Rapido UK Newsletter No. 17
©2022 Rapido Trains Ltd
Dear Rapido Customer,

Our New Year’s Resolution was to bring you a new tooling announcement every month. Well, here we are in May and we're delighted to say that we've managed to stick to it. How many of you can say that about your resolutions?

JASON: Hmmm... I'm not sure Rapido Canada has even done that. We're starting to get jealous. How about giving us an update on your existing products so we don't feel completely useless over here, eh?

RICHARD: Already one step ahead of you, Boss!

We’ve only one new project to announce this time, which, if you've been keeping an eye on our social media channels, won’t come as much of a surprise. But we do have lots images of new samples to share with you.

Here’s what we have in store:

  • New tooling announcement
  • Bedford OB: the order book is open
  • A word about YouTube
  • First look: '15XX' 0-6-0PT
  • First look: OAA wagon
  • First look: GWR 'Toad'
  • First look: GWR 'Loriot Y'
  • Order deadline reminders
  • Buying sound decoders

  • Jason's layout appears in print
  • Some interesting facts about buses
  • Dan flexes his Photoshop muscles

With no food references to get tangled up in, let's...

ANDY: Tuck in?

RICHARD: Sigh...
A sight you'll soon be able to replicate in 1:76 scale with our new Leyland National model and our existing BCT 'New Look' Guy. You'll see Warranty Engineer Dan's take on this image right at the end of this newsletter.
New tooling announcement: Leyland National

We may have plastered this all over social media but, in case you did miss it, we’re making an all-new 1:76 scale Leyland National.

The National is a true ‘Marmite’ bus. But love it or loathe it, it played a seminal role in British bus history.

Jason: And they ran in Birmingham so they're cool.

Richard: Riiiight. You know you're not actually a Brummie, right?

Jason: Shhhh! Don't tell anyone.

Richard: The reason for announcing it now is simple: Cumberland Motor Services took delivery of ERM35K on March 13th 1972 and so 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the National entering revenue-earning service. ‘LN50’ events took place at Whitehaven (a few miles down the road from the National factory at Workington) on April 30th/May 1st, with a mega bash planned at the British Motor Museum on July 2nd (this is being organised by our good friends at Transport Museum Wythall).
The National project kicked off on April 22nd when Andy and Dan met Dave Mercel from Advanced Laser Imaging (ALI also scanned the Bedford OB for us) at a bright but windy Wythall to scan ex-Midland Red National Mk 1 NOE544R.
So what Nationals are we going to make? Well, to be honest, at this stage we don't yet know.

We know that the National will feature all the hall-marks of a Rapido bus. We also know that we’re going to produce both the Mk 1 and the Mk 2. But beyond that, we’re still trying to unpick the myriad National versions in order to plan what version are feasible to produce and what ones aren’t.

You can have your say on what you’d like to see, however, by clicking on this link and filling in the form.

There’s not much more we can share right now but we’ll keep you updated as this exciting project develops.

Jason: It's gonna be BUStin! Get it?

Richard: I have no words.
Dave Mercel from Advanced Laser Imaging ensures that the laser scanning gets a good look at the National's distinctive 'pod' at Wythall on April 22nd.
An appetite-whetting selection of National Mk 1s enjoying the sunshine outside the clubhouse at Brooklands. While we haven't decided on which National versions we're making, we are making both the Mk 1 and the Mk 2.
We're absolutely thrilled that so many National owners have come forward to offer their vehicles as subjects for research. This is Ian McCall's immaculate ex-Ribble Mk 2. Photograph: Ian McCall.
This is Jason Rayner's newly restored Mk 2 Series B National, proudly carrying Stagecoach's orange/red/blue stripe livery. Photograph: Jason Rayner
BRM's Phil Parker popped down to see the scanning in action and put together this video. Click here or on the above image to view it.
A 3D render taken from an early CAD file of our forthcoming Bedford OB. Tooling has started - and you can order yours NOW!
Order your Bedfords!

Good news! Our 1:76 scale Bedford OB is now in tooling and that means that we're able to open the order book.

We're delighted to announce the first TEN liveries for our OB… and that they’re available to order NOW!

Here’s what we’re producing:

  • 920001: GAM338, Pearce & Crump
  • 920002: LKM55, East Kent Road Car Co
  • 920003: HOD75, Western National Omnibus Co
  • 920004: LTA750, Royal Blue Coach Services
  • 920005:EDL638, Southern Vectis (dark green)
  • 920006: GWS468, Edinburgh Corporation
  • 920007: FWO615, British Railways crimson/cream
  • 920008: HAA874, Hants & Sussex
  • 920009: FWW596, West Yorkshire Road Car
  • 920010: LRO296, The Mountain Goat
Here is Version 1 of the Bedford OB. This body style was introduced in late 1949 with the deeper rear bumper and elongated rear light clusters.
I’ll be honest, we could have produced so many OBs as part of our first run, covering everywhere from the Shetlands to the Channel Islands. We, therefore, had to scale it back to a much more manageable list.

