New in the Graham Farish ‘N’ gauge range is the BR Research-liveried Class 24 and two accompanying coaches.
DUE to be added to Bachmann’s 2mm scale range very shortly is a further Class 24, this coming in the form of the BR Research department’s ever-popular No. 97201 (372-980, £129.95). The Sulzer Type 2 was taken into departmental stock in 1976 to provide motive power for test trains, principally the tribology set, with it initially being renumbered as RDB968007.
However, the Farish model re-creates the loco’s much more famous 1980s appearance, when, by now numbered 97201, it emerged from repairs at Toton in June 1980 carrying Research red/blue and the name Experiment. Still employed on test trains when not attending open days, it outlived its classmates by some margin, withdrawal eventually coming at the end of 1987 due to being vacuum-braked only and an increasing shortage of spare parts. Preservation would duly follow.
Faded and dirty
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The Farish model is presented in a quite effective weathered condition with faded colours and an all over coat of airbrushed dirt. The painted Experiment name is correctly represented by printing rather than etched plates while the accessory bag contains the normal assortment of bufferbeam pipes and headcode discs.
To give the Class 24 something to haul, two Mk.1 coaches are also due to be released at the same time, these representing Derby RTC-based laboratory coaches from the same era and in the same weathered red/blue colours. First up is former Full Brake (BG) No. RDB975547 or Lab 23 (374-043, £32.95), which was principally a generator coach for use with any test train that required such a vehicle.
It is joined by Lab 12 No. RDB975136 (374-195, £32.95), which was a former Brake Standard Corridor (BSK) that was initially used as a support vehicle for the APT development POP train before taking up a more general role while in this livery. Naturally, the tooling is unmodified on both vehicles but Lab 23 does have a printed representation of the generator grille that replaced a window. Both are well finished and make for a good looking, if short, train when partnered with the Type 2.
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