Posts Tagged ‘Rapido Trains UK’

Rapido Trains UK first announced these 00 gauge ready to run South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) / Southern Railway wagons in May 2021 and they have now arrived at retailers.  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/Lynes steel underframe.

Graham asked:  “should this review be written in the style of a Rapido marketing email,?” but Muz replied: “Right! Stop that! It’s silly.” (with apologies to Monty Python).

A group of D1355, D1347 and D1349 wagons from Rapido

A post 1936 livery D1355 7 plank wagon, one of the wonky self contained buffers can be seen.

A pre 1936 livery D1347 5 plank with tapered buffers

The 5 plank D1349 with self-contained buffers

I will let the photographs show  how good these wagons are and provide a welcome addition to any SECR / SR modellers fleet. I have only purchased some of the SR versions, but SECR grey and BR Grey and BR Departmental versions are also available (see the original announcement here for the full list).
Some people, without a full understanding of the manufacturing process and where production and overheads costs lie, might crawl away at the RRP of £32.95; and whilst there might still be other manufacturer’s wagons currently available at a cheaper prices the realistic market prices are certainly changing as all costs rise. The models can of course be purchased from retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre at a slight discounted price.

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.

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 the self-contained buffer type, as on the 7 plank D1355 wagons, and became SR Diagram 1349. They were withdrawn in the early 1960s.

The well detailed underframe of these Rapido wagons

All three versions of the models, sharing the same underframe, have accurate body detail, including nicely planked insides and now becoming much more common on wagon releases good underframe detail that includes both etched and wire parts.  They also feature nice split spoked wheels on 26mm pin point axles that run in brass bearing cups, that along with a with a weight of 32/33g ensures very free running.

A 7 plank with the usual buffer incorrectly affixed

On my examples, as can be seen in the images,  a number of the self contained buffers were glued in at wonky angles, but being separately applied parts these can be carefully reaffixed.

An SR Brown comparison under the same lighting

The livery application is crisp and well printed. I know for a fact that Rapido have used the same paint colour reference for the SR brown as the Kernow Model Rail Centre used on their ex LSWR/SR D1541 Road Vans, although this appears to be a slightly lighter but still more than acceptable, interpretation of the colour possibly due to the more satin finish, (and even lighter with the lighting I have used in my studio), on these wagons.

The sheet rail parts for the D1355 7 plank wagon yet to be fitted (along with  another buffer to be reaffixed…)

Another group view of the D1355, D1347 and D1349 wagons

The tooling allows for both taped plain and the self-contained buffer types for the 5 plank wagons. To achieve the 7 plank versions fitted with the sheet rail, a pre shaped wire rail along with its moulded mounting brackets for each end of the wagon have been supplied as separate parts for the use to fit (glue) into position (instructions on fitting is included with each wagon).
The holes in the mounting brackets for the sheet rail will need to be opened out very slightly to ensure a good fit. The one slight downside is that the rail can only be positioned in the upright position, as it would be when a sheet was covering the wagon and not, without some modification, in the sideways stowed position when no sheet was fitted.

A comparison of the same brown… the 5 plank has been matt varnished

[Edit 20/05/22] To demonstrate the effect that the factory satin finsih has on the paint colour as mentioned above, the picture left shows a comparison with one of the Rapido wagons given a coat of Testors Dullcoat matt varnish and brings the colour much closer to the Kernow Model Rail Centre ex LSWR/SR D1541 Road Vans, and therefore looking much better.

The sensible choice of body and underframe combination by Rapido Trains UK provides SECR / SR modellers with three different wagon diagrams from one set of tooling and is an approach for choosing wagon types to produce that Rapido Trains UK are have also undertaken with their announcement in January of the ex SECR  Diagram 1426 covered van and the D1744 ballast wagon that also share a common underframe (hopefully with straight buffers…).

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Rapido Trains UK have announced today that they are producing two new ‘OO’ gauge South Eastern & Chatham Railway wagons, the Diagram 1426 van and the Dia. 1744 ballast wagon. These vans were introduced in 1918 and they lasted well into BR days, setting the standard for future Southern Railway vans. They shared the same 9ft 6in wheelbase with the five and seven plank open wagons that Rapido Trains UK announced in May last year.

D1426 van with straight gutters over the doors

The D1426 van with curved gutter strips

The Diagram 1426 covered van sports the following features: Two types of rain strip: curved and straight, separately-fitted end ventilators, split-spoked wheels running in metal bearings and highly detailed body and under frame.

