New N Scale Tank Wagons Break Cover at Alexandra Palace

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Anchor-Mounted Tank Wagons
- All New Tooling

New N Scale Tank Wagons Break Cover at Alexandra Palace

Today (Saturday 16th March 2024) at the London Festival of Railway Modelling Bachmann Europe Plc revealed that it has produced new tooling for its Graham Farish range, allowing models of the 14 Ton and 20 Ton Class A and Class B Anchor-Mounted Tank Wagons to be produced in N Scale for the first time. Engineering Prototypes were displayed at the Alexandra Palace event, showcasing several variants that have been incorporated into the tooling suite.

Anchor-Mounted Tank Wagons were conceived in the mid-1940s, the design being agreed between the private operators, the Petroleum Board and the railway companies. Rather than the timber saddle, cradle and wire hawsers employed on earlier wagons, the new design used a central anchor mechanism to secure the tank to its chassis. With many older wagons becoming available as surplus following World War Two, the Anchor-Mounted Tanks were not built in great numbers until the early-1950s when large orders were completed for Shell Mex & BP. Smaller orders were built for operators such as Esso, Fina, Mobil and Regent. With the introduction of larger, vacuum braked tank wagons during the late-1950s, the Anchor-Mount design became obsolete, and the final wagons of this type were built in 1963.

The new Graham Farish models depict both the Class A and Class B wagons, with options to include the bottom outlet pipe and associated handwheel mounted on top of the tank, with or without the steam heating inlet valve, and with a straight or cranked air vent. The top catwalks and filler can be depicted in their central position or offset, whilst these wagons can also be modelled with or without the ladders giving access to the catwalks – where fitted these are constructed from fine metal etches. As standard, each model features separately fitted brake gear and brake levers, along with the filler cap which includes the distinctive securing clamps. On the prototype the underframe was constructed from metal section, and this is replicated on the model affording an unobstructed view through the frames when observed from above. Standard N scale couplings are fitted via NEM pockets and, as with all Graham Farish models, metal wheelsets – with either spoked or 3-hole disc wheels – complete the model.

The news signals a slight deviation from Bachmann’s quarterly British Railway Announcements which has been the mechanism used since the start of 2020 to unveil new products for its British railway ranges. Whilst British Railway Announcements will still be used to launch new products, new tooling projects may now be revealed outside of the quarterly cycle, as in this case where Engineering Prototypes can be displayed at an event which is sponsored and heavily supported by Bachmann Europe. Decorated models will be shown as part of the next British Railway Announcements, in this case the Summer 2024 instalment at the start of May, along with details of livery variants, prices and availability.

Richard Proudman, Rail Brand Manager for Bachmann Europe said: “Our British Railway Announcements programme has been very successful since we adopted this strategy in 2020, providing our customers and consumers with concise information about new products, their price, and availability from the very outset. Notwithstanding this success, it is important for any business to listen to feedback and act upon it, and we recognise that some of our customers and consumers would appreciate a little longer between the announcement and release of some new products to help them plan their future purchases. This is particularly relevant when it comes to new tooling projects, which will come as a total surprise, as opposed to re-runs and re-liveries of existing tooling that are somewhat more predictable when you consider that Bachmann strives to maintain a broad and coherent product range.

Richard continued: “We recognise that ad-hoc announcements like this can burden our valued retailers and their human resources, and therefore we will continue to use the British Railway Announcements mechanism to reveal details such as item numbers, livery variants, pricing and availability for these new tooling products. It is important to stress that such products may not be delivered within the usual three-month period following their initial unveiling, but at the time of inclusion in a British Railway Announcements clear availability information will be provided and any changes to this will be communicated via the Bachmann website as is already our policy.

Today’s announcement continues the thriving start to 2024 that N scale enthusiasts have enjoyed, with this third new tooling announcement from Graham Farish in as many months following the revealing of the LMS ‘Twins’ and Dance Hall Brake Vans as part of the Spring 2024 British Railway Announcements.