Rapido Timetable

Timetable #12 Issued January 18, 2011

Dear Rapido Customer,

Since its inception Rapido has based the bulk of its products on Canadian-operated equipment. While the Canadian modeling community continues to be tremendously supportive of our efforts, our growing number of US customers have been clamoring for more products aimed squarely at the US market (beyond the American TurboTrains and Osgood Bradley cars we have already released). You won't have long to wait.

Rapido USA

Very soon you will see a new series of models branded with the "Rapido USA" logo as seen here. These products are chosen and designed in our American headquarters (that's me!) and are based on US prototype cars that saw service primarily "south of the border" - from a Canadian viewpoint at least! Have no fear - they will include all of the detail and quality included on our Canadian products.

This is an exciting new direction for all of us at Rapido as our business continues to expand and diversify. Our Canadian customers needn't worry - we will also continue to develop new products for the Canadian market.

Now, the news!

  • Prototype Modelers Meets
  • HO Wide Vision Caboose Rerun
  • New HO Scale Passenger Car Schemes
  • New N Scale Passenger Car Schemes
  • New Product Arrivals - Beautiful Amtrak!
  • HO Scale Passenger Car Rerun
  • New Freight Car Announced
  • New Products Brochure Download
  • FP9A Update
  • Come see us (and 20,000 of our closest friends)

A Plug for Prototype Modelers Meets

Rapido USA headquarters

The view Tuesday morning outside Rapido USA World Headquarters!

I spent a good portion of last Wednesday digging us out of nearly two feet of snow here in Connecticut. Amazingly, only a few days before I was taking a morning walk on the beach. It was a work-related walk of course - I was in Cocoa Beach Florida for the 2011 Prototype Rails meet, held every year at the Cocoa Beach Hilton. This two-day meet is filled with an impressive group of top-notch model displays and clinics whose presenters are a veritable who's who in the model railroading world.

At Cocoa Beach Rapido had the most recent samples of our HO scale FP9A and LRC locomotives, production VIA LRC coaches and club cars, as well as samples of our new Rapido USA car. It was great to see several of you there, and we got some great feedback on current products and all sorts of new product suggestions! Thanks also to those who sat through my presentations on Rapido's products.

If you've never been to one of these prototype modeling meets, I strongly suggest that you find one in your area (they're popping up all over the country now) and give it a try. These meets are a very informal way to learn new techniques and meet and talk with other modelers, manufacturers and authors. Rapido's next scheduled RPM meet will be the New England/Northeast Proto Meet in June. These meets are also a great place to get news on new product announcements, like ours below.

In addition to the usual events at Cocoa Beach, Mike Brock, who runs the meet, had his normal Thursday afternoon operating session on his Union Pacific Sherman Hill layout. As typically happens with a bunch of new or infrequent operators chaos ensued as we tried to move trains over the line. Amazingly, he keeps inviting us back! Thanks for your hospitality and good humor Mike!

UP 4-12-2

A Union Pacific 4-12-2 (what a monster!) on Sherman Hill.
Seems that water tower has sprouted ears! (Photo by Doug Harding)

2011 Prototype Rails

The owner of the ears, yours truly, trying to stay out of the way as Mike Brock
(in blue shirt) tries to figure out why the yard ladder stopped working!
As any layout owner knows, the number of operational problems likely to be
encountered is easily determined by taking the sum of the number
of guest operators plus the number of visitors, times two.

(Photo by Doug Harding)

New Run of Wide Vision Cabooses

CSX Safety Caboose

Perhaps our most colorful caboose ever - the CSX Safety Awards car

CP Caboose

Our most popular scheme - CP Rail "Action Yellow"
Don't miss this chance to get more.

Our first run of HO scale modern Wide Vision Cabooses ("Angus Vans" in Canada) was a huge success and sold out very quickly. We are still getting daily requests for many of the schemes, but far and away the most requested have been the CP and CSX versions. In fact, some of these have shown up on eBay recently and sold for over double the original retail price!

eBay caboose auction


Because of the number of requests that we are getting, we have decided to produce another run of both the CP and CSX cabooses. The CP cabooses (sorry, "vans") will feature 12 new car numbers, plus unnumbered.

