Rapido have been testing the third iteration of the Pendolino couplers, and have sent this video of a full 11-car train in operation. The couplers have passed all the tests, and the sample is being sent to us for examination, checking and approval.
The couplers have been designed to transfer power along the train, they feature close-coupling pivots and are simple to clip together as no one wants to be coupling up an 11-car train on its side then trying to rotate it onto the track.
The first versions worked but were too flimsy; the next iteration was robust enough but had a tendency to rotate to the side on corners; this did not cause derailments or uncouplings but was a flaw. This version appears to have solved all these issues.
This test was carried out on Kato first and second radius Unitrack with #4 turnouts.
The coaches have been fitted with our after-market lighting units; this is to check for “flicker” and ensure that the power is running throughout the train, as it should. On the production samples the table lamps in first work, but the standard class cabins are unlit.
Once we have tested and approved the mechanical operation of the model we will check painted samples and then we anticipate moving quickly to production in Rapido’s new factory.
How to order
You can still order a Pendolino for a very limited period of time (we will close the order book as soon as we have approved the sample for production ie in the next few weeks) from our online shop.