Rapido Trains reveals its first LNWR wagon

01 November 2023
Rapido Trains UK has announced its first LNWR wagon, the OO Gauge LNWR D88 Covered Van.

The Rapido Trains UK D88 van has been designed using a combination of archival materials, works drawings, and an onsite survey at Chatham. 

A number of variations within the range will be available, including alternate designs representing wooden or iron roofs, square or incurved headstocks, 1-rib, 2-rib, or 3-bolt buffers, unfitted or through-piped, cupboard doors with both horizontal and vertical planking, flat and bulbous axle boxes, split-spoke or solid wheels in brass bearings for smooth, and free running and NEM coupling mounts. These will be finished in a variety of liveries covering the wagon's lengthy history.

Engineering prototypes have arrived and Rapido has stated it is extremely pleased with the progress made so far. 

Priced at £32.95 and due to arrive before the end of the year. The new models are available to order now from Rapido stockists and directly on its website. 

Liveries available

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  • SKU 945001: LNWR (13535, unlettered, diamonds, single stripe)
  • SKU 945002: LNWR (12655, 1923, lettered)
  • SKU 945003: LNWR (31132, lettered)
  • SKU 945004: LMS large letters (255355)
  • SKU 945005: LMS Large Letters (249150, white square)
  • SKU 945006: LMS Large Letters (276164)
  • SKU 945007: LMS Small Letters (235457)
  • SKU 945008: LMS Small Letters (210101)
  • SKU 945009: LMS Small Letters (252325)
  • SKU 945010: BR (M227142)
  • SKU 945011: BR (M244352)
  • SKU 945012: BR (M252456)
  • SKU 945013: BR Departmental (020428, C&W Wolverton)
  • SKU 945014: BR Departmental (264998)
  • SKU 945015: Internal user docks (510, preserved)
  • SKU 945016: Army 47444 (WD498)
  • SKU 945017: WD 47877 (Beamish, as preserved)

A brief history

In 1908, the LNWR introduced a new covered goods van – the Diagram 88. This design became the LNWR standard van design from their introduction right up until the grouping with over 6000 examples constructed.

The van’s lineage can be traced back to earlier diagrams and was in essence an updated version of the D87 vans that preceded it. In 1904 the Goods Conference decreed that new covered vans should be built to certain dimensions, including a length of 21’ over buffers, an 8ft width, a wheelbase of 9’9” and be able to carry 8 tons. The D88 vans incorporated all these features but were uprated to carry 10 tons. This was an improvement over the 19’ long 9’ wheelbase vans that formed D87.

Like previous LNWR vans, the D88 incorporated a set of 5ft wide horizontally-planked cupboard doors with a fall door below making access into platforms and goods loading facilities easier. Under LMS ownership, the doors were often replaced by vertically-planked alternatives.

Many of the vans were built at the LNWRs Earlestown works, however, a number were also built by outside contractors. During the building process, a number of changes were seen including the use of several different buffer designs, different styles of headstocks, as-built wooden and later 1910-style iron roofs, flat fronted and bulbous axle boxes, and both split spoke and plain spoked wheelsets. Various batches of the wagons were unfitted, through-piped, or fitted with vacuum brakes.

The wagons had a long service life with large numbers surviving into British Railways ownership and lasting into the early 1960s. Many were also pressed into Departmental service in various locations, whilst others were sold off into private use, which included the Army and Navy.

Several vehicles have been preserved including at the National Railway Museum, Severn Valley Railway and Chatham’s Historic Dockyard.


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