Hey-Ya! HYA/IIA Wagons in OO Gauge!
It’s been a whole six months (!) since our last announcement, so we thought it was about time we brought you some good news to get us through these interesting times we now all find ourselves in.
So here it is, our next wagon; the HYA/IIA bogie hopper wagon in OO/4mm scale!
This project has been one we have been working away on in between other projects such as the Class 37, Mark 5, 92 and others yet to be announced!
Following on from the highly-anticipated Class 37 (due Q1 2021) we have been beavering away on these striking bogie coal (and nowadays aggregate) hopper wagons as well as plenty of other exciting projects yet to be revealed. While we’ve been dealing with tooling backlogs on our Mark 5 and Deltic changes (more on these soon, we promise!), we just managed to start cutting metal on these wagons before the COVID close down of the factories and samples have been in our possession for some months now.
WH Davis have been instrumental in the development of this project, allowing us to measure up the real thing and even providing us with their own CAD files to help us do these wagons justice in model form.
Built in several batches by IRS, Romania, and WH Davis, UK, between 2007 and 2011, almost 400 of these high capacity wagons were delivered for service on coal trains across the network.
TOPS coded HYA (later recoded IIA after the adoption of 12-digit UIC numbers), they were developed for First GB Railfreight from the EWS HTA by Thrall successor IRS, complete with track friendly TF25 bogies, enabling GBRf to quickly start running coal trains and break the EWS/Freightliner monopoly of the business.
Soon after the GBRf order, then new operator Fastline Freight also contracted IRS for a batch of their own HYAs, later IIAs, delivered from 2008. Both the GBRf and Fastline Freight hoppers were delivered in unpainted steel, featuring distinctive weld line patterns along the bodyside of each wagon.
Most wagons were festooned with branding of their operators and leasing companies such as GE and VTG, although some did not receive any operator logos at all when entering service.
After the demise of Fastline in 2010, their wagons were leased to other companies such as Colas, Freightliner and GB Railfreight, with some wagons continuing to operate to this day carrying the Fastline branding.
With the demand for coal falling due to environmental concerns in recent years, particularly after the introduction of a new carbon tax in 2015, these impressive wagons are still much in demand, having been redeployed on aggregate trains with very little modification.
From 2010, many of the British-built IIAs were converted to biomass wagons or delivered with the distinctive roof doors and operating equipment, while 2016 saw the debut of the first hoppers cut down to a smaller size for dedicated stone workings, with around 150 converted so far (These are both are of interest to us. Watch this space...) However, coal and aggregate traffic still provides the original length wagons with plenty of work across the UK daily!
Presently, haulage tends to be provided by GBRf Classes 60 and 66, although in the past DRS, Fastline and Freightliner Class 66s and Colas Class 60s and 70s have all featured atop these wagons.
These hopper wagons are a major gap for any modeller who specialises in the 2007-current scene and it is one we are delighted to fill.
As you can see in the photos of our pre-production sample, the bulkly nature of these impressive wagons has been well captured by our model, with a wealth of detail and relief around the hopper doors, solebar, bogies, while the interior is just as detailed as the exterior!
We will be offering these wagons in a variety of liveries such as unpainted GBRf with coal branding, unpainted Fastline Freight, unpainted Fastline Freight with GE logos, and unpainted former Fastline with Touax logos.
Having received the samples earlier in the year, we have spent our time assessing the pre-production model you see here, and tooling improvements are due to be completed next month. These include better security of the cabling along the body side, better fit and finish at the top of the ends of the wagons, and finer renditions of the operating handles to name but a few. One wagon in GBRf guise and one in Fastline livery will feature a working tail lamp, bringing additional realism to your operations.
Speaking about the project, Gareth Bayer, Senior Project Manager, said: "Although most closely associated with GBRf and Fastline Freight, the HYA/IIA hoppers have worked with every major freight operator bar EWS/DB making them a key addition to the fleet of any post-2007 model railway and a clear number one on our wagon hit list."
"It has been an absolute pleasure to work with WH Davis at Langwith Junction, Shirebrook, to develop this important vehicle for British modellers, who enabled us to get the wagon as close to the real thing, even the bits you can’t see! I look forward to the production models joining our impressive line up of well regarded freight stock."
Decorated samples of these wagons are due in September and should they meet with our approval we will move on to production, with delivery scheduled for Q2 2021.
Pre-ordering is now open with the wagons packaged in pairs for a price of £74.95 per pack. Bundle deals are also available, with the GBRf and Fastline bundles available for £210 for three packs, and all 7 packs for £470! These wagons will also be available via our network of Accurascale Approved stockists! Check out the packs and place your order here!