29 October 2022
Irish Railway Models reveals the Irish Rail Mk. 2B and 2C Intercity coaches for OO gauge as its next rolling stock project.
Irish Railway Models has today announced the Irish Rail Mk. 2B and 2C Intercity coaches in OO/4mm gauge as its next rolling stock project. The announcement was made at the Dublin Model Railway Exhibition organised by the Model Railway Society of Ireland.
The coaches are already tooled and have been part of IRMs plans from the outset of its Mk. 2 coach project. A total of eight coaches will be offered in IR livery and eight in later IE livery, sold in sets of four coach 'rake builder' packs. Each pack will be priced at €269.99 each.
Delivery is slated for Q4 2023 and demand is expected to be high. Accurascale added, "while these are an Irish-outline model, it does offer a key indicator to a future Accurascale product."
Building on the tooling platform IRM first developed for its NIR Mk. 2 Enterprise coaches and sister brand Accurascale’s BR Mk. 2B coaches, the new IRM Mk. 2 models imitate reality in repurposing ex-BR stock for Irish operations. IRM’s gauge correct wider B4 bogies will be employed, along with full interior lighting, fully detailed interiors, a wealth of separately applied detail, sprung buffers and bespoke tooling for mini buffets 4401 and 4402.
- Highly-detailed OO Gauge / 1:76.2 Scale Models on 16.5mm track
- 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 bogie ever produced", with provision for re-gauging to EM or P4 (British 18.83mm or Irish 21mm) 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 Kadee-compatiable knuckle couplers
- Full lighting package, including; magnet 'wand' controlled interior lighting
- 'Stay-Alive' capacitor in all coaches
- Minimum Radius 438mm (2nd Radius Set-track)
- Coach Length: 269mm
Desperate for additional coaching stock, Irish Rail made a deal with scrapper Vic Berry of Leicester in 1990 to swap a number of withdrawn C 201 Class locomotives for ex-British Rail Mk. 2s. While CIÉ had famously acquired BREL-built air-conditioned and vacuum-braked Mk. 2d vehicles in the early 1970s, the 16 second-hand coaches were a mix of open vehicles and corridor stock and were taken from the earlier batches that were pressure ventilated, while all but the earliest BR-specification coaches were air-brake only. They also operated to a different electrical voltage to the rest of the IR roster, which made them incompatible and required the use of three specially modified ‘Dutch’ generator vans, Nos. 4601-4603.
Nine members of the fleet were put into service with little modification other than a repaint, including a single Mk. 2 SO, three Mk. 2A SO and five declassified Mk. 2c SO (ex-FO). A further five declassified Corridor Seconds vehicles (ex-FK), two Mk. 2a, a Mk. 2b and two Mk. 2c, were rebuilt at Inchicore Works as Open Seconds (SO) with 2+2 seating, while another pair of Mk. 2b SK were even more heavily modified as Buffet Open Seconds. The former were numbered 4101-4114 and the mini-buffets as 4401/4402.
They were usually formed in two rakes of between five and eight coaches and could only work with air-braked locomotives, which meant GM Classes 071, 121, 141, 181 and 201. They were initially repainted Intercity livery with orange roofs and put into service on secondary services to Drogheda, Galway, Limerick, Tralee, Westport and Waterford. They could also be found deputising on cross-border workings between Dublin and Belfast, sometimes even with NIR motive power.
By the late 1990s the classic points logo had been replaced with the later IE branding on each of the four corner doors, while further tweaks included black roofs and the overpainting of the aluminium finish window frames in black as well. Retirement eventually came in the early 2000s as new 29000 Class railcars were delivered. Six vehicles initially made it into preservation, but only four grounded bodies now remain: Nos. 4108, 4110 and 4402 at Moyasta Junction and No. 4106 at Kilmeadean.
Ordering for Irish and rest of world is through the IRM website, while UK customers can pre-order via the Accurascale website.
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