Our New Year's resolution is to answer all your questions about our forthcoming British models.
Rapido UK News Vol. 15
©2018 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido customer,

It's hard to believe, but after weeks of preparation the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition is already so last year. That means it must be time for our massive January newsletter!

With our own growing range of products and a wide selection of models from our wonderful roster of UK partners we have a metric tonne of updates to foist on you. So let's cut out the waffle and get on with it.

In this issue of Rapido News UK:

The wonders of Warley
The gunpowder plot
Brummie bus
Pendolino pending arrival
The Single - What a beauty
D-Car starts production
New J70 sample
Realtrack receives all
Revolution update
Rapido in 2018
Fame at last!
Great British Train Show

We released six newsletters into the wild in 2017, and some of them were real monsters. We're going to try and move to a more moderate length for our missives this year (this newsletter excepted) and we intend to be sending them out on something closer to a monthly schedule, give or take a week or so.

If you're not already a subscriber it's really easy to sign up and the link can be found at the bottom of this message. Please tell your friends about us too. We promise not to spam, spam, spam, you. Cheers!

(Ed: Lovely spam, wonderful spam!)
Rapido Bill and Rapido Terry both chatting with around five people at once.
The wonders of Warley
This was Rapido's fifth Warley National Model Railway exhibition (the fourth in an official capacity), and our increasing presence in the UK market was obvious from the eclectic selection of goodies on display. We've come a long way since Jason and Dan Garcia visited the NEC show as punters back in 2013 ahead of announcing the partnership to produce the APT-E with Locomotionmodels.com.

This year there was something of a tweak to the line up, with Rapido's former resident sorta "Brit" Thomas being swapped out for actual British guy Gareth Bayer. (That's me!) With Bill reprising his role from past years, ably assisted by our very good friend Terry Wynne, this gave visitors to the show the unique opportunity to speak to the two product designers responsible for all of Rapido's British models (Ed: Oi! Except for the bus!)

We were also cleverly situated between Revolution Trains and Realtrack Models like previous years, with most of our other clients being just a pointed finger away. Well, except Locomotionmodels.com who were situated closer to the exit, maybe for a faster get-away.
The N Pendolino powers by the photographer on the
Wyre Forest MRC's Kinlet Wharf layout at the Warley Show.
The standout models on display, at least going by what people were asking about, were the final painted sample of the Stirling Single, pre-production Dynamometer Car (otherwise known as the D-car because it's hard to keep saying Dynamometer) and the production N Pendolinos in their beautiful bookcase-style packaging.

Unsurprisingly, this being the West Midlands, we were fielding questions from about 20 guys at a time about Jason's pet British project, the Birmingham City Transport Guy Arab IV with Metro-Cammell-Weymann body (the Brummie bus for short). Our newly announced British wagon was also undoubtedly a hit with the locals (see below).

So, yes, we had a blast. Huge thanks to everyone that visited our stand over the two days. We really appreciate the feedback, suggestions and general conversation that you provide. Warley is a hugely expensive enterprise for Rapido - we're Canadian, eh, so it's a logistical and financial nightmare to attend - but the response we've had since we started making British models has made it all worthwhile. See you next year!
Disclaimer: these 3D prints contain elements of both British Railways and
Pre-Nationalisation versions and may not have been assembled in the correct order.
The gunpowder plot
Unlike previous Warley shows we didn't have any powered models to reveal, but we did have one little surprise up our sleeve. Yes, we're proud to announce our first British 4mm/OO gauge wagon, the classic GWR/LMS/LNER/British Railways Gunpowder Van (GPV).

