Dear Rapido Customer,
This is the announcement so many of you have been waiting for.
In this issue of Rapido News:
The VIA F40PH-2D in HO Scale!
VIA Rail Canada and Rapido Trains Inc. are proud to announce the model locomotive that has been requested more than all other locomotives combined: the first ever 100% accurate model of VIA's unique F40PH-2D locomotive in HO scale!
VIA's F40PH-2D has been the face of passenger train travel in Canada since the 1980s and while there have been a number of inaccurate F40 models painted in VIA colours in the past, there has never been an accurate model of this 3000-horsepower Canadian workhorse produced in plastic. VIA and Rapido have teamed up to fill that gap with this exclusive HO scale model.
The F40PH-2D was built in London, Ontario between 1986 and 1989. It features a desktop control stand (hence the "D" designation); a unique fuel tank and underframe arrangement; a unique carbody design with custom panel and door locations; and numerous other Canadian-only details.
In 2008, VIA began a comprehensive rebuild program of its F40PH-2D fleet, concluding the program on schedule in November 2012. This ensures that these locomotives will remain in service for years to come.
Our F40PH-2D is a museum-quality model that features the exceptional level of detail, accuracy and passion that modellers have come to expect from Rapido.
OK, OK! I'll turn off the hype and give you the real background info. Despite the fact that the VIA F40PH-2D has been our most-requested model, I thought it would be years before we could bring it out. Our schedule is so full of new model railroad projects such as the GMD-1 and the FPA-4 that doing the first ever proper VIA F40PH-2D would have to wait.
But then my friends at VIA invited me to come to Montreal to discuss a project they had in mind. That was last April. And here we are, less than a year after that initial discussion, with our first test samples already arrived from the factory. As you can see there are still lots of details to be added: for instance, the trucks have no surface details eroded onto them yet; we're missing the sand filler hatches; and the rear handrail didn't inject properly so Dan had to make one from scratch!
I think you'll agree that for first test castings these are completely awesome! Kudos go to Bill for decorating the samples so beautifully - it took him three 16-hour days.
Now just look at this underbody detail - and go get a tissue to wipe the drool off your keyboard!
The great thing about the F40PH-2D is that all of that wonderful underbody conduit is visible from the side of the locomotive, so your model train doesn't have to plummet off of a bridge in order for you to appreciate the super fine detail!
Here's a rundown of the features:
- First ready-to-run F40PH-2D ever produced in HO scale
- 100% accurate Canadian details - this is not a stand-in!
- Its nose is the correct length!
- Full underframe detail including piping and conduit
- Numerous etched-metal parts including radiator grills
- Accurate Canadian roof fans with correct number of blades
- Full interior detail including desktop control stand
- Available as a sound-equipped model with an ESU Loksound sound decoder or as a DC silent model
- Will operate smoothly on DC and DCC layouts
- Rapido's proven 5-pole, skew-wound motor and silky-smooth drive system
- Macdonald-Cartier metal knuckle couplers mounted at the correct height
- Numerous optional details such as an air conditioning unit, bug deflector, and etched-metal, later style air filter screens
- Available in VIA's original scheme (1986-2000) and revised "Canada" scheme (1998-2012)
- Ten numbers plus unnumbered available per paint scheme
See the F40PH-2D Test Sample in Person!
We will have the F40PH-2D test sample with us at the Copetown Show THIS SUNDAY! The Copetown Show, co-sponsored by Rapido and CARM, is a great place to meet your fellow modellers, railfans and enthusiasts. It is located in Copetown, Ontario, which is just west of Hamilton. Please come by and say hello - I will be there along with Mike, Dan, and a whole bunch of model trains.
Further information and directions to the Copetown show can be found here.
The HO scale F40PH-2D is being produced exclusively for VIA Rail Canada, and all orders must be placed directly with VIA. The F40 is being produced by advance reservation: the only way to guarantee you will receive your locomotives is to order them from VIA before the order deadline.
