Rapido UK Newsletter No. 4
©2021 Rapido Trains Ltd
Dear Rapido Customer,

Wow! Things are really hotting up here at Rapido Trains UK (even if the weather isn't). If you thought that we'd used up our excitement quota with all The Titfield Thunderbolt products we announced last time, you couldn't be more wrong.

Read on to find out what we have in store!

What’s in this newsletter:
  • A tale of two ‘Toads’
  • New Class 28

Don’t forget:
  • All products available to order!
Yes... This is our model. This is not the real APT-E.
APT-E is back!

We’re absolutely delighted to announce that we’re producing another batch of ‘OO’ gauge APT-Es! The National Railway Museum has agreed to us producing more models of this record-breaking gas turbine tilting train as a standalone Rapido Trains UK product.

Didn’t buy an APT-E the first time round? Here’s what you missed:
  • Stunning and accurate looks, thanks to a laser scan of the real APT-E
  • Fully detailed interior, complete with test and computing equipment
  • Directional and internal lighting
  • Flawless finish with the finest lettering printed
  • Accurate sound so that you can fully re-create APT-E’s 1975 record breaking run
  • Insight from Kit Spackman, aka Mr Tilt, who was part of the team that masterminded the tilting system on the real thing.

And did we mention that it really tilts? No? Well, it really tilts!
Doesn't it look stunning? if you missed out on the first batch of APT-Es, don't worry as another batch is coming. But order before July 1st to avoid disappointment!
Photograph: ANDY YORK
That's no doubt whetted your appetite and you'll be desperate to place an order, yes? Well, there are two train-packs to choose from:
  • 924001 Four-car APT-E (without sound). RRP £379.95
  • 924501 Four-car APT-E (with sound). RRP £479.95

The first batch sold out really quickly so it’s recommended to order quickly to avoid disappointment.
When the chap who was involved with the real APT-E's tilting system got involved in our project, there was never any doubt that the 'OO' gauge APT-E would tilt. A pre-production sample shows off its moves on the 'Diesels in the Duchy' layout.
We do need to stress that, unlike the first batch, this version will not come with all the extras, such as commemorative booklet and limited edition packaging. But the model itself is just the same marvel of miniature engineering that we produced back in 2016. And if you still need convincing, here’s what the model railway press had to say about it:

Andy York, BRM: “On unpacking each car, the quality is striking. [The shape] is complex and superbly captured with exceptional level of rivet detail… [and] is unmistakable and accurate.”

Mark Chivers, Hornby Magazine: “DCC sound is really the icing on the cake... and brings it to life. It really does make a difference to have sound emanating from each power car. Be warned though – it does get very loud!”

Chris Leigh, Model Rail: “[The APT-E] is like a sports car – you get an urge to floor the accelerator.”

Simon Bendall, Rail Express Modeller: “The APT-E model is definitely a bit special… a fitting re-creation of a true British Rail icon.”

Tim Rayner, Railway Modeller: "As a first entry into the UK outline market, Rapido Trains has made a great impression with this high quality model of a real ground-breaker.”
Imagine what the APT-E might have looked like if it had entered service by buying extra Trailer Cars.
We know that some modellers weren’t content to run their APT-Es as a four-car set (even though that how the real thing ran). So we’re producing extra Trailer Cars, which you can buy individually to increase your APT-E set to… well, as many cars as you want!
  • 924002 Single car. RRP £119.95
The first batch of 'OO' gauge APT-Es sold like hot cakes. Don't delay and order today!

Remember to reserve yours before July 1st 2021.
Click to see our APT-E in action. The order-book closes on July 1st 2021
Buy, buy buy!!

You'll find some subtle hints throughout this newsletter that you can order models direct from us. Here's a not so subtle one:


Andy has burnt so much midnight oil that there's now a worldwide shortage but everything is available to order (except the Titfield items - more on that later) from our website.

So, go and fill your shopping cart with:
UK900 BCT Guy Arabs (11 to choose from)
UK901 BCT Fleetlines (22 to choose from)
UK902 Gunpowder Vans (10 to choose from)
UK903 Hunslet 16in 0-6-0ST (7 to choose from)
UK904 ‘15XX’ 0-6-0PT (6 to choose from)
UK905 MetroVick Type 2 Co-Bo (7 to choose from)
UK924 APT-E (2 to choose from)

RICHARD: Did we mention that we're making another batch of APT-E?