We actually didn't plan to show this wagon off at Warley. However after getting the GPV designs up to an acceptable standard we thought we'd make a pair of 3D printed samples to see how they look. We've been doing this more frequently as the technology has improved as it allows us to better evaluate the model design. They looked so good, and arrived just before the show, it seemed rude not to chuck them on our display!
Our sneak peak of the GPVs at the Warley Show!
Most GPV construction by the big four Grouping era railway companies was inspired by the classic Great Western Railway vans (which went by the telegraph code 'Cone'), which were themselves derivatives of the huge fleet of 'Iron Minks'. This family resemblance continued right through to the final batch of British Railway-built wagons in 1959.
Ex-Great Western Railway GPV well into the British Rail era. During its long
life this wagon was rebuilt with new W irons and vacuum brakes.
With its multipart tooling the Rapido GPV is designed to cover a wide range of variants from the final GWR Z4 design of 1939 right through to the penultimate lot of BR vans from 1958 (Diagram 1/260). This includes wartime period batches constructed for both the LMS and LNER (to Diagram 2093), for a grand total of some 215 wagons.
Underframe details, including vacuum pipe, coupler centre spring,
and beautifully fine brake levers. Not bad for a 3D print!
As well as catering for as-built variations, such as RCH and BR underframes, vacuum brake (or lack of it), and GWR or LMS/BR body styles, the Rapido GPV also has three different types of buffers. It even has an alternative vacuum brake arrangement for pre-nationalisation wagons later rebuilt with this equipment.

We're just finalising the 3D designs for this model and it will be heading into tooling soon. We may have a few more surprises this year so watch this space!
Other than a few minor alterations the body is pretty much done. Looks great, eh!
Brummie bus
Since we launched the Birmingham City Transport Guy Arab IV at our 3D scan party at Wythall Transport Museum in July, Jason has done nothing but eat, sleep and breathe this bus. We're almost afraid to start conversations with him for fear of getting a lecture on BCT route 63 to Rubery (Ed: Or the fact that the 1952-4 Guy Arab IVs with Metro-Cammell-Weymann body ended up in Wolverhampton in the 1970s after the Hockley garage switched to Fleetlines... Or the fact that...). Please stop.

Despite the epic amounts of eye rolling we have to admit that the Brummie bus is looking spectacular. Having been used to die-cast, there's no doubt that the compromises forced by this medium make the state-of-the-art plastic injection moulded Rapido bus look like it has arrived from the future. Check out all the rivets for a start, they are all over this thing!
You almost feel you could just hop on and take a ride. Ding ding!
Remember, this is 1:76 scale!
As well as those beautiful rivets, the underframe follows the usual Rapido standard. As ever with our products we advise "crashing" them every other operating session. We suggest rolling the bus down an embankment so you can soak in all that beautifully moulded and separate detail which, of course, includes steerable front wheels.

I know Jason is particularly proud of classic open rear entrance with textured steps leading up to the top deck, and the beautifully proportioned seats that correctly match the real thing. The deluxe version also has operating headlights, tail lights and interior lights on both the top and bottom decks!

The Brummie bus is just about to head into tooling so we hope to bring you the first pictures of the moulds early in the spring.
Another photo on the excellent Kinlet Wharf as two 11-car Pendolino sets pass.
Pendolino pending arrival
After three years of design and development the Rapido/Revolution N gauge Virgin Pendolino is on the cusp of being delivered to those wonderful supporters who have made this project happen. I brought three production trainsets with me to the Warley show, two of which we gave to the operators of the two high profile West Coast Main Line themed layouts - Horseley Fields and Kinlet Wharf - for a thorough workout over the weekend. The other set, Alstom Pendolino (my favourite), was in action on the Revolution Trains stand.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a little twinge of apprehension about lending these trains out. Exhibitions have a habit of bringing the worst out of models, and as much as we try and test our models over a range of different types of track and conditions, this was obviously going to be the greatest test that the Pendolinos had ever faced.
The Alstom-liveried No. 390104 is a real stunner!
We're pleased to report that the Pendo passed with flying colours. During the debrief towards the end of the two arduous days the operators of both layouts only had good things to say about the models. The team behind Kinslet Wharf were particularly complimentary. This Wyre Forest Model Railway Club layout has been on the circuit for a number of years and features hand-built track so we were very happy when they described the Pendolino as the "best running model on the layout"! Thanks guys.
An early sample of the bookcase-style packaging for the 9-Car and 11-Car sets.
Will look great tastefully displayed on your coffee table for everyone to see!
Also on display at the show was a final mock-up of the various types of bookcase style packaging, which promise to really set the models off in fine style. Unfortunately the Pendolinos didn't leave the factory before the end of the year, as we hoped. They are still being packaged up in our factory and we now expect them to leave around January 17 for their journey in two batches to the UK and Canada.

