Dapol N gauge Class 122 DMU.
Introduced in 1958, the 29-strong fleet of Class 122 rail cars was made up of 20 DMBS vehicles (55000-019) fitted with AEC and later, Leyland engines together with nine unpowered DTS trailers (54(56)291-299). The cars were fitted with a ‘Derby’ style cab at both ends and equipped with blue square multiple working equipment. They are similar to the 1960 Pressed Steel-built Class 121 single car units other than the differently shaped exhausts, four character head code box and the destination box fitted inside the middle cab windows. The Class 122 is the tidier looking unit thanks to the small destination blind box fitted above the cab windows and straighter exhaust pipes. However, Class 121s outlived the Class 122s in revenue service, with three units still earning their keep today. Class 121s are also offered as a finely detailed N gauge model by Dapol.
Dapol’s brand new Class 122 is a finely detailed model with its leading dimensions matching published data. The model has the character and proportions of the Class 122 including nicely modelled ‘Derby’ cabs and the characteristic exhausts leading up the cab front of the brake end.
The roof is secured with light but effective series of clips which are easily released to reveal the passenger compartment which is clear of motor, mechanism and ballast weight from the bottom window line. A retaining slot for the light bar is moulded on the underside of the roof. The circuit board is located at the guards end of the vehicle, neatly out of sight from normal viewing distances. Fitting a decoder is a simple task. The model has a 6-pin DCC interface socket located on a small circuit board hidden in the guards compartment end of the car. Simply remove the roof to gain access to the interior, light bar socket and DCC interface socket.
LEDs are fitted to both ends for forward and reverse running lights. Testing demonstrated that the lighting was both effective and without leakage into the cab space or through the plastic body shell. Fitting of a 6-pin decoder enables independent control of the running lights using function F0 and the direction change switch.
The under-floor motor and fly wheels are concealed behind the underframe detail in a box. The mouldings have enough relief to create a good impression and the box is not noticeable from normal viewing distances. Bogies can be unclipped for maintenance and cleaning and each one is equipped with split stub axles and current is collected via the axle ends.
Exhausts are fitted only to the guards compartment end of the cars. Of all the N gauge releases by Dapol, I must confess to liking the Class 122 the best.
Small rail cars are popular with modellers for their operational potential at the cost of minimal space and the Class 122 was no exception, selling out its runs in reasonably short time scales. Class 122s complement Dapol’s previously released Class 121 and shares the same technical features including the very smooth running mechanism.