ANDY: You might have said something.

RICHARD: And that they're available to order?

JASON: Yes! Everyone's got the message now! Get on with it!

RICHARD: Even better than that, the online ordering system will now allow you to buy from us if you live in outside the UK - except in North America.

ANDY: If you live somewhere we haven't got listed, drop us a line and we'll see what we can do for you

So what should you do if you live in North America? Read on to find out.
Rapido B-100 Boxcar
The Pacific Car & Foundry B-100-40 boxcar is one of the many Rapido Trains Inc products you can order through the UK website.
Trans-Atlantic shopping

One question that keeps getting asked is: 'can I buy Rapido Trains Inc's North American products from Rapido Trains UK?'

Now you can! And in pounds Sterling. Click here to order!

There’s just one caveat. You can only buy North American products that are on pre-order. Once the order book has closed, items will be removed from the UK website. If you want to buy an existing item, you’ll have to order direct from Rapido Trains Inc.

What's even more exciting is that if you live in North America and want Rapido Trains UK products, you can buy them from Rapido Trains Inc... or at least you will be able to when our sister company's new website goes live. Please be patient as the guys in Canada are still putting the finishing touches to the new site. You'll also only be able to buy UK products that are available to pre-order.

Want to go and see what North American goodies are available to buy from the UK site? Click here... and then come back and finish the newsletter!
Hardy's Hobbies has commissioned this exclusive Hunslet 16in 0-6-0ST.
Hunslet news

Great news: we’ve started tooling our ‘OO’ gauge Hunslet 16in 0-6-0ST!
There are seven fabulous liveries to choose from so click here to order yours.

(See Andy? I told you the hints were subtle.)

We’re also delighted to announce that Hardy’s Hobbies has commissioned a limited run of Hunslets as No. 1982/40 Ring Haw in Naylor Benzon & Co lined green livery. These models are selling fast, so get your order in quick.
An additional Class 28 to the range...
Now you can authentically re-create the early 1960s in 'N'.
New Class 28

Plain green MetroVick Type 2 Co-Bos often ran in pairs. So how many plain green versions did we unveil as part of our first batch? Just the one.

ANDY: D’oh!

RICHARD: We’ve now added D5700 in plain green Class 28 to the range so that you can double-head authentically. Want one? You know what to do!

ANDY: Beautifully subtle!
The first Fleetline bodies coming off the production line.
Buses in production

Production has started on both our BCT 'New Look' Guys and the WMPTE Fleetlines. We're hopeful that both 1:76 scale buses should land in the UK during the summer. Which gives Andy a deadline on getting our warehouse ready!

ANDY: Don't rub it in! Aren't you going to encourage people to order them?

RICHARD: Look likes you've done that for me!
And here is a batch of 'New Look' Guy bodies looking resplendent in BCT cream.
Fleetline 7000
Here's one we made earlier! This is Jim Munro's immaculate Fleetline WDA700T basking in the sun outside The Transport Museum Wythall. We'd like to thank Jim for helping us develop our 1:76 scale Fleetlines.
‘16XX’ electronics – again!

Don’t you just hate electrical gremlins? You think you’ve fixed it, switch on the power and then BAM! – you're back to square one again. It’s no different here at Rapido Trains UK.

We were pretty confident that it was the voltage suppressor that was interfering with the Model Rail '16XXs' on DCC. However, a few customers reported that removing it didn’t solve the problem.

John Gymer at YouChoos has burnt what remained of Andy's midnight oil and has found that it's actually the C1 and C2 capacitors that are causing the problem.

These are comparatively simple to remove. You can find a step-by-step guide to this procedure here.

Don't fancy undertaking this repair yourself? Don't worry, click here, fill in the form and we'll be in touch to organise a repair.

We’d just like to place on the record our thanks to John at YouChoos for his help to finally cure this on-going saga! And we apologise again for this situation.
The two 'Toads' used in The Titfield Thunderbolt, with No. W114814 and the real No. W68740. The two different footboard heights are visible. Now we're producing both versions. Photograph: Simon Castens Collection
A tale of two ‘Toads’... and more Titfield twittering

Enough alliteration. We know you're itching to know the latest news about our The Titfield Thunderbolt models.

