Dear Rapido Customer,
Western (and Central) Canada Tour Updated Dates & Times
My train departs in just a few days - I will be with Boaz and Dalya in Compartment F of a Manor Sleeper on board The Canadian. What a way to travel! Ride it while you can: there are more cuts coming to VIA in the fall and who knows if The Canadian will survive? VIA's Express Deals currently show several discounted sleeper spots available. The kids will be getting off in Winnipeg and I will continue to Alberta.
If you aren't a GMD-1 kind of guy, no worries! There will be plenty for you to see on the tour:
I've finalized the dates and times for my western Canada tour, and there have been a couple of changes since my original announcement.
The presentation at On Track Hobbies has been cancelled, and I have added a second Edmonton presentation. If you can't make it to Hobby Wholesale, please join me at the Edmonton Model Railroad Association in Fort Edmonton Park on Friday 2 August between 15:30 and 17:00. If you want to avoid paying admission to the park, please RSVP to Duncan Hilchie: dhilchie (at) gmail.com - copy and paste his address into your mail program and replace the (at) with an @.
The guys in central Canada have been complaining about all this attention I've been giving to the western provinces and they have threatened to secede. In the interests of national unity I've decided to bring the samples to the east as well. Here are the confirmed tour dates for Ontario and Quebec:
I look forward to seeing many of you again and to meeting some new faces. It should be fun! Please tune into our blog and our Facebook page throughout the month of August as I will be sharing updates with tales of the GMD-1's travels through prairies and mountains!
For the three American customers still reading this "Canadian tour" section, please note that when we produce the American locomotive that is currently in the design stages I plan to do a cross-America tour like this one... That will be amazing. I love Amtrak!
GMD-1 Chassis Available Separately
Due to popular demand, we have decided to make the GMD-1 chassis available separately for those of you who want to repower your old kits and your scratchbuilt or brass models.
Each chassis comes fully powered and includes all lighting. The DC chassis is $125 and the DCC/sound chassis is $225. Product numbers can be found here.
If you haven't taken a look at the GMD-1 Master Class yet, it's worth having a gander. You can find that here. Full information about our forthcoming HO scale GMD-1 model can be found here.
Meet Rapido's New Guy!
Dan, Bill and I are delighted to introduce you to Rapido's new full-time employee, Mike McGrattan.
Mike - who is almost as old as Bill but not quite (sorry Bill) - is a well-known N scale modeller from Peterborough, Ontario. His N scale Puddington Valley layout is a fictional Canadian Pacific subdivision set in the BC interior in 1973 and has been featured in N Scale Magazine and Canadian Railway Modeller.
Mike has been in N scale for almost 30 years. He tells me that he looks forward to educating Dan, Bill and me about the smaller things in life. Evidently he is not aware of the T scale Turbo running inside the arm of my desk chair.
Mike will be assisting Dan with customer service, so please feel free to call our office and yell at Mike when your grab irons have been put on crooked. He is currently sitting beside Dan's desk with his OptiVISOR on and pliers in his hand, just waiting to straighten your grab iron.
We welcome Mike to the team and we suspect that after three months working here he will be calling the men in white coats to take the rest of us away.
Seriously, though. You might find that an email you send to me gets replied to by Mike. One of his jobs will be to ease my workload so I can focus more on product development and production supervision. With the 100-odd work-related emails I get a day I am having trouble responding to them in a timely manner.
Rapido Caboose Travels for a Good Cause
Occasionally someone does something really different with one of our products, and we feel we have to share it with you. Philip Bulman - who is actually an N scale modeller - recently completed the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. In appreciation of Rapido's donation to his ride, he strapped an HO scale CP caboose to his bike!
You can read the full story on our blog, here.
Speaking of CP Cabooses, they have arrived in our warehouse and are being shipped out to customers this week! Check out our new freight packaging, which I designed over Bill's (very vocal) objections. I can't see any preference for a specific railroad here, can you? If you think it's bad on a CP caboose, imagine how it will look on a 1950s Swift Reefer!
