Arnold-Rapido (Germany) & Arnold-Hornby (China) V200 / BR 220 / BR 221 / Am 4/4


0200 V200 001 DB0201 V200 001 DB
0201 V200 001 DB0202 V200 103 DB
0202 BR 220 103-6 DB2020 BR 220 103-6 DB
2022 BR 221 148-0 DB82022 BR 221 151-0 DB
2023/82023 BR 221 151-4 DB2023/82023 BR 221 151-0 DB
2023 V200 005 DB2021 BR 220 Europa DB
2024 BR 220 011-1 DB2019 V200 002 DB
2025/82025 V200 001 DB2026/82028 Am 4/4 18462 SBB
2027 AM 4/4 18463 SBB2029 FP 220 045-9
HN2102 200 001 DBHN2135 BR 220 004-6 DB

Catalog #IntroducedTypeCountryRailwayEra
02001961-62V200 001 DBGermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)3
02011963-65V200 001 DBGermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)3
02021966-72V200 103 DBGermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)3
02021973-74BR 220 103-6 DBGermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)4
20201975-76BR 220 103-6 DBGermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)4
20221975-96BR 221 148-0 DB (Simplex Coupling)GermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)4
820221990-96BR 221 151-0 DB (Decoder-Equipped + Simplex)GermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)4
20231977-87BR 221 151-4 DBGermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)4
20231988-93BR 221 151-0 DBGermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)4
20231990V200 005 DBGermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)3
820231988BR 221 151-4 DB (Decoder-Equipped)GermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)4
820231989-93BR 221 151-0 DB (Decoder-Equipped)GermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)4
20211992BR 220 Europa DB (Idee & Spiel Limited Edition)GermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)5
20241983-85BR 220 011-1 DBGermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)4
20191990-92V200 002 DBGermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)3
20251987-93V200 001 DBGermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)3
820251988-92V200 001 DB (Decoder-Equipped)GermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)3
20261988-90Am 4/4 18462 SBBSwitzerlandSwiss Federal Railways (SBB)3
820281988-90Am 4/4 18462 SBB (Decoder-Equipped)SwitzerlandSwiss Federal Railways (SBB)3
20271988-91Am 4/4 18463 SBB (Simplex Coupling)SwitzerlandSwiss Federal Railways (SBB)3
20291989-89FP 220 045-9ItalyFerovie Padane (FP)4
Hornby HN21022010V200 001 DBGermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)3
Hornby HN21352011BR 220 004-6 DBGermanyGerman Federal Railways / German Railway Corporation (DB)4

Arnold's first V200 dates all the way back to the very beginnings of N scale (or at least N gauge, as Arnold's early "Rapido 200" line of models was actually 1:200 scale and not 1:160). The same basic chassis/mechanism was used in all of Arnold's early (pre-1966) diesel and electric locomotives (V200, F9, Re 4/4 and Baldwin Switcher) -

Couplers on these early models evolved fairly rapidly. The very earliest models had simple "bent hook" style couplers, but these were quickly superceded by the now famous Rapido coupler. The original version of the Rapido coupler had a tall vertical post (for whatever purpose that might have served), but by the mid-60's the post was gone and the couplers achieved their familiar look.

The shells on these early models are simple and toyish, and the performance characteristics are terrible. All eight wheels provide pick-up, but only four of them actually propel the model. They're extremely loud, they go very fast, and they have a nasty tendancy to hop the rails whenever they feel like it. Worse still, the wheel flanges are beyond huge, so traversing any kind of turnout is a virtual impossibility. So, yeah, basically of interest to collectors and N scale historians, but not much more than that.

These models were completely redesigned circa 1966 (designated "Series 1"). And although I have never owned any of them myself, the internal design was very similar to Arnold's USA-prototyope FP9 model (which I have owned). In fact, the V200 was actually the FP9's director ancestor, as the two share many of the same parts -

This is a very solid design in all respects. All wheels are geared and provide pickup. Throttle response is very smooth and slow speed creep is excellent. The all-metal chassis provides plenty of heft and pulling power. Internally, nothing is soldered. And although a couple of wires serve to move current around, they are quite stiff and not connected to any moving parts. The motor is an enclosed "can" job (and presumably a 3-poler). On the downside, all of the gearing is metal. Consequently, these things are extremely loud (and I mean barbershop razor loud).

These models were completely redesigned yet again circa 1975 -

This more complex design allowed for the (eventual) installation of DCC decoders (starting in the late 80's). Arnold's "Simplex" uncoupling system was also a feature available on these models.

I've never owned a Simplex-equipped models myself, but apparently what you do is back up the engine "a certain way", which then causes a metal wire to raise the coupler and decouple it from whatever it's pulling. The system is driven by slotted plastic pullies (one on each end axle). The aforementioned trip wires slot into the pullies, and moving the locomotive that "certain way" moves the wire from one slot to another. Et voilą, uncoupling ensues.

Check out youtube if you'd like to see Simplex in action (there are numerous videos). Take it all with a grain of salt, though. Like Micro-Trains automatic uncoupling, it is apparently not as easy or as foolproof as it looks in the videos (which probably explains why it never really caught on).

AFAIK, these models remained essentially the same up until Arnold's demise in the late 90's. All-new versions of these models were eventually released in 2010 under the Arnold-Hornby banner (strictly Hornby products, but with the "Arnold" tag serving to identify them as N scale). I have never owned one of these, but features include an NEM 651 DCC interface, a 5-pole motor and directional lighting,

Prototype -

Introduced in 1953, the Class V200.0 (later BR 220) was a first series production diesel-hydraulic express locomotive of the German Deutsche Bundesbahn (and, as "Am 4/4", of the SBB-CFF-FFS in Switzerland). The V200 initially hauled express passenger trains, but following the electrification of many main lines, it was increasingly used for commuter and freight trains. Starting in 1962, the V200.0 was superceded by the more powerful DB Class V200.1 (later BR 221). The last V200 was retured from DB service in 1984.

Grades: D (for the first version), B (for the second version) and "Incomplete" for the rest



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