Firstly, design work is nearly complete on the Diagram AA20 'Toad' brakevan and our designers have been able to produce two key variations:
some AA20s were built with the footboards halfway up the axleboxes and others, including film-star No. W68740, were built with the footboards below the axleboxes. We didn't think we'd be able to produce both - but now we can.

Why is that important?

We can now produce BOTH Dia. AA20 'Toads' used in The Titfield Thunderbolt. No. W114814, with the higher position boards, doubled up as classmate No. W68740 for some scenes (the eagle-eyed might be able to spot it in the film). By producing both 'Toads', you'll be able to re-create the film perfectly.

To paraphrase Seth in the film, when we do a job, we likes to do it proper!

To enable you to fully re-create The Titfield Thunderbolt, low-footboard No. W68740 will be offered in the packs SKU922001 and 922002. Raised-footboard No. W114804/W68740 will be included in the Rolling Stock Pack SKU922003.
Click here to see the incredible progress we're making with our Titfield range.
The 'Toad' gives us three designs that are nearly complete. We're putting the finishing touches to Lion/Thunderbolt and we need to do a more detailed review with the 'Loriot Y/Dan's House'.

Andy and Richard had a socially-distanced get-together at the North Norfolk Railway on April 9th where Carriage & Wagon Manager Chris Moxon had arranged for ex-Wisbech & Upwell coach No. 7 to be parked outside. Although it was sister coach No. 8 that was used in the film and No. 7 has been substantially modified during its restoration, we were able to gain a lot of insight for the development of our model.

Our thanks go to Chris and all at the North Norfolk Railway and the M&GN Society for arranging access to this unique vehicle.
Sole-surviving Wisbech & Upwell coach No. 7 outside the North Norfolk Railway's carriage shed at Holt. Beautifully restored by the M&GN Society, the missing interior has been replaced with a Titfield-style bar.
We also know that you can't wait to order our The Titfield Thunderbolt projects. We're holding off taking orders for now just in case we come across any nasty (or expensive) surprises during the design process that would require the RRP to go up. Please be patient with us - we know that you can’t wait to order these items!
Rapido Richard Layout
Richard's 'OO9' North Wales slate quarry layout. This is the quarry side with the port in the background. The Tillig 'HO'/'HOe' crossing is close enough to the standard/narrow gauge crossovers at Port Penrhyn and Port Dinorwic.
The Essay
By Richard Foster

JASON: Really? You can't think up a better name for this bit?

RICHARD: No. If any of our readers have a suggestion, let us know!

Those who also subscribe to the North American newsletter might have seen the rough beginnings of my 4ft by 4ft ‘OO9’ layout in Issue No. 137. It was inspired by a 4ft by 2ft Cyril Freezer ‘rabbit warren’ and was refined by Model Rail’s layout planning guru Paul A Lunn.

The aim was to depict a typical North Wales slate quarry railway, with a quarry on one side and a port on the other. It's a much more modest affair than Bill's New York Ontario & Western epic or Jason's 'Kingston Sub' but I'm really pleased with what I've managed to achieve so far.

I'll let you into a secret: despite editing Model Rail, I've never got beyond the track and baseboard stage of a model railway before. Shocking, isn't it? Therefore, I've been experimenting with various scenic products to get that slate quarry look.
Dinorwic slate quarry: my favourite place in the whole world. This is the site of the mills, with the 'A' inclines in the background. It's hard to imagine what this place would have looked like in its heyday.
But this layout is more than simply a way to hone my somewhat basic modelling skills. Like a lot of modellers, this layout is a vehicle to re-create a favourite place in the comfort of my own home.

For me, that place is Snowdonia.

I'm fairly well travelled (I can tick four out of seven continents off the list) but Snowdonia is my most favourite place on earth. And my most favourite part of Snowdonia is a few square acres of barren rock and ruined buildings just to the north of Llanberis.

