IRM Review of 2022
We've reached the end of 2022, and what a year it has been! While there has been all sorts of crazy things happening domestically and internationally, it's been our busiest year to date. This year saw us return to the big shows on the exhibition calendar, the arrival of some lovely wagons and some exciting announcements too!
So, prepare that turkey sandwich, and that cup of tea and join us as we review IRM's 2022!
CIE Magnesite Wagons
We kicked off 2022 with a wagon that was likely to shock many. It was certainly a wagon many modellers thought they would never see in RTR format. However, we had the chassis, so we said "why not?"
The magnesite wagons are certainly the most interesting an unusual wagon we have done to date, and one that packs detail. A winner with Cork and south east modellers, not to mention collectors, we even went mad and did a single wagon pack to commemorate the last train in 1982.
We still have a limited supply in stock, so make sure you don't miss out!
Coastal Tours Bus
We have become known for our commissions of Britbus Irish themed buses in recent years and our fourth commission was a duo in the attractive cream and green "coastal tours" livery which adorned two Dublin Bus Volvo Olympians in the late 1990s.
We have more bus commissions planned for 2023 and would love to hear what liveries you would love to see us do!
RPSI Mark 2 Coach Pack
Our railway heritage would be nothing without preservation societies and groups. The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) was formed in 1964 to preserve Irish steam locomotives, carriages and rolling stock and to operate them on the Irish railway network for everyone to see, appreciate, enjoy and travel on.
Due to COVID19 restrictions, the vital revenue resource of rail tours was cut off from the organisation following two years of postponed trips on the mainline. However in recent years, the RPSI has also received funding from a series of limited edition models which have provided a vital income stream.
We have now teamed up with the RPSI to produce our first model in conjunction with them which will be a three car pack of their Mark 2 railtour rake of coaches. Sales since launch back in February were blistering and we soon sold out. Delivery will be in Q2 of 2023!
CIE Forklift Pack
Accessories have been hugely popular among modellers since we started IRM, as they looked to detail their layouts and yard scenes. We added a new accessory pack, the CIE forklift pack back in the summer, which made a cheap and simple addition to any yard or depot scene.
They proved very popular indeed, and have since sold out. Would you like to see another production run? Perhaps in different colours or branding? Let us know!
Return of the Ferts
2022 saw the return of some old favourites to the range, including one wagon we never made enough of in its first run. Our fertiliser wagons sold out in rapid fashion when first announced a couple of years ago, so it was time we brought these go anywhere stalwarts back into the range. Arriving in November, they have since sold out completely again! We guess the reduced price of €89.95 per twin pack saw to that!
Yer Only Man - The Return of The Keg Liners
Another much missed return to the range was our keg liner wagons. Arriving at the same time as the ferts, they were also not produced in enough numbers first time round, so we done another run. Thankfully we have managed to keep some of these in stock, but they have been massively popular with their reduced price too.
Quali-tea Liners Returned
The final rerun of 2022 was our container wagons coming back for another run, featuring CIE containers marked out for Harp Larger trains and Lyons Tea twin packs, as well as another triple pack of empty wagons to add your existing containers to.
Just like the first run of container liner wagons, these proved hugely popular and sold out almost instantly. We still have the CIE 20ft container packs for sale, which make a great item for yards and lorry loads, as well as for your IRM flats.
IR And IE Mark 2 Coaches
Part one of our Dublin show mega announcement extravaganza was the unveiling of our Mark 2 coaches in IR and IE liveries. These coaches are based on our latest Mark 2C tooling and are available to pre-order in packs of four coaches. We recently received decorated samples which we revealed on Christmas Eve!
With an amazing spec of highly detailed interiors, interior lighting, correctly gauged bogies, a wealth of separately applied parts, realistic close coupling and more, these will be the perfect passenger stock for your layout. They have also been hugely popular on pre-order, so if you fancy some, make sure you get your order in soon.
Delivery is slated for Q3 2023!
The 22000 Intercity Railcars
It had been a whole 12 months since our lovely A Class locomotives arrived in stock, and as we know, they sold out rapidly. So, it was about time we announced another powered model. It's our most ambitious announcement ever, but it was about time there was a proper, accurate Irish railcar offered to the model buying public and the ICRs are a massive gap.
