to fit in N gauge models and means that more internal space can be used for weight, enhancing the performance of the locomotive.

Fitting the decoder is a simple matter of removing the centre cover and blanking plate and pressing the E24 decoder into position. All models are supplied with full instructions.

The ESU E24 Lokpilot 5 Nano decoders available from Revolution Trains are pre-configured to ensure the lighting functions on your model work according to the function list supplied with your model.

Please note that you must select the correct type of decoder for your model – there are two versions of decoder:

  • Class 59/0 (version 1)
  • Class 59/1 and 59/2 (version 2) – the 59/1 and 59/2 share the same lighting decoder

They can be ordered for £36.95 via our shop.

Depending on order numbers we are hoping to send the E24 Lokpilot 5 Nano decoders to customers with their models, and the first batch of Class 59s are expected shortly. If you have pre-ordered and not paid in full you will receive a request to pay your balance in due course – please do not contact us about payment until you have received this message.

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Revolution and Trains4U twin-set for the forces

Popular Peterborough-based retailer Trains4U has commissioned Revolution Trains to produce an exclusive twin pack featuring the two GBRf ‘military’ Class 66 locomtives – 66723 ‘Chinook’ and 66775 ‘HMS Argyll’ in N gauge.

The models will be sold as a pair in an exclusive presentation box and every sale will include a donation to charities linked to the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy.

66723 (ZA723) Chinook

66723 was named ‘Chinook’ in 2008 in honour of the RAF’s 7, 18 and 27 squadrons, based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, which is the home of the Royal Air Force’s Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter.

When named the locomotive was fitted with cast nameplates which also featured the three squadron crests and an outline of the Chinook, and was in the First livery.

66723 Nameplate. Photo courtesy Rob Reedman/Creative Commons

In 2017 the locomotive was repainted into GBRf livery, retaining the name but gaining the large number ZA723 and a large orange Chinook silhouette on the bodyside, along with the RAF Ensign on the left cabside.

Photo courtesy Mick Page.

66723 was built in 2006, and was one of the first batch of GBRf Tier 1 (low emission) 5-door locomotives. Revolution’s Class 66 tooling allows for this variant, with the combination of bug-eye headlights, extended cooler group grilles, revised bogie with lifeguard deformation cut-outs and a smaller fuel tank.

Revolution 66723 CAD variation

66775 (F321) HMS Argyll

66775 was built in 2015 and is one of the very last batch of Class 66 locomitives built at Muncie, Indiana.

66775 at market Harborough. Photo courtesy David Page/Creative Commons.
66775 at Eastleigh in 2017. Photo courtesy Dave Kirwin.

In 2017 in a ceremony at HM Naval Base Devonport the locomotive was named after the Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll. Along with the cast nameplate the locomotive was adorned with the ship’s number, F321, and a replica of her funnel crest on each side of the no. 1 end cab.

Photo courtesy Steve Knight/Creative Commons.

Like 66723, 66775 is a Tier 1 5-door locomotive, however having been built in the United States, not Canada, it has significant variations including the revised cab vent position, front panel seam and revised 2-part repositioned BMAC lights.

Revolution 66775 CAD variation.

Like all Revolution’s forthcoming Class 66 models, these will feature the ESU E24 Nano decoder interface, allowing for fully authentic light and sound features.

Although not available in DCC Sound form, all models incorporate a factory-fitted speaker, allowing for a simple plug-and-play sound upgrade.

Revolution’s Ben Ando said: “Revolution has previously supported the Royal British Legion, through sales of its ‘Poppy Pendolino’, and we are delighted to be able to do the same for other important charities in the military family.”

Trains4U owner Gareth Helliwell said: “GBRf has a major presence in Peterborough and I am delighted to be able to offer these locomotives which are a familiar sight across the network.  In addition I am keen to recognise our debt to the armed forces and we are guaranteeing a minimum donation of at least £1500 to each of these good causes.”

Each twin pack retails at £325.00 and can be ordered exclusively from Trains4U, with delivery expected Q3/4. We hope to have decorated samples to show in the coming weeks.

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Revolution goes green with Heidelberg

Revolution Trains has agreed a licence with Freightliner and Heidelberg Materials to offer newly repainted 59101 in its striking new green livery.

59101 in the sidings at Whatley Quarry in early December 2023.

The locomotive had been in Hanson colours since the late 1990s, but parent company Heidelberg Materials recently announced a complete rebranding of the company, and 59101 was selected as the recipient of the new colours.

The repaint was carried out by Arlington Fleet Services at Eastleigh, and following its completion Revolution Trains was invited to the locomotive’s Whatley home depot to check colours and measure all the relevant logos and lettering.

After its arrival on shed in the early hours of Tuesday December 5th, we were given access to the locomotive in the shed at Whatley quarry, then invited to watch as the locomotive left with its first service train – a rake of box wagons bound for West Drayton coal sidings in London.

By happy coincidence the rake included several examples of the JNA ‘Ealnos’ wagons released by Revolution Trains in VTG blue, Mendip Rail silver and Touax deep red.

Revolution has added a limited number of this model to the production run and they are available to pre-order direct from us, in sound and non-sound versions now! We’ve only got a very small number of sound versions but if you miss out on a factory-fitted sound version upgrading the loco to DCC sound is very simple and you can buy the same sound project that we recorded from Legomanbiffo through DC Kits.

Section from the painting diagram for the model.

The 59s are in the final stages of production and are likely to arrive in two batches – the first batch are the 59/0s which are expected in early February (production samples should be with us early next week) followed by the 59/1s and 59/2s after Chinese New Year in late Feb – March.

We’ve got exciting news about the non-sound E24 DCC decoders to come in the next few days.

You can place an order from our online shop now (please don’t mix with other products which will arrive at different times).

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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.