JASON: You mean I told you to!

RICHARD: Yeah... But we feel that we’ve got a good regional mix, spread equally across the three different body styles that we're tooling.

We have a second batch of liveries ready but we'll only produce 'em as long the first batch sells well. So you know what to do!

RRP is £44.95 and they're available to order now, direct from ourselves or from your local Rapido stockist.
Here's Version 2 with the roof quarter light windows. The eagle-eyed might be able to see the luggage racks, which are unique to this version.
The OB has been a challenging project due to the fact that no two are identical, particular preserved ones. Wing mirrors, fog lights, headlamps, side indicators and trafficators, rear lights - there are countless variations.

We've had to compromise on a few areas and offer one or two variations. We've tooled original 8in lamps and the 7in Lucas replacements (which will be factory-fitted) and an original and later style of wing mirror (a customer fit part) while the mount for the side indicator will have to double-up as a trafficator.
This might be the final version to show you but it's the oldest body style, with the single rear lights and low bumper.
Despite those minor compromises, we think we've been able to produce the definitive 1:76 scale Bedford OB. In terms of detail and accuracy, this is a far cry from your typical die-cast models.

We're so pleased with what we have been able to include. On top of the three body styles, we've included front wheels that steer and a sliding roof. We've even been able to tool some tiny optional parts, such as the original boot lock and a later handle and the front bumper extensions.

So, why not go off to place an order... and then hurry back here to see what other cool stuff we have to share with you?
By subscribing to Rapido Trains UK's YouTube page, you get to enjoy videos such as this one. We won't be invited back to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway in a hurry... click here or on the above image to see why!
YouTube needs... you!

As you may have gathered, we don't take ourselves too seriously here at Rapido Trains.

ANDY: The only thing we take seriously is our desire and commitment to making the best models possible.

RICHARD: Exactly. And as there is so much in the world that could bring you down, if you can't have a smile when enjoying your hobby, when can you?

Our sense of silliness manifests itself most often in our promotion videos and the editorial direction that those videos take has been heavily inspired by our colleagues at Rapido Trains Inc.

Being British, our business is clearly superior in every single way to the Canadian one... except that they have more YouTube subscribers than us!

Jason: Being British, you people invented the English language. So you should know that it's "more YouTube subscribers than we do." You're getting grammar lessons from a colonial. You'll never live that down, you know.

Richard: Me and Andy don't care. The British business is still superior.

Jason: "Me and Andy?" Go and put a quarter in the jar!

Richard: Quarters? What are those?
Anyway, please do your patriotic duty and subscribe to the Rapido Trains UK YouTube channel by clicking here. You'll then be able to enjoy such moments of cinematic magic as me blowing up a Gunpowder Van, Dan pretending to be a newsreader or Andy getting a right ding round the ear.

ANDY: And now for something a little less xenophobic...
We didn't blow anything up at the Nene Valley Railway whilst filming the Hunslet video so
I think we're safe to go back there. Click here or above to view.
However, we're probably banned from Scotland after this video (which you can view by clicking here or on the above image). Jason is planning to go there in the autumn as he's run out of whisky. Somebody stop him at the border!
First look: ‘15XX’

They say the best things come to those who wait and we know that you’ve been waiting to see some real progress on our WR ‘15XX’. Well, the wait is now over for here it is:
The model captures the impressive bulk of the real thing.
Weighing in at 315 grams the model is as heavy as it looks and has the performance to match!
It is worth noting that this is the first engineering sample which is used to check the functionality of the design. As a result, it is missing various bits and pieces - including lots of rivets!

Keep an eye for more images and video soon.
First look: OAA wagon

We're sorry that we couldn't launch our 'OO' gauge OAA wagon last time with a completed Engineering Prototype. We can make up for that now with the first images of the EP.

Doesn't it look great?

The OAA has been designed from official works drawings, along with some useful advice from Peter Harvey from PH Designs Etchings. We're happy to report that it goes round 2nd radius curves and through tight pointwork perfectly.

There are 17 versions to choose from (you can check out the full list here). RRP is £39.95 and you've got until July 1st 2022 to get your orders in. As always, you can order direct from us or from your local Rapido stockist.
The OAA looks good from every angle. Aside from some minor issues (such as wobbly wires), it's pretty much good to go. That's good because the order book closes on July 1st.
It wouldn't be a Rapido product without a good-looking underframe. And isn't that a beaut? The buffers are sprung and the couplings have plenty of flex to negotiate tight radius curves.
The OAA is a weighty beast, tipping the scales at 36g. We're delighted with it and we're confident you will be too. So get those orders in now!!
A fine pair of 'Toads'! The perfect accompaniment to our GWR 'Iron Minks' and Dia. O21 opens. But with a brake van this good, we surely need to make more GWR wagons, yes?
First look: Dia. AA20 'Toad'

We're also delighted to be able to show off the first sample of our GWR Diagram AA20 'Toad' brake van.

