29 March 2023
Western Region and 'modern' Type 3/Class 37s lead Accurascale’s second promised run of the locomotives for OO gauge/4mm:1ft scale.
Accurascale has lifted the cover on its second production run of Class 37s as its first batch head to the UK following production completion. Eight new running number and livery combinations are promised in this second batch, with new tooling options not seen in its first run.
At the forefront of this new production run is the Western Region-based Type 3s with their unique style of lamp irons. Each locomotive promises an accurate rendition of the real locomotive, with differing details of each class member. Each locomotive is available with DC/DCC ready and DCC sound options, for the recommended retail price of £169.99 and £259.99 respectively.
The eight locomotives are as follows:
Completed nearly six years after D6700 had left Vulcan Foundary, D6600 was the first of nine English Electric Type 3s to be numbered out of sequence as the fleet outgrew its allocated series and bumped up against the Western Regions D7000 'Hymek' locomotives. Delivered to 86A Cardiff Canton in August 1965 and then to Swansea Landore in 1971, later gaining the number 37300, it spent the first 20 years of its life primarily on freight duties in and around South Wales before eventually moving to Scotland at the start of 1985.
It had barely settled in north of the border when it received the call to Crewe Works in the October for refurbishment as one of the Welsh-based Class 37/4s, 37429. D6600 wears its original BR green with small yellow warning panel and features its as-built nose condition with no riveted strengthening plate and WR-style lamp irons only.
Accurascale said, "This has been one of the most requested conditions for our 37s to date and we are delighted to bring this variant into the range for the first time."
Accurascale said, "One of the hits of its first Class 37 production run was D6704 in BR green with full yellow ends, which quickly established itself among the fastest-selling versions and surprised us by outstripping liveries that we expected to be more popular. Thus we'd be remiss in not including a centre headcode version in the second run and our chosen subject is D6956, another stalwart South Wales freight machine."
New to 86A Cardiff Canton in January 1965 and then to Swansea Landore in 1972, D6704 was renumbered 37256 two years later and remained on the WR at Bristol Bath Road from 1983 until rebuilt by Crewe as 37678 in 1987. Another non-boilered locomotive, while this release shares the same nose configuration as D6600 it rides on Deltic-style cast bogies.
Although the last 75 or so EE Type 3s were delivered after the debut of the new British Rail 'corporate image' on Brush Type 4 D1733 in May 1964, all 309 locomotives were outshopped from Vulcan Foundry in BR green. Despite their relative youth, repaints into the new blue scheme were not uncommon before 1970 and a not insignificant number gained double arrows and Rail alphabet numbers on all four cabsides.
D6992 was the highest numbered example, and was recorded in this livery variation – still with D-prefixed number – in the second half of 1969, just four years after debuting at 86A Cardiff Canton in July 1965 for freight work. It was numbered 37292 under TOPS and moved to Eastfield and then Motherwell in 1981, later receiving an experimental uprated 2,000hp 12CSVT the same year. The locomotive appeared in Accurascale's first production run as DRS 'Regional Railways' heritage repaint 37425.
March depot's 37140 was one of the first Class 37s to gain the high visibility headlight, being so fitted in mid-1986. It also gained an orange cantrail stripe later the same year before it moved back to Stratford in May 1987. Although allocated to East Anglian infrastructure duties it was no stranger to freight or passenger work, regularly featuring on the summer dated Norwich-Gt Yarmouth legs of services from London, the Midlands and the North East. The Accurascale model replicates the locomotive's late 1980s and early 1990s condition with headboard clips and standard lamp irons and when embellished with 'cockney sparrow' mascot logo and a yellow DCE flash under the secondman's cab windows.
37140 was a late survivor in BR blue, along with East London-based colleagues 37216 and 37219, eventually swapping its 'corporate image' for civil engineer's 'Dutch' in October 1991.
Repainted in the controversial general grey paint scheme in May 1990, like the majority of locomotives to gain this livery, 37258 quickly swapped it for the 'Dutch' variant, being outshopped with the upper body yellow band in September 1991, also receiving a high visibility headlight, cast double arrows and Cardiff Canton depot plaques at the same time. Other distinctive spotting features include cast bogies and Western Region and standard lamp irons. Although wearing the colours of the civil engineer's department, the locomotive saw regular freight use as well as deputising on the Cardiff-Bristol Temple Meads-Weymouth summer dated services and passenger trains to the Glastonbury Festival throughout the 1990s. It lost its cast accoutrements in 1997 and was renumbered as 37384 the following year after being shod with a set of regeared CP7 bogies. It was eventually stored in 1999, still in 'Dutch' colours.
The Colas Rail Class 37 fleet is full of interesting oddballs but none come close to 37116, which made its triumphant return to the main line in late 2015 after being acquired from a preservation career at the Chinnor & Princes Risborough in January 2014. While the locomotive retained its unique flush rebuilt noses, replacement welded long range fuel tank and revised bodysides from its 1990s Transrail rebuild, its new owner also specified toughened windscreens, all details which Accurascale has promised. It was initially outshopped from HNRC's workshops at Barrow Hill in BR blue, but quickly repainted into Colas livery at the start of 2016. Since then it has been one of the most reliable members of the fleet, primarily working Network Rail test trains all over the country. Accurascale's models is to wear the later style of the Colas logo, applied in the second half of 2020.
The highlight of the Direct Rail Services' annual open day in 2022 – the first such event since 2019 – was the official unveiling of 37218 in a 'heritage' livery backdating the centre headcode machine to its original DRS paint scheme with rectangular branding that it wore after departing Brush Traction, Loughborough in 2002. This was one of five Class 37/0s to be put through a major refurbishment in the early 2000s, which included extensive reworking to the nose ends with WIPAC light clusters, top headlight and DRS multiple working equipment as well as a full cab upgrade with new control desk and sound-proofed partition to bring them up to an almost identical specification to the operator's Class 37/6 locomotives that featured heavily in Accurascale's first production run.
Although initially outshopped with plated headcode still extant this was removed on its repaint into the 'fade' scheme in 2014 and the Accurascale model will correctly feature the smoothed-off nose, toughened windscreens and welded long range fuel tank of the prototype.
Acquired as part of the mass transfer of Class 37/4s from DB Schenker to Direct Rail Services in 2011, 37422 is unique among the ETS-fitted EEs in having been repainted in the company's dark blue livery, but having never received any ownership branding. Reworked for DRS service at Railcare's Glasgow Works with final rectification work undertaken at Barrow Hill, for a long time it looked like its repairs would never be completed. Finally returning to the main line towards the end of 2015, when demand for passenger Class 37s was at its peak, with Cumbrian and Anglia 'short sets' in action, the former D6966/37266 has been a stalwart member of the fleet since. Latterly embellished by DRS staff with tiny BR double arrows, cast Victorious nameplates, its pre-rebuild numbers and, most curiously, Stratford depot 'cockney sparrow' motifs, the locomotive exhibits a different configuration of features compared to former colleague 37405, with bodyside windows still in-situ, nose-mounted antenna, top lamp iron and no speedo cable.
An Accurascale Exclusive model to follow is expected to be revealed in the coming weeks. This batch of locomotives will go into production soon, with decorated samples due in early summer and delivery due in Q1 2024.