Testing! Testing! RTC Mark 2Bs Are Latest Accurascale Exclusives
What is it about test trains we love so much? Is it the unusual formations? The modified vehicles? The rarity? Or, perhaps it's their eye catching, and even iconic liveries.
It is likely all of the above, but when it comes to eye catching liveries, few can compete with the RTC red and blue scheme employed by the legendary Railway Technical Centre (RTC) at Derby.
So, when planning out our first run of Mark 2B coaches, the RTC pair was identified and classified as an absolute "no brainer" for an Accurascale Exclusives release. Now we can revealed them in decorated form!
By the mid 1980s growing ‘Sprinterisation’ and electrification had allowed a cascade of newer air-conditioned stock onto secondary and relief services. For the Mk.2b fleet this meant further withdrawals, as well as the mass declassification of the corridor first (FK) vehicles.
In 1987, two recently retired examples were transferred to the Mechanical & Electric Engineer at Derby for use as brake force runners, the pair being among the final members of the RTC fleet to gain the iconic red and blue research department colours. They also received “Test Service Vehicle” brandings at the left hand end of the coach and the famous “D of M & EE B.R.B. Technical Centre Derby” lettering at the right hand end of each side.
A general increase in test train speeds had required the use of additional non-test coaches to assist in braking the various track evaluation and research formations and the newly renumbered ADB 977528 (ex-13484) and ADB 977529 (ex-13487) – both basically unchanged other than their exterior revamp – visited almost all corners of the network over the next few years.
They were partnered with a range of evaluation vehicles, including ADB 975091 Mentor, ADB 975397 Test Car 2 and RDB 977469 Laboratory 5, and were most often found sandwiched in-between the RTC fleet of Class 47s, Nos. 47971-47976.
In 1991 they lost the ‘D of M & EE B.R.B.’ part of their bodyside identification and soldiered on for another year or so before being replaced by other vehicles.
Withdrawn around 1993, incredibly both still exist. ADB 977528 moved to Swanwick Junction (Midland Railway Centre) to become staff accommodation for the Class 20 Locomotive Society where it remains to this day, while ADB 977529 joined the North Downs Railway fleet before being sold to the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) who regauged it to 5’3” and returned it to railtour service in their dark green livery renumbered as the 181.
The Accurascale Exclusives Model
A perfect addition to our rapidly growing "Accurascale Exclusives" range of limited edition models available direct only via the Accurascale website, our RTC Mark 2B pair of coaches follow the same unbeatable museum quality and specification of our new Mark 2B range, including:
- Highly-detailed OO Gauge / 1:76.2 Scale Models on 16.5mm track
- Extremely fine exterior rivet detail on roof and coach ends
- Separately-applied etched metal and high-fidelity plastic parts, including handrails, brake/steam heat pipes, ETH cabling and sockets, footsteps, dummy drophead knuckle coupler, and roof vents
- Prism Free Glazing
- Fully-detailed underframe with numerous separate parts, pipe runs and accurate differences between versions
- The most accurate B4 bogies ever produced, with provision for re-gauging to EM or P4 gauges
- Blackened RP25.110 profile wheel-sets with 14.4mm back-to-back measurements, and 26mm over pinpoints
- Different buffers for retracted and non-retracted positions
- Accurate interiors with characteristic 'winged' headrests, separate metal interior handrails on the brake and corridor vehicles and fully-detailed guard's compartment
- Correct height NEM standard coupling sockets with mini tension lock couplers and kinematic close-coupling
- Easy conversion to alternate NEM compatible couplers
Full lighting package, including
- magnet 'wand' controlled interior lighting
- 'Stay-Alive' capacitor in all coaches
- Free running track pickup
These RTC coaches will be sold together as a twin set, strictly limited to 400 packs and delivered in special presentation packaging, complete with limited edition certificate. Delivery is slated for Q4 2022 along with the rest of the Mark 2B range and priced at £119.90.
Due to the love for all things RTC early pre-ordering is advised. You can secure your pack with a £30 deposit by clicking here.