Rapido Timetable

Timetable #11 Issued October 28, 2010

Dear Rapido Customer,

I need to get out more.

No, not like that! Let me explain.

Many years ago I used to be an avid railfan: a "foamer." Pretty much every spare weekend would be spent chasing trains. Then came "life": wife, family, house, job - all that stuff. So other than the odd chance encounter with a train I had sadly pretty much lost touch with the contemporary railroad scene. Then last weekend I had the chance to meet my nephew William and my brother-in-law Jim at the nearby Old Saybrook, CT railroad station. They had made the trip up from southern Connecticut with some of William's friends to shoot some trains there, and invited me to join them. Because of those life things I could only spare an hour or so, but I'm glad that I went!

I was immediately struck by two things. First, those Amtrak Acelas really move! Second, and more importantly, those who claim that there is no interest in trains in the younger generations need only stop by Old Saybrook on a Sunday! In addition to my nephew and his two rather enthusiastic friends there were at least two other groups on the platform of this fairly quiet station watching and photographing trains. In addition, a grandfather and grandson came by, video camera in hand, because the grandson wanted to see the trains! Everyone I talked to was a modeler as well. Hopefully their early interest will be encouraged and will continue over the years.

Acela at Old Saybrook

Stand back! An Acela at speed.

Shoreline East at Old Saybrook

A Shoreline East push-pull commuter train stops at Old Saybrook.

Osgood Bradley Lightweight Coaches

To Three or not to Three...

When talking recently with some West Coast modelers and dealers it became quite clear that at least part of our information regarding the new HO scale Osgood Bradley Deluxe Coaches was confusing. So, to clear up any misunderstanding, here is the info:

We are selling many of these cars in multi-packs. The multi-packs include either two or three cars, each with a unique road number. We chose to offer these cars this way at the request of our US distributors who felt that we have too many individual item numbers in each release (I think we're up to over 1200 items now!). By limiting the number of product numbers we hoped to simplify their data entry, order entry and record keeping. Now here's the bit that seemed to get missed in the original announcements:

The cars in the multi-packs are INDIVIDUALLY BOXED AND LABELED and CAN BE SOLD SEPARATELY by any dealer or distributor that chooses to do so. There is no requirement for the modeler to buy three cars or none. We expect that most dealers will be happy to break them up so that you can buy as many or as few as you would like. Talk to your dealer.

Full information on these unique cars, including product numbers, can be found here.

And now for the rest of the news...

In this Timetable:

  • Remaining N scale Panorama Line passenger cars shipped
  • HO scale LRC coaches and club cars on the way
  • Upcoming order deadlines
  • HO scale "The Canadian" passenger train update

Remaining N Scale Panorama Line passenger cars shipped

N scale Panorama Line Lackawanna coach

Pure class! The Delaware Lackawanna & Western's snazzy paint scheme on our
N scale coach. OK, I'm biased. Jason keeps mumbling on about "wet noodles" and
"sergeant stripes." Nope. Don't know what he's talking about.

The last group of our second run of Panorama Line passenger cars have finally arrived. This means that at this point we have shipped all of the new N scale cars to our distributors and dealers. Thanks for helping make them a huge success! Jason will have a new Panorama Line announcement soon.

N scale Panorama Line Duplex Sleeper

N scale Duplex Sleeper decorated for Louisville & Nashville

HO Scale LRC coaches and club cars on the way

LRC coach production

LRC coach interiors under production. Mmmm... Brown.

The all new HO scale Super Continental Line LRC coaches and club cars will start to arrive before Christmas. They are taking much longer than planned because Jason insisted on including almost every bit of printing that was on the real cars in the 1980s and 1990s - that means each car is hit almost 60 times by the pad printing machines. And you wonder why we are always late delivering stuff? I think you'll agree from the photos above and below that it is worth the wait.

LRC fans will notice that the first run of VIA LRC coaches has the 1981-1992 interior colors, because Jason is modelling the 1980s on his layout.... and you wonder how we make product decisions! When we do the "Canada" wordmark cars (probably next year) they will have the 1992-2012 green and grey colors. For those of you modeling 1992-1998 who want green interiors and no Canada logo, get out some green paint! We can't do EVERYTHING for you.

