ViTrain’s all-new Class 47

Sample images of ViTrain’s forthcoming Brush Type 4.

ViTrains Class 47

WITH THE ITALIAN manufacturer ViTrains having announced a brand new Class 47 model just two weeks ago (see story here), we present a selection of views of an early pre-production sample of the ‘life extended’ version of the locomotive, plus livery diagrams for the first three releases.

The ‘OO’ gauge locomotive, planned for a pre-Christmas release with a recommended retail price of around £79, is similar in specification to the existing Class 37 and is fitted with a centrally mounted five-pole motor and directional lighting. Also apparent is the now to be expected bufferbeam detailing, etched fan grilles and fine metal handrails.

ViTrains Class 47

REM has been fortunate enough to be allowed to quickly examine a sample and it is clear the Italians have paid close attention to the prototype machines, capturing the familiar but distinctive face of the Brush Type 4s. The finely detailed bodyshell is well proportioned and faithful in both length and width with accurate window apertures which should immediately relegate the Heljan product to an ‘also ran’.

ViTrains Class 47

Information received indicates that both the ‘intermediate’ (plated boiler port/plated headcodes) and ‘life-extended’ (cut-back bufferbeam cowling, with the most numerous style of long range fuel tanks) formats are being produced simultaneously. The sample seen featured nicely represented opaque lens marker lights (No. 1) and sealed beams at opposite ends with a plated-over circular Spanner boiler port.

ViTrains Class 47

The chassis is also an improvement over Bachmann’s first effort at the class with well-observed bogie sideframe piping and various underslung arrangements for the battery boxes and/or water and fuel tank.

ViTrains Class 47

ViTrains Class 47
ViTrains Class 47
The first release will be ‘intermediate’ version Class 47/4 No. 47401 North Eastern (BR large logo blue), which will be quickly followed by the ‘life-extended’ pairing of Class 47/7 No. 47768 Resonant (Rail express systems) and Class 47/8 No. 47844 Derby & Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce (InterCity Swallow).

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21 Responses to ViTrain’s all-new Class 47

  1. Martin Jones says:

    Is this product not going to price itself out of the market ?

  2. Roy Bradley says:

    The bachmann 47 is £75.25. So not much of a difference in MRP.

  3. Gareth says:

    That was 2007’s RRP, the recommended retail price for the next batch of Bachmann Class 47s is actually £80.10.

  4. Matt Dunning says:

    Go ViTrains. If this is a half decent model I look forward to the pace at which different liveries are released. If left to Bachmann it will take 20 years to cover all the main class 47 liveries! Hopefully the class 37 traction tyres will be gone though…

  5. matt says:

    why is it vi trains are prompt and quick whilst bachmann seems to take forever to release something. i think vi trains are playing it safe with this class….they need something where they can chuck out so many variants

  6. Andy says:

    The reason why Bachmann and Hornby are slow at churning liveries out, is that they have to wit for a production slot in their Far Eastern factories. These places not only churn out diesel era ‘oo’ gear, the likes of Bachman produce all their American market products there, as well as all the Graham Farish locos and stock, so it takes time for a slot to be available.
    Vitrains on the other hand have no such worries, like heljan, and can throw the liveries out at a frightening pace. They are to be applauded. I have been a big fan of their 37 from the start, ok, it needs a little modelling on it, but is that such a bad thing? They also got it right first time, unlike Banchmann, who are on their fourth iteration of the tractor, and once the two brands are detailed, both are as good as each other.
    Judging by the early shots, Vitrains look like they’ve nailed it, however a livery can make a huge difference to the appearance of a loco, the bachmann 47 looked good in primer….
    However, if Gareth Bayer has given it the once over and thinks it passes muster, then i trust his judgement.
    Well done Vitrains.

  7. Gareth says:

    We’ve only had a quick once over of one ‘in the flesh’, but first impressions are that, looks wise, this is a mile better than the original Bachmann Class 47 (especially the underframe, in which there is just no contest which is best).

    We’re hoping to get a production sample sometime this month to do a proper review. We might squeak it just in time for the next issue.

  8. Simon Martin says:

    It looks very nice – but, like the ViTrains 37, will 60s changeover modellers be catered for? I think if ViTrains did release a decent two tone green 47 (and a green 37), they would corner a section of the market instantly – much was said about the bachmann 47’s problems, and if they manage to get this right, you could see a significant shift in the sales of 47s to ViTrains.

    Good luck to them!

  9. Steve Jones says:

    Interesting. It looks like a 47 generally and the ‘face’ is certainly the best I’ve seen in 4mm. The tanks look better than Bach’s utterly wrong first attempt, too. Cabside windows possibly look a little small, or possibly not – difficult to tell from a few small photos in primer, so I’ll reserve judgement until I get my hands on a physical example.

    I have a suspicion that practical issues such as traction tyres(?) and lack of full NEM coupler sockets(?) could put me off, personally, but these won’t be an issue for everyone. At least I fancy getting hold of one and having a look – a step up from the somewhat poorer looking 37 for my money.

    Big question: Is this an ‘accidental’ good second release (like Heljan’s Hymek) or is this a company genuinely striving to improve?

  10. w6 gooner says:

    not another 47,how about a good 81-85 86 electric,i will get one but i wish we could have some electrics even a cl310/312

  11. Gareth says:

    > I have a suspicion that practical issues such as traction tyres(?) and lack of full NEM coupler sockets(?)

    I’m pretty sure that the Class 47 is traction tyre free, just like all the recent releases of Class 37s that we’ve had in the office.

    The coupler arrangement is identical to the ‘Tractor’.

