Rapido News UK Volume 6 - ©2015 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

You find us worn out but happy. This installment of Rapido News UK has been written in something of a post-Warley fugue. Our UK trip was exhausting (but satisfying!), and we've spent the last three weeks catching up on all the work we missed by gallivanting around England and Scotland and drinking whisky and real ale. So I apologize for the tardiness of this newsletter.

Before we get on with the good stuff, Jason and I both wish to extend a warm thank you to everyone that took the time to visit the Rapido Trains Inc. stand at Warley. We also want to apologise if it took you five or more attempts to talk to one of us. We appreciate your patience and your kind comments. Also, thanks for tuning into this, the sixth Rapido News UK. The sixth! Can you believe it? Okay the last one was short, and the one before that didn't have any news, but we're counting 'em.

As ever, if you're not a newsletter subscriber then you can make sure you get the newsletter the very second it's published by clicking here. You can also make your friends happy this festive season by forwarding this newsletter on to them as well. 2016 will be the year that Rapido's first UK models make landfall in Great Britain, and we have loads more great projects to be announced too. They don't want to miss all of that.

And now for the news...

In this issue of Rapido News UK:
Ben, Kit, Jason and many interested enthusiasts. It was like this for most of the weekend.
Can you spot our metal friend?
Warley round-up
We had a tremendous time at Warley, and we've signed on to do it all again in 2016. However, our wives have forbidden us from taking a full two weeks to traipse around the regions before the show. Jason is currently negotiating for a one week stint in Wales, but his wife, Sidura, has only just stopped throwing the crockery at him. My wife, Theresa, is still having a hard time believing that we actually did a show during the trip. If any of you can vouch for my whereabouts that weekend I would be very appreciative!

The biggest response we received at Warley was to the APT-E sample with its flashy interior lights. And the most common thing we heard was, "Cor - where do I order this?" Of course, the order deadline was earlier this year. I believe Locomotionmodels.com is holding a waiting list.

If you are chatting about Rapido with your chums, do please encourage them to order our models in advance. We don't like to see customers disappointed that they could not buy our products.
Prototype HST Power Car No. 41001 at the NRM York in 2006.
Prototype HST power cars in OO
Following the exclusive APT-E trainset and Stirling Single locomotive, Rapido Trains Inc. and Locomotionmodels.com are excited to reveal a new partnership to produce the ground-breaking Prototype HST (HST-E) Power Cars in 4mm scale/OO gauge as part of the 'National Collection in Miniature' series.

The Prototype HST was an obvious follow-on from the APT-E project. With the iconic gas turbine trainset now in production both companies considered the Warley show to be the perfect platform for the HST-E launch.
No. 41002 leads the HSDT into York in 1973. DR Vickers 53A Models of Hull collection
The model will be produced in 4mm scale/OO gauge and will be available exclusively from Locomotionmodels.com. Rapido will undertake a 3D scan of No. 41001 early next year and all stages of the model's development will be communicated via regular website updates and the modelling press.

Further details of the train-pack configuration, liveries/numbers, retail price and delivery date will be provided in the future. Watch this space.

For those of you who have been bothering us about doing the prototype Mk.3 coaches, the answer is "Yes. Now go away and let us get on with designing them."
First factory-painted sample of the APT-E. The fonts will be fixed.
APT-E final samples
The factory did up a couple of final pre-production samples of the APT-E, and they were exhibited to great acclaim at the show. Somehow they replaced the BR typeface with something ugly so we've fixed that. It's amazing what can sneak past if you aren't too careful and is evidence that manufacturers must always inspect painted shell samples before mass production begins. 
APT-E TC2 Interior. Photo courtesy Terry Wynne.
Thousands of rivets... thousands...
With the APT-E we have experimented with a new method of creating rivets. The real rivets were so small that our traditional method of CNC machining the rivets would not produce a small enough diameter. I can't tell you what our new method is but as you can see from the photo above they really are quite tiny. I have tried counting them several times to verify that they are all there, but I keep losing count somewhere around 38,128. It must be a mental block.

The flashing lights on the instrument banks of TC2 work in DC and DCC, so everyone gets to experience them! The downside of this is you can't turn them off, so really... EVERYONE gets to experience them!

APT-E Book
The cover of our new APT-E book, aptly titled APT-E

We are putting the finishing touches on our full-colour, over-sized APT-E book, written by Gareth Bayer, Kit Spackman and Paul Leadley. It will be included free with your model but we've decided it's so good that it will be available for sale separately as well. More info on that in the next newsletter. If you work for Ian Allen or another transport bookshop, the answer is "Yes, we would love to sell you several hundred of these." 
TEA VTG 88126. Photo courtesy VTG Rail UK
Revolution supersizes VTG TEA
In March 2015 Revolution Trains revealed its first wagon model in N gauge, the modern VTG Rail UK TEA 102.6-tonne bogie tanker, which is designed and manufacturered by Rapido Trains Inc.

The popularity of this model - which already has buckets of pre-orders - and repeated requests via its website and social media have persuaded Revolution to seek expressions of interest for a 4mm scale/OO gauge version too.

When creating the original design documents our product development team made sure that there was a clear path to a OO version so it will be a simple process to create the 3D design for the larger model. Of course, you can expect the same attention to detail with numerous prototype specific parts such as the bifurcated discharge nozzles and yaw dampers for EWS/Freightliner vs single nozzles and no dampers on the VTG version.
Early CAD design of the OO VTG TEA.
There will also be variations in the catwalks and manlid arrangements and different versions of the brake gear, plus finer details all around and other nuances that were not practicable in N.

