Photo by John Armitstead
Bachmann have announced the 2016 programme of new models for the Graham Farish range. It’s again a year of consolidation, with many models originally announced two or three years ago still to appear, though today’s announcement does give progress on these; some, like the GWR “Castle” are not fat off. I suspect the age when we three or four major new models every year may be behind us now.
The one big announcement is the class 319 EMU, something I don’t think anybody saw coming. It’s an interesting choice. Built as a dual-voltage train for the initial opening of Thameslink, they’re the one type of multiple unit seen on both the third-rail DC network south of the Thames and the overhead AC network north of London. They’re now being displaced from their original duties by a newer generation of trains and redeployed in other parts of the country. So far they’ve seen use in the north-west of England, and will see service in other routes as electrification spreads.
Aside from that, the rest is all reliveries and reissues. The Mk1 coaches in the red, white and blue Network South East livery are very welcome. The Mk1 BG in Royal Mail Red is useful as well to match the existing TPO stock. The major new loco livery is the class 70 in the colourful Colas livery.