This is another one of our UK designed projects and it looks great.

Now, we know that there are several 'Toads' already on the market (although they're all to different diagrams). But despite that, we've tried to do things with our 'Toad' that our competitors haven't.

Such as this...
We've included as much underframe and brake detail as we can. The eagle-eyed might also notice the metal bearings for super-smooth running.
The roof is removable meaning that you can add a guard inside, warming his hands over the stove.
We've been able to incorporate key detail differences between the Dia. AA20 'Toads'. This version has long rain strips and lower position footboards.
This version, on the other hand, has the higher position footboards and short rain strips.
Every self-respecting GWR modeller really needs to augment their 'Toad' collection with a Rapido AA20.

There are ten to choose from and you can order direct from us (RRP is £39.95) or from your local Rapido stockist. Order deadline is August 1st 2022.
Though it might look simple, designing and manufacturing the 'Loriot's' brake and suspension parts has been a real challenge. But the result is a simply gorgeous little flat wagon.
First look: GWR 'Loriot Y'

Wow! The surprises keep on coming, don't they?

Here is the first sample of our 'OO' gauge GWR 'Loriot Y'.

We're pleased to say that it runs as well as it looks and, aside from one or two very minor tweaks, it's ready to go into production. There are just three versions to choose from: No. 41989 and its sister No. 41990 in GWR grey and No. 41990 as Departmental No. DW41990.

RRP is £39.95 and you can order direct from us or from your local Rapido stockist. Order deadline is August 1 2022.
We're confident that our 'Loriot Ys' will steal the limelight on many a Western layout.
One last look at our fabulous 'OO' gauge GWR 'Iron Mink' before the order deadline closes. Get your orders in by June 6th.
This is a hand-painted engineering prototype.
Order deadline: June 6th

This is a last call for orders for both our 'OO' gauge GWR 'Iron Mink' and our 'OO' gauge GWR Dia. O21 four-plank open.

The order book was due to close on June 1st but we're keeping it open for a few extra days over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend.

As with all our models, ordering before deadline day is the only way to guarantee the model/models you want. After that, it's pot-luck whether there'll be any left.

Both the 'Iron Mink' and the four-plank can be ordered direct from us or from your local Rapido stockist.
With over 18,000 Dia. O21 built, every GWR layout needs at least one! You have until June 6th to guarantee the one you want.
This is a hand-painted engineering prototype.
Sound decoders are now available direct from Rapido Trains UK! Please note that only the 2022 batch of APT-Es is equipped for 'plug and play' DCC sound.
Sound decoders - ready to order!

We're pleased to announce that you can now order sound decoders for the 2022 batch of 'OO' gauge APT-E as well as the 'OO' gauge Stirling 'Single' that we produced for the National Railway Museum.

RRP is £114.95 each and you can only order direct from our website.

As all our models come with a factory-fitted sound speaker, we plan to expand the range of available decoders over time. You, therefore, don't need to despair if you miss out on a sound-fitted model the first time round.

Please be aware that this range doesn't cover models that we've produced for Revolution, RealTrack or Model Rail. However, if you have a North American model from Rapido Trains Inc that you want to fit sound to, we might be able to help you. Drop us a line.
The opening pages of Jason's article in Model Railroader. Not only did he write the feature but he took the pictures too! Is there no end to his talents?
Jason's layout in Model Railroader magazine

A lot of model manufacturers were started with passion by railway modellers a long time ago but after so many generations the companies have lost sight of why they even got into this business.

Not so Rapido. Our president and founder, Jason Shron, spends every spare moment in his layout room and has received the ultimate honour bestowed upon railway modellers in North America: his 'Kingston Sub' layout is on the cover of Model Railroader magazine.
Portrait of a happy man: Jason with the June 2022 issue of Model Railroader with his layout on the cover and the May 1982 issue that inspired, well... everything!
Why does that mean so much to Jason?

Let's find out:

JASON: On the cover of the May 1982 issue of Model Railroader was an 'FPA-4' in VIA livery, kit-bashed by George Drury. That article introduced me to serious modelling of Canada's VIA trains.

I was seven years old. I could never have imagined that the next FPA-4 to grace the cover of Model Railroader would be my own, on my own layout and built by my own company... 40 years and one month later! This has been an amazing honour!

ANDY: Well done Jason... that's some accomplishment!