The order desk is now open, and orders can be placed from anywhere in the world. When they arrive, the locomotives will be shipped via Canada Post to ensure affordable shipping rates. Please click here to email your order directly to VIA. If that link doesn't work, copy and paste this email address into your email program: firstname.lastname@example.org
VIA will have an on-line cart setup in the next week or so. You will be able to find it here, but for now you can email your orders to VIA so you don't miss out. Remember to tell VIA which locomotive numbers you want, and whether you want sound or no sound. Also give them your address and phone number. Note that VIA's shopping cart might show the "Canada" scheme locomotive for all of the F40 models. If it does, it will be fixed shortly.
Click here to visit our F40PH-2D page, which includes all of the product and locomotive numbers. The order deadline is Monday 28 April 2014. Delivery of the models will start in late 2014. Be sure to place your orders on time!
Within four seconds of my pressing "send" on this newsletter, we will get asked: "Are you bringing out the F40 in the Renaissance scheme?" The answer is: it depends. If VIA sells enough of this initial production run of original F40PH-2D locomotives, I am sure I can convince them to make the rebuilds. So the message is: if you want the rebuilds, buy the originals first, and buy lots of them!
(We will still get asked that question by all the guys who are too impatient to read this far into the newsletter. It seems some people can only read up to 140 characters.)
I'll leave you with a nice photo of our new models taken before they were decorated.
The VIA F40PH-2D - Modelling Possibilities
The VIA F40PH-2D has worked on almost every VIA passenger service since its introduction in 1986 (including commuter trains in Montreal!). It is very versatile. I've assembled a collection of photos to give you a general idea of what sorts of trains the F40PH-2D can pull. If there are any freight or US modellers still reading, you will find some of these photos surprising. Yes, the VIA F40PH-2D is for you too!
VIA makes good use of its F40 fleet. Fast train? Add another F40. Long train? Add another F40. Even longer train? Add another. Need to move an F40 across the country? Add it to the consist! The photos below prove that you can never have too many VIA F40PH-2D locomotives!
Think that was cool? Here's a brilliant video by well-known Canadian railfan and photographer John Reay of a VIA F40PH-2D (64-something!) leading M-636 4712 on a CP freight that includes what looks like one of our gondola models in a paint scheme we never heard about! This is awesome:
That's it for the F40PH-2D slide show. Manny Jacob and I are working on a Master Class with loads of prototype background and trivia. It should be ready by the next newsletter.
Once again, you can only order your F40PH-2D fleet from the owner of the real thing, VIA Rail Canada. Please click here to email your order directly to VIA. Again, if that link doesn't work, copy and paste this email address into your email program: email@example.com
Our F40PH-2D web page, including all product numbers and locomotive numbers, can be found here. VIA's shopping cart will be found here.
New Freight Car Trucks and Wheelsets
As many of you know, we've had a lot of trouble getting detail parts out of our factories in China. When they get an order for 5000 passenger cars they tend to ignore the order for 200 brake wheels. I can't say I blame them! My bookkeeper also prefers us to ship out 5000 passenger cars in a month rather than 200 brake wheels.
So I'm just going to announce detail parts when they are en route. And I'm delighted to let you know that we have HO scale trucks and wheelsets en route right now. They will be arriving at the end of this month. Click here to visit the trucks and wheelsets section of our web site.
Here's what's arriving, including product number and MSRP:
My particular favourite is the "roller bearing trucks done on the cheap." The AAR (Association of American Railroads) prohibited the use of solid-bearing trucks in interchange service in the 1990s. But railroads started changing over to roller bearings long before then. Stuffing roller bearings into the old journal boxes was cheaper than buying new trucks!
- #102044 - HO scale 33" wheelset (Code 110) x12 blister - $11.95
- #102045 - HO scale 33" wheelset (Code 110) x50 box - $44.95
- #102047 - HO scale 33" wheelset (Code 88) x12 blister - $11.95
- #102048 - HO scale 33" wheelset (Code 88) x50 box - $44.95
- #102059 - HO scale 70-ton freight trucks w/ journal boxes (pair) - $7.95
- #102060 - HO scale 70-ton freight trucks w/ roller bearings (pair) - $7.95
- #102061 - HO scale 70-ton freight trucks w/ roller bearings in boxes (pair) - $7.95
Our #102061 captures that pretty nicely, if I do say so myself. These were used all over North America.
