18 Nov Class 320/321 EMU

N-Gauge-LogoClass 320/321 EMU

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WCML suburban Class 321/4 in Network SouthEast livery

WCML suburban Class 321/4 in Network SouthEast livery

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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.

BREL Logo 321

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.

Class 320 in Scotrail Saltire livery. Photo by Tom Smith

Three-car Class 320 No. 320315 in Scotrail Saltire livery. Photo by Tom Smith

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.

West Yorks PTE liveried No. 321903 at Doncaster. These four-car sets are standard class only.

West Yorks PTE liveried No. 321903 at Doncaster. These four-car sets are standard class only.

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.

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Class 320 and 321 route map, courtesy Revolution Trains

Class 320 and 321 route map, courtesy Revolution Trains

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.

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