18 Nov VTG TEA tanker (N)

N-Gauge-LogoVTG TEA bogie tank wagon

N Gauge VTG TEA 102.6-tonne Tank Wagon

VTG TEA at Elford on its way to Kingsbury Oil Terminal near Birmingham

Revolution Trains’ second all-new N Scale project is arguably closer to the heart of co-founder Ben Ando. Other than his work for the BBC, Ben is well known in the hobby for his pioneering work developing wagon kits and, more recently, ready-to-run items for the N Gauge Society. He also partnered with Bernard Taylor to produce a small number of outstanding wagons under the name ATM Wagons.

Ben was itching to produce something of a freight bent with Rapido and after some discussion the choice of prototype pretty much picked itself – the Greenbrier/VTG 100-tonne TEA bogie tank wagon.

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60010 at Kingsbury during the same trip, kindly organised by VTG. Photo by Tom Smith

The de facto ‘standard’ 100-tonner of the modern railway system, the TE014 series was developed from a Powell-Duffryn design from the 1990s. The first examples were built by Marcroft Engineering in Stoke-on-Trent in 2001 although the actual type chosen by Revolution were constructed in Poland by Greenbrier Europe since 2006.

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DB Schenker (ex-EWS) TEA at Kingsbury during a Revolution Trains research trip. Photo by Tom Smith

They have mostly usurped older designs and can now be seen over much of the country, with the Midlands, North Lincolnshire and South Wales being particular hot spots. The refineries and terminals at Humber, Lindsey, Milford Haven and Port Clarence all see regular services. Ineos at Grangemouth is also due to see a further batch of dedicated wagons delivered this year, hopefully introducing another new livery!

The model is being produced with the full co-operation of the prototype owners VTG Rail UK Ltd. The company has kindly allowed us exclusive access to their drawings archive, which is usually strictly off limits, to create the artwork for this project, as well as arranging a day out for the Revolution team and photographer Tom Smith to do some first-hand research.

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TEA Drawings courtesy of VTG Rail UK Ltd.

VTG rosters three different colour schemes on its fleet of TEAs (red, blue and grey), along with operators Greenergy (two liveries) and DB Schenker. Revolution will also be offering the attractive Freightliner Heavy Haul ‘British Racing green,’ although these wagons have since been rebranded VTG. This gives seven paint jobs in the first run, which will be produced in a combination of single wagons and three-packs, with different numbers.

As with the Pendolino, Revolution have set us a challenging specification, and the model will include close-coupled NEM couplers, etched-metal roofwalks and prototypical detail variations. We have also been tasked with investigation factory weathered versions, while the models will be provided with TOPS panel decal sets to allow simple renumbering!

Factory-painted samples of the N VTG TEA

Factory-painted samples of the N VTG TEA

This model was delivered in September 2016.

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TEA Route Map, courtesy Revolution Trains

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