Rapido Telegraph

The Irregular and Irreverent Bulletin from Rapido Trains Inc.  •  Volume 31

Dear Rapido Customer,

I hope you are having a great summer so far! I have taken quite a bit of time in the last couple of weeks to recover from my crazy two months of travelling and escape the heat by working in the basement. Though not as much as I would like - I've discovered that small businesses don't like it when the boss goes on vacation, so I've spent more time at work than at home! I'm currently working on a model of VIA Rail coach #5647 as it appeared in 1980. Yes, I am obsessed with VIA.

The big news today is that the final order deadline for The Canadian is next week! But first, the contents...

In this issue of the Telegraph:

P.S. If you don't care about The Canadian or the FP9A skip to Updated TurboTrains in stock NEXT MONTH!

P.P.S. If you don't care about HO skip to August Order Deadlines - HO and N

P.P.P.S. If you are only reading this newsletter in the hope that we will one day announce a special run of the Punxsutawney and Pacific's Groundhogger streamliner in TT scale, just skip the rest of this newsletter. In fact, skip all of our newsletters.

The Canadian

The Canadian crossing Stoney Creek

Photo taken on the incredible

Edmonton Society of Model Railroad Engineers layout.

The Canadian - All Aboard!

OK guys, this is it! We first announced this train almost three years ago and we naively had no clue how difficult it would be to bring the project to fruition. But now the train is almost ready and the order deadline is finally here - next week, to be precise.

All orders for The Canadian must be given to your dealer by Friday 5 August 2011.

A 25% deposit is due at Rapido postmarked by 26 August 2011, so please make sure you get your deposit to your dealer in time for them to send it to us by the deadline. If you're reluctant to place advance orders for models in general, you should be aware that we don't know of any store that is buying extra Canadians for inventory.

The price of this train was originally announced at $1499.95 in late 2008. In the past three years, everyone's prices have gone up between 15% and 30%, but guess what - the Canadian is still only $1499.95. It may have been expensive in 2008 but it isn't so expensive now. I have a mental block at $1500 and I can't go over it, even if it means our margins are smaller because our costs have gone up like everyone else's. So I am pleased to let you know there has not and will not be any price increase on this train.

Note to Walthers customers: Walthers does not have the mechanism to take deposits for The Canadian so they have kindly asked us to sell The Canadian directly to their customers. If you are a Walthers dealer or retail customer and you have ordered The Canadian from Walthers, please contact us and we will handle your order directly. If you are in the USA, your trains will be shipped by UPS and you will not have to pay any duty, customs or brokerage fees on your order of The Canadian.

But enough admin stuff - let's move on to the news and photos!

CP Action Red

CP Action Red Park Car

The Canadian - Brand new CP Action Red set

On my cross-Canada tour with samples of The Canadian, the one item that got the most "ooohs" and "aaahs" was actually the sample of the Action Red Park Car. CP rebranded The Canadian in the Action Red/Pac Man paint scheme in 1968. By the time the equipment was transferred to VIA in 1978, the cars had barely been maintained for over a decade and the locomotives were absolutely filthy, so many people have negative associations with the Action Red scheme.

But let me tell you - when it was new it was GORGEOUS. And when people saw this sample, the immediate response was "I need one of those!" People who had our Action Red set (#210004) on order wanted a second set, but we didn't really have a second set available - just the early VIA set which had a mix of Action Red and VIA equipment.

So we've done something a little unprecedented. We added a brand-new set of The Canadian last month, with only a few weeks to go before the order deadline. Believe it or not, we already have enough of these new sets sold to justify the decision! It's nice to actually get one of these marketing things right once in a while.

The new Action Red set will feature locomotives with 8" stripes, and 10 all-new Action Red car names/numbers. An example of a locomotive with 8" stripes is below.

CP FP9 with 8 inch stripes

CP Action Red FP9A with 8" stripes on the nose and rear

Photo courtesy Brian Schuff.

#210007 The Canadian - CP Action Red with 8" Locomotive Stripes

The consist details are:
  • FP9A: 1407 (8" Stripes)
  • F9B: 4474 (8" Stripes)
  • FP9A: 1409 (8" Stripes)
  • COACH: 100
  • COACH: 122
  • SKYLINE: 508
Please note that because we are now doing a new set with three locomotives featuring Action Red and 8" Stripes, the early VIA set (#210005) has had its F9B changed to #1961 in VIA paint.

