Banana vans promised for 'OO'

14 April 2023
Rapido Trains UK increases tooling suite on forthcoming GWR V14 and V16 vans for 4mm:1ft scale, alongside livery additions to its range.

Rapido Trains UK has revealed another batch of new models for 4mm:1ft scale / 'OO'. The manufacturer has expanded its tooling suite for its forthcoming GWR V14 and V16 vans, allowing it to manufacture models of the Y4 banana vans, models of which are expected to arrive early-2024, each carrying an RRP of £32.95.

Rapido Trains UK commented, "These models feature the correct end shutters, special doors and steam heating gear."

The origins of the ‘Y4’ date back to May 1918 when the order was given to turn 300 general purpose Dia. V16 ‘Mink A’ vans into insulated meat vans, given the new diagram number X6 and re-coded as ‘Mica A’. The conversion was a temporary measure and in 1922, work began to modify 258 of the ‘X6s’, this time into ‘Y4’ banana vans.

Rapido Trains UK GWR Mica A banana van

Models will feature new doors with locks and latches moved, plus spoked wheels running in metal bearings.

Meanwhile, a GWR 'Mica' Diagram X6 has also been added to complete the range. The new models are as follows:

  • (944029): Diagram X6 Mica A No. 95656, GWR grey (25in lettering) GWR Banana Van (Diagram Y4)
  • (944030): Diagram Y4 banana van No. 93405, GWR grey (16in lettering)
  • (944031): Diagram Y4 banana van No. 95249, GWR grey (16in lettering)
  • (944032): Diagram Y4 banana van No. 93566, GWR grey (16in lettering)
  • (944033): Diagram Y4 banana van No. 93563, GWR grey (post-1942 livery)
  • (944034): Diagram Y4 banana van No. 95665, GWR grey (post-1942 livery)
  • (944035): Diagram Y4 banana van No. W93525, BR bauxite
  • (944036): Diagram Y4 banana van No. W93370, BR bauxite

Rapido Trains UK GWR Mica A banana van

As per its previous releases, the UK-designed models are expected to have fine detailed plastic bodies and chassis, with metal parts.

Primarily working from Avonmouth docks, block trains of banana vans left for destinations like Paddington, Birmingham, Cardiff, Plymouth and Salisbury, where portions of the trains would have been divided. This meant that the vans could be seen over a large proportion of the Great Western network. Fitted with steam heating and a new adjustable end ventilator, these would ripen fruit in transit. The Y4s plied their trade into the BR steam era until the Avonmouth terminal closed in 1967.

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Rapido Trains UK GWR Mica A banana van

Vans are to be fitted with steam heating pipes, and NEM coupling pockets. End ventilators are to be modelled in the ‘closed’ position.

Further GWR opens and vans

Further additions to its recently-announced GWR opens and vans are as follows:

  • (944028): Diagram V17 No. 35601, WD grey
  • (943026): Diagram O11 No. 21110, WD grey
  • (944037): Type 4 No. 564, Rhymney Railway grey

New guises for Hunslet 16in 

Rapido Trains is also to increase its livery offering for its models of the Hunslet 16in for 'OO', commenting, "After many requests we will be producing another batch of 16in Hunslets later this year, featuring five more liveries, including the much-requested model of Beatrice as preserved."

Related: First Look: Rapido Trains UK Hunslet 16in 0-6-0ST

New liveries being applied to its 16in Hunslet tooling include:

  • (903013): Beatrice, lined green, No. 2705 (as preserved at Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway)
  • (903014): Clement, NCB Brodsworth Colliery black with yellow stripes, No. 1983
  • (903015): Glasshoughton No. 4, Glasshoughton Colliery lined green, stovepipe chimney, No. 3855
  • (903016): John Shaw, NCB South Kirby Colliery lined green, No. 2375
  • (903017): Primrose No. 2, NCB red with stovepipe chimney, No. 3715 (as preserved at Embsay in the 1970s)

For further details, pricing and availability, visit the Rapido Trains UK website, or consult your local stockist.


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