Railtrack/Network Rail’s multi-purpose vehicles will debut in ‘OO’ gauge.
ONE OF THE biggest Toy Fair announcements was the news that Bachmann is to introduce an ‘OO’ scale multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) into the Branchline range.
25 two-car units were built in Germany by Windhoff between 1998 and 2001 for Railtrack, the predecessors of current owners Network Rail. They are derived from the Cargo Sprinter units in use with DB Rail.
For use on British infrastructure the MPVs are produced in modular form allowing interchangeable modules to be fitted for use on weed spraying, de-icing, sandite application and leaf removal. They can also accommodate any standard 20’ container and some have been used for the transportation of timber. A cab is provided at each end, making them particularly useful on branch lines where freight traffic cannot normally be handled by conventional locomotives and rolling stock.
The MPVs passed from Railtrack to Network Rail in October 2002 when the company was set up when Railtrack went into liquidation.
The new units will feature all wheel pick-up, concealed drive and directional lighting systems. Three versions will initially be available, two in Network Rail livery (31-575 and 31-576DC with DCC ON BOARD) and one in Railtrack livery (31-577) the original owners. A range of alternative on-board equipment will be available. These ‘OO’ models will retail at £109.95, with the DCC ON BOARD version costing £121.95.