If the addition of the new Action Red set means you want to change your order, you can do so with your dealer up to August 5th with no additional charge.

CPR Canadian

The Canadian rolls along Barry Conn's layout

The Canadian - Close-up photos and info

Here's what your model of The Canadian features:
  • Two powered FP9A locomotives with Soundtraxx Tsunami sound decoders
  • Sounds recorded on the roof of the real FP9A
    Click Here to watch the video!
  • No-Warp etched-metal grills - will not warp EVERRRRRR!
    Click Here to watch the video!
  • One unpowered CP F9B locomotive, with CP's unique step skirting
  • Correct CP/VIA details and paint for each locomotive road number
  • Ten Budd-built CP passenger cars (see photos below)
  • Window shades at random heights in each car
  • Accurate Solex green-tinted glass
  • Gorgeous "stainless steel" finish - not just silver paint!
  • Complete underbody detail with separate steam, electrical and air lines
  • Different length name boards accurate for each car name
  • 3D Beaver logos on 1950s and 1960s paint schemes
  • Track-powered constant interior lighting, including in the domes!
  • Metal-sprung diaphragms and etched metal end gates
Each locomotive and car comes with short couplers installed and long couplers in the box. The minimum radius is 18" (with two long couplers on each car); 24" (with one long and one short coupler on each car); or 30" (with two short couplers on each car).

The Canadian will be delivered in one big box with a handle, but each car will be individually boxed inside. The F9B will be included in the box - you won't need to send away for it.

If you have any more questions about the train, it might be worthwhile downloading our FAQ. The PDF file is available here.

The Canadian - Product Numbers
Click on a link to visit the web page for that train. Dealers outside of Canada please note that The Canadian is being distributed by Heartland Hobby Wholesale, HobbyTyme Distributors, Horizon Hobby, and Portman Hobby Distributors (Tel. 914-737-6633).

The Canadian Samples: Set #210001

Here are photos of our pre-production set. Please read my last Telegraph to hear about the mad-capped adventure that Bill and I went through to get these in time for my tour last month. The usual pre-production disclaimers apply, but I'll highlight two of them. We did not have time to put antimacassars (those little white napkin thingies) on the seats for these samples - they will be there on the production models. Also note lots of underbody bits are missing as we had not yet ironed out all the injection issues when these samples were made in May.

CPR Canadian - FP9A 1406

FP9A #1406. Note the CP vertical slit grill, icicle breakers, tall winterization hatch, roof-mounted searchlight, and big water tank under the body. CP included this tank here because the dynamic brakes were located where the supplementary water tank would normally be located. Production model will have the grey paint stop 3 scale inches short of the end of the unit, like in the F9B photo below.

CPR Canadian - F9B 1900

F9B #1900. Note the vertical slit grill, small skirts beside the steps, tall winterization hatch and roof-mounted blow-down valve (at least that's what we think it is!).

CPR Canadian - FP9A 1407

FP9A #1407. Note the (operating) backup light in the correct, low position for CP. This differs from CN units. Also note the correct end door, sprung buffer plate, and the U-shaped support beneath the floor with the wee grab iron on it (pointed at by the arrow) - on the prototype that was where you were supposed to clip the glad hands when not in use, though nobody ever bothered.

CPR Canadian - Baggage Dorm

Budd Baggage Dormitory. Note the amazing stainless steel finish (a trade secret!) and the amazing underbody detail, even though this early sample is still missing quite a few bits from underneath. The 3D beavers are a nice touch.

CPR Canadian - Coach

CPR Canadian - Coach

Coaches #111 and #120. Note that window shades are at different heights. We have tooled up enough different window shade etchings for four complete trains, so you likely won't have two cars with the same window shade pattern. Also note the bathroom windows have simulated prism glass or plain white etch as per the prototype.

CPR Canadian - Skyline

Skyline #515. Note the green-tinted Solex window glass, particularly noticeable in the dome. Bill spent a whole day at the injectin shop getting this right - in other manufacturers' models the green is too pronounced. In the photo of the VIA sample from above (taken by Stephen J. Gardiner), you can see the dome rivets and see-through seat armrests.