Just a quick note. For the many of you that are desperately emailing us or Revolution Trains trying to buy these models we ask you to hold fast. Once the models arrive and we send them out to early supporters of the project we'll have a look at what remains and try and ensure that everyone gets one. We did make extras so everyone that wants one should be able to get purchase a set, although we can't guarantee the selection of numbers/names that will be left.
Railway Modeller's breathtakingly beautiful shot of our 4mm scale representation of
Patrick Stirling's Victorian era masterpiece, GNR 4-2-2 Single No.1. Big thanks to RM!
The Single - What a beauty
After a week of worried phone calls to a certain major international courier company, Bill Schneider finally received the first decoration samples of the Locomotionmodels.com Stirling Single locomotive at his hotel the day before we had to set up for Warley.

After a similar incident last year we sent the samples early this time to try and avoid having this problem, which at least came in handy when TNT's global shipping department seemed to have a meltdown somewhere between Hong Kong and Dubai in the run up to the biggest British show of the year. In 2018 we may send any new samples in July just to be sure they'll actually arrive for the end of November!

Fortunately despite being rushed from the United Arab Emirates to Warwickshire in triple-quick time, the samples barely suffered for their ordeal and looked amazing when released from their foam and cardboard packaging. It should be noted that these decoration samples were specifically sent over for Warley so there wasn't time to finish every little printed detail. However, they give a great idea about how the finished model will look and we're sure Locomotionmodels.com's phone lines were red hot in December after people had seen the samples for themselves.

Bill and Brian Greenwood (from Locomotionmodels.com) spent a couple of days going over the sample before and after the show with a loupe and high powered anglepoise lamp and they report that there are a few minor corrections that need to be ironed out. However the good news is that production has now started and that we will have a more in-depth update in the next newsletter.
Partially-painted sample of the Rails Limited D-Car. Just waiting for the simulated teak finish!
D-Car starts production
In the same package as the iconic Single locomotive was a partially decorated sample of the Rails Limited LNER Dynomometer Car.

Most of the car was painted - including the interior and chassis - with the major exception being the panelled bodysides. These have a beautiful teak finish in real life and our factory has been working hard with Jason during his recent trip to China to get this just right.
The teak finish is subtle but matches the real car perfectly.
This photo was just taken at the factory yesterday!
The teak trials continued into the festive period as photos were swapped between our printing technicians in China and project manager Bill in Connecticut. We believe that we've cracked this now and a final decorated sample with full teak finish is now being put together.

Here are some more pictures of the existing sample that we were showing off at Warley.
Note the finely rendered engraving in the tiny clerestory windows -
is this a first for 4mm scale RTR?
The D-Car interior - note the printed details on the wall next to the brake wheel.
All photos courtesy Railway Modeller magazine.
We're pleased to say that production has already started on all of the other components of this model while we await final approval on the shell decoration.

