Review: Peco 009 GVT Coaches and Freelance Brakevan.

Written by Gwion Rhys Davies


Recently, we have seen a growing interest in ready to run stock in 009. Bachmann’s ‘Skarloey’ has been a phenomenal success,  being sold out within a week of release. Peco has now introduced its next addition to its 009 line-up, the Glyn Valley Tramway open/enclosed side coaches (GR-500, GR-520) and a freelance brake coach (GR-530). These each retail at an RRP of £24.99.


The snapped retention pin.

Like Peco’s previous items,  these models are supplied in “iPod style” jewel cases that provide easy viewing of the model and can be stacked tidily. Inside, the model is mounted on a white injection- moulded plinth and here one finds that Peco has done away with its more-usual wheel clips and has secured the model with a pin lock instead. I really like this approach as the wheel clips were rather fiddly but, unfortunately, the pins are made of plastic and had already snapped on my samples. I assume this may have happened during transit. Maybe Peco could make metal ones next time?



The moulding of the bodies is superb. The rivets, frames and doors are well defined and even the door handles are present. The flush glazing fits snugly into the inserts but it is a pity that the prominent moulded brake lever and handrails have not been painted: this can be easily rectified by the purchaser however. 

With the chassis it business as usual, brake gear and rivet detail are all present. Allegedly, on the prototype, there are only footboards on one side of the carriage despite there being doors on both sides.  This is probably because many 009 railways feature platforms that alternate between the left and right hand sides of the track. 

Livery Application

Peco has done an excellent job on the livery. The green paint is so evenly applied, I mistook it as being green coloured plastic. The text is also very legible (note: the freelance brake coach does not feature the text “GVT”. This is because the model is not based on a prototype from the Glyn Valley Tramway and is, as the name suggests, a freelance model).

Special Features  

Removable roofs, need I say more?  This is something every coach on the market should feature as, with that, you can fit passengers and even decorate the interior if you’re that way inclined. To my pleasant surprise I found that the glazing is also removable, a godsend to modellers wanting to weather or even repaint the bodies. In the case of the open sided coach, the support bar is also removable but be careful though as it could be misplaced.


On the track all three the models are sturdy and firmly planted:  they free-wheel really well with only the minimum of friction from where the axles rub against the inside of the axleboxes. The only real downside are the wheels: they are plastic and the review samples evidenced a bit of wobble when rolling (in some cases this may be a desired effect as it can simulate poor condition track). I would recommend retrofitting metal wheels for smoother running.

Final Thoughts

Peco has contributed significantly to OO9 modelling with their new r-t-r models. Before Peco, the only real option was kit building, something not everyone was comfortable with. These products enable easier access to the narrow gauge world in 4mm, and these latest additions only make it better. On behalf of all OO9 gauge modellers, I give a big' thank you' to Peco for its efforts.

Pros & Cons  


  •     Removable glazing.
  •     Removable roofs.
  •     Detailed mouldings.
  •     Reasonable price.


  •     Plastic wheels.
  •     Mounting pins snap too easily.

With this I give these models 8.5/10