You may think that due to their popularity, we will make lots of extras. Not so! As before, we will be producing these cars to order, so make sure to get your reservations in early so that you don't miss out... again!

Due to rising costs of production in China and the rising value of the Chinese Yuan, the new MSRP for these cars is $74.95. Projected delivery date is Fall 2011. Click here for CP or Click here for CSX product numbers.

New HO Scale Passenger Car Paint Schemes

ACR Coach

Lightweight Coach - Algoma Central (silver)

CPR Coach

Lightweight Coach - Canadian Pacific (Silver & Action Red)

CPR Coach

Lightweight Coach - Canadian Pacific (Silver & Maroon)

We are happy to announce three new paint schemes on our HO scale Super Continental Line coaches - Algoma Central Railway and Canadian Pacific silver (both Maroon and Action Red stripes). These new schemes are available to pre-order now and will be available in the summer. We have a passenger car production window opening up in mid-February, so we can only guarantee reservations placed before Valentine's Day... that's February 14th of THIS YEAR.

The MSRP is $69.95. CP product numbers can be found here and ACR product numbers can be found here. Or you can download our new products brochure here.

Replacement Algoma Central Cars

In our first run of Algoma Central coaches back in 2007, we attempted to depict a weather-worn gray for the car body color. This came out looking more like beige than gray! Since then, our Algoma Central baggage car and steam generator (arriving next month) have been silver, which is the color in which these cars were delivered.

If you own our original run of Algoma Central coaches and you would like to replace them with the new ones, we have a special offer for you. You can have the new cars for only $24.95 each (including shipping), ordered directly from us. Here's the catch: when the new cars arrive, you will need to send us your originals in order to qualify for the $24.95 pricing. We will return them to you when we send out your new cars.

DO NOT SEND US YOUR CARS NOW. We will email you instructions when the new cars arrive.

It is absolutely vital that you pre-order these cars directly from us before February 14th, 2011. We are ordering materials for production of these cars on February 15th, so if you do not reserve your replacement ACR cars from us by then you will not get any. Please spread the word to your fellow ACR modelers who may not be online. You can email us or call to place your order: 1-877-738-6445.

Please note that we can't offer free replacement shells (as much as we would like to) because our Lightweight Coach has been completely redesigned since 2007, with a new underframe and new sides. You are, in essence, receiving a brand-new car.

New Panorama Line N Scale Dayniter Schemes

CN Dayniter

CN (Wet Noodle) Dayniter

CNR Dayniter

CN (1954 Scheme) Dayniter

VIA Dayniter

VIA Rail Canada Dayniter

For the N scalers we have three new paint scheme announcements for our Panorama Line N scale Dayniters. These include the ever popular Canadian National (1954 scheme), CN "Wet Noodle" scheme and VIA Rail Canada. Click on the roadnames in the previous sentence for product numbers! Note that the prototypes were rebuilt in 1971.

The MSRP for these new cars is $52.95. As usual, they will only be made to order, so please reserve with your favorite dealer. Full information can be found here.

New Product Arrivals - Beautiful Amtrak

Amtrak LRC

Bombardier LRC coach in Amtrak colors.

Jason called me yesterday and it sounded like he was dancing around his office. Then when he sent me the photos of the new Amtrak LRC coach that he just received from the factory, I understood why. This thing is spectacular. Jason just informed me that he has snatched up our remaining 6 cars for his own collection (it figures - he forgot to preorder!).

Your dealer may still be able to find these at their distributor, but Rapido is now officially sold out!

The Amtrak LRC coaches are leaving the factory next week and will be here at the beginning of March. Have a look at the detail below. Read more about them here.

Amtrak LRC


A large new product shipment just arrived a week ago with many great new items as well as some refills of popular items that have been sold out for a while. These items are on their way to dealers now and some have already arrived.

VIA 1 LRC Club

HO scale LRC Club Car

The new HO LRC "VIA 1" club cars are here! The response to the VIA coaches has been tremendous. The Club cars will be a great addition to your consists. For those who reserved them, you should be getting them from your dealers now. For those who did not reserve them yet - sorry, we're sold out. Check with your dealer to see if they have any extras coming in. For a list of item numbers, click here.