The new samples should be heading to the UK and to Bill in the USA very shortly.
Not a bad effort for a first sample, apart from it's supersonic top speed!
Photo courtesy RMWeb.co.uk
New J70 sample
And there's more. Bill's other major powered UK project is the cute little J70 tram engine for Model Rail magazine. The first sample of this adorable locomotive has been put through its paces both in the UK and the USA and other than having a top speed that would put the APT-E to shame it was found to be in great shape. Our factory has already revised the gear ratio for better slow-speed performance (and more realistic top speed) and we're quite happy with new configuration.
The full range of liveries available. No Isle of Sodor scheme?
As usual there are a few minor tooling corrections and adjustments to be undertaken but nothing out of the ordinary - quite an achievement for a model that is such an engineering challenge. These niggles will be ironed out on the next iteration and final samples are due after Chinese New Year shuts down the entire country for a month.
Reviews so far for the Class 156 have been universally positive, with most
reviewers describing the Rapido-designed model as a new standard for the UK.
These two reviews are from Model Rail and Hornby Magazine.
Realtrack receives all
After something of an epic production run we're pleased to report that Realtrack Models has received all of its ScotRail Saltire and "Barbie" Class 156 models so will finally be able to send models out to everyone that has ordered one (or often two). As we explained in Rapido UK News 13, this model should have left our factory about six months ago so it's been a tough year for Realtrack and us trying to keep Class 156 customers happy.
The ever cheerful Charlie Petty and Arran Aird, the guys behind Realtrack Models.
Although Realtrack had made something of a soft launch before the show, Warley saw Charlie and Arran officially announce the second run of these classic units, with two new paint schemes: Original Provincial (Sprinter and Super Sprinter variants) and East Midlands Trains.The full list of new releases is as follows:

East Midlands Trains:
156-115 (Unit 156405) Derby-Crewe
156-116 (Unit 156473) Lincoln-Leicester via Nottingham

Provincial Livery:
156-311 (Unit 156438) Cardiff-Portsmouth Harbour (Sprinter)
156-312 (Unit 156497) Carlisle-Leeds (Super Sprinter)
156-313 (Unit 156458) Inverness-Glasgow (Super Sprinter)
156-314 (Unit 156418) Liverpool-Norwich (Sprinter)
Two new paint schemes for the second run of Class 156s.
Both liveries are much less complicated than the two ScotRail schemes in the first run so we don't anticipate the production delays that affected the first batch. The factory has also refined its process for making this model and they are confident that we can produce these before the end of 2018.

We hope to show development on Realtrack's eagerly anticipated other DMU, the Class 142, in a future newsletter. Watch this space!
Revolution update
As a surprise for the Warley Show, Revolution's Ben Ando painted up one of the Class 92
samples in the classy Caledonian Sleeper scheme, pictured here.
On the cusp of delivery of the N Pendolino, the model which launched Revolution Trains upon the hobby, there is also lots to talk about regarding Ben Ando and Mike Hale's other projects with us. It's exciting to think that just three years ago Revolution was just an idea and now they have already released two models (one with Rapido) with another seven either in production or being developed (five of those with Rapido).

The biggest news is that the OO TEA has entered production, although this project is still at an early stage. If you've ever built a plastic kit and had to cut all the parts out of the sprue, well that is what several happy workers in our factory have been doing for several weeks now for this model. With each model made up of a number of different sprues, magnified by a production run in the thousands and you can imagine how much nipping and cleaning up of parts that entails. Hopefully it won't be too long before we can show some more exciting progress on this project.
The latest samples of the N Class 92, which arrived just before Christmas.
The final samples are expected in February, and the model will go into production in the summer.
Top and bottom views of the wonderfully detailed KFA container flats. The biggest challenge
on these wagons was combining detailing finesse with reliable operation. Now solved!
New and improved samples of the N Class 92 and N KFA have recently arrived in Canada and both have already been put through the testing regime. Earlier iterations of the N KFA were light and prone to uncoupling on bumpy track but both issues have been resolved to our satisfaction. The Class 92 shows a better fit of parts and the drivetrain and pickups have been improved over the first sample. Our baseline for this locomotive is the ability to haul a 16-car Caledonian Sleeper rake up our Kato incline test track and it managed this. Well it managed a rather eclectic collection of N gauge vehicles that were pretending to be a sleeper set in lieu of actually having one!
A little rough around the edges, but these 3D prints illustrate both variants of the HOA hopper:
EWS/DB/Cemex/Tarmac and Mendip Rail.
If you looked carefully at the Revolution Trains stand at Warley you would also have seen 3D printed samples of the N HOA aggregate hoppers. Design on this project is now completed and Revolution intends to make order pages for this wagon live very soon.

