30 July 2019
Japanese firm Kato has announced its first UK prototype.
In what appears to be the first in a range of UK prototype models, Kato has announced the production of a class 800 "Azuma" in N gauge.
The class 800 is a bi-mode multiple unit designed and produced by Hitachi for use in the United Kingdom. Electric motors are used for traction with power pickup from a traditional overhead wire. However, to allow the sets to operated over non-electrified lines, they are also fitted with diesel generators. Based on the Hitachi A-train design, the trains have been built by Hitachi since 2014. The units entered service on the East Coast Main Line on 15 May 2019, under the brand name "Azuma."
It is believed that these models will be to the British 1:148 scale for N gauge instead of the 1:150 used for Japanese models.
The intention is to launch the range in 2021.