Rapido News UK Vol. 18
©2019 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

Well it has been a long time, hasn't it? We are delighted to be communicating with you, our British customers, once again.

In this newsletter:

  • Where Have We Been?
  • Brummie Buses Are Here!
  • See Our New Factory Video!
  • Progress on Model Rail 16XX
  • Revolution and Rapido Update
  • Come Say Hello At Warley (And Buy A Bus!)
  • Buying Our Models in the UK
  • Looking To The Future
Rapido the Prairie Dog.

(I tried to explain to Jason that Prairie dogs were indigenous to North America and that nobody in the UK would understand the reference. He insisted on using the image because, in his words, "awww he's so cute!" You may have to Google them...)
Where Have We Been?

Rapido certainly has gone quiet in the UK of late. Since last year's Warley Show, to be precise. I apologise for not being in touch; we really should have given you a quick update. The truth is we haven't had much news for you.

This is entirely due to the country's most contentious word, Brexit. (Sorry!) Being ignorant colonials who are still busy building log cabins and trading beaver pelts, we are neither for nor against Brexit. What we are against is economic uncertainty.
Too much inventory is a bad thing.
A new locomotive project, for instance, can cost a fortune in tooling and product costs which has to be paid by us before we ship a single model and thus before we get paid by our customers. Now if we invest that into a Canadian or American model, there is always the risk that the economy will collapse and we'd be left with gazillions of unsold models. It happened in 2009/2010.

With the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, that risk is far greater for UK projects. So we've had no choice but to "pause" our UK expansion plans until things settle out a bit. But just as the Midland Mainline will indeed get electrified north of Corby, we do still plan to open a UK company and expand our British product line. Hopefully that will happen before the wires reach Nottingham.

(Did you get the pun there? Anyone? Well I thought it was clever.)

But fear not! We still have many good tidings to share!
Deluxe models of the new Guy Arab Birmingham bus feature working lights!
Brummie Buses Are Here!

I've asked Jason to write this one section because he's the bus nut. Now if we were making Ford Mustangs, it would be a different story.

Jason: Thanks, Bill. And nice try. We can't afford a Ford license.

Two years after we first did a 3D scan of Birmingham City Transport 2976, we are delighted to announce that our 1:76 Guy Arab Birmingham bus models are here! The UK shipment has arrived and the Canadian shipment will be arriving in just over a week.

As you can see from the photo below, all buses come in a lovely display case with a backscene immediately recognisable to those in the know...
Each bus comes in an attractive Brummie-themed display case.
If you've ordered your Brummie buses already, we've sent you an email for you to update your credit card. If you didn't receive it, please check your spam folder or send us an email.

If you have not yet ordered your buses and these pictures are making you drool, then please come to the Warley Show. We will be selling the buses from our booth on behalf of our friends at the Wythall Transport Museum, and every direct purchase made at the show will support the museum.
Absolutely unmatched detail in a 1:76 bus
You can't miss us at the show. We will have the real MOF 9, owned by Kevin and Renate Hill, at our booth! I will be there on the Sunday, waving my arms about like I usually do.

We are very proud of how this bus model has turned out. We really do think it is the most detailed British bus model ever made in 1:76 scale. In the photo above, you can see the working platform light (available on the Deluxe model), the metal strips on the floor, the moquette. Hang on - you need to see a better view of the moquette.
Just look at that moquette! And all the screwheads!
If you can't make it to Warley, please order your buses from Rails of Sheffield.

If you are outside the UK and Europe, we have a handful of buses coming to our Canadian office. You can order those directly from us.

Here's one last photo. We made a surprise run of 2990 working route 1A. As I used to live on Priory Road in Edgbaston I don't know why we didn't think to announce this from the start. We'll have some of these for sale at the show.
The front wheels are steerable on all models.
I suspect we are going to sell out of Brummie Buses very quickly. If we do and you miss out, have no fear - we will make another production run next year. Please don't run to our booth when you get to Warley. Just walk quickly...

Click here to read further about our Brummie buses, and to order if you are outside the UK and Europe.

OK, Bill - back to you!
See Our New Factory Video!

