New Accurascale Exclusive - Departmental Ballast Cleaner Support Van Aller au contenu
New Accurascale Exclusive - Departmental Ballast Cleaner Support Van

New Accurascale Exclusive - Departmental Ballast Cleaner Support Van

Back in October we went bananas and announced our lovely range of Southern Railway D1478 and D1479 Diagram Banana Vans in OO/4mm scale. We have recently received decorated samples for this fleet of vans, so keep an eye out for their beauty shots in the coming weeks.

However, these vans also gave us an opportunity to create a little "Accurascale Exclusive" model detailing these wagons in departmental use.

So, as a little deco taster, and an all new exclusive model available direct from our website only, here is ballast cleaner support van DS50594, featuring some rather nifty decoration techniques to display the model in worn condition!


During the 1950s, British Rail’s Research Unit had revealed compacted track beds full of irregular stones, steam engine ash and often material from the construction of the line across the rail network, none of which helped to create satisfactory tamping operations, or for maintaining good track geometry as track speeds increased.

The best way to rectify this was to remove at least nine inches of sub-track material and to replace it with regular sized 70mm railway ballast. To do this BR ordered a number of ballast cleaning machines to mechanise this process, these being initially built to two designs by the Swiss Matisa SA company. As the project developed Austrian firm Plasser & Theurer developed a larger self-propelled RM62 ballast cleaner unit and BR ordered 20 of these machines between 1966 and 1974 to work across the rail network.

These ballast cleaning machines were formed into self-contained trains, and were typically formed with a 20T brakevan at the head, followed by the ballast cleaning unit, then a 12T type ‘tool’ van, a staff coach and, finally, a second 20T brakeman. The stock was sourced from existing end-of-life vehicles and this was how ex-D.1478 Banana Van S50594 came to be used in Departmental service.

Modelled in its post-February 1972 condition, taken from a photograph supplied by Mike King, DS50594 was largely unaltered, albeit that the former codes have been painted out and Ballast Train legends and numbering applied. At this time, even the Yellow spot remained, with a faint trace of the Tare weight remaining.

 The Model

First announced at GETS in October 2022, our D1478 and D1479 banana vans saw us enter the vast wagon area of the big four railways for the first time, offering a much needed 'missing link' for Southern Railway and BR modellers. Banana vans have been poorly served by the 'Ready to Run' market for many years and we were keen to step up to the mark.

We also love a departmental wagon, and couldn't resist the opportunity to model these wagons in their later guise from the 1970s. Depicting this D1478 van in its later condition also allowed us to go one step further with our decoration of the model, presenting the van in its later worn condition with faded paint, torn labels and bleached and distressed roof, as per the real wagons! This is an intricate decoration process which we hope to add to more models in the future if popular. All you need to do is add some road dirt to take these vans one step beyond. 


This van is now available to pre-order via the Accurascale website only at a price of £29.95 and will of course feature special presentation packaging and documentation. It will arrive with our first run of banana vans in Q4 2023!

Click Here To Pre-Order Your Ballast Cleaner Train Van

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