Rapido Trains UK have announced their first 00 gauge ready to run South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) / Southern Railway wagons. These new models cover the Diagram 1355 seven-plank open and both the Diagram 1347 and Diagram 1349 five-plank opens built by the South Eastern & Chatham Railway on the same Maunsell/Lyons steel underframe.
The 7 plank open, later SR Diagram 1355, were the SECR’s most numerous wagon with 2,121 wagons built between 1915 and 1927. The SR later fitted a sheet rail. British Railways had over 70 wagons still in service in the 1960s and the last withdrawals were not until the 1970s. Several were sold into private usage, including the Port of Bristol Authority. Three of these wagons are preserved on the Bluebell Railway.
The 5 plank opens utilised the same steel chassis as the 7 plank wagons, 550 were built between 1920 and 1925 with standard buffers that became SR Diagram 1347. A further 150 were built 1921/2 with self contained buffers and became SR Diagram 1349. There were withdrawn in the early 1960s. Two D1347 wagons are preserved, with one at the Bluebell Railway and the other at the Severn Valley Railway.
The model tooling allows for variations to be produced including the 7 plank open with or without sheet rails and the two different buffer styles on the 5 plank versions. They will include high levels of body and underframe detail, metal stamped parts, metal bearing cups and NEM coupler pockets.
The initial versions being produced are as follows:
Diagram 1355 7 plank open
- 907001: No.12221, SECR Grey
- 907002: No.16194, SECR Grey
- 907003: No.14997, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
- 907004: No.16227, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
- 907005: No.28666, SR Brown (Post-1936)
- 907006: No.28860, SR Brown (Post-1936)
- 907007: No.S16510, SR Brown (with BR markings)
- 907008: No.S28951, SR Brown (with BR markings)
- 907009: No.S28662, BR Grey
- 9070010: No.S28942, BR Grey
- 9070011: No.DS28635, BR Gulf Red (S&T Dept)
Diagram 1347 5 plank open
- 906001: No.9601, SECR Grey
- 906002: No.12522, SECR Grey
- 906003: No.14131, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
- 906004: No.14632, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
- 906005: No.14283, SR Brown (Post-1936)
- 906006: No.19081, SR Brown (Post-1936)
- 906007: No.S14271, SR Brown (with BR markings)
- 906008: No.S19220, BR Grey
- 906009: No.S19228, BR Grey
- 906010: No.DS14157, Engineers Black
Diagram 1349 5 plank open
- 906011: No.10789, SECR Grey
- 906012: No.10660, SECR Grey
- 906013: No.14621, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
- 906014: No.14707, SR Brown (Pre-1936)
- 906015: No.14599, SR Brown (Post-1936)
- 906016: No.14678, SR Brown (Post-1936)
- 906017: No.S14590, SR Brown (with BR markings)
- 906018: No.S14571, BR Grey
- 906019: No.S14708, BR Grey
My friends, Andy and Richard at Rapido Trains UK advised: “that it their long-term aspiration to undertake some manufacturing in UK. Having a UK design team is the first step towards that. These wagons have been researched and designed 100% in the UK. All we’ve done is to send the completed CADs to our factory in China for manufacturing. We have a number of wagon projects that our UK designers are working on and we’ll announce these shortly. As the business grows and our range increases in size, we’re hopeful that more and more rolling stock projects will be designed in this country.”
Both the five and seven-plank wagons are available to order now (RRP £32.95 each) and the order book closes on September 1st 2021. They can be pre-ordered from Kernow Model Rail Centre here.
These wagons will certainly be an great addition to the fleet for both pre-grouping, Southern Railway and Southern Region modellers alike.