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4 hours ago, mdvle said:

 

Wonder if people would be willing to spend the money on what would be an expensive project given the extensive tooling?

 

There might well be a market, but would anyone be willing to take the risk.


It’s been often discussed on here and there is probably a market for a limited range of carriages, rather than a full rake.

 

Whatever direction they take, I wish Rapido well with their venture.

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GWR Toplight coaches would be a good choice - especially if done to the standards that Rapido have set with their Canadian passenger cars. Some Toplight's lasted well into BR days and carried carmine & cream livery. Also, producing a whole rake could be avoided as GWR trains were often an incredibly random mix of vehicles. To start with, how about a Toplight Slip Coach or a Toplight Restaurant Car, both types which lasted in front-line service into the 1950s and ran with Collett and BR Mk1 stock? (CJL)

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12 hours ago, dibber25 said:

GWR Toplight coaches would be a good choice - especially if done to the standards that Rapido have set with their Canadian passenger cars. Some Toplight's lasted well into BR days and carried carmine & cream livery. Also, producing a whole rake could be avoided as GWR trains were often an incredibly random mix of vehicles. To start with, how about a Toplight Slip Coach or a Toplight Restaurant Car, both types which lasted in front-line service into the 1950s and ran with Collett and BR Mk1 stock? (CJL)

There is however a huge problem with Toplights - which has put off at least one manufacturer in the past.  The first question is which of the many variants to go for  and the next question is once you've decided the answer to the first what condition do you model them in considering the amount of bodywork modification and repair they received over the years.  The latter makes it very difficult, even with slides in the tooling, to produce something which accurately suits all the eras through which these vehicles ran and it is probably not unreasonable to expect that this would impact sales prospects.

 

Incidentally - and I'm not sure if it is still about on RMweb - some years back Neal Ball ran a questionnaire about which Toplight vehicles people would prefer and be likely to buy and the individual preferences were almost as diverse as the longish list of vehicle types that were offered for consideration.  I suspect there are some far simpler, relatively long lived, GWR passenger vehicles from the Collett era which would be a much simpler proposition and would selll equally wel  igf not better than Toplights.

 

Finally by way of a rather offbeat illustration I've linked below a photo by Brian Daniels of the last Toplight vehicle to remain in BR service in what I think was its final form.  Yes it had become a specialist vehicle but it could be seen in this condition on the GWR/WR from the late late 1920s  onwards and for many years often at the rear of express passenger trains.  Yes, it really was a Toplight coach ;)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/brianews/5837099490/

 

Here is a much earlier picture of the same vehicle 

https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/misc/misc_equip243.htm

 

 

Edited by The Stationmaster
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Well the running joke on here for years was 'The Fell' and we've been asked to put our money where our mouths are on that, so a limited range of Toplights perhaps is no longer the impossible task it once appeared.

 

All Rapido, like others have done, is ask for expressions of interest in a proposal (rather than ask us what we want) and then see if that converts to cold hard currency.

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On 15/10/2020 at 15:31, rapidoandy said:

Thank you everyone for the comments.


We are indeed having a bit of fun sorting a bank account here. Nova Scotian has hit the nail on the head, it would be a lot simpler if we could physically get people over here to do it. 

 

Exciting times ahead!

 

Thanks

 

Andy

 

 

 

Sorry I've only just spotted this thread. Congratulations Andy, look forward to seeing the new products from Rapido when they arrive.

 

Regarding the Bank Account- my wife has just opened a business Bank account with Starling - they're rated highly for customer service, are covered by the FSA (so you are protected if they go bust), and she was able to open one without having to physically present herself anywhere. Might be worth a look, if thats still an issue.

 

 

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1 hour ago, The Stationmaster said:

There is however a huge problem with Toplights - which has put off at least one manufacturer in the past.  The first question is which of the many variants to go for  and the next question is once you've decided the answer to the first what condition do you model them in considering the amount of bodywork modification and repair they received over the years.  The latter makes it very difficult, even with slides in the tooling, to produce something which accurately suits all the eras through which these vehicles ran and it is probably not unreasonable to expect that this would impact sales prospects.

 

Incidentally - and I'm not sure if it is still about on RMweb - some years back Neal Ball ran a questionnaire about which Toplight vehicles people would prefer and be likely to buy and the individual preferences were almost as diverse as the longish list of vehicle types that were offered for consideration.  I suspect there are some far simpler, relatively long lived, GWR passenger vehicles from the Collett era which would be a much simpler proposition and would selll equally wel  igf not better than Toplights.