Milwaukee Road Sleeper

HO scale Milwaukee perfection!

Also coming on this shipment are the (VERY) long-awaited Milwaukee Road duplex sleeping cars, including the popular Zumbro River and Minnesota River. Our car is a very close stand-in for these prototypes, which are almost identical to our Duplex Sleeper. For a list of item numbers, click here. As usual, we're sold out.


THEY'RE HERE! (almost)

Speaking of long-awaited... The Burlington Northern Executive scheme passenger cars are finally coming! These may well be some of the sharpest passenger cars we have done (OK, Jason might not agree). Car types, names and item numbers can be found here.

These cars are currently en route from the factory and will be here at the beginning of February. Don't worry, Curt, we have not forgotten yours.

We had planned to deliver these cars almost two years ago! They were a "make these when you're not busy" project but the factory kept getting busy with other things and these cars kept being pushed back. Now we're pleased to say they will be here soon.

Glen Fraser

Glen Fraser lounge car - a unique beauty.

Also arriving next month is Glen Fraser in HO Scale. In 2002, VIA Rail purchased this car from the British Columbia Railway. Extravagantly finished inside, it was given this striking paint scheme outside to allow it to match both stainless steel and LRC consists. With its richly-appointed lounge interior, it is used for special services such as wine tasting and meetings. Our model includes a special, all new interior produced just for this car. Item number 105058. MSRP $64.95. More information about oddball VIA cars here.

ACR Steam Generator

Algoma Central Steam Generator Unit (don't worry, it's silver!)

Rio Grande Steam Heater

Steam Generator Car in D&RGW colors

SOU Steam Heater Car

Rapido never forgets the South!
Steam Generator Car in Southern colors

PERFECT for the current weather - The next run of steam heater cars!

The first group of the second run of operating HO scale Steam Generator Cars will also be arriving in the February shipment. These include Algoma Central, Rio Grande, and Southern, as well as undecorated. The remaining cars are in production now.

Don't forget to order extra smoke fluid, item #102007 ($4.95 MSRP) to keep those gennies steaming!

SOU Steam Heater Car

"Easy-Peasy" returns to N Scale!

Finally, we're receiving a refill on our immensely popular N scale "Easy-Peasy" battery-powered lighting kits. We can't keep the darned things in stock! More info is available here.

New run of popular Super Continental Line passenger cars

Erie 10-5 Sleeper

Erie 10-5 Sleeper "Pride of Youngstown"

Erie Lackawanna 10-5 Sleeper

And the same for Erie-Lackawanna!

Long sold out, our first run of Erie and Erie-Lackawanna 10-5 sleepers have been the subject of countless dealer and consumer requests. When first produced these cars were hailed as being the most accurate models of these popular sleepers available. We've agreed to do one more limited run of both cars, the "Pride of Youngstown" and the "Spirit of Youngstown" in both the Erie and E-L schemes. As always these will be produced strictly to order so be sure to get your reservations in by April 1st, 2011. More information and photos of our 10-5 Sleeper car be found here.

New Product Announcements

Rapido USA

There have been a lot of modern-era freight cars released by manufacturers lately. We at Rapido have not forgotten the transition-era modelers who still make up a large percentage of active model railroaders...

It is my pleasure to formally introduce our long-rumored and long-awaited HO scale freight car:

The General American 37' Meat Refrigerator Car


Prototype photo from GATC, Frank Peacock collection

Our all new reefer model is based on a design built between 1937 and 1941 by General American Transportation (GARX). Although these cars were built with a wooden sheathed body and roof that made them look like a car from an earlier era, these GARX cars were actually quite modern for their time. They were constructed on a steel underframe of similar construction to recent boxcar designs then in common use. More than 940 cars were built to this configuration making it one of the most numerous meat reefer designs, and they lasted in service well into the early 1970s. They would normally be assigned to meat service only, running between meat packing houses and regional dealers throughout North America. Typically the meat would originate in the Midwest, where blocks of cars would then be moved to Chicago and then dispersed to their final destinations throughout the country. Meat reefers from a wide variety of packing houses could be seen on the hottest freight trains of nearly all railroads from the 1930s through the 1970s.