Finally, the Class 320 and Class 321. Revolution has been very honest with customers about the struggles that this project is facing to remain viable. Initial expressions of interest were very promising and the project easily made its minimum number required to move to the design stage. Sadly, for some reason, the expressions of interest have not translated well into actual orders. Revolution report that they usually see a small amount of drop off from expressions to orders, but for the Class 320/321 this has been much more dramatic.
Class 321 DTSO (Driving Trailer Standard) and PMSO (Pantograph Motor Standard)
vehicle designs. We're raring to go on this project but the orders just aren't there.
3D design is almost completed on this projectand we don't intend to give up on it without a fight. The Class 320 and Class 321 EMUs are key trains in the history of British Rail and deserve to be replicated in model form. With a career that has spanned East Anglia, from London to the Midlands, West Yorkshire and across central Scotland, they are among the most widely travelled of EMU classes and have a load of great paint schemes to boot.

We encourage you to support the Class 320/321, or watch the prospect of future models, particularly of multiple units, become much less likely. It's in your hands!
Jason contemplates our 2018 production schedule at our fabulous and fun LRC factory.
Can you tell what they are assembling in this photograph?
Rapido in 2018
The last couple of years have been a challenge for Rapido as the company has expanded and had to deal with factory headaches and production delays. However, we've come out the other side much stronger for it. Our factories are now working at their peak capacity and our delivery schedule for 2018 currently looks like the following:

Feb - Rapido/Revolution N Pendolino
Apr - Locomotionmodels.com Stirling Single
Apr - Rails Ltd Dynamometer Car
Jul - Revolution OO TEA
Sep - Revolution N Class 92
Oct - Realtrack Class 156 second run
Oct - Revolution N KFA
Nov - Rapido 1:76 Guy Arab IV Bus
Nov - Rapido OO Gunpowder Van

These dates are only our current best guess. Some of these items could even be delivered earlier although it's always more likely that the schedule will slip in the wrong direction. That's model railway manufacturing for you even if you're a partner in your own factories!

As well as deliveries we'll also be announcing new British products this year, both under our own name and with our partners. We don't want to give too much away at this stage, or even encourage too much speculation, but we can say that one of these will be a bus! That's how Jason rolls!
Fame at last!
In July Jason and I visited the offices of Railway Modeller in the picturesque village of Beer in Devon for an interview. This was part of the research being undertaken for eight-page article on Jason and Rapido with particular emphasis on just how a crazy Canadian company got involved in making British trains.

This feature was published just before Christmas in the 2018 Railway Modeller Special, which is still on sale. You should be able to find this in all great newsagents, supermarkets, from Peco Publications direct and so on. It's a great story and well worth a read, and not just because I get a name check!
Finally, those nice people over at BRM, in particular Phil Parker, are running a series of articles covering the construction of a project layout which will be displayed and raffled off at the forthcoming Great British Train Show (GBTS) here in Ontario, Canada in April 2018.

The first part was in the January 2018 issue, which was released at the Warley Show and describes the baseboards and some of the structures. Back issues are available here.
gbtsGreat British Train Show
Here's the Great British Train Show flyer with all the details of the show:
The GBTS is the largest British train show in North America. We have a lot of ex-pats here in the Toronto area (not just me)! Whether you live in Newfoundland, New Orleans or New Mexico, if you are a British outline modeller in North America we strongly encourage you join us at the show. It really is a lovely couple of days.

Before the GBTS though you can next see Rapido in the handsome forms of Bill and myself at the York Show over the Easter weekend in March/April.

Until the next newsletter,


Gareth Bayer
Project Manager
Rapido Trains Inc.
Rapido Trains Inc. | www.rapidouk.com