by Dennis Lovett (supplied by Pat Hammond) On Friday 2nd December at Derby Station, Colas Rail Class 37 099 was named ‘Merl Evans’ after Bachmann’s former Head of Research & Development, Merl Evans, who sadly died on 10th August 2016. Such is the esteem that Merl was held in during his time at both Mainline Railways (Palitoy) and at Bachmann Europe from 1992 until his retirement at the end of 2013 that Colas Rail provided a locomotive to carry his name. Merl joins a very select band of model railway people who have locomotives named after them with two model railway manufacturers (Graham Farish and PECO) and one individual (Frank Hornby) being so honoured in the past. The locomotive also carries an Aberstwyth shed plate (89C) and Colas have been issued the challenge of getting the locomotive to Merl’s home town one day. The nameplates are cast in brass and reflect GWR style, a railway that Merl was very passionate about!
This is an image of Merl with Sir Richard Branson at the launch of the Voyager unit on 6th December 2000 in Brugge with Merl proudly showing Sir Richard the working drawings for the then forthcoming Bachmann Branchline model.