 

Finally by way of a rather offbeat illustration I've linked below a photo by Brian Daniels of the last Toplight vehicle to remain in BR service in what I think was its final form.  Yes it had become a specialist vehicle but it could be seen in this condition on the GWR/WR from the late late 1920s  onwards and for many years often at the rear of express passenger trains.  Yes, it really was a Toplight coach ;)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/brianews/5837099490/

 

Here is a much earlier picture of the same vehicle 

https://www.warwickshirerailways.com/misc/misc_equip243.htm

 

 

On a personal basis, I'd rather have some different coaches even if some of the era-specific details were incorrect than yet more Collett-era vehicles. The 'Whitewash coach' would be a great idea as it was a one-off that you could run behind much more modern stock right into the blue and grey era - even if it was necessary to accept that some details wouldn't be correct for every era. In recent times I've carved up Hornby Hawksworths to make a slip composite and the dynamometer car. I'd be happy to have the odd Toplight to work on, even if the end result wasn't perfect. Here's my shot of the Whitewash coach at Swindon in the early 1960s in all-over carmine livery. I have a feeling this coach still exists somewhere? (CJL)

Whitewash coach.jpeg

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Modelling BR blue I'm obviously biased, but I can't agree that a first generation DMU would be too great a risk; Bachmann's Class 117 is a wonderful model and seems to be doing well (and will do even better when released in plain BR blue, please Mr Bachmann) and a Class 120 has been a long-standing wish list favourite, as is Class 116. Or if not keen to do a 3-car, there are still 2-car sets crying out to be modelled, eg Class 114. 

 

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I reckon you're all barking up the wrong tree, Rapido apart from a couple of commissions tend to do HO and N scale models, so clearly they will stick with what they know and do DMUs and coaches in N scale. :D

 

A set of Toplights in N, now that would be a surprise.

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1 hour ago, woodenhead said:

I reckon you're all barking up the wrong tree, Rapido apart from a couple of commissions tend to do HO and N scale models, so clearly they will stick with what they know and do DMUs and coaches in N scale. :D

 

So, Rapido tend to do 1:87 and 1:160, so you think they should stick to what they know and do some British DMUs and coaches in 1:160 :)

 

I suspect OO is far more likely, as then Jason and Bill could invoke rule 1 and run the stuff on their layouts when no one is watching (and as one can see in the newsletter linked above, Bill is in the process of building a large layout).

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6 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Incidentally - and I'm not sure if it is still about on RMweb - some years back Neal Ball ran a questionnaire about which Toplight vehicles people would prefer and be likely to buy and the individual preferences were almost as diverse as the longish list of vehicle types that were offered for consideration.

 

The poll, which clearly demonstrates why no one wants to touch the Toplights, can be found at

 

If anyone really wants to try and attempt to get someone to make Toplights they (or a small group perhaps) need to create a new poll where the variety of Toplights is looked at carefully and a subset is chosen for the ability to hopefully share tooling yet at the same time offer a variety of types to be useful in making up trains and thus sell reasonably well - and at a reasonable price given the tooling costs, not the unrealistically low price everyone chose in the above poll.

 

 

5 hours ago, woodenhead said:

All Rapido, like others have done, is ask for expressions of interest in a proposal (rather than ask us what we want) and then see if that converts to cold hard currency.

 

I think in the case of Toplights the EOI model could be too risky, I think the route that Rapido took with the Amtrak Turboliner would be necessary - announce the project as conditional on sufficient actual orders being placed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, mdvle said:

 

I think in the case of Toplights the EOI model could be too risky, I think the route that Rapido took with the Amtrak Turboliner would be necessary - announce the project as conditional on sufficient actual orders being placed.

 

I agree, I was thinking EOI on the chosen models followed by pre-ordering and only committing development once the threshold has been reached.

 

But it's all hypothetical as Rapido have neither announced nor even mentioned what UK models they are going to build beyond what is already known.

 

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2 hours ago, woodenhead said:

I reckon you're all barking up the wrong tree, Rapido apart from a couple of commissions tend to do HO and N scale models, so clearly they will stick with what they know and do DMUs and coaches in N scale. :D

 

A set of Toplights in N, now that would be a surprise.

Just a toplight restaurant coach i.e an H16 would blow me away. Manufactures seem to forget the existence of restaurant coaches in N.

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7 minutes ago, woodenhead said:

I agree, I was thinking EOI on the chosen models followed by pre-ordering and only committing development once the threshold has been reached.

 

The problem with that (in my opinion) is that the above linked poll shows that there is no consensus on what Toplights need to be made in model form, so the EOI as a form of poll is likely doomed to failure.

 

Instead someone with either the existing expertise or the appropriate reference materials at hand needs to go through the Toplights and consider which can be done with as much shared tooling as possible and come up with a "take it or leave it" selection of prototypes that can perhaps be done economically (likely for a new definition of affordable).

 

7 minutes ago, woodenhead said:

But it's all hypothetical as Rapido have neither announced nor even mentioned what UK models they are going to build beyond what is already known.

 

Absolutely hypothetical, and more of a general plan for anyone who wants to attempt the task.

