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A Grand Day Out

This week we met up with Jason and Gareth from our manufacturing partners Rapido Trains who are visiting the UK.

Rapido’s Gareth Bayer with 34081 “92 Squadron” – a Battle of Britain class light Pacific designed by O.V.S Bulleid for the Southern Railway from 1945.

We spent a very pleasant day shuttling up and down the line between Wansford and Peterborough on the Nene Valley Railway in Cambridgeshire.

The railway offers a regular timetable of steam trains during the summer and Mk1 compartment coaches provided the perfect setting for our discussions.

As well as a very enjoyable catch-up and the chance to discuss some future possibilities, Rapido showed us the latest samples of the forthcoming KFA container flat.

Unpainted EP2 sample of the KFA. This version has VNH-1 bogies and the parking brake wheels mounted on the body.
KFA fitted with Revolution Trains/C-Rail 40′ hi-cube container in UASC livery and Graham Farish 20′ standard height container in Maersk Sealand grey.

What’s good for the real railway isn’t always good for small scale models, and the skeletal design of intermodal flats – designed to save weight and maximise the payload that can be carried – means that in N such models tend to be very light, and this can make them temperamental runners.

Our first EP samples were acceptable, but we asked Rapido to think outside the box and they have managed to increase the weight by around 25% by thickening up the underfloor metal chassis members and replacing the moulded plastic air tank and buffers with the same parts cast in metal – extra weight and no loss of detail.

Cast metal air tanks and buffers add around 1g to the weight of the wagon – that may not sound like much but it all adds up.

We continue to be impressed with Rapido’s enthusiasm and willingness to innovate.  This really justifies the faith both partners have shown in each other, and hopefully that you our supporters have shown in us.