Orange Is The New Black - Iconic Mark 2B and 2C Coaches Announced
Is there anything more iconic on Ireland's railways than passenger coaches in orange and black livery? We certainly struggle to think of one, so it was high time we offer a model in such a condition.
After much demand, here is our beautiful Mark 2B coaches in orange and black, with IR and IE liveries offered and say hello to our Mark 2C too, following on from our Accurascale BR and NIR Mark 2 line of coaches.
(All prototype photos copyright Mark Hodge. Do not use without express prior permission)
Desperate for additional coaching stock, Irish Rail made a deal with scrapper Vic Berry of Leicester in 1990 to swap a number of withdrawn C 201 Class locomotives for ex-British Rail Mk.2s. While CIÉ had famously acquired BREL-built air-conditioned and vacuum-braked Mk.2d vehicles in the early 1970s, the 16 secondhand coaches were a mix of open vehicles and corridor stock and were taken from the earlier batches that were pressure ventilated, while all but the earliest BR-specification coaches were air-brake only. They also operated to a different electrical voltage to the rest of the IR roster, which made them completely incompatible and required the use of three specially modified ‘Dutch’ generator vans, Nos. 4601-4603.
Nine members of the fleet were put into service with little modification other than a repaint, including a single Mk.2 SO, three Mk.2a SO and five declassified Mk.2c SO (ex-FO). A further five declassified Corridor Seconds vehicles (ex-FK), two Mk.2a, a Mk.2b and two Mk.2c, were rebuilt at Inchicore Works as Open Seconds (SO) with 2+2 seating, while another pair of Mk.2b SK were even more heavily modified as Buffet Open Seconds. The former were numbered 4101-4114 and the mini-buffets as 4401/4402. They were usually formed in two rakes of between five and eight coaches and could only work with air-braked locomotives, which meant GM Classes 071, 121, 141, 181 and 201.
They were initially repainted Intercity livery with orange roofs and put into service on secondary services to Drogheda, Galway, Limerick, Tralee, Westport and Waterford. They could also be found deputising on cross-border workings between Dublin and Belfast, sometimes even with NIR motive power.
By the late 1990s the classic points logo had been replaced with the later IE branding on each of the four corner doors, while further tweaks included black roofs and the overpainting of the aluminium finish window frames in black as well. Retirement eventually came in the early 2000s as new 29000 Class railcars were delivered. Six vehicles initially made it into preservation, but only four grounded bodies now remain: Nos. 4108, 4110 and 4402 at Moyasta Junction and No. 4106 at Kilmeadean.
Building on the tooling platform we first developed for our NIR Mark 2 Enterprise coaches and our BR Mark 2B coaches, the new IRM Mark 2 models imitate reality in repurposing ex BR stock for Irish operations. Naturally, our gauge correct wider B4 bogies will be employed, along with full interior lighting, fully detailed interiors, a wealth of separately applied detail, sprung buffers and bespoke tooling for mini buffets 4401 and 4402.
- Highly-detailed OO Gauge / 1:76.2 Scale Models on 16.5mm track
- Extremely fine exterior rivet detail on roof and coach ends
- Separately-applied etched metal and high-fidelity plastic parts, including handrails, brake/steam heat pipes, ETH cabling and sockets, footsteps, dummy drophead knuckle coupler, and roof vents
- Prism Free Glazing
- Pre-painted/printed Western Region destination boards and holders plus water filler covers provided for customer to install
- Fully-detailed underframe with numerous separate parts, pipe runs and accurate differences between versions
- The most accurate B4 bogie ever produced, with provision for re-gauging to EM or P4 (British 18.83mm or Irish 21mm) gauges
- Blackened RP25.110 profile wheel-sets with 14.4mm back-to-back measurements, and 26mm over pinpoints
- Different buffers for retracted and non-retracted positions
- Accurate interiors with characteristic 'winged' headrests, separate metal interior handrails on the brake and corridor vehicles and fully-detailed guard's compartment
- Correct height NEM standard coupling sockets with mini tension lock couplers and kinematic close-coupling
- Easy conversion to Kadee-compatiable knuckle couplers
- magnet 'wand' controlled interior lighting
- 'Stay-Alive' capacitor in all coaches
- directional lighting with DC or DCC control (Driving Trailer only)
- Minimum Radius 438mm (2nd Radius Set-track)
- Coach Length: 269mm
Price And Delivery
As can be seen, these coaches are already tooled up and have been part of our plans from the outset of our Mark II coach project. With delivery of the NIR coaches due later this year (and completely sold out on pre-order!) it is time to implement the first phase of run 2 with these coaches.
A total of eight coaches will be offered in IR livery and eight in later IE livery, sold in sets of four coach "rake builder" packs allowing us to give you greater value per coach. Each pack will be priced at €269.99 each. Delivery is slated for Q4 2023 and as ever, demand is expected to be high!
So, plenty of time to plan our your purchases and it also allows you to make use of our partial.ly and clearpay options, that allow you to spread the cost over easier monthly payments at no extra cost! Just simply add the models to your cart, click on the cart and you will see the options to either spread the cost over 6 months, pay a deposit with the balance when the models came into stock, or up front now to get it out of the way.
The partial.ly system can be used on any model that is 6 months or more away from arrival, so perfect for the Mark 2s.