Rapido UK Newsletter No. 19
©2022 Rapido Trains Ltd
Dear Rapido Customer,

We know that we normally publish a newsletter towards the end of the month so don't worry - you've not been abducted by aliens or dematerialised into a time vortex!

We're celebrating here at Rapido UK HQ and we couldn't wait to share the news with you.

We were delighted to have secured a deal with STUDIOCANAL that allowed us to produce 1:76 scale models of the true stars of the 1953 Ealing Comedy The Titfield Thunderbolt. It was a real coup for an up-and-coming manufacturer.

That's why it was a real kick in the guts when a competitor announced its own range of The Titfield Thunderbolt products last December.

We wouldn't normally comment on the actions of a fellow model manufacturer but, in this instance, it was a low blow, especially as said manufacturer was at pains to say that these new models were only 'inspired by' vehicles from the film when it was obvious to all and sundry that they were more than that.

We're celebrating because, on June 5th, that manufacturer issued a press release to say that its range of models, which were a little too close to vehicles and props seen in film for STUDIOCANAL’s liking, had been cancelled.

You can order yours either from your local Rapido UK stockist or direct from us!

We thought that we'd take the opportunity to produce a Titfield-inspired newsletter, which contains ALL THIS!

  • 922003 order book open!
  • Watch The Titfield ThunderboltEPs in action
  • The Titfield Thunderbolt order book deadline
  • Listen to the sounds of The Titfield Thunderbolt
  • Full product update… including images!
So, as Titfield director Charles Crichton would have said at Monkton Combe station 70-odd years ago:

"Lights... camera... ACTION!"
Here is a 3D render taken from the CAD file of our 'OO' gauge ex-Wisbech & Upwell tramcar that starred in The Titfield Thunderbolt.
922003: Order book opens!

The final piece to our The Titfield Thunderbolt jigsaw has fallen into place… the order book for the ex-Wisbech & Upwell tramcar is now open!

RRP for SKU922003 is £74.95 and you can either order from your local Rapido UK stockist or here:
Tooling work has already started and we expect to be able to show you samples very soon. In the meantime, feast your eyes on these 3D renders taken from the CAD files.

This promises to be a very special model indeed.
This coach was one of a pair built for the Wisbech & Upwell Tramway in 1884. Their distinctive looks were a result of the regulations that governed the road-side railway. Accounts of whether it was No. 7 or No. 8 that starred in The Titfield Thunderbolt vary but No. 8 was scrapped at Stratford in 1957, a month after being restored for the National Collection. Fortunately, No. 7 has been fully restored by the M&GN Society.
Linny, our UK designer, has gone to town in order to re-create the bar area. Linny clearly follows the philosophy of handyman Seth (played by Herbert C. Walton):
"When I does a job, I likes to do it proper!"
The roof isn't removable so this is the view of the interior you'll more likely get to see on your layout! You can almost imagine Mr Valentine leaning on the bar and telling the disgruntled passenger that yes, he does indeed own the ruddy railway!
Here's what the original W&U coaches looked like inside. The longitudinal seating was rather basic!
When we launched The Titfield Thunderbolt project last year, we said that the tramcar would be included in a pack with GWR ‘Toad’ No. W68740. We offered this because two ‘Toads’ were used during filming, with No. W118814 masquerading as No. W68740. We wanted to offer both so that you'd have the opportunity to re-create the film as accurately as possible.

However, subsequent research has revealed that No. W118814 is actually a different diagram ‘Toad’ and so 922003 just contains the ex-W&U tramcar.
Here's a mock-up of the artwork for the ex-W&U tramcar.
Now, to pre-empt your next question: yes, we are producing Great Eastern, LNER and BR versions of this coach – and its sister.

However, we have a couple of surprises related to the non-Titfield versions of this coach that we’re keeping up our sleeve for now. All will be revealed in a future newsletter!
We'll leave you with one last look at the underframe. This model is available to order now, either direct from ourselves or from your local Rapido UK stockist.
Click here or on the above image to see our wonderful new The Titfield Thunderboltvideo. It's filmed on the 8ft by 4ft 'Titfield trainset' that Andy and Dan have built. It may only be inspired by scenes from the film (rather than a slavish scale replica) but what a way to show off these EPs! Look out for this layout at the 2022 Warley exhibition.
Date for the diary: September 1st 2022

What’s significant about this date? Only that that’s when the order book for our ‘OO’ gauge Standard and Deluxe The Titfield Thunderbolt train packs closes.

