“The Titfield Thunderbolt” 70th anniversary set to be celebrated with new train models

Rapido Trains UK is releasing a range of The Titfield Thunderbolt models in early 2023, inspired by the Ealing Comedy of the same name.

The range is now available for pre-order.

Five new 1:76 scale models, offered in three packs, will be available in time to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the film’s release in 2023. The company says they will be the most accurate The Titfield Thunderbolt models ever produced and are being developed with full co-operation of STUDIOCANAL, which owns the rights to this seminal railway film.

The Titfield Thunderbolt tells the story of group of villagers determined to save their branch line after British Railways announces its closure. When a rival bus company sabotages the newly acquired train prior to an official inspection, the villagers resurrect the line’s first locomotive, Thunderbolt, and, against great odds, obtain permission to keep their line open.

The story was inspired by the group of enthusiasts, led by Tom Rolt, who took over the 2ft 3in gauge Talyllyn Railway in 1951 and thus kick-started the railway preservation movement. The film was the first of Ealing Studios’ famous ‘Ealing comedies’ to be filmed in colour and released in March 1953.

The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953) original hand painted artwork for the UK film poster of the Ealing classic starring Stanley Holloway, on board, 31 x 54 cm. From the W. E. Berry collection, this was sold at auction by Ewbank’s in 2020 for £1900

Rapido Trains UK has the exclusive right under contract from STUDIOCANAL, which owns all rights in The Titfield Thunderbolt, to replicate the locomotives, rolling stock and accessories as used in the film.

“Ours is the only current range of models inspired by this classic Ealing Comedy to be officially licensed from STUDIOCANAL,” the company says in a statement, responding to reports another manufacturer is set to launch a rival range.

Designs for the new Rapido Trains models

“Our Product Development teams both in the UK and in China have worked hard throughout 2021 to ensure that our models are the definitive The Titfield Thunderbolt models produced in 1:76 scale.

“We’re sure that you won’t be disappointed when you add a Rapido Trains UK The Titfield Thunderbolt model to your collection.”

All models will be in stock by 6th March 2023, the 70th anniversary of the film’s release, although it is expected that some models will be available during 2022.

The Titfield Thunderbolt Collection exclusively to pre-order now from Rapido Trains UK

The Titfield Thunderbolt is available on DVD (AmazonUK Affiliate Link)

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

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