Most manufacturers assume that if you want 70-ton trucks, you want friction bearings. That's hogwash, and we're offering 70-ton trucks with roller bearings, as in the photo above. Bill has really been pushing me to include as many photos as possible of the trucks and wheelsets in this newsletter, so here's another one:
The trucks and wheelsets are available from all good model train stores worldwide. Please click here for more information about these "detail parts that are actually arriving in my lifetime" and contact your local dealer to place your order. We will happily accept special orders if you want to order wheelsets by the ton...
Here's the latest delivery schedule. We currently have four separate shipments en route.
Because of Chinese New Year, there is congestion at the ports so both of our Osgood Bradley shipments are currently on the ground in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
Arriving around 18 February:
Arriving around 28 February:
Arriving around 10 March:
Going Beyond Model Railroading
Dan and I are not just modellers; we're very involved in railroad preservation. Especially Dan. He can be found just about every weekend down at the Toronto Railway Museum. Dan restores old equipment, drives the miniature train, helps the public, and occasionally flips hot dogs.
The Toronto Railway Museum - along with almost every other railway heritage site in the world - relies on creative, generous and hard-working people like Dan to keep it running. These volunteers don't expect to be paid for their efforts; instead they get tremendous satisfaction seeing our railway history saved, preserved, restored and interpreted for future generations. There is nothing like seeing a young person introduced to real trains for the first time and watching him or her catch the bug. It's often instantaneous - they get hooked and you've got a train lover for life.
My youngest son, Isaac, has fallen in love with trains. His favourite DVD is Thomas (what else?) and he is crazy about tunnels. He builds them out of Lego and then runs anything resembling a train through them. The other day we spent an hour on YouTube just watching trains enter and leave tunnels on YouTube. His favourite was the HST... what else could it be?
I don't have nearly as much experience as Dan, but I do what I can. We almost got our preserved VIA Rail Canada LRC locomotive operating in fall 2012 and we're now working hard to fix everything we found wrong with it on that attempt. We got pretty close - and as you can see in the photo below it looks quite wonderful shining its lights through the evening mist... Dan, Mike and I are also working on a project to save some more heritage VIA Rail Canada locomotives, but more on that in a future newsletter.
Chris Fox is another volunteer who spends far too much of his limited free time fixing old locomotives. Chris has single-handedly brought LRC 6917 back to life after it sat in storage for over a decade, and he has worked on several locomotives at other heritage sites, including LRC 6921 at Exporail in Montreal. The only payment Chris expects to receive is the joy of seeing 6917 move again under its own power.
The point of all of this is to encourage you to get involved. It seems that many of my friends in railway preservation aren't modellers, and many of my friends who are modellers have never thought about picking up some tools and working on the 1:1 machines.
I speak from experience: the satisfaction you get from completing a challenging kitbashed locomotive and the satisfaction you get from successfully changing a difficult part on a real heritage locomotive both come from the same place. In both cases, you are working to recreate the magic of railroading, either through the model in your hands or through the preserved locomotive that you know you helped to save for future generations.
Even though we haven't got 6917 started yet, getting so close was immensely gratifying. Please consider volunteering at your local railroad museum, heritage railway or preservation group. Don't be shy! I've never heard of a railway preservation organization turning away good, free help.
OK - I will get off my soapbox for now. If you are interested in riding behind a real VIA F40PH-2D (yes, they are still called that), check out VIA's Express Deals web site. There are usually amazing discounts on there, such as Montreal to Halifax on The Ocean in a deluxe bedroom with shower for 60% off!
Well... This F40PH-2D launch makes it four new product announcements from Rapido in the space of a month. That means it's been longer than that since I last slept! I plan to spend a LOT of time working on my model railroad over the next few weeks, and I hope you can do the same on yours!
Thanks for reading!
Rapido Trains Inc.
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