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2 minutes ago, mdvle said:

 

The problem with that (in my opinion) is that the above linked poll shows that there is no consensus on what Toplights need to be made in model form, so the EOI as a form of poll is likely doomed to failure.

 

Instead someone with either the existing expertise or the appropriate reference materials at hand needs to go through the Toplights and consider which can be done with as much shared tooling as possible and come up with a "take it or leave it" selection of prototypes that can perhaps be done economically (likely for a new definition of affordable).

 

 

Absolutely hypothetical, and more of a general plan for anyone who wants to attempt the task.

Indeed even the EOI would have to be on the basis of take it or leave it, here are x coach variations that we believe on good authority are the best mix to offer.

 

But Rapido will probably just do a class 40 seeing as only Bachmann has those on their books at present, no Heljan or Accurascale versions to contend with.

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1 minute ago, Kris said:

Just a toplight restaurant coach i.e an H16 would blow me away. Manufactures seem to forget the existence of restaurant coaches in N.

 

Restaurant coaches are an interesting thing.

 

The problem (and this doesn't care about scale) is that there is limited demand for such equipment - while a typical modeller may want 10 regular coaches they will only want 1 restaurant car - and that causes problems in trying to justify the cost of tooling the item.

 

Which is why it has only been the last couple of years that Hornby has tested the market for restaurant cars in OO.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, woodenhead said:

But Rapido will probably just do a class 40 seeing as only Bachmann has those on their books at present, no Heljan or Accurascale versions to contend with.

 

One never knows what takes Jason's interest - and a lot / most of what Rapido does still depends on what Jason and the other employees are interested in - this is why everyone "knows" that eventually Rapido will make the MLW S13 because Jason needs it for his own layout.

 

So GWR would seem likely (Bill's interest, though he hasn't yet convinced Rapido to make anything for his favoured O&W in the US market), and anything that might have caught Jason's eye during his time in Birmingham or his visits since (I think he liked Virgin Trains, though that may not help much).

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1 minute ago, mdvle said:

 

Restaurant coaches are an interesting thing.

 

The problem (and this doesn't care about scale) is that there is limited demand for such equipment - while a typical modeller may want 10 regular coaches they will only want 1 restaurant car - and that causes problems in trying to justify the cost of tooling the item.

 

Which is why it has only been the last couple of years that Hornby has tested the market for restaurant cars in OO.

 

 

I agree that there is a limited demand, however saying we are only going to want one coach per train should not stop manufactures. Auto coaches have been produced and sell (I know these can and did run in multiples). 

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Toplight I think remains of interest although a lot has changed since 2017 when I launched the poll.

 

What it did at the time, was produce a debate about GWR carriages and what should be next. As Mike aka @The Stationmaster has said above, a manufacturer looked at it, but decided a full rake would be uneconomic.  

 

Wind forward to 2020/2021 and its just possible that someone like Rapido might be interested.... maybe two or three carriages. Something different might appeal to Jason and Bill.

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4 minutes ago, Neal Ball said:

Toplight I think remains of interest although a lot has changed since 2017 when I launched the poll.

 

What it did at the time, was produce a debate about GWR carriages and what should be next. As Mike aka @The Stationmaster has said above, a manufacturer looked at it, but decided a full rake would be uneconomic.  

 

Wind forward to 2020/2021 and its just possible that someone like Rapido might be interested.... maybe two or three carriages. Something different might appeal to Jason and Bill.

Without hijacking this thread, I’ve always thought Super Saloons are a good bet. Two body styles and every coach is named like a Pullman with multiple liveries. The disadvantage is they are limited to the Western and some may say they are very niche. If we can oddities like Dynamoneter cars and Observation Saloons why not these? 

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24 minutes ago, ndg910 said:

Without hijacking this thread, I’ve always thought Super Saloons are a good bet. Two body styles and every coach is named like a Pullman with multiple liveries. The disadvantage is they are limited to the Western and some may say they are very niche. If we can oddities like Dynamoneter cars and Observation Saloons why not these? 

 

Yes that would be good. 

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3 hours ago, toolongtoremember said:

Modern image is doing well in the UK at the moment, why not try something like a class 317?

 

Simple answer is unless someone changes Jason's mind he stated back in May(?) during a Facebook Live that the longer multiple units wouldn't happen because customers had unrealistic expectations on the price that would be required.

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6 hours ago, mdvle said:

 

One never knows what takes Jason's interest - and a lot / most of what Rapido does still depends on what Jason and the other employees are interested in - this is why everyone "knows" that eventually Rapido will make the MLW S13 because Jason needs it for his own layout.

 

So GWR would seem likely (Bill's interest, though he hasn't yet convinced Rapido to make anything for his favoured O&W in the US market), and anything that might have caught Jason's eye during his time in Birmingham or his visits since (I think he liked Virgin Trains, though that may not help much).


Well we know what Jason likes, we know what Bill likes, does anyone know what I like? (If they do please let me know).

 

Andy

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