What else can we say other than demand for these packs is very high so we urge you to get your order in before the deadline to avoid disappointment.

If you’ve forgotten the difference between the two packs, here’s a reminder:

Contains: DCC sound-fitted Thunderbolt; ‘Loriot Y’ machinery truck with ‘Dan’s house’ coach body; ‘Toad’ No. W68740; special presentation box; commemorative booklet. RRP: £399.95.
Contains: Thunderbolt (DCC ready/silent); ‘Loriot Y’ machinery truck with ‘Dan’s house’ coach body; ‘Toad’ No. W68740. RRP: £299.95
You can either order from your local Rapido UK stockist or direct from us using the buttons above.
All three models from The Titfield Thunderbolt train packs are at the Engineering Prototype stage. We're just waiting on the factory to resolve a couple of niggling issues but other than that, they're ready to enter production. That's why you've only got until September 1st to get your order (or orders!) in.
September 1st 2022 is also the deadline day for getting in your orders for Lion...
...the 'Loriot Y' machinery truck (WITHOUT Dan's house coach body)...
...and the Dia. AA20 'Toad' brake van. The order book for the latter two was supposed to be August 1st but we've given you an extra month to get your orders in.
Look at this! The first Bedford OB Engineering Prototypes have been shipped and are due to land with us very soon! We'll share images with you as soon as we can.
JASON: Richard, we need a talk on how to crop an image for a newsletter. I'm not understanding the vaguely egg-shaped blob.
RICHARD: Dammit, Jason! I'm a model train designer, not a Photoshop artist!
Click here or on the above image to listen to our Titfield models in action!
Titfield: goods news! And less good news...

One of the perks of working with STUDIOCANAL is that the sound-decoder fitted inside Thunderbolt will contain sounds from the film (922001 Deluxe Pack only!). That's not only the noises that the locomotive makes but also classic quotes and pieces of dialogue.

Andy and Dan have been working hard to put the sound file together and you can click here or on the above image for a sample listen. Warning though: listening to it will make you want to order our Deluxe Train Pack!

The slightly less good news is that we're struggling to produce 1:76 scale figures that match the quality and finesse of the rest of The Titfield Thunderbolt™ range.

We had planned to include figures in the Deluxe Train Pack (922001) and Buffet Car (922003) but we have since found that injection moulding technology is less forgiving at producing highly detailed figures than 3D printing. We could have produced figures but they would be a little bit crude and chunky and would have fallen short of the high standards that we like to set.

That said, we have a couple of ideas that we're working on so that we can bring 1:76 scale replicas of your favourite The Titfield Thunderbolt™ characters to your layout at a later date.

Until then, we apologise for any disappointment this has caused.
A final look at our The Titfield Thunderbolt™ Engineering Prototypes. Wihen our trains look this good, we wouldn't want to spoil them with inferior quality figures.
Here's an advanced sample of our LNER Dynamometer Car. This one is No. 23591 in 1928-1938 condition (SKU935001). The small tweaks we've made has really taken this model to a whole new level.
Progress Update

You could be forgiven for thinking that all we're working on is Titfield stuff. To prove that we're doing other stuff, here's a full run-down of where we're at with the rest of the range.

In production:

