Locomotive Roster: Centro Class 150/1; Graham Farish 371-326

I've been asked several times if I have any trains from the UK, and as other projects or trains have gotten in the way, I've yet to write up anything about this Diesel Multiple Unit from Graham Farish. So here it is!

This is a Class 150-1 DMU (also referred to as "Centro" apparently?)  in the Central Trains livery, you can view my video review of this locomotive/coach combo in the above video, or read my comments in this blog post.

For one, I have to say the detailing and printing on this set is quite impressive.  Here's a few photos to share that point of view:
Its not merely the printing detail that I find well above average, but the extra molding/color that was put into the underframe details (Note! There are a lot of little detail pieces and careful handling is required or you may lose / break one of these pieces! Yes, it happened to me!).
Check out the detail on the little sign on the cab windows!  That's incredible!
If that's not enough, check out the 'end car' details! Considering that this is an area of the train likely to be seen even less than the under-side, I'm impressed!
"All well and good" you might say "but given that its a British product, how does it RUN?"  I am glad you asked!  To be honest, it seems to stack right up there with any similar offering from Minitrix, Fleischmann or Kato! Smooth, relatively quiet operation!
Conversion to DCC was relatively easy (NEM 651 socket), although I did have one problem with some lose contact between the motor and the power pick-ups.  This is a not uncommon problem with many locomotives in our scale where the necessary tension that holds one contact to another is just not enough and a little bit of extra effort is required to more solidly secure the contact.   I found (as I often do) some help guiding me to a solution on one of the N Gauge forums.
These two cars are sold as a set, one of the cars is powered and one is a dummy.  I mentioned above installing a decoder for the motor car, but there is a second socket in the dummy car to allow you to change the direction of the lights when you change the direction of the DMU.  I have not yet installed this in my dummy, so you will see both white and red lights on in my dummy car (installing the decoder will ensure that only red or white lights will show in the appropriate directions of travel).  Compare the two above photos with the two below to see the difference.
I actually picked this set up some time ago on a trip to London where I took a Southern Line EMU down to Ford, UK and visited the well-known Gaugemaster shop (right next to the little station in Ford).  It was a great trip, and I would have preferred a Southern Lines EMU rather than the Central lines, it was still a great purchase and a terrific introduction to UK modelling and Farish quality.
I won't go into much more detail, there are several other videos on this model (I recommend NGaugeUK's quite highly - I find his videos to be very compelling temptations to get more UK material!) and plenty of coverage of this model on the N Gauge forums.
That is it for now! Enjoy your summer!  As always, thanks for reading this humble blog, and always feel free to comment or correct my stupid blog posts! Thanks!


  1. The Graham Farish N Gauge models had a well justified reputation for mediocrity, poor running and inconsistent build quality. Running Graham Farish N Gauge models was a soul destroying activity and encouraged purchasers to doubt their track building abilities and general skills. I wonder how many people were lost to the hobby because of the earlier Farish models.

    The nearest manufacturer of comparable quality (or lack of it) to the original Graham Farish output was the GDR (East German) Piko N Gauge producer. At least the employees at Piko could justifiably blame communism, the totalitarian state, centralised planning and the Stasi for their hopeless models: Farish had no such excuses and happily exploited their British customers for years whilst enjoying a monopoly of UK outline manufacture. Nothing was too bad for their British customers and as a result N Gauge in the UK really suffered.

    But, the world moves on and like Piko and Dapol, the new Graham Farish models are now very good. However, for many older modellers in the UK it’s probably too late and no matter how good these models some of their potential customers moved on years ago. (Once you’ve been stung in your teenage years' and wasted your pocket money on poor quality items by a specific manufacturer it leaves a mark that’s hard to budge).

    There are still some avid followers of the old Farish stuff but I suspect this is more an example of the Stockholm Syndrome where victims start to identify with their captors and tormentors.

    Another excellent fun review but only thirteen minutes? What’s going on?

    Ross S
    North Berwick
    Scotland UK

  2. Ross, that was the funniest and most informative comment I've ever seen! Brilliant!

    I love the comparison to the old DDR Piko - priceless!

  3. What did you use for the ivy/underbrush in picture #8 ?? That looks fantastic!!

  4. Darn it...I forget the exact product, but its likely a Heki grass mat ....also might be Noch? Both of them have really nice grass mats that I use fairly extensively!