First test sample of the Rapido model, subject to revisions.

Have a look at some photos of our first test sample! Please note that because this is just our first sample, many of the details still need to be refined. That means some parts will be made a little finer and textures/rivets added once the major corrections are finished.

Notable design features of the General American meat reefer are wood body with three hinge doors (utilizing the GARX triangular hinge design), a wood roof with steel hatches and unique latches, side and end ladders, power handbrakes, and a steel underframe with a tabbed side sill. All of these features are included on the new Rapido USA model. Also found on the model is a FULL underframe with complete brake equipment, all new trucks with brake shoes in line with the wheel tread and new metal wheelsets and magnetic knuckle couplers. The coupler boxes are easily interchangeable for those who wish to utilize after market couplers and draft gear.


Just a few of the initial paint scheme releases


Of course, it wouldn't be a Rapido car without FULL underframe detail!


Corner detail showing steel roof hatches (diamond tread detail
still to be added) and Equipco brake gear.


The triangular door hinges are a General American trademark and
an easy way to spot these cars.

We will be initially offering these cars in twelve paint schemes plus undecorated. Each scheme will be offered with four car numbers. These will be packaged as a four pack that is easily broken down for individual sale. Single cars will also be available, but please note that single cars will be mixed numbers from the four pack and we have no way of guaranteeing specific car numbers.

Initial response has been quite strong, and we are sure that this will be a huge hit with modelers of the ever popular "transition era" as well as 1960s modelers.

Click here for more details, or here for a complete listing of item numbers. Delivery expected mid to late summer 2011.

If you want to print out the info on the reefer to bring to your hobby shop, you can go to our Catalogs page and download our latest product brochure. It is located here.

New Rapido Catalog

Our latest product brochure - click on the image to visit our catalogs page!

New Products Brochure Download

Every time we make a new product announcement we create a product brochure that features high-resolution photos, product numbers, road numbers, and information. These are sent to our dealers and our distributors, and you can download them too! Click here to visit our Catalogs page, or simply click on the brochure cover above. Please feel free to forward these brochures to your friends.

If you are a Rapido dealer and you are not getting these product brochures emailed from your distributor please call your distributor and holler at them in righteous indignation or contact me and I will ask Jason to look into it.

FP9A Update


The latest FP9A shell samples. What an amazing level of detail!

The CN FP9A project continues to move forward. We just received final body samples (woo-hoo!) and now we just need to add the rivets and other eroded details and then the body is FINALLY done!

We are finalizing the details of the sound decoder, which will be produced by Soundtraxx using our FP9A recordings (for the entertaining story behind THAT endeavor, click here) and a specially-designed circuit board to control all of our optional lighting functions:
  • Ditchlights
  • Roof Strobes
  • Number Boards
  • Class Lights (hopefully including green AND white!)
  • Headlight
  • Backup light

FP9 Roof Fan

The all new 48" chicken wire fan as applied to select CN and VIA units,
available ONLY on our model.

Come see us (and 20,000 of our closest friends)

Springfield Train Show

Click on the image above for more info!

Finally, hard as it is to believe, another of my favorite hobby related events is only a week or two away - the Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show, known to most of us in the Northeast just as "Springfield." This show is one of the largest and most successful model railroad shows in the country and regularly attracts over 25,000 modelers over the two days of the event. If you live in the South or West it is actually worthwhile to come on over.

Springfield Train Show

A small part of only one of the four buildings!

The show is held at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts and covers 300,000 square feet in four buildings (that's 7 acres of trains folks!). In addition to numerous manufacturers and layout displays, this year's show includes model railroading clinics for even more interest.

Dan and I will be there representing Rapido at booth #143 A/B in the Mallary Building. (For "Springfield" veterans that's the new section of the new building). Make sure to stop by and say "Hi!" and see samples of our latest offerings. When I asked Jason if he was coming he muttered something about spending time in his basement...

One more quick note. At the bottom of this email is a link to forward it to a friend. If you know someone who might be interested in any of the above information, please forward the email to them and help us get the word out about our new Reefer and other products.

Thanks a lot, and I hope to see you at Springfield!


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