UK935 ‘OO’ gauge LNER Dynamometer Car: As you can see from the advanced samples we've received, production is nearly complete and we've been told that they will ship at the end of July.
Finished No. 902502 in post-1946 condition (SKU935002).
Here is the post-1949 condition Dynamometer Car (SKU935003).
And finally, this is the spoof BR maroon version that we've produced exclusively for Rails of Sheffield.
UK903 ‘OO’ gauge Hunslet 16in 0-6-0ST: Production is making good progress and we expect them to ship late summer/early autumn.
Completed saddle tanks for Hunslet Hollybank No. 3 (SKU903004/903504). It was the real version of this locomotive that provided the sounds for our model.
Cabs for Markham Main Colliery's Arthur (SKU903002/903502).
That's a lot of smokeboxes!
JASON: They -
RICHARD: Don't say it!
JASON: - look wheely good!
RICHARD: Seriously, who let him out again?
UK927 ‘OO’ gauge SECR 10t van & UK928 'OO' gauge SECR two-plank ballast wagon: Both are in production and we hope it won't be long before we can share images of completed models with you.
Production of the SECR 10t van is well advanced. This is the BR grey version.
Sharing the production line with the 10t vans are the two-plank ballast wagons, which share the same underframe. Both are still available to order but stocks are getting low so get your orders in quick!
UK910 ‘OO’ gauge VIX ferry van: The first parts have been injected and we’ll bring you updates as it progresses.
There's not a lot to show yet for the VIX ferry van aside from the ends of the bodies...
...and the VIX chassis. We'll show you more as soon as there's more to see.
UK908 ‘OO’ gauge GWR ‘Iron Mink’ & UK925 ‘OO’ gauge GWR four-plank open: The first parts should have been injected by the time you read this and we’ll bring you updates as it progresses.
If you thought that there wasn't a lot to see of VIX van progress, there's even less to see of 'Iron Mink' and Dia. O21 progress as injecting the parts has just started. We thought we'd remind you what an 'Iron Mink' looks like! However, work has started and we should be able to let you see more images soon.
UK905 ‘N’ gauge Class 28 Co-Bo: This is in the injection phase. We should show some production photos soon.
The factory is injecting the Class 28s yet so here's an image of the Engineering Prototype. As with all our 'in production' models, they're still available to order, either direct from ourselves or our stockists, but that stocks are limited and it's recommended to get your order in quickly to avoid disappointment.
UK915 ‘OO’ gauge OAA wagon: The order book has now closed and production is due to start imminently. We've made a few extras but new orders are already eating into the additional stock.
It's stretching it a bit to say that the 'OAA' is in production but we didn't know in which category to include it!
Engineering Prototypes:

We have received samples of the following models and they will receive a thorough assessment before they are cleared for production. here's what we have so far:

UK921 ‘N’ gauge ‘Conflat P’: We have just received new samples with a revised coupling system and are pleased to report that these wagons now run beautifully - and they were pretty darn good to start with! We have approved these for injection.
The 'Conflat' samples with the new coupling system are incomplete models and we didn't feel that they were appropriate to be shared with a wider audience. So, here's a previous sample for you to feast your eyes on. Rest assured that the 'Conflat Ps' now run as good as they look.
UK904 ‘OO’ gauge WR ‘15XX’ 0-6-0PT: The sample has been assessed, feedback given to the factory and revised sample are due to ship to the UK on August 15th.
The first EP of the '15XX'. The order deadline for this project is September 1st. Yes, you're right: that's the same date as for The Titfield Thunderbolt models. Full marks for paying attention!
UK940 ‘OO’ gauge SR eight-plank open: The samples have been thoroughly assessed and feedback given to the factory.
Deadline date for these little beauties is October 1st.
In tooling:

There are two projects that are currently in the mould shop. They are UK914 ‘OO’ gauge HR ‘Big Goods’ 4-6-0 and UK931 ‘OO’ gauge SECR six-wheel brake van. There's not much progress to show but, as with all our projects, as soon as there is, we'll share it with you.
The SECR six-wheel brake vans are slightly further ahead than the 'Big Goods' so you can start to see the shape of the parts in the moulds.
On sale:

We've opened the order book for our 'N' gauge SECR wagons (Diagram. 1349 five-plank open, the Dia. 1355 seven-plank open, the Dia. 1426 10t van and the six-wheel dual-veranda brake van). The different packs are available to order now. We're waiting for a slot at the mould shop before we send these wagons off for tooling.
Ready for tooling: the mould shop should be able to start work on our 'N' gauge SECR wagons very shortly.
And finally, we have two projects that we're working on but aren't able to take orders for... yet!

