18 Jul Jason & Gareth’s Brilliant British Adventure: 3

Rapido UK Blog / July 18, 2017

Jason & Gareth’s Brilliant British Adventure: 3
Exploring Rails of Sheffield

By Gareth Bayer

Follow Jason & Gareth’s Brilliant British Adventure from start to finish:

1 – Launching the first British Rapido bus
2 – Driving the Sandtoft Trollies
3 – Exploring Rails of Sheffield
4 – A hard day’s work with Revolution Trains
5 – A day at the seaside with Railway Modeller

Having spent two relaxing evenings at Epworth in the care of Lord Graham Wilson it was time to make the short hop to South Yorkshire to meet the team at Rails of Sheffield.

We visited Rails earlier in the year to chat business and the fruits of this conversation are already starting to be seen.

The biggest news to come of that was at the York Model Railway Exhibition in April with the announcement of the OO gauge NER/LNER Dynomometer Car project under the new Rails Limited brand.

We’ve also joined forces with Rails of Sheffield to distribute our existing range of North American N and HO models in the UK as well as our new range of British OO gauge models.

The first example of the latter will be the Birmingham City Transport Guy Arab IV bus announced last Sunday, but there is a good chance that we’ll be revealing something else at Warley 2017, with some bigger news in mid-2018.

Our hosts for our day’s tomfoolery at Rails sprawling premises were Adam and Oliver Davies and we had a blast.

While January’s trip was about laying the groundwork for our new relationship, this jolly was mostly just to say hello and record a new video to be released over the next couple of weeks.

Adam and Oliver kindly gave us the run of the place and allowed us to film anywhere we liked.

We love visiting Rails. At the front of the shop you have a traditional model railway shop with loads of racks and display cases full of locomotives, rolling stock, detail parts, scenic accessories, and almost anything you’ll need to complete a model railway.

Out the back though is where Rails really amazes… The storage room immediately behind the storefront is understandable enough.

However the rest of Rails is collection of former houses, flats, industrial units and, even, sheds, that have been pressed into use for storage.

Much of it is brand new stock. As well as railways this includes Scalextrix and buses… lots of buses!

Even the toilet is now used for storage.

If you’re quick you can even buy Rapido’s new HO GMD-1 locomotive from Rails. This is the cool one with the stripes! These are new in and a basically out of stock already pretty much across North America.

Buy him now! He’s a little loud but is cheap to keep happy, only requiring a new British bus book every couple of weeks.

More stock…

The packing room, where the lovely ladies ship out all your orders. We’ve been very impressed with their speedy service when they send us stuff to Canada.

Did we mention we were making the OO gauge NER/LNER Dynomometer Car for Rails Limited? This is the first of what we hope will be an exciting range of exclusive models. Rails might even announce a second project with us later this year! Don’t hold us to that though.

Do you remember Battlespace? This is part of a new archive of models that has just come into Rails’ possesion. Look out for some of these items on Rail’s eBay site over the next few months.

50 years ago this was Tri-ang’s best effort at serving the North American market. We are loathe to call that an F unit! Rapido has made accurate Canadian versions of all four of these models over the last ten years.

Really, Canadian National green on that… thanks Rivarossi.

After the tour of what seemed like hundreds of small rooms stuffed full of models, books and PC and photography/workstations it was time for lunch-supper (lupper) at a nearby vegetarian restaurant with Rails boss John Barber. They all heartily recommend the “rib eye” burger!

Then it was off to a tiny village near Peterborough, for the next stage of our journey.

We stayed at Castle Farm guesthouse in Fotheringhay. A very nice way to spend a couple of evenings.

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