CPR Canadian - Diner

Diner Louise. Note the venetian blinds in the diner (VIA will have standard shades) and the wonderful etched birdies on the "glass" dividers. Bill spent an entire week redrawing the four different etchings from photos, and few people will ever see them! A similar etched divider will be in the coaches, but with a floral pattern. The see-through roof vent matches prototype blueprints and photos.

CPR Canadian - Chateau Sleeper

CPR Canadian - Chateau Sleeper

Cheateau Rigaud and Chateau Argenson. CP's unique Chateau sleepers had a mix of four sections, eight roomettes, three bedrooms and a drawing room. Note the length of the letter board matches the specific car name.

CPR Canadian - Manor Sleeper

CPR Canadian - Manor Sleeper

Douglas Manor and Amherst Manor. The Manor sleepers each featured four sections, four roomettes, five bedrooms and one compartment. Note the end detail - each car door has the car name printed on it, as well as legible instructions in English and French not to stand between cars. The 3D beaver really shows up nicely in the end shot.

CPR Canadian - Park

Yoho Park. All of the cars will have interior lighting, but the Park cars will also have lit markers and drumheads. We will include a choice of four drumheads (of different styles) so you can choose the one that matches your memories. We even include a drumhead for The Dominion. Note the curtains in the bullet lounge, and note that the mural lounge will have etched designs in the glass divider just like in the Diner and the Coaches. Unfortunately we couldn't commission any deceased Group of Seven artists to do the murals in the mural lounge, so you'll have to go buy a paint-by-numbers set.

And before I forget, here's our one VIA-decorated sample car - Skyline #516. It's not in set 210001 but it sure is puuurty! Note the VIA car has regular window shades in the lounge instead of Venetian blinds like the CPR model, because when VIA took over the equipment the Venetian blinds were falling to bits.

CPR Canadian - Manor Sleeper

The Canadian and CN FP9A - Videos

We have three new videos of The Canadian and the FP9A locos on YouTube - the two Bill mentioned in his latest Timetable and a brand-new one recorded by Dan and Bill at the National Train Show. Click on the images below to have a look!

FP9A Movie

The Canadian at the National Train Show

FP9A Movie

FP9A Sounds and Features

FP9A Movie

Yet more footage of The Canadian!

The Canadian on Tour

Presenting The Canadian, the LRC and FP9A at Central Hobbies

The Canadian - Last chance to see it in person

While The Canadian on Tour has officially finished, I am making one more trip to Montreal as my time there in June was cut short. If you live in Quebec, eastern Ontario, or upstate New York, this is the last chance to come see The Canadian in person before the August 5th order deadline. So if you're still on the fence about whether or not to order one, please come have a look and hopefully what you see will convince you to take the plunge!

Tuesday 2 August - Montreal, Quebec

Hobby Vermont & Essex - 5356 rue Belanger, Montreal - (514) 723-4666

Wednesday 3 August - St-Constant, Quebec

Exporail - 110 rue St-Pierre, St-Constant - (450) 632-2410

Wednesday 3 August - Montreal, Quebec

Montreal Railroad Modelers Association - 891 rue St-Paul W., Montreal - (514) 861-6185

The UK

A Welsh Model Railroader

The Canadian - Order direct from the UK

If you are located in the UK and you are interested in ordering The Canadian, you can do so direct from us. The price is £1049 including VAT and P&P to your door. Please let all your friends know and please contact us for more information (before the order deadline) if interested.

Late Amtrak TurboTrain

The TurboTrain is BACK!

Updated TurboTrains in stock NEXT MONTH!

In 2008, we produced the first ever accurate model of the TurboTrain - North America's fastest train. Well, it's back!

We have made an extremely limited run of American TurboTrains with brand-new power trucks and gearboxes for smoother low-speed operation. Between 62 and 97 trains are available per paint scheme, worldwide. They are en route from our factory right now and will be arriving at our warehouse on Thursday August 25th 2011. Order yours today to ensure you don't miss out. First come, first served! Once these trains are gone, they are gone for good.

Now you can once again relive your memories of seeing this train roar past. Both engines are sound-equipped, so your TurboTrain will roar at the front and the rear just like the real thing. If you missed the TurboTrain release in 2008 or you want to add an additional set to your collection, now is the time. And the price has come down, to boot!