RICHARD: If you want to keep up to date with what Jason's been doing on his layout, check out his Facebook page.
Click here or on the image above for a virtual tour of Jason's layout in an exclusive video at Trains.com
Who put the Southern into Southern National?
That's right, the Southern Railway.
Photograph: Denis Chick
Thought of the month
By Richard

I’ve said it before but I’m still constantly surprised and amazed when delving into railway history. My latest voyage of discovery actually began when I started to research the liveries for our Bedford OB.

The one thing I did know about railway bus services is that the first railway to introduce a connecting bus service was the Lynton & Barnstaple. Aside from this fact, I was dimly aware that the ‘Big Four’ companies ran their own interconnecting road services but I had no idea of the size and scope of such operations.

Did you know that it was the 'Big Four' that gave their names to some of the most popular bus and coach operators? In fact, the Isle of Wight's famous operator, Southern Vectis, is still keeping the name of the Southern Railway alive 74 years after its last trains ran. Before the SR bought it in 1928, Southern Vectis was the Vectis Omnibus Company Limited.
The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway ordered two Milnes-Daimler motor coaches in 1903 to replace stage coaches on its Blackmoor Gate-Ilfracombe service. When one of them was caught speeding - in excess of 8mph no less! - L&B boss Sir George Newnes didn't want to pay any more fines and promptly sold both vehicles to the GWR.
Apparently, while the pre-Grouping railway companies had been allowed to operate their own connecting bus services, the Railways Act 1921 didn’t give the new ‘Big Four’ companies such powers. It took until the Railways (Road Transport) Acts of 1928 before the ‘Big Four’ could operate similar road services. Despite not being allowed to take a majority share in a road passenger business for fears of a road-rail monopoly, the ‘Big Four’ took to road services with alacrity.

For example, the LMS and LNER bought huge chunks of Scottish Motor Traction (the former also bought Crosville) while the GWR and Southern got into bed with the National Omnibus & Transport Company to form Western National and Southern National respectively. By 1932, the ‘Big Four’ had invested £9.5m in 33 bus and coach companies.

At about this time, the railways entered into agreements with both Tilling and British Automobile Traction, a subsidiary of British Electric Traction. The railways' control of the bus companies was exchanged for shares in the new bus/coach operating conglomerates.
Both Southern and Western National were run out of the same offices in Exeter. Despite their interests in bus operation, the railways did raise complaints when their bus subsidiaries started to offer competing long distance services! Photograph: Denis Chick
The arrangement lasted until the railways were nationalised on January 1st 1948. The ‘Big Four’s’ shares in bus operations passed to the state. Tilling sold its shares to the British Transport Commission in 1949… an act that set the ball rolling for the eventual formation of the National Bus Company. But that, as the Thomas cliché goes, is another story!

As for the ‘Big Four’ railway companies, we haven’t even touched on the Railway Country Lorry Service. Or their shipping interests. And the canals. Oh, and they played a key part in forming what is now British Airways too.

Every day's a school day!
While there's a wealth of published material about the 'Big Four's' bus and coach operations, information on BR's appears to be very thin on the ground. If you're able to provide some clues on why some coaches received BR crimson/cream, we'd be delighted to hear from you, even better if you can refer a good book on the subject.

Oh, and by the way... You might want to compare the detail level on the model above to the detail level on our forthcoming Bedfords...
Did you know that GAM338, Pearce & Crump’s OB, was new to A.H. Daniels of Winsley in October 1949? Winsley is just under three miles from Monkton Combe, where The Titfield Thunderbolt was filmed. It appears that the film’s producers simply hired the nearest OB available. Daniels’ garage doubled up as Pearce & Crump’s in the film.
And finally...

Have you ever wanted to know the history behind your favourite bus or coach? Then you need to visit Bus Lists on the Web where you can search fleet listings, registration numbers, chassis and body manufacturers. Entering the registration number of the Bedford OB that starred in The Titfield Thunderbolt revealed the above facts. Fascinating stuff!
One last thing…

Dan had a few minutes free and decided to devise something to not only encourage you to take part in our Leyland National survey but also to help shift some of the stocks of BCT 'New Look' Guys.

If this doesn't work, we'll be back to pictures of cats...

Just as we were closing for press we also received the engineering sample for Dan's House which allows us to pose together the full Titfield Thunderbolt train pack for the first time. Keep your eyes peeled for more images and videos on our social media channels in the coming weeks. There may even be some more surprises to come...

Oh, Andy... what a little beauty!

Andy: Isn't it just?
Richard: Thank you to everyone who has made it to the end of another newsletter.

The question is: will we be able to maintain our New Year's Resolution next time? Tune in to find out!

Until then, bye for now!


Richard Foster
Sales & Marketing Manager
Rapido Trains UK
You can write to us at Rapido Trains UK, Unit 3, Clinton Business Centre, Lodge Road, Staplehurst, Kent TN12 0QF. Alternatively, you can call us on 03304 609496 or you can
e-mail us at customerservice@rapidotrains.co.uk