  12. Steve Jones says:

    >I’m pretty sure that the Class 47 is traction tyre free, just like all the recent releases of Class 37s that we’ve had in the office.

    Thanks for that, Gareth, work has kept me out of the loop for a year and I wasn’t aware of that change.

    The more I look at the topmost three-quarter view, the more I’m convinced that ViTrains has got the cab-front pretty much bang on. It looks almost like a real cab-front from that angle. If the company is going to continue with a program of duplication rather than innovation, I’d love to see that kind of effect applied to a Class 50…

  13. Steven Harrow says:

    The shots look good so far and I am glad that they have started with the most recent variant instead of the “as built” condition. I hope that the 47 will run faster than the class 37 which I think is too slow. Hopefully they will produce some recent liveries like West Coast Railways, DRS and Colas Rail as I now have most of the older liveries.

  14. Dave Smith says:

    I would like a few varients in the early 80’s period Bachman’s first efforts with 57 underframe were in rail blue.the updated ones[better]in later eras!One in banger blue 47/3 & a stratford silver roof 47/4 please!

  15. Yep I’ve just looked at those pre production phots!
    At last do we have a properly detailed and scaled BRUSH?
    (apart from the obvious mistake with ‘401! – Grill strengtheners)

    Have just looked in depth at Pre production model and I love the headlight detail in that ‘No.1 end’ has flat disc type and ‘No.2 end’ has gromit type.
    (47844 had gromit’s both end’s but didn’t in early nineties)

    The tail lamps are for a ‘BRUSH’ built locomotive with the sideways opening which is fine for the loco’s they are producing except 47844.

    The right style of ETH has been modelled with the correct ‘above’ buffer beam style which is fine for 47768 + 47844 but not 47401.

    Of note there is no ‘Water filler’ flap on the bodyside.

    Tail Lamp wise:
    47844 had ‘Brush’ style ‘No.2 end and ‘Crewe’ style ‘No.1 end!)

    So in all a good attempt by VITRAINS, but to be totally correct in detail 47768 is the only model to be modelled correctly!
    _________________
    Steve ‘47005’ Anstey

    * 47401 Project: Shareholder.
    * 47635 ‘Jimmy Milne’: Shareholder.
    * 47771: Shareholder.
    * Stratford 47 group: Shareholder.

  16. Steve47005 says:

    I see they are not going to be ‘budget’ BRUSH either, as Kernow have them already priced up at 77 notes! (rrp: £89)
    but at last do we have a properly detailed and scaled BRUSH?
    (Apart from the obvious mistake with ‘401!)

    Have just looked in depth at Pre production model and I love the headlight detail in that ‘No.1 end’ has flat disc type and ‘No.2 end’ has gromit type.
    (47844 had gromit’s both end’s but didn’t in early nineties)
    The tail lamps are for a ‘BRUSH’ built locomotive with the sideways opening which is fine for the loco’s they are producing except 47844.
    The right style of ETH has been modelled with the correct ‘above’ buffer beam style which is fine for 47768 + 47844 but not 47401.
    Of note there is no ‘Water filler’ flap on the bodyside.
    Tail Lamp wise:
    47844 had ‘Brush’ style ‘No.2 end and ‘Crewe’ style ‘No.1 end!)

    So in all a good attempt by VITRAINS, but to be totally correct in detail 47768 is the only model to be modelled correctly!

  17. Dan Carter says:

    I love the headlight detail. In my opinion the lack of opaque headcode lights is the only blemish on the Hornby Class 50.

    Had not considered ViTrains before, but the output of a variety of liveries etc. has to be good for those who can afford to respray etc.

  18. Steve47005 says:

    47768:
    Thats more like it and it is 100 per cent correct!
    We have at last I think got the best ‘BRUSH at last!

    The model correctly includes:
    ‘lift up’ style marker lights at both ends, plated over ‘Spanner’ boiler port and ‘cut away’ buffer beam frame detail

    47844:
    A very good model by the looks of things and again I can’t find anything wrong with this model.
    Correct marker lights and nice covered ‘Spanner’ boiler port which is 100 per cent correct!

  19. Simon B says:

    Hmmm. I am totally unconvinced by all this. The Heljan product’s finish is so much nicer than this at a little more than half the price. I couldn’t countenance one of these without a total repaint. The Vi glazing has attracted few comments but is horrible compared to the Danish loco. I know about all the dimensional arguments and yet there is something about the face and ‘heft’ of Heljan 47 that suits me better. Cannot put my finger on the ViTrains issue as to looks, but something is wrong. Is it the horn grille? Shades of yellow?
    Lack of proper NEM pocket puzzles me. Doesn’t bother me because we run screw links but my club colleagues don’t like the non NEM style thing at all.
    Sorry to be dissenting voice!

    S

  20. cwd says:

    1. Is there or will there be a two-tone green version with yellow half-panel, headcodes and NO orange ‘heritage’ cantrail stripe?

    2. Is the coupling mounted on a cam arrangement which provides close coupling in the straight and extends on curves (“Kurzkupplungskulisse”; standard on continental models for 30 years now)?

    3. I understand that the coupling is not a standard NEM pocket, but in the pictures it seems to be a vertical dove-tail fitting, like the one on the Fleischmann close-coupling accessory, for which Fleischmann and Roco coupling heads are available, is that right?

    • Gareth says:

      Hi Cwd,

      1. I don’t know if ViTrains’ tooling is good for a pre-TOPS/plated headcodes machine (with water tanks). I have tried to get the answer out of them but so far with no luck.

      2. Yes.

      3. I’m led to understand that it is a ‘standard’ NEM arrangement, just not the same as the one that used by British manufacturers, if that makes sense. It is an NEM 363 socket.

      Cheers, Gareth

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