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Sweet Caroline from Revolution

Photo courtesy Steve Poole

Revolution Trains is offering the historic celebrity inspection saloon 975025 Caroline as its next model in 00/4mm scale.

TDB975025 in “as built” condition with headcode box and jumper cables

During its long life Caroline has carried Princesses and Popes, seen vast areas of the network and is now earmarked for the National Collection once her working days are over.

Revolution would like to thank LORAM and Network Rail for their kind help and assistance in developing this model.

Revolution research trip to LORAM Derby

As an additional bonus, those who order before 31st August 2020 will be entered into a free draw to join us on a free and exclusive “Sweet Caroline” railtour. 

The Revolution Trains Sweet Caroline railtour will travel from Derby on a circular route taking in the WCML via Crewe and Stockport before heading across to the Peak Peak District and reaching the Midland Mainline before returning.  The exact route and date is yet to be finalised and will of course depend on the relaxing of social distancing rules.  Those on board will be able to enjoy the saloon facilities and food will be provided.  Traction is expected to be a DRS Class 37.*

The handful of guests will be chosen in a draw held during a Revolution Trains Facebook Live event in September.

TDB975025 carried Prince and Princess of Wales on the first leg of their honeymoon in 1981. Photo courtesy David Hills.

TDB975025 entered service as the Southern Region General Manger’s Inspection Saloon in 1969.  It was converted from buffet car S60755 taken from Class 203 “Hastings” unit 1031, built eleven years earlier. Originally fitted with SR 27-way jumper cables, 3rd rail shoegear and with two-character headcode boxes, it was outshopped in BR Blue Grey with yellow ends. 

Traction was usually provided by Class 33 or 73 locomotives but from time to time the saloon would also be coupled to the front of passenger units such as VEPs and CEPs and used as a driving car.

Photo courtesy Michael Hart

In 2006 ownership of Caroline passed to Network Rail, and the saloon was extensively rebuilt by RVEL in Derby and repainted into a bright turquoise “viridian” green, the non-standard colour attributed – probably apocryphally – to a mix-up when paint was bought from a local DIY shop!

During this rebuild the headcode box was plated over, the SR 27-way jumper cables were replaced with blue-star connections, LED tail lamps were fitted and 3rd rail pick up equipment removed.

Photo courtesy Tony Callaghan.

In January 2015 Caroline emerged again from the Derby paint-shop in yet another livery – BR Southern region Brunswick green – which it carries to this day.

Operationally 975025 Caroline has been used for BR General Manager meetings, track inspection and line testing far and wide, but is perhaps best known for its many celebrity and VIP duties.  These include:

  • July 1981 – formed part of Royal Wedding train and HRH Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales travelled in the saloon from London Waterloo to Romsey.  TDB975025 was at the rear of the train and carried a specially created crest.
  • May-June 1982 – carried Pope John Paul II from Gatwick airport to London Victoria on the first stage of his celebrated tour of the UK, the first ever by a reigning Pope.
  • May 1992 – formed part of the Class 50 farewell tour on the West of England line.
  • October 1992 – working with 73112 ‘University of Kent’ became the first train to travel from London Waterloo into the Channel Tunnel – being propelled roughly 150m into the bore.

Caroline was formally designated for the National Collection in December 2008, and once no longer required by Network Rail will be preserved for the nation alongside its Royal Wedding counterpart, Class 73 electro-diesel 73142 (73201) Broadlands.

CAD of “Caroline” in current form with revised light clusters and plated over headcode box.

The Revolution Trains model has been extensively researched and is designed to set a new benchmark in RTR rolling stock.  It will feature accurate headcode and light variations, fully sprung buffers, era-specific driver’s desk, a highly detailed interior with separately-fitted era-specific chairs and numerous underframe parts. Flicker-free directional lighting, interior lighting solebar lighting and DCC options are being offered.

Researching the interior
CAD cutaway showing interior details

The liveries on offer are:

Version 1 – BR Blue Grey with small totem as built 1969-1984
Version 2 – BR Network Southeast 1991-2003
Version 3 – Network Rail SR Brunswick Green 2015-present

Delivery is expected in early 2021.

Revolution Trains would like to thank Network Rail, LORAM and Serco for their assistance in producing this model and arranging the “Sweet Caroline” tour.

We are also exploring the possibility of offering this model in N gauge and to assess demand we are asking N gauge customers to register their interest.

*The exact route, date and traction for the Revolution Trains Sweet Caroline railtour may be subject to alteration depending on circumstances beyond the control of Network Rail/Revolution Trains.


1). Invitees will be selected from all customers who have registered on the Revolution Trains website and ordered a Revolution Trains model of Caroline, in any livery, before August 31st.

2). Invitees will be selected by Revolution Trains during September, and notified via email.  Invitations are entirely at Revolution Trains discretion, and their decision is final. Those receiving a notification email must confirm their attendance before the deadline given or their place will be reassigned.

3). Places on the tour are not transferable and have no cash equivalent value. Invitees who subsequently find they cannot attend should inform Revolution Trains via email, and we will reassign their place.

4). Invitees accept that Revolution Trains may retain some personal data for the purposes of administration of this railtour only.

5) ‘Caroline’ is not a vehicle in normal passenger use, and unfortunately does not offer wheelchair access.

6). Entering this competition confirms acceptance and understanding of these terms and conditions. Invitees may be required to accept additional terms and conditions to attend the tour itself.