Tool Van exclusive from Accurascale

18 May 2023
Departmental rolling stock exclusive to join manufacturer's suburban coach range, in 1980s yellow livery.

Accurascale has revealed an exclusive model in its range, available only from the manufacturer depicting Mk. 1 BTU Tool Van ADB 963952 in BR engineers yellow livery. Priced at £64.95, models are expected to be delivered late Q3 2023 with the rest of its Mk. 1 suburban range. Models are to come in "special presentation packaging".

Accurascale Mk. 1 BTU

Using photographs of prototype ADB 963952, Accurascale says that it "has sought to capture the eye-catching and distinctive departmental yellow livery synonymous with the 1980s."

The model has been created with a roof in distressed condition, capturing the patchy and marked condition Mk. 1 coaches tended to accumulate in later life, particularly when removed from squadron service into departmental duties.

"Corrections on this first decorated sample are required", it says especially around the finish of the plated over windows, which will be executed more convincingly on the production models modellers will receive. A complete specification list of the model can be found on the Accurascale website.

Accurascale Mk. 1 BTU


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The introduction of Diesel Multiple Units gathered pace during the 1960s, meaning much of the Mk. 1 non-gangway stock was phased out of traffic, but for some of the vehicles new uses were found, especially in freight flows and, later, as Departmental vehicles. With the introduction of Freightliner trains, British Rail and the Train Drivers’ Union, ASLEF (The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen), were unable to come to an agreement over where Guards should be housed in these new fully-fitted trains. Initially, containers were converted into ‘Caboose’ style accommodation but with the ride and safety severely compromised, it was decided to convert a number of redundant Mk. 1 Brake vehicles into Freightliner Guards’ Vans as a temporary measure until a more permanent solution could be found.

The majority of these vehicles were converted from Mk. 1 non-gangway Brake Seconds, with 43 ex-Midland, Eastern and Scottish coaches being converted at Derby and Swindon works between June 1966 and October 1967, entering service on Freightliner flows in a plain grey livery. Once BR and ASLEF had reached an agreement for Guards to ride in the rear cab of the hauling locomotives, the Brake vans were once again surplus to requirements, with just seven vehicles being pressed into service as Departmental vans: DB 963904, 963906, 963925 and 963947 as Crane Runners and ADB 963943, 963952 and 963953 as BTU Tool Vans.

ADB 963952 started life as Sc43326, one of the 1955 York-built Brake Thirds built to Lot 30057 and once retired from the Scottish Region, was converted into a Freightliner Brake Van at Swindon in September 1967. Conversion to a BTU Tool Van took place at Doncaster in 1980 and the vehicle stayed in service until June 1988, when fire damage rendered the coach unusable and it was cut up at Temple Mill Yard in June 1992.

Visit the Accurascale website for more details and to place an order.


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