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Dear Rapido Customer,
Bill & Jason's Excellent UK Adventure - 2015
Yes, it's that time again! Last year Jason and I spent most of the week before Warley in Shrewsbury and Wales following in the sandaled feet of Brother Cadfael. You can read about it here. The previous June we traipsed around Cornwall (the 'Cornish Recovery Tour'), the North East (for the APT-E launch and scan party) and a healthy chunk of Scotland. Click here to read about that adventure.
Our mission this year is to go from London to Birmingham... via Wick. Yes, it will take us eight days to travel a whopping 120 miles on the West Coast Main Line.
Okay, so there will be a few tangents! You'd think we'd have got bored with the UK by now. Far from it! We've plotted out our most ambitious trip yet. This will include a visit to the Pendon museum, Didcot Railway Centre, Edinburgh, Wick (Jason does love his whisky), Fort William, Glasgow, Carlisle, the Cumbrian Coast and Crewe. It looks like we're missing Wales this trip, which is causing Jason no end of consternation. Seriously, he does go on about Wales all the time. You'd think his last name is Davies or Jones.
The UK in November is not the easiest place to visit. There isn't much action on most heritage railways, it gets dark around 11 a.m., and a lot of services in northern Scotland appear to be cancelled the weekend we are there. We imagine this is due to engineering work, but it's more likely because someone found out we were coming. There is thus a slim chance we will be stuck in northern Scotland for three days and I'll have to start eating haggis. Jason only eats vegetarian while travelling so he can start eating the dead grass. You can read all about it as we travel:
We will be posting photos regularly to our RMWeb Adventure Thread and we'll be updating our Facebook page every day while on our travels. Hopefully we can meet some of you in person. The grand finale is, of course, the Warley Show at the NEC, Birmingham, on November 28/29.
Come see us at the Warley Show
For Rapido's second official visit to the NEC Warley National Model Railway Exhibition we've splashed out. For the first time, Rapido Trains Inc. will have its own stand, number C12. We have quite the growing range of British models now with various partners and it would be rude to continue to take advantage of Locomotion Models' hospitality.
We won't be on our own though! We'll be sharing the space with our good friends Revolution Trains. We've pulled out all the stops to make sure the boys from Revolution have some great stuff to show off. Samples will include the first painted TEA tanker wagons and the first test shots out of the moulds of the Virgin Trains Class 390 'Pendolino'.
Revolution's big push for the first half of 2016 is the BREL Class 320/321 EMU. These classic Mk.3-based units are the perfect partner for the 'Pendolino' and will allow modellers to recreate parts of the UK that were previously very difficult due to lack of suitable stock.
We will be proud to present the very first factory-painted samples of the much-anticipated APT-E trainset, which we are manufacturing for Locomotion Models. We'll also be displaying the latest developments with the similarly exciting GNR Stirling Single No.1 project.
Of course, there will be announcements! There were originally going to be three new models revealed with our various partners on the Rapido stand at Warley, but one of these has now been pushed back until mid-2016 so the mystery item can be shown off with fully finished and painted samples rather than a blobby 3D-printed thingy. You can still look forward to the unveiling of at least one major new powered model along with an item of rolling stock. That's it, I've said enough! You have just a few days to wait...
We look forward to seeing you at the NEC and we apologise in advance if it takes you three hours to work your way to the front of our stand! Please be mindful of the Cybermen.
Rapido's first real railway charter
We had so much fun with our big APT-E and Stirling Single launch parties in the UK that we decided to do something similar for our Icons of Canadian Steam launch in Canada. These sorts of launches are pretty much unheard of in North America.
To add to the excitement of the weekend, we chartered two cars from VIA Rail Canada - an LRC coach and a Skyline dome-lounge-coffee shop. We took 70 of our fellow railfans on a wonderful, exclusive ride through the autumn colours between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. We even included overnight accommodation in Montreal.
In the UK world of rail charters, this is all very blasé. There are charters all the time. In Canada, they are almost unheard of. We haven't had a mainline steam charter in several years, and we haven't had regular railfan charters since about 1980. Very few railfan organizations have done what we did - charter a part of a VIA train for railfan use.
We're hoping that we can do more of these in future, but to be honest it was not easy to pull off. At the very least we plan to have some excursions in our sleeping car, CN/VIA "Edmundston."
A full photographic report can be read by clicking here.
Thanks, Jason. Well that's it for our amazingly concise fifth UK newsletter. Please encourage your friends to subscribe. After my last newsletter, everyone left so we're now down to three subscribers again. It must have been my overt Americanisms. I'll do my best to sound more British in future. Top hole, what?
All the best,
Product Development Ibex
Rapido Trains Inc.
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