You can order through your dealer or directly from us.

New Haven/US DOT TurboTrain

New Haven/US DOT TurboTrain after achieving the North American speed record.

Ummm... on our 20-foot display layout.

Click on a paint scheme below for ordering information:
Our Ready-to-Run TurboTrain comes in a 3-car, powered set which works on DC and DCC layouts. The minimum radius is 18". For speed and reliability, both Power Dome Cars are equipped with a 5-pole skew-wound motor and flywheel, and sound. We also have a very limited supply of additional coaches available at $29.95 each.

Click here for full information about the TurboTrain.

Early Amtrak TurboTrain

TurboTrain visits Bill's O&W

New TurboTrain Gearboxes in stock NOW!

On the subject of Turbos, the new trucks and gearboxes are once again in stock. Click here to go to our web site and order them. They are still $10.75 a set. Each set will do one train.

Because all of the gearbox orders are processed and packed by Dan and Dan only, please expect 3-4 weeks for delivery. Last time we announced these we had 150 orders in two days, and I suspect it will be the same this time. Thanks for your patience.

Dubuque Reefer

The latest sample of our new Meat Reefer decorated in the 1950s Dubuque Packing scheme!

1937 Meat Reefer - new photos & order deadline

VIA Rail never owned any transition-era freight cars, so I will pass over to Bill.

Bill: Thanks, Jason. Here's the latest on the reefer.

Our new Rapido HO scale General American (GARX) Meat Reefer is quickly moving towards production. This is our first HO revenue freight car, and response has been tremendous. This model is based on a design built between 1937 and 1941 by General American Transportation (GARX) and they lasted in service through the 1960s. This important car has never been available in an HO plastic or ready-to-run model.

Meat Reefer

This one wears the 1940s GARX lease fleet scheme.

The first releases of these cars will offer four individual car numbers per paint scheme. These will be available as a four pack (four individual cars shrink wrapped together and easily broken up for individual sale) as well as individual cars. Note that individual cars will be one of the four available road numbers.

Meat Reefer

Check out the underframe details!

The factory will soon be adding the finishing touches to the model and they will be ready for production very soon. As a result, we have set the reefer order deadline for October 28, 2011.

Production will begin as soon as practical after that date. As always, we will be building to order, so don't miss out! Also, remember that these cars will be available in a variety of accurate, colorful schemes and also as undecorated and painted but unlettered (orange sides, red ends and roof) assembled models. They will even be available as undecorated KITS.

A very full history of these cars can be found on our web site here, and detailed paint scheme information and service dates can be found here.

Cotton Belt Osgood Bradley

SSW - soon to be SP - Osgood Bradley Deluxe Coach

Photo courtesy of the SPH&TS Collection

American Osgood Bradley Update

This is more American stuff so I'll let Bill keep talking...

Bill: I see - so I guess we Americans are just a bunch of foreigners to you, then?

Jason: Nah - The USA is my second favourite country! Can we please leave patriotism out of this?


Bill: Right. Take THIS!!!


Dan: OK, enough of that, both of you.

Bill, Jason: Sorry.

Bill: In 2010 we delivered our critically-acclaimed models of the New Haven and Boston and Maine 10-window Osgood-Bradley Lightweight coaches. Now we are pleased to announce that work is progressing on our second Osgood Bradley lightweight body style - the Deluxe Coach. These cars were built for the Cotton Belt (SSW), Kansas City Southern and Seaboard Air Line, and went on to see extensive service on the Southern Pacific.

KCS Osgood Bradley

Kansas City Southern Osgood Bradley Deluxe Coach

These Osgood Bradley coaches had unique large bathrooms for the comfort of long distance travelers and different window and interior arrangements than our earlier 10-Window Coaches. Our cars will feature all new bodies, roofs and interiors, both with and without interior partitions as appropriate. Cars will be available fully skirted as well as without skirts to accurately match the prototypes. They will feature full underbody piping and details, decorated interiors with individual seats and mirrors, separate grab irons and end gates installed at the factory, and battery-powered "Easy-Peasy" lighting. You can watch a video of our New Haven Osgood Bradley cars in action by clicking here.

