Since Rapido Trains UK started we have been asked to produce a small industrial locomotive suitable for industrial and light railway use. With Andy’s interest in such things, we didn’t need asking twice.

Fifteen years ago, our General Manager Andy passed his steam loco driving test on “Matthew Murray”, an ‘L’ Class built by Manning Wardle in 1903 and residing on the Middleton Railway – a stone’s throw from its birthplace. The railway is also home to a sister L class “Sir Berkeley”. This type has never appeared in OO gauge in any form so it’s no surprise that we opted to produce this model.

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The ‘L’ class were dainty and attractive little locomotives with double-bossed wheels and a variety of bolt-on options the purchaser could add. The resulting engines were unmistakably Manning Wardle.

Our model is in the final design stages and will feature a number of tooling variants to allow for open and closed cabs, different pipework layouts, different frame styles and different wheels among others.

We are currently finalising the design and until then will keep the planned list of liveries, physical specification and prices close to our chest. Thanks to the Middleton Railway we have already recorded everything we need for our ‘L’ class sound file using recently overhauled “Sir Berkeley”. Sign up to our newsletter HERE to find out all the latest news as the project progresses.

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