Last month Jason went to China and shot a video. I know, that's not entirely unusual. However, Mohan went with him and it was his first time visiting our factories, and we threw him in at the deep end. Click here or on the image below to watch as we put him to work while Jason schmoozes!
Now, if anybody knows of some inexpensive return airfares from China we'd really like to get Mohan back soon.... his workload is piling up back at Rapido Galactic Headquarters.
Model Rail 16xx

Design work is complete on the Model Rail 16xx 0-6-0 Pannier tank. 3-D samples have been approved and the model is now in tooling. This has been a fun project for me as a GWR fan. (Yes, I know that it’s technically a BR loco, but hey – it’s a Pannier tank!) Both standard and Busby chimney versions will be offered, and the loco will include a silky smooth drive system, full cab interior, lit firebox, factory-fitted speaker for sound and much more.

Go to Model Rail’s web site for more updates as they are available or go here to reserve your model. 
Revolution Tiphook KFA deco sample shown with their 30′ bulk containers.
(Containers available separately).
Revolution and Rapido Update

There is lots going on with our projects for Revolution Trains. Here are some quick updates:
Rapido Revolution KFA flats
Revolution Trains' KFA Flats on the production line at the LRC factory.
N Gauge Tiphook PFA/KFA container flat: The N Gauge Tiphook PFA/KFA container flats are shipping from China in the next few days. These models portray single-unit PFA/KFA container flats built for Tiphook from 1987-88. They feature a die-cast metal chassis with a plastic deck.
Class 92 first sample. The final production models will be somewhat more colourful!
N Gauge Class 92 Electric Loco: The Brush Class 92 is currently in production. Several different liveries are being offered. This highly detailed little gem is sure to be a hit with modern rail enthusiasts. For a full listing can be found on Revolution Trains' web site.
The APT-E prototype on a test run. Railway Museum photo
N Gauge APT-E: Revolution Trains are proposing to produce an N gauge version of the APT-E high-speed experimental train, to be designed and produced by us exclusively for them. To find out more or to enter your expression of interest, go to their web site.

More? These are just some of the upcoming projects that we are working on with Revolution Trains, including more N gauge Pendolinos and possibly something from the halcyon days of Rail Blue. We will have more details in the next newsletter. (Did I mention that it won't take so long this time?)
Rapdio Warley show booth
Our booth at last year's Warley show. It's there in front of the big bus!
Come Say Hello At Warley (And Buy A Bus!)

Rapido's booth will be returning to the 2019 Warley Show, and as Jason mentioned it will be complete with another bus display from the Wythall Transport Museum. We will also have samples of a number of our new and recent models there.

In cleaning up our warehouse, we found... wait for it... two dozen N gauge Pendolinos. Still in the packaging. Never sold. We're bringing them to Warley and they will be for sale at our booth. First come, first served!

All that sounds wonderful. However, for the first time in six (seven?) years I will not personally be attending Warley. We have recently embarked on a home expansion project (design plans can be found online by Googling “Mission Creep”) and I have decided to spend the first US Thanksgiving in years with the family in whatever part of our house that is finished!

Jason, Mohan and Dan Garcia will be there along with some of our UK friends. Make sure to stop by and see them at booths B051 and B052, and don’t forget to ask about the bus! (As if Jason would let you forget it...)
Rails of Sheffield store
Buying Rapido Models in the UK

You may not realize it, but our friends at Rails of Sheffield stock many of our North American models, and can reserve upcoming releases for you as well. They are also the UK distributor for our upcoming buses - did I mention that we were doing a bus? Rails' current Rapido stock can be found here or contact them to inquire about any of our other models. Their recently expanded showroom is well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

And Jason asked me to remind you that Doctor Who is filmed in Sheffield and that the Doctor's sonic screwdriver is made from Sheffield steel. So you should go to Sheffield.

Now Jason's asked me to remind you that Sheffield has a lovely little Doctor Who shop called Galaxy Four, and it is worth visiting. They have a Dalek.

No, Jason - I'm not telling them that. Please stop.

Oh, fine. Jason asks that if you see Jodie Whittaker can you please get an autograph for him.
So, What Now?

Given the long silence and political uncertainty, it would be natural to ask what our future intentions are for the UK market. 

Jason and I are both very enthusiastic about British railways (and buses – well, at least he is….) and look forward to continuing to offer models aimed at UK enthusiasts. The West Midlands Fleetline, for example, is fully designed and is still very much planned, but its profitability was contingent on us being set up as a UK limited company.

We each have several other projects that we would like to see produced. We have had discussions with our UK partners regarding future projects as well. Some projects are still going ahead, like the 16xx. Others are waiting until we see where things settle both in the UK market and with the US/Canada/China relationship. 

We would like to thank our UK customers for your support and your encouragement over the last several years, and we look forward to making more models that you can enjoy and drool over!

Until next time,


Bill Schneider
Project Manager
Rapido Trains Inc.