Accurascale reveals 88DS as debut ‘O' gauge locomotive

Accurascale has revealed that its debut ‘O’ gauge locomotive will be a Ruston and Hornsby 88DS diesel mechanical shunter.


Unveiling the plan at the 2023 Great Electric Train Show in Milton Keynes, the manufacturer also revealed a fully tooled sample of its all-new ‘O’ gauge locomotive on its stand at the event.

Built by Ruston and Hornsby of Lincoln, the first 88DS shunter appeared in mid-1938 and was employed by Tunnel Cement at Grays in Essex, with subsequent orders spread across the country. The locomotives were particularly popular for use in industries with internal rail systems such as Chemical Works, Collieries, Gas Works, Manufacturing Works, Power Stations, Quarries, Refineries and Steelworks.


The locomotives featured a four-speed gearbox and a maximum speed of 15½ miles per hour and could deliver impressive haulage figures on the flat and on inclines.

Nine Ruston 88DS locomotives are planned in the first batch of Accurascale releases finished as West Midlands Joint Electricity Authority No. 1 in Ruston Works’ green (Cat No. ACC2850/DCC), No. 83 in BR North Eastern Region Civil Engineer’s Department green (ACC2851/DCC), No. 20 in BR blue (ACC2852/DCC) and No. 63 in National Coal Board BR blue (ACC2854/DCC). They are joined by 412427/1957 in Bowater’s Northfleet industrial pale green (ACC2865/DCC), P4937 in Babcock & Wilcox industrial green with ‘wasp’ stripes (ACC2856/DCC), No. 3 in Rowntree’s of York’s lined green (ACC2857/DCC), Tottenham No. 12 in Eastern Gas Board dark red (ACC2863/DCC) and 408496/1957 in NEI-Clark Chapman lined blue with arrows (ACC2858/DCC).


Currently at the Engineering Prototype (EP) sample stage, Accurascale’s newly-tooled ‘O’ gauge 88DS will benefit from a die-cast chassis, body frame and footplate, centrally-mounted five-pole skew-wound motor, all-wheel pick-up, PluX22 Digital Command Control decoder socket, helical gearbox, fully detailed underframe, eroded metal, plastic and wire detail parts, choice of metal three-link or screw-link couplings, flush glazing, fully detailed cab interior, switchable shunting lights and Powerpack capacitor.


The locomotives will be available DCC ready and DCC sound-fitted with an ESU Loksound 5 decoder loaded with Accurascale’s bespoke 88DS sound recordings.

Prices are set at £229.95 and £319.99 respectively, with delivery anticipated during the first quarter of 2025.

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