Rapido Telegraph

The Irregular and Irreverent Bulletin from Rapido Trains Inc.  •  Volume 29

Dear Rapido Customer,

I hope that the modelling season has been a productive one for you so far! I have not spent much time on 1:87 or 1:160 models lately. All of my spare time has been spent on 1:1 models, such as this one:

LRC locomotive 6919

Jason Shron, dismantling an LRC locomotive...

...with a wrench.

I was tasked with the job of scrapping wrecked LRC locomotive 6919, so my team at the Toronto Railway Historical Association descended upon 6919 to cannibalize it for parts for our own LRC locomotive, #6917. We even went so far as to pull off the diaphragm, just in case ours gets smushed.

LRC locomotive Diaphragm

Matt Soknacki (right) and Michael Guy load 6919's diaphragm onto a waiting trailer.

The TRHA is now working on restoring LRC 6917 to operating condition. I'm happy to report that last week we got the engine to bar over and mechanically it is almost perfect. The problem? It needs a new set of batteries, at a mere cost of $7000. If you want to make a donation to the TRHA (a federally-registered charity) to help get this piece of railway history up and running, please visit the TRHA's web site by clicking on the banner below or by clicking here.

TRHA save the LRC campaign

Click on the banner above to contribute to the TRHA's LRC campaign.

In this issue of the Telegraph:

Rapido Detail Parts

Rapido Bits: Detail Parts for Detail Freaks Like Us

New detail parts and (gasp!) KITS!

It's my pleasure to introduce an astonishing new concept in model railroading: detail parts and - wait for it - a freight car kit!

But seriously, we have all these amazing detail parts that we've made for our passenger cars (and now our one caboose and freight car) in HO and N scales, that we've decided to make these available to all the kitbashers, super detailers, and scratchbuilders out there. All 11 of us.

Sleeper Interior Parts

#102032: HO Scale Pullman/Budd Sleeper Seats & Roomette Curtains

Section, Bedroom, and Roomette (Upper/Lower) Seats
Plus printed curtains on clear acetate!

Some parts, like our passenger car trucks, are available now. The factory has started getting all the new detail parts organized, and we expect to start arriving towards the end of the spring (a bit later for the reefer bits). We will do our best to keep these detail parts in stock, but if you are looking for something specific it would be a good idea to reserve it with your dealer.

A full listing of detail parts can be found here.

Diaphragm End Gate

#102056: N Scale Etched Metal Pullman End Gates

For your heavyweight and lightweight cars!
(Dime not included...)

One featured item in our new line of Rapido Bits is our new HO Scale 37' Meat Reefer in undecorated kit form. Unfortunately, we won't always be able to keep this in stock so it would be a good idea to reserve it in advance if you want any. This will be available both as an undecorated kit (#121099 - $34.95) or as a painted but unlettered built-up model (#121098 - $39.95).

Reefer model kit

Undecorated GARX Meat Reefer

(Pre-production model shown.)

The guys on the Steam Era Freight Car List have been bugging manufacturers for freight car kits instead of ready-to-run models, so Andy Harman, Tim O'Connor, and the other members of the Steam Era Freight Car List, we expect you to buy a hundred each. Bill is waiting for your checks...

Here's that link again: rapidotrains.com/details.html. Dealers and distributors please note that a sales sheet for the detail parts and reefer kits will be sent out to you in the next few days. For now, please reference our web site for information.

L&N 6-4-6 Sleeper

L&N "Pine" Series 6-4-6 Sleeper

Passenger car order deadline - March 4th

We announced three new HO scale passenger car styles way back in early 2009. Guess what? That was a bad time to announce new anything. Needless to say, the orders didn't exactly come pouring in. A more accurate description is that the orders crawled to the door and collapsed, unconscious, before quite making it inside.

Now, two years later, the economy is finally picking up and orders have been coming in - more healthily, I might add - for these three new car styles, the Post-War 6-4-6 Sleeper, the Grill-Parlor and the whacko Club Deluxe car.