There are eleven Diagram 1426 covered vans being produced:

  • 927001: No. 15782, SECR grey
  • 927002: No. 16737, SECR grey
  • 927003: No. 45784, SR brown (Pre 1936)
  • 927004: No. 47162, SR brown (Pre 1936)
  • 927005: No. 45779, SR brown (Post 1936)
  • 927006: No. 47159, SR brown (Post 1936)
  • 927007: No. S45819, BR grey
  • 927008: No. S47144, BR grey
  • 927009: No. DS47182, Departmental black
  • 927010: No. DS776, Departmental brown
  • 927011: No. 15750, SECR grey (preserved)

The D1744 2 plank Ballast wagon

The D1744 with the floor planks extending out from under the side doors.

The D1744 where the extended planks have been cut flush with the sides.

The SECR used the same underframe for the two-plank ballast wagon. It introduced the first in 1919 and 120 were built over the next four years. Incredibly, BR didn’t withdraw the last until 1971. The Diagram 1744 two plank ballast wagons feature: Two floor versions: curve-ended planks and straight-ended planks, split-spoked wheels running in metal bearings and highly detailed bodies and underframes.

There are eleven Diagram 1744 vans being produced:

  • 928001: No. 567, SECR grey (preserved)
  • 928002: No. 11835, SECR grey
  • 928003: No. 1789, SECR grey
  • 928004: No. 62454, SR red oxide (Pre 1936)
  • 928005: No. 62398, SR red oxide (Pre 1936)
  • 928006: No. 62371, SR red oxide (Post 1936)
  • 928007: No. 62466, SR red oxide (Post 1936)
  • 928008: No. 62444, BR Departmental
  • 928009: No. DS62402, BR Departmental black
  • 928010: No. S62433, SR red oxide with BR(S) number
  • 928011: No. S62388, BR Departmental black

These wagons are available from either Rapido Trains UK direct or discounted at official retailers such as Kernow Model Rail Centre here.

‘E1’ – it’s on!

A CAD render of the E1

Rapido Trains UK have also confirmed that they are going to produce the ‘OO’ gauge LBSCR ‘E1’ 0-6-0T, that was first mooted by Model Rail magazine. They have not yet confirmed what running numbers or liveries they are going to produce, although I am advised it will cover as number of variations throughout their lifetime and geographical working area, but I will post the details  as soon as further progress is advised.

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Model Rail Magazine originally announced their intention in collaboration with Rapido Trains to produce the ex LBSC E1 0-6-0t in 00 gauge back in June 2018 as reported here, they have now advised via their latest issue now arriving with subscribers, that they are to withdraw from this project.

E1 Class as currently on the Isle of Wight steam railway, masquerading as W2. Originally B110 and sold to industrial use in 1927

My friends at Rapido Trains UK have now embarked on a customer research programme to allow them to determine if / how they might take the project forward direct themselves. They have created an online poll that can be accessed here, therefore if you are keen to see a RTR ex LBSC E1 0-6-0t please complete the poll as the more responses they receive the more likely we are to see the E1 project continue.

By way of some background into the E1 Class; with the exception of the final six built in 1891 under the auspices of RJ Billinton with different boiler, dome and chimney known as E1s from new, the rest of the 80 strong class were originally introduced by William Stroudley from 1874 as the E Class. Essentially a larger goods version of the A1 Terrier 0-6-0t, using the same cylinders, motion and boilers as the D Class 0-4-2 passenger tanks. Later all the E Class were reclassified as E1s.

E1 class 2506 in post war ‘Sunshine’ black livery. Picture courtesy and copyright Mike Morant collection

Although most of the class worked on the Brighton section some were used in Southampton Docks, (hence my own interest as ideal for Canute Road Quay), and on the Isle of Wight. Ten members of the class were converted between 1927 and 1929 to become E1/R Class 0-6-2t with new cabs, extended bunkers and the addition of a Radial axle for use in the West Country.

Despite withdrawals starting as early as 1913 many passed into British Railways ownership with the last surviving to 1960. Four members of the class ended up being sold into industrial colliery use, including the one preserved example B110 now located on the Isle of Wight steam railway.

Please therefore help Rapido Trains UK with their customer research and complete the online poll here.

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This week saw Rapido Trains’ launching its new dedicated UK business to develop a range of British-outline model trains and road vehicles.

Rapido Trains will already be known to many as the quirky Canadian business that has already completed commissioned models into the UK market including the J70 tram engine for Model Rail Magazine along with the APT-E and Stirling Single for the National Railway Museum’s Locomotion models. The UK arm of Rapido Trains Inc. launched 1st December 2020 with six new UK models:

Although no models of a Southern or Southern Region origin have been announced with friend Andy Hardy as Operations Manager having a ‘suitable’ interests in the South East who knows for the future…

Their Sales and Marketing Manager will also be known to many as Richard Foster has joined the new company from being the Editor of Model Rail Magazine.

More details about Rapido Trains UK can be found on their website here.

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