We have been working on the ICRs for almost a year before we announced, and tooling is underway. We expect to see samples ahead of the Bangor and Wexford shows in April/May 2023, so keep an eye out at those shows!
Doing a railcar was a massive gamble, and a much bigger capital investment than any locomotive due to their multiple cars and complex nature, but the reaction and pre-orders have been very strong. So, thank you so much for supporting us so far.
Oh, and don't forget the little Sculfort rail tractor from Portlaoise depot, free with every 6 car pack!
Enterprise Mark 2s
We announced our Mark 2Bs to an amazing reception in late August of 2021, with the models of all variations already tooled in both Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) BR and guise for our sister brand, Accurascale. While overall they looked very impressive, we were unhappy with several areas, mainly around the bogies and some aspects where tooling could be improved. We then completed this work, but getting it spot on took longer than we liked.
Delivery of the Mark 2B coaches will now be in Q2 2023, with Chinese New Year close down impacting on our delivery timeline. We apologise for this delay, but we want these coaches to operate and function correctly, as well as looking the very best they can. We're confident that they will set a whole new standard when it comes to Mark 2 coaches in model form.
We are fully sold out on pre-order, but some stock should free up when they arrive with us due to cancellations, so keep an eye on the website if you fancy some!
After a long COVID layoff, the exhibitions came back with a vengeance in 2022 and we were back in our favourite haunts! First up was Bangor in April, where we took the rather apt opportunity to debut the decorated samples of our NIR Enterprise coaches. They went down rather well!
Inchicore Works Open Day
In May we took our place alongside our good friends at the Model Railway Society of Ireland for the historic Inchicore Open Day, a very rare opening of the gates of the most historic site in Irish railways to the public. We were there with a display of our models, including our A Classes which were stabled and re-engineered on the site, along with our wagons which were designed and built there too!
It was also pretty awesome to see the exhibits positioned into place ahead of opening.
MRSI Dublin Show
The biggest show of the year returned in October with the annual three day show taking place in Dublin. The show was hosted this year at the St. Paul's, Raheny as hosted by the Model Railway Society of Ireland. The show was clearly missed as the crowds were unbelievable. It was the setting for us to announce our ICRs and Mark 2 coaches, but it also lead to mass queues as we sold off our "Dicky Taras"; the reject wagons sitting in the corner of a storage unit for many, many years.
Raising Money To Save Ballast Wagons Together
During the month of August we asked you all to dig deep to help us raise funds for the Downpatrick and Co. Down Railway to save some ballast hoppers and a plough van. These vehicles obviously have a special place in our hearts, being where it all began for us here at IRM. However, they are the perfect vehicles to help the DCDR gang to maintain their infrastructure and will work for a living for many years to come.
We pledged to donate €10 from every sale of ballast hopper and magnesite wagon for the month of August to the cause to cover transportation costs. You guys dug deep, and raised €2000 for the cause. Above is our Gareth with Mike Beckett of the DCDR after the wagons safely arrived in Co Down!
Tailte Tours - We Sponsor Our First Railtour
In August the newly formed Tailte Tours operated its first railtour and broke some historic ground! It saw a 201 and Mark 4 set operate from Connolly to Killarney and Tralee and back and we were delighted to both be on board and support this event through sponsorship including IRM goodies for the on board raffle. We enjoyed the day out immensely with proceeds going to various Irish preservation causes across the country. Another railtour is to operate in 2023, so keep an eye out for news on that one and we hope to see you on board it again!
A massive, sincere and special thank you to you, the Irish railway modellers across the globe, for supporting us with purchases, pre-orders and well wishes as well as constructive feedback this year. Our goal is to push the hobby forward in finesse, features, accuracy and innovations for a reasonable price, but none of that is possible without your support. You all make this possible, so thank you!
2022 was a quiet year for us in some respects as we recovered from the impact of COVID on our plans and production, but as you can see above, we still achieved a lot. With all this firmly behind us now though, you can expect A LOT more. 2023 is going to be our biggest ever, with some seriously impressive and tasty new items to be revealed. We're going to make your wallets howl in pain.
Keep an eye on our website, our newsletter, our social media and the pages of magazines and of course the IRM forum to keep up to date on all the news as it comes.
In the meantime we hope you have had a very Merry Christmas, have enjoyed playing with some IRM toys during 2022 and now have a peaceful and safe New Year, and we will see you again in 2023!