23 December 2019
Accurascale has announced it is to retail a range of exclusive models, commencing with a Class 37 in Network Rail livery.
'Accurascale Exclusives' is to be a range of models available only via the Accurascale website in a limited-edition production run. They will feature limited edition certificates and special presentation packaging. 97301 will be a first in a range of locomotives and rolling stock to be part of Accurascale Exclusives, with further announcements to come in 2020.
Network Rail 97301 was the prototype for a fleet of four ERTMS (European Railway Traffic Management System) equipped locomotives for use on the Cambrian Line from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth/Pwllheli. Previously numbered 37100 and D6800 it was famous in the Class 37 fleet due to its mismatched nose ends, having lost its split headcode boxes at the No. 2 end in 1983 and its redundant boiler water tank in 1987. It was handed over to NR in February 2008 after an extensive overhaul by Harry Needle Railway Company at Barrow Hill, which included toughened windscreeens, the removal of the splitboxes at the No. 1 end and the doors from both ends creating a tidier appearance.
97301 was followed by the end of the year by 97302-97304 (the former 37170, 37178 and 37217 respectively) all from the centre headcode batch making it unique among the four members of the fleet. All were converted without ERTMS due to delays in specifying onboard equipment and initially their duties included route learning, charter trains and outings with various test coach formations. The Hitachi ERTMS equipment was finally fitted to 97302-97304 in 2009 with oddball 97301 receiving its distinctive underframe-mounted radar kit and roof antenna cutouts at the end of 2012. The fleet is based out of a new depot at Sutton Bridge Jn (Coleham) near Shrewsbury and sees regular use on RHTT and engineering work on the Cambrian Line, but can also be seen over much of the country on test trains.
The Network Rail stalwart will be included in Accurascale’s first run of Class 37s due in Q4, 2020. The locomotive will feature the Hitachi ERTMS equipment which is a first from a manufacturer on a RTR Class 37. It will also have the features of the Accurascale Class 37 range, with separately-applied detail, a heavy chassis for traction, a large five-pole centrally-mounted can motor with twin flywheels, helical gearing and options for DC/DCC ready operation or DCC sound-fitted with ESU Loksound 5, twin speakers and a powerpack.
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