To go forward with a OO model, Revolution is looking for expressions of interest for between 2000-2500 models. A final price has not been confirmed, but it is likely to be in the range £35-38 per wagon.

For more details visit Revolution's dedicated page on the OO VTG TEA project.
The first samples out of the Pendolino moulds. A few rough edges but looking good.
Pendolino and N VTG TEA samples
The designers at Rapido have been somewhat spoiled by the first two Revolution projects. Unlike the bulk of past Rapido projects, which involved clambering over roofs, crawling around underframes and often trying to take measurements in freezing Canadian winters, both came with large amounts of primary information from the likes of Virgin Trains, Alstom, Brecknall-Willis and VTG Rail UK. This considerably sped up the process of design... How many other manufacturers do you know that can go from announcement to first painted samples in less than nine months?

As well as the APT-E, our Chinese colleagues were also busy in the run-up to Warley assembling samples of the N Virgin Trains 'Pendolino' (first out of the mould) and N VTG TEA (first painted samples). Both were couriered direct to an excited Ben Ando ready for the big weekend. Ben was handing out 'Pendolino' leaflets at Warley 2014 and I think he can hardly believe that he now has the first assembled models in his hands!
Painted samples of the N VTG TEA.
For the 'Pendo' the factory was able to provide a DMSO driving car and an intermediate trailer car, and despite a few rough edges and a honking-great fingerprint on the windscreen (these really are the first out of the moulds) they clearly capture the impressive lines of the Alstom-built high speed trains exceptionally well. The next stage will be fully finished operating samples, which will be thoroughly de-bugged before final production begins. Development is on track for a spring-summer 2016 release. You can still order a 'Pendolino'. Click here for details.

Even more eye-catching were the colourful VTG TEA tankers. The factory sent four painted samples: VTG red, Greenergy green, EWS grey and Freightliner green, and they are each an absolute work of art. Each model has over 60 separate tampo pad printing operations to capture the complex liveries. We've spotted a few errors of application, but these will be fixed before production. No order quantities have been set for the N VTG TEA yet so you can still purchase a rake or two in the next few weeks. They are certain to become collectors' items and sell out quickly. Visit Revolution's website for more details.
Locomotionmodels.com GNR Stirling Single No.1
Stirling Single update
With all of the focus on the APT-E at Warley the Locomotionmodels.com Stirling Single project may not have received as much publicity as it should have. This may have been exacerbated by Jason's obsession with BR blue and the fact that the Stirling got only one of six information panels in our display, off near the Cuban locomotives... I want to assure you that we haven't forgotten about it. Quite the opposite in fact. I often find myself waking up in the middle of the night screaming about Victorian bogie splashers.  
But I digress....
We announced the Stirling Single Project last year (you can read about the launch here) and the model is now well along in the design stage. The exterior details are very nearly complete pending just a few more minor revisions. The factory engineers and I have been exchanging thoughts on the drive system (mine often start with "Whose idea was this anyway?") and I believe that we have finally figured out how to make it all work as we require. No, the solution does NOT include traction tyres! (It took a lot of effort for me not to write "tires.") I will hold off on revealing any more at the moment until we work out a few final details. Keep an eye out for a detailed update in the next newsletter.
Latest CAD images of the small (Sturrock) and large tenders.
Jason and Bill on tour...
Jason and Bill's UK tour blog
Those of you who follow the Rapido forum on RMWeb have been subjected to entertained by reports of our travels around the British Isles. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the discussion, and we hope that next time we do one of these big UK tours we can meet more of you in person in the far-flung reaches of the UK.

We've compiled our blog entries into one mammoth photo journal. Please click here to read all about our UK adventures and please forward the link to your fellow railway enthusiasts. 
Here is an obligatory Birmingham photo to help offset the HUGE Manchester and London bias in the British railway press. Manchester lays six feet of tram track and gets a 10-page article. Birmingham builds a whole new station and gets a three-inch blurb. Just remember all you Brum-Bashers: Birmingham is the UK's second city, it is the spiritual home of Duran Duran and Midland Red, and it is infinitely cooler than wherever you live. (Err... Jason wrote that.)
We're sorry. You'll have to wait until next year to find out what this is.
Mystery model - an apology!
We apologise if there has been a certain amount of confusion about the mystery model that we've been teasing this year. This is a different project to the Prototype HST power cars, which we intend to visit and scan very soon. The person responsible for our project launch schedule has been sacked.

As it's Christmas and we don't want to ruin anyone's holiday, the person responsible has been rehired and the person responsible for sacking the person responsible has been sacked instead.

In all seriousness, the secret project was laser scanned during the Christmas-New Year holiday last year and the design work has already been completed. We originally hoped to announce the product with actual plastic samples at the Warley show. However, the design process dragged on and on (and on) and made this an impossible dream - although we did consider showing off a 3D print.

At the eleventh hour we had a change of heart and decided that we wanted to unveil this project with something that accurately shows what Rapido Trains Inc. is capable of. We will be revealing the model and its partner in mid-2016 with final painted samples. It'll be worth the wait!

All of us at Rapido (including the Jews) would like to wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year. May 2016 bring tidings of comfort and trains. Rapido Trains.

All the best,


Bill Schneider
Product Development guy
Rapido Trains Inc.