SAL Osgood Bradley

Seaboard Osgood Bradley Deluxe Coach

All this sounds swell, but there is a catch! Although the design work is complete, in order for these cars to enter production we need to generate more reservations. Right now we just have enough orders to cover our tooling costs and nothing else. If you've been sitting on the fence waiting to reserve your cars, please hop down and call your dealer. If you've never heard of these cars, then clearly we haven't been doing our job! If you have already reserved your cars, thank you!

SP Osgood Bradley

Southern Pacific Osgood Bradley Deluxe Coach

The Osgood Bradley Deluxe Coach paint schemes include:
Additional details can be found here.

Order Deadlines

Lots of order deadlines in August!

August Order Deadlines - HO and N

Bill: That's it for me - back to your regularly scheduled programming!

Jason: Thanks, Bill. August is a big month for order deadlines at Rapido. Two of the July order deadlines have been extended to next Friday, August 5th, simply because nobody was around here to enter orders for much of July.

N scale Dayniter coaches

N scale CN Dayniter

Order Deadline 5 August 2011
"Dayniter" Leg-Rest Coaches
N scale. Delivery fall 2011.

Click on a paint scheme for product numbers, car numbers and pricing:
Click here for product info, or click here for an easy-to-use order sheet.

CSX Safety First Caboose

CSX "Safety First" Caboose - one of a kind!

Order Deadline 5 August 2011
Modern Wide-Vision Caboose
HO scale. Delivery fall/winter 2011-12.

Click on a paint scheme for product numbers, car numbers and pricing:
Click here for product info, or click here for an easy-to-use order sheet.

CP Canadian

The Canadian

Order Deadline 5 August 2011
Deposits due 26 August

The Canadian
HO scale. Delivery throughout 2012.

Click on a paint scheme for product numbers, car/locomotive numbers and pricing:
Click here for product info.


VIA 6507 - preproduction sample

Order Deadline 15 August 2011
Canadian National FP9A Locomotive
HO scale. Delivery fall/winter 2011-12.

Click on a paint scheme for product numbers, loco numbers and pricing:
Click here for product info, or click here for an easy-to-use order sheet.

The Canadian on Tour

Granted, this is a nice place to work on your computer...

The Internet vs. Real, Live People!

Many of you have chatted with me (or shouted at me) on various internet forums or by email. I regularly participate on CanModelTrains, the Passenger Car List, the Atlas forum, Trainorders.com, and the Trains forum. In fact, as I write this on the Trains forum there are a bunch of guys ripping us to shreds over the deposits on The Canadian - I guess you can't be everyone's best friend!

Ripping to shreds aside, the internet is a great way for people with similar interests or obsessions - i.e. "model railroading" - to hang out and share ideas and information. Many of the people who play a big role in my life today were originally just names on forums: Dan and Bill, for a start, but also fellow VIA modellers Richard Longpre, Jon Calon, Tom Fetherston, Jakob Mueller, Matt Soknacki, and Mark Kaluza. I consider all of these guys to be close friends and I first met them online.

But being online has made us lazy. Instead of spending time with real people, we sit alone at our computers tip-tapping away. The cross-Canada trip really opened my eyes to the drawbacks of this. In the space of a month, I had the chance to meet more than 1000 fellow Canadian model railroaders from Halifax to Vancouver. I had the chance to put faces to the names I'd seen on the various internet forums, and although I found the trip to be completely exhausting I would not trade the experience for the world.

Most human beings are, by our very nature, social people. We need to spend time with others. The internet just doesn't cut it. If you are a member of a club, you are probably nodding your head right now in agreement - you learn so much from hanging out with your fellow modellers, from seeing their work in person and showing them what you've accomplished. Sharing ideas online is OK, but I'll take a Thursday evening with a bunch of modellers at Robin's Donuts in Winnipeg over an online discussion any day.

When you spend time with your fellow model railroaders, you don't just talk about the stuff that interests you - you talk about what interests them as well. You can learn something new where you least expected it. More importantly, you develop friendships that are real and lasting - a user name on a forum is ephemeral, but a personal friendship is something real that can last a lifetime.

I hope you enjoyed this newsletter, even though it did get a bit silly at times. Thanks everyone for your continued business and support!

Until next time,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.

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