18 Nov Class 320/321 EMU
Class 320/321 EMU
The third collaboration between Rapido Trains Inc. and Revolution Trains sees the partnership tackle one of the most important multiple units to ever operate in the UK. Introduced between 1989 and 1990, the four-car Class 321 fleet operate primarily on fast suburban services on West Coast Main Line (WCML), East Coast Main Line (ECML) and Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) services from London, as well as on provincial commuter services in South and West Yorkshire. The three-car Class 320 versions were almost identical when built and are employed on various routes in central Scotland.
The BREL York-built Class 320 and 321 family is arguably the most useful of the Mk. 3-based electric multiple units. Examples have been used across large chunks of England and Scotland and in numerous liveries. Revolution Trains is also considering the similar 2-car Class 456 750V dc third rail variant, however this would require a little additional tooling to make an accurate model – please let them know if you would be interested in a Class 456.
Scotland’s Class 320 units have standard class seating only. They have carried Strathclyde original orange/black, Strathclyde carmine and cream and ScotRail colours.
Delivered in Network South East colours, the Class 321 units have since carried numerous liveries including Silverlink green/purple, First Great Eastern white/green/blue, London Midland grey/black/green, Northern Rail purple and Abellio Greater Anglia white. There are plans to transfer a number to Abellio’s ScotRail franchise in late 2015.
Producing this model will also make certain areas – such as the Great Eastern Lines or suburban lines out of Glasgow – a realistic proposition for N Gauge modellers for the first time.
Because the units have many common design features and components it may be possible to more easily produce other, similar trains in the future.
The model will feature working lights, close coupling, detailed interior, realistic pantograph and be available with optional DCC Sound and produced with the co-operation of ScotRail and London Midland.
Guide Price: Class 320: £140, £235 with DCC Sound; Class 321: £160, £255 with DCC Sound.
Revolution announced on January 31st, 2016, that the Class 320/321 project had successfully negotiated the ‘Expressions of Interest’ stage and pre-orders will shortly be opened once a guaranteed price is decided. At this early stage, only Network SouthEast and London Midland liveries are certain to be produced on the Class 321.
Non-guaranteed liveries are: First, Great Eastern and Silverlink County on the Class 321 and WYPTE Metro or Northern on the Class 321/9. On the Class 320, it is likely that just one livery will be offered: Strathclyde PTE orange, SPT Carmine/Cream or ScotRail.
One; Abellio, and National Express liveries are unlikely to be produced due to lack of interest at the ‘expressions’ stage of the project.
Sadly there was insufficient interest in the 2-Car third-rail Class 456 EMU to make the necessary tooling modifications worthwhile.
More details can be found in the official press release on the Revolution Trains’ website.
UPDATE: January 5, 2018
Revolution has been very honest with customers about the struggles that this project is facing to remain viable. Initial expressions of interest were very promising and the project easily made its minimum number required to move to the design stage. Sadly, for some reason, the expressions of interest have not translated well into actual orders. Revolution report that they usually see a small amount of drop off from expressions to orders, but for the Class 320/321 this has been much more dramatic.
3D design is almost completed on this project and we don’t intend to give up on it without a fight. The Class 320 and Class 321 EMUs are key trains in the history of British Rail and deserve to be replicated in model form. With a career that has spanned East Anglia, from London to the Midlands, West Yorkshire and across central Scotland, they are among the most widely travelled of EMU classes and have a load of great paint schemes to boot.
We encourage you to support the Class 320/321, or watch the prospect of future models, particularly of multiple units, become much less likely. It’s in your hands!