26 November 2022
"Our new ‘B-Set’ coaches really needed a locomotive to go with them", says the manufacturer's Richard Foster, as three variants of 2-6-2T announced.
Rapido Trains UK has announced a new range of GWR ‘Small Prairies’ for 4mm:1ft scale / OO gauge. Design work is underway and Rapido aims to include key changes made to the ‘Small Prairies’ throughout their lives as well as many smaller detail differences.
The manufacturer aims to produce 45XXs, 4575s and a 44XX too, which has never been produced ready-to-run before.
Though a release date and prices are TBC owing to on-going design work, models are promised a Next18 decoder socket, factory-fitted sound speaker and firebox flicker. Rapido UK would like to thank Mark Sealey from Peak Rail, the Waterman Heritage Trust and Kenny Felstead for their help in developing this range of models.
Sales & Marketing Manager Richard Foster said, “We’re delighted to add the ‘Small Prairie’ family to our range. Having decided to produce the ‘B-Set’, we needed a locomotive to pull them. And what better choice is there than the ‘Small Prairie’?
A CAD image of the manufacturer's forthcoming 'B-set' coaches for OO scale.
The ‘Small Prairie’ story started in 1904 when prototype No. 115 was built. It was designed for branch line working and was so successful that ten more were built in 1905/1906. They became the ‘44XX’ class. The ‘44XXs’ were hampered by their 4ft 1 1/2in diameter driving wheels. Larger 4ft 7 1/2in diameter driving wheels were fitted from 1906 and this became the famous ‘45XX’ class.
Churchward’s successor, Charles Collett, made changes to the design, the most noticeable being the larger tanks fitted to the final 100, built in 1927-1929. These became the ‘4575’ class. The ‘Small Prairie’ family was a success story, and the locomotives worked all over the GWR network and almost lasted until the end of Western Region steam, the last being withdrawn in December, 1964.