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Plarail ES Series
[Image: laughing-dog-smiley-emoticon.gif]
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
I just thought of a random but interesting use for the ES version of the E235 series?

Custom builds.

Given the front looks flatter and less detailed than a regular model (I'm guessing it's a sticker from the photo but I could be wrong), and the pantograph is in the middle coach, I'm seeing some modding potential.

I'm wondering if I could make and print some decals, remove the weird stumpy middle coach, and then use the remaining 2 cars to create a custom Plarail model of some British 2-car diesel railcars? At least then, the Virgin HST (the sole 'British' Plarail model, despite being a reskinned 21000 series) would have some appropriately British counterparts.

The main advantage is the boxy shape, which is something of a commonality shared with the mid-80's BR Mk3/Leyland Bus designed railcars, which were pretty much either Mk3 coaches with added cabs, or bus bodies with added cabs, so they had a notably boxy appearance running across several designs ^_^

Personally, I'd be tempted to reskin one as an old 'One' railways Class 156 SuperSprinter as those are the DMUs I have the most memories of, rumbling down the Norfolk Broads on the way to Great Yarmouth :D

Would also be kinda funny to make one to look like a Pacer, probably the most reviled and yet equally loved (yes, ironic I know) DMU series ever built in the UK lol, would be a fitting tribute since they're on the way out as we speak ^_^
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  :cool:
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Some example pictures of the trains you're talking about would be very welcome.
(07-01-2022, 12:37 AM)chrisjo Wrote: Some example pictures of the trains you're talking about would be very welcome.

You got it ^_^ 

Would have sent them with the post, but I wrote it at work, where I didnt have access to my laptop lol 

Class 156

[Image: image.png]

These were built by Metro-Cammell for British Rail in the 1980's, effectively as a cheaper but [at the time] equally as sufficient replacement for locomotive hauled trains on rural routes, as well as older railcars that were being retired due to the cost of removing asbestos and refurbishing them.

In my case, the significance [and the photo] are where these ran; Many of these ran on the key railways of Norfolk and Suffolk until the last few years, and as far as I know, are still running in Scotland; I remember them in Norfolk service as a result of spending many years holidaying up there :D

Being flat-fronted, this was why I figured there was some potential for modding to create something like this.

Class 142 'Pacer'

[Image: 1-52-1-194-1-2-car-diesel-mutiple-unit-for-sale.jpg]

The 'Pacer', Class 142 [although there were other designs and subclasses] was literally the most hated, and most loved train ever built in the UK, and that's not a joke. Some have nostalgia for these things, and some would sooner see them all condemned.

The story behind these was that they were intended to be a temporary and incredibly cheap replacement, built by Leyland Buses for the previously mentioned asbestos-riddled railcars, until more stock like the Class 156 and others could be built. The fact these trains, built for around 10 years of service, somehow lasted nearly 40 should tell you exactly how well that fleet replacement went.

The reason these were hated were because their design was so cheap, with the bodywork being a modified Leyland National bus body, the interior being almost entirely bus-derived - Everything from the doors to the grab poles and seats were bus components. All this was married via extra-bouncy bus suspension to a freight wagon chassis with no articulation, giving them a notably awful ride quality on certain curvy lines, where their non-articulated nature wore out the rails even faster than what they replaced, which had traditional articulated bogies.

The worst part about the Pacers was how they would be used - Designed for short branchlines where comfort was not an extreme nessecity, in the later years of their lives under private operation, it was not unknown for these to be used on long-distance regional services and commuter services which should have been operated with higher-capacity trains with facilities like toilets.

In spite of all this, they have gained a reputation, and an ironic appreciation amongst enthusiasts, probably because of their uniquely odd/bad nature. As a result, several have been preserved, as they make reasonably ideal DMU units for heritage railways, being light, easily maintained due to their bus-based components, and cheap on the resale market presently as the fleet enters the retirement and disposal phase of their careers.

Hope this helps :)

[EDIT - I also just realised, if you look at the wheel arrangement on a Pacer, with one set of wheels at the front of each coach, and one at the back, it's kind of like if someone actually made a Plarail carriage IRL and expected it to have decent ride quality ^_^ Point is, Plarail doesn't need articulation, but real trains kinda do, so they don't squeal along like a banshee like the Pacers were known to lol]

[Image: image.png]
Been building Plarail worlds since 2001; still building in 2021 - Not bad really  :cool:
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