The Rail

Production

Matsumoku, late 1984 to 1986

Description

Reviewed in Guitarist magazine, November 1984. RRP then was £240

Appears in the Jan 1985 US pricelist at $499.50 including gig bag. The Sept 1985 pricelist shows it as available in 3 colours (Black, red or white), the August 1986 pricelist shows an increase to $529.50 for the black version or $565 for red or white. The Rail does not appear in the April 1987 pricelist

The rails are uncoated steel on black models, red and white ones had black rails.

The Rail used the same custom gigbag as the Quantum.

Specs

Info from the 1985/86 misc catalogue:

  • Hard Maple neck and body (If you can call it a body)
  • tuned steel rails join the two body sections
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • graphite nut32.25 inch scale
  • 24 frets
  • Magnaflux RB pickup
  • single volume control
  • no tone control: changes in tone are achieved by sliding the pickup along the rails
Thanks to Kevin Bailey for additional information on the differences between his ’84 black and ’85 red Rail basses, and pictures of his red Rail bass
  • The ’85 Rail has rubber end stops at each end of the rails, the 84 one only has them at the bridge end
  • The neck pocket is shallower
  • The ’85 bridge heel has two fewer carves than the ’84; the two corner  carves are gone
  • “The Rail” text is under the clearcoat on the ’85, whereas it is on top of  the clearcoat on the ’84
  • The dot inlays on the fretboard are still red, but the ones on the side are  now white
  • The heel at the top of the neck (where the serial number is) is smaller  on the 85 model
Update April 2015
Thanks to Forum member westbone for this mint example of a 1985 Rail  (click to enlarge):

'85 Westone Rail 3

'85 Westone Rail 1'85 Westone Rail 6'85 Westone Rail 2'85 Westone Rail 7'85 Westone Rail 5'85 Westone Rail 4