UK941 1:76 scale Leyland National: We’ve received the results of the laser scan and these have gone off to the factory so that design work can start. We have broken down the different version of National 1 and National 2 and have decided what is possible to make and what isn’t. We will announce more as the development process continues.
The Transport Museum Wythall's Midland Red Leyland National rests in the sunshine following our laser scanning session alongside a BCT 'New Look' Guy.
JASON: That Guy is lovely. Someone should make a model of -
RICHARD: Doctors! Doctors! He's escaped again!
UK936 LBSCR ‘E1’ 0-6-0T: Design work is very close to being finished. Expect some exciting news on this project very soon.

Remember that, aside from the National and the E1, all of these products are still available to order, either direct from ourselves or from your local Rapido UK stockist.
An inspiring view for any young railwayman - a train of historic vehicles being worked by enthusiasts. Photograph: STUDIOCANAL
Thought of the month
By Andy

It's fair to say that our Titfield range of models has been a very personal project for me. The ups and downs of not only developing these new models but also the well-publicised external pressures have led to it being a rollercoaster of a ride at times.

Over the last few months, the term “Inspired by” has been forever linked to anything to do with producing models of The Titfield Thunderbolt. It seemed to plague us during some of the low points.

However, when I start to think about it, I realise that, for me, it’s actually a very apt phrase to be associated with this project.

The original film really has inspired me!
Andy on the footplate of 16in Hunslet Beatrice at the Middleton Railway - is it a coincidence we are producing these?
As I've mentioned before in these newsletters, I was somewhat obsessed with the film growing up. My family recorded it onto a VCR and I used to watch the film regularly from a very young age.

The idea of amateurs running a railway and people becoming drivers and fireman alongside rescuing historic locomotives and coming out on top against the odds really appealed to me. Although I had been visiting heritage railways with my family, I was too young to appreciate that all the people I saw and met had “real” jobs and were doing it as a hobby.

Fast forward just over a decade (with an awful lot of railway visits and lots of trainsets later) and I found I could volunteer on a heritage railway. I got involved with the Kent & East Sussex Railway, working on the platforms and as a Travelling Ticket Inspector.

With a move to university to study jazz (RICHARD: Nice...) the opportunity presented itself to get involved with the Middleton Railway. Here, I launched my footplate career, passing out as a fireman and, eventually, a driver.
Who would have thought it?! Jason photographs Andy and Richard discussing '16XX' No. 1638 outside the KESR's Rolvenden carriage shed on May 28th 2019. The seed of Rapido Trains UK was sown some six months later!
Whilst living in Yorkshire, I also got involved with Tornado and main line operations, which subsequently led to involvement with the new P2 project. Fate took a funny turn, and I took a job at the National Railway Museum before eventually moving back to Kent and working as a paid employee on the KESR.

Bizarrely, this is where I met Jason and Richard for the first time as I organised a visit to allow them to take photographs of '16XX' No. 1638 for the Rapido/Model Rail model. Who would have thought then that we would all be working together one day?

The heritage railway world has led to so many great experiences and achievements. I wouldn’t even have met my wife if I hadn’t been at the Mid-Hants Railway looking after Tornado one October morning!

I owe a lot to that one film.
The first engineering samples of our Titfield Thunderbolt train pack coasts along next to the stream ready to stop at the water column on our Titfield inspired layout.
I have always wanted to make a proper model of Thunderbolt. I have built the K’s kit and even a 3D printed kit and none of them has quite cut it for me.

It was, therefore, one of the first ideas I put forward when I joined Rapido Trains UK although it was met with “what’s that?” from Jason.

Fast forward another 18 months and here we are shooting our latest Rapido videos with the first running samples.

Here's hoping we inspire people to do something different with their model making!
For a somewhat impromptu newsletter, that didn't actually turn out too badly, did it?

We'll be back to our usual end of the month slot next time.

Until then, all the best!


Richard Foster
Sales & Marketing Manager
Rapido Trains UK
You can write to us at Rapido Trains UK, Unit 3, Clinton Business Centre, Lodge Road, Staplehurst, Kent TN12 0QF. Alternatively, you can call us on 03304 609496 or you can
e-mail us at customerservice@rapidotrains.co.uk
THE TITFIELD THUNDERBOLT™ is a trade mark of Studiocanal Films Ltd. and is used under licence from Studiocanal Films Ltd.