GTW Grill Parlor

Pullman-Standard Grill-Parlor

The available paint schemes are:
  • Post-War 6-4-6 Sleeper: CN (1954), CN (1954 USA), CN (noodle), C&EI, Erie, GN, L&N, MILW, MOPAC, NC&StL, NYC, UP, NP, VIA, WAB, UNDEC
  • Grill-Parlor: CN (1954), Erie, GTW, GN, GM&O, MILW, MOPAC, NYC, NP, UNDEC
  • Club Deluxe: CN (1954), VIA, UNDEC
Some time ago I announced to dealers and distributors that the final order deadline for these would be this Friday, February 25th. But unfortunately, last week my dear Auntie Sarah passed away suddenly. She was not only my great aunt but also my best friend. I had planned to get this newsletter out to you last week, but my life was turned upside down. So I am now extending the order deadline by a week to give you more than one day's notice. The absolute deadline for ordering any of these is March 4th. Only TWO YEARS BEHIND SCHEDULE, they are finally going into production! If you want any of the new cars please let your dealer know ASAP.

Auntie Sarah

Auntie Sarah with the Shron kids at a "schmancy" restaurant, October 2010

GMD FP9A Locomotive

Canadian National FP9A GPA-17e

Ginormous FP9A price increase

Well we all knew it was coming. Costs in China have been increasing at a ridiculous rate over the last couple of years and we have to raise our prices on our forthcoming HO scale FP9A locomotives. The tooling is now finished except for the rivets, which we are adding to the moulds at this moment.

The current prices are $169.95 (DC silent) and $299.95 (DC/DCC with sound).

Effective March 17th 2011 at 11:53 p.m. EDT, the DC (silent) FP9A will increase in price to $199.95. The sound-equipped FP9A will increase to $329.95. The final order deadline for the FP9A is Friday May 6th, with production taking place over the summer.

Any orders received before 11:53 p.m. on St. Paddy's Day will get the old prices. Any orders received from 11:54 p.m. onwards will be entered at the new prices.

GMD FP9 Locomotive

FP9A Locomotive Roof: Note 48" etched metal chicken wire grills.

It makes other model F-Unit roofs look mighty bare, doesn't it?

Full information about the FP9A model and prototype can be found here. Remember: prices become silly at 11:53 p.m. on March 17th. So get your reservation in now!

Train Sign

You are not getting any younger.

Death and the Model Railroader

If you are reading this, there is a very good chance that you are north of 50. And I don't mean you live in Saskatchewan. I mean that you are middle-aged or later.

There is also a very good chance (close to 100%, actually) that you have dozens of untouched model railroad kits or models in your basement/spare room/garage/shed/etc. I've been a model railroader since I was just out of diapers, so it's in my blood. I have boxes upon boxes of Rapido products that I have not even opened, not to mention TLT freight equipment, Walthers passenger cars, Atlas engines, undecorated brass steam generators, you name it.

Now, if you have a layout and you've been busy laying track or hosting operating sessions or making bottle-brush trees then you have a good excuse. But most of us haven't been doing any of those things. We've been reading magazines, surfing the web forums, hanging out at the hobby shop, building our collection. We haven't been model railroading.

The last week put things in perspective for me. My aunt lived a good life and died at a ripe old 87. But two days later, my friend's brother-in-law dropped dead at 40, leaving behind a wife and four young kids. Old or young, we can go at any time.

I've heard all the excuses: "I have no space!" - I built a switching layout along the walls of my living room when I lived in a tiny apartment in England. My wife and I compromised. She let me have the layout and I made it look like mahogany shelving so it matched the rest of the furniture.

"I have no time!" - If you have the time to read this email, you have the time to run some trains. How much time do you spend in front of your computer? I know I spend far too much time here. Why get dressed and go down to the basement when I can sit in my housecoat and check my emails instead?

I only released my first models in fall 2006, yet I have already seen Rapido products show up, unopened, at estate sales. Hopefully you see this email as a clarion call to get off your tush and actually do some model railroading. In fact, I'll end here. Go play with your trains.
Take care,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.

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