Many things we didn’t expect have happened over the last 18 months, but one of them that I hadn’t planned on particularly was that I would change job, however that has happened this year and has been a really good thing. However I’m not going to focus on that within this blog post but instead I wanted to add some photos and video of the new train and wagons that came as a very generous leaving gift from my (now former) colleagues.
For a while I’ve been wondering about some intermodal wagons and had been pondering which ones to get. So this seemed like a good opportunity, and the leaving gift was sufficiently generous to also be able to cover a new engine to go with them as well as some containers to make it complete.
The loco is a Hattons Class 66 in the blue GBRf livery. I have a 66 already in EWS livery, and pondered long and hard about whether it was a GBRf or a Freightliner to go with, however in the end the selection of the wagons suggested that the GBRf was probably a better match, plus I like the blue colour. I did have some fun and games as I was purchasing as the final stock was selling through, so had a few interesting days where I thought I’d missed them all by practically hours and then a couple more came in stock so I was able to grab one.
I have to admit I was slightly nervous about going for the Hatton’s version of the Class 66 as I have seen mixed reviews of them. There’s been a real battle with Bachmann and Hornby producing versions as well as Hatton’s, all at different levels of detailing and pricing. The clear piece was that the Hatton’s version is probably the most detailed, almost to the point of being too detailed and suffering a few issues as a result, however thankfully it doesn’t seem to affect the model that I’ve got.
The wagons are Dapol IKA Megafret Intermodal wagons for taking shipping containers. I’ve looked at various sets out there and wanted to make sure I had a reasonable length train as in reality these are usually some of the longest trains on the network. While in modelling you need to make some compromises and train length is often one of them, I didn’t want the loco with just two wagons behind it which would look silly. So I was very happy to be able to buy 3 pairs which makes a good length formation and looks sensible on the layout.
The other thing I liked about the Dapol units (which is not shown in the photo on Rail’s website) is that they are weathered, so not the bright plastic blue that many of the intermodal wagons can look like, but a much more realistic dirty, dark colour.
So overall I’ve very happy with the new new rake. I can see the wagons will work well with either of the Class 66’s that I have and probably even with the Class 68, while the GDRf Class 66 will also provide more flexibility of what I can run on the layout.
To finish this post I’ve put a selection of photos from the test run, as well as a short video of the whole rake going past. The video is in front of the retaining wall for the upper station, and while not finished at this stage it does create a good backdrop and take away some of the sense of being a model in a loft.