Rails Dynamometer Car

05 February 2019
main-75790.jpg The stunning Dynamometer car by Rails of Sheffield.
A high-specification model through Rapido Trains of the NER Dynamometer Car, as preserved in the National Railway Museum.
Rails Dynamometer Car Images


Manufacturer: Rapido Trains Inc. for Rails of Sheffield

Catalogue Refs:

Dynamometer V1 – 1938 Mallard speed record

Dynamometer V2 – 1948 Locomotive Exchange Trials

RRP: £125.00

Gauge/scale: 16.5mm gauge, 1:76 scale OO

Era: 2 to 4 plus preservation

Company/Operator: NER, LNER, BR(E)

Weight: 138g

Body and chassis: Plastic

Minimum Curve Radius: 438mm (R2)

Wheel Profile: RP25

Couplings: Tension lock


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Marking the 126mph world steam speed record set by ‘Mallard’ on 03 July 1938, Rails of Sheffield has commissioned a high-specification model through Rapido Trains of the NER Dynamometer Car, as preserved in the National Railway Museum. The model is produced in two variations, one numbered as LNER 23591 and a second, as per our review sample, as No. 905202, which played an integral part in the locomotive exchange trials of 1948.

We believe this to be one of the most stunning OO gauge carriages ever produced. Here are 4 reasons why.

  1. Livery

The first impression of the model is of a quality finish, with a rich variety of tones to the teak finish. In extreme close-up it can be seen how this superb finish was achieved, with microscopic dots of varying size and density over a base colour giving a seemingly infinite degree of variation. The overall effect is of an aged teak rather than an ex-works finish, as seen in photographs of the time. We think this is the best factory-produced interpretation of a teak carriage on the market.

side view Rails Dynamometer Car

  1. Exterior Details

The detail is sublime, with acid-etched glazing panels in the clerestory roof windows, separate parts for all handrails and handles, and the best representation of corridor connectors we have seen. The ends of the carriage bristle with detail, including etched-brass window protection grilles. The Indian Red finish to the solebars brings out the rivet and bolt-head detail and the underside captures all of the equipment boxes, braking gear, conduits and piping. One of the most significant features of the model is the measuring wheel picked out in pale colours with a brass-coloured axlebox.

Rails dynamometer exterior

  1. Interior Details

The interior is easily visible on this model. Therefore, it was important for the team at Rapido to represent the working office environment. They have done so with desks, tables with the addition of dials and gauges picked out in white on the dividing walls. Bench seats are also fitted to the saloon end and there’s even a W.C. in the cubicle!

Rails dynamometer internal

  1. Lighting

The model features interior LED lighting, although with added innovation. A magnetic wand is supplied to turn the lights on and off (without the need for DCC) whilst the model is on the tracks There is no need to physically touch the model just simply wipe the wand above the centre of the roof to use it.

rails dynamometer lights

A quick check of the parts list shows that the model comprises of 230 separate elements, and we wonder how much more detailed a factory-produced item can become. For now, the model sits at the top of the quality league for a ready-to-run carriage and Rails of Sheffield is to be applauded for commissioning this.


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