Striking off the A5 onto the B4396 always feels as though I'm being led home. The Tanat Valley is a delightful aperitif; the scenery gets more dramatic and then you reach Bala. This lovely little town and its jewel of a lake (not to mention its railway!) feels like the gateway, an open pair of arms saying 'Welcome, come on in!'.

And it's a home that has given me some of my most cherished memories.
The Ffestiniog's famous spiral at Ddaullt in the sun. As Steam Railway's Junior Writer, I spent two glorious days here in 2004 helping to clear vegetation. And I got to drive veteran Baldwin 2-4-0DM Moelwyn around the spiral!
I’m forever grateful that my parents indulged my love of trains. We certainly racked up some miles visiting various railways and museums (much to my brother's disgust).

Then, during 1990, my dad learned that the WEA was hosting regular sessions about railways in a local village hall. So, every Wednesday evening, local historian Arthur Jordan would teach us about all manner of railway-related subjects.

One term focused on Dinorwic slate quarry. And I have absolutely no idea why but I became obsessed with Dinorwic. Ob-sessed! And that obsession with one quarry evolved to become to an obsession with the whole of Snowdonia.
Ready for my first firing turn at the Bala Lake Railway. I nearly ran out of steam halfway up the 1-in-70 Dolfawr Bank but my trusty steed, Holy War, responded splendidly and got us home safely!
Normally, the sight of ecological and environmental destruction sickens me. But the North Wales mountains, scarred with the stepped galleries, sets my pulse racing. I see beauty in the grey spoil heaps that dominate Blaenau Ffestiniog. And any footpath that takes you through those industrial remnants is like a stairway to heaven.

I still can’t really put my finger on exactly why. I think it’s that striking contrast between exquisite scenic beauty and heavy industry. You can't imagine what life was like for a quarryman, undertaking such dangerous work, often in appalling weather, in such a wonderful setting.

Snowdonia is also wonderfully self-contained. You can drive around it in under half a day and yet your journey will take in scenery to rival anywhere in the world.
On my first visit to the Welsh Slate Museum, I found a chair on part of the V3 incline alongside Vivian Quarry. I picked it up, intending to take it home. My dad could see I was struggling to carry this lump of iron around... and so put it in his rucksack. How that rucksack didn't split, I'll never know. But I still have the chair,
30-odd years later.
Best of all, you’re never far from a railway. And what railways! The Ffestiniog was the birthplace of narrow gauge steam; the Welsh Highland is one of Britain's great railway journeys; the Talyllyn kick-started the railway preservation movement.

Despite this, it’s Dinorwic quarry that still has me under its spell. While my layout has a hint of the Ffestiniog about it, it's the operations of Dinorwic (and a bit of Penrhyn) that have been my foremost inspiration.
I take every opportunity to go to North Wales... even for my stag do! Thanks to Julian Birley and the Bala Lake Railway, my mates and I spent a day trundling up and down with Julian's ex-Penrhyn Hunslet Winifred.
I can’t wait for lockdown to end so that I can go back to make more memories, particularly as Snowdonia is now a family obsession, thanks to my wife’s discovery of Thomas Firbank’s I Bought A Mountain. This book is part guide to being a sheep farmer and part love-letter to the landscape. It’s also broadened my horizons and I want to explore parts of North Wales that are slightly further away from the rails.

And we have another reason to go back: our daughter needs indoctrinating in the scenic and railway-related joys of Snowdonia.

JASON: And they filmed Doctor Who there a lot!

RICHARD: Nice going, Jason. You've really spoiled the mood.
Essential reading for anyone with an interest in North Wales, its slate quarries and its railways.
For those of you who managed to make it through my Welsh ramblings, thank you.

If you know any fellow modellers and enthusiasts who might appreciate our off-beat look at the world, the odd sci-fi reference...

ANDY: Or, more importantly, might want to order our products.

JASON: Ooh, nicely done!

RICHARD: ...why not get them to sign up to our newsletter? There's no financial incentive for you except the joy of expanding the Rapido Trains UK family.

Until next time,

Richard Foster
Sales & Marketing Manager
Rapido Trains UK
You can write to us at Rapido Trains UK, PO Box 1408, Maidstone, Kent, ME149YR. Alternatively, you can call us on 01622 801204 or you can
e-mail us at [email protected]