If you have not yet ordered your caboose, we actually have a handful of extras available. So contact your dealer today! More info can be found here.
Full Circle: Rapido at the Art Gallery of Ontario
I often get asked, "How do you get into model railroad manufacturing?" I generally reply, "You spend 10 years studying art and art history."
Next year is Rapido's official 10th anniversary (I incorporated the company on 8 November 2004) and I've been doing this full time since September 2005. But that wasn't my original life plan. I actually have an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts (drawing and installation) and a Masters of Art History from York University in Toronto. You'll notice I don't usually advertise these credentials - they aren't really needed to crawl underneath passenger cars.
In fact, when I started Rapido as a side project in 2003, I was in England doing a PhD in art history at the University of Birmingham. Needless to say, I never finished; when we released our first ready-to-run passenger cars in 2006 I sent a sleeping car to my supervisor with a note that said, "Here's my thesis."
Some signs that I was barking up the wrong tree were present for others to see, even if I couldn't. Sidura and I got married the summer after I finished my Masters degree. We were sitting in my future in-laws' back yard in Winnipeg and a friend asked me, "So what are you going to do for a living?" I told her, "What I'm going to do is probably go to England to get a PhD in art history and become a professor. What I want to do is build model trains all day."
I sometimes regret all that time spent barking up the art history tree. I'll turn to Sidura and say, "Imagine what I could have accomplished had we never gone to England and I just started Rapido right away?"
Sidura, who is my Rock of Gibraltar, will invariably point out to me how nothing we do is a waste. Apart from all the life-long friends we made, the solid foundation to our marriage, and the experience of living in a different country and culture, our time in the UK was the kick in the pants I needed to figure out what I wanted to do for a living and to realize how miserable I would be if I didn't take that plunge. This despite the fact that I never finished the PhD and we're still paying off the student loan to this day... (Did I mention she's also a saint?)
I love being a model train manufacturer, but it isn't a walk in the park. With the endless headaches and enormous capital costs you would either have to be a lunatic or delusional (or both) to choose to be a model train manufacturer if you didn't love model trains.
You have to listen to the signals that your heart is sending you. If you are on a career path or stuck in a job that is not giving you fulfillment, you need to look at all of your options and maybe consider taking a riskier path that will lead to long-term fulfilment. These days the likelihood of staying in one career for your whole life is pretty slim, so why not think about pursuing what you really want to do?
All that being said, you can imagine how I felt - having spent ten years studying art - to walk into the Art Gallery of Ontario and see my work on display. Yes - those are Rapido passenger cars, a steam generator and an FP9A locomotive in Kim Adams's new work! This is an incredible honour, and I feel that my career path has come full circle. I am doing what I love but my work still gets into the Art Gallery of Ontario! How cool is that?
You can see a lot more (better) photos of Kim's work at the AGO here, and none of them include me gaping in the background. My good friend, John Longhurst, wrote a blog about Kim's model train artworks, and this can be found here. Artist's Colony (Gardens) by Kim Adams is on display at the AGO until 11 August.
I have to finish with one perverse (but true) comment just to nudge my UK readers in the ribs. I spent three years visiting countless preserved railways in the UK and riding wonderfully-restored pieces of early-20th-century British railway history that would make a steam fanatic or teak lover's heart swoon. The coolest thing I ever climbed aboard? A British Rail Class 50 diesel locomotive in 1980s "large logo" livery. I'd take this beautiful beastie over all that painstakingly restored old junk any day.... Cup of tea, anyone?
And that's another newsletter in the can. I'll be in touch over the coming weeks via our blog and our Facebook page. Please drop in to say hi. Westward Ho!
All the best,
Rapido Trains Inc.
ABOUT RAPIDO NEWS
Rapido News is ©2013 Rapido Trains Inc. You have received this email because you signed up for the newsletter on our web page or you have inquired about our products or because we know you and we think you will want to read it. How's that for a disclaimer? To unsubscribe, follow the link below.
Rapido Trains Inc. supports our hobby shops - please buy our products from your local dealer. Rapido Trains Inc. is a registered trademark.