Since 1982, the Bombardier LRC (Light, Rapid, Comfortable) has dominated VIA Rail Canada services in the Ontario-Quebec Corridor. Amtrak tested the LRC between 1980 and 1982 and the locomotives and cars could be seen primarily in the Northeast and the Midwest. A major rebuilding project planned by VIA will extend the lives of the coaches and "VIA 1" cars by another 20 years.

HO LRC train.

HO scale LRC coaches.

Our new ready-to-run LRC coach and LRC "VIA 1" club car will feature the same level of detail as our other Super Continental Line passenger trains and are available in both Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada.

To give you an idea of our detail level... In the photo below, have a look at the little diagrams on the car end, explaining to crews how to connect the HEP (Head-End Power) cables.

HO LRC coach end

As Jason said to me when he saw this: Beauty, eh?

The LRC locomotive will be following along early next year. We're trying to boost reservations for these engines, which look a lot like Star Trek shuttlecraft! They did not just pull LRC coaches, and were regularly assigned to conventional trains. Jason asked me to tell you that LRC locomotives regularly pulled:
  • LRC trains in Canada and the USA
  • The "International" between Toronto and Chicago
  • Conventional VIA trains (often using two locomotives back-to-back) - this includes both blue and yellow cars and stainless steel equipment
  • "Tempo" trains in Ontario
  • The joint VIA-ONR "Northland" overnight train
  • Freight trains for CN
  • Montreal-area commuter trains in the late 1980s and early 1990s
And LRC engines could be seen at both ends of LRC trains as short as three or four cars - quite regularly, in fact! More info on the VIA engine can be found here, and info on the Amtrak engine can be found here.

HO LRC Locomotive

Pre-production sample of our unique LRC Locomotive

Upcoming order deadlines

HO Supercontinental Line 6-4-6 sleeper.

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

The original order deadline for the upcoming HO scale Supercontinental Line 6-4-6 sleeper and Grill-Parlor cars has just passed. However, because the LRC coaches are taking longer to produce than we had planned we're not quite ready to start production on the new cars yet. So, we're extending the deadline by a few weeks so that you still have time to get your orders in.

Speaking of which - Jason and I are once again confused! When we announced the new 6-4-6 sleepers L&N modelers emailed us by the dozen asking us to bring out the L&N version of this car. With such vocal support we decided to add the L&N cars to the line-up. Well... Guess what? The C&EI and NC&StL cars are each far outselling L&N. In fact, we have sold three times as many C&EI and NC&StL cars as L&N! C&EI and NC&StL had seven "Pine" Sleepers between them, and L&N had 22 in service. L&N modelers bombarded us with requests but from what we have seen so far, in the end it seems that very few have actually ordered them.

Given the current level of pre-orders, we may actually have to cancel L&N, the single biggest owner of the post-war 6-4-6 sleeper in North America and the one most asked for in our email in-boxes. We give up trying to predict this stuff.

So, L&N modelers: please, if you're interested in these gorgeous Pine Sleeper models make sure that you get your pre-orders in today. Unless significant additional orders come in we will have to cancel the L&N altogether.

Our HO scale 6-4-6 is available decorated for:
Our HO scale Grill-Parlor Car is based on the CN Pullman-Standard prototype. This car and cars like it entered service over 50 years ago throughout the United States and Canada. These cars were used on services that did not necessarily require a full-length diner, and are perfect to provide first class and dining services on a pike-sized passenger train. Our HO scale Grill-Parlor Car is available in:

More order deadlines...

November 1, 2010 - HO scale Osgood Bradley 10 window coaches
This deadline has been extended to December 15th.

PC Osgood Bradley coach

HO scale Penn Central (ex-New Haven) Osgood Bradley 10 window coach.

Osgood-Bradley's first lightweight cars were delivered to the New York, New Haven & Hartford, Boston and Maine and Bangor & Aroostook. These cars were used in both long distance and local service and many lasted to see service on the Penn Central in the 1970s. Additionally, the Boston and Maine's cars were sold to the Long Island Railroad where they served in New York City commuter service into the 1980's
Available decorated in:

December 15, 2010 - HO scale Rapido Express C-liner locomotives

NH C-Liner locomotive

HO scale New Haven CPA-24-5 C-liner, now with new artwork and correct details.

The Rapido Express HO scale 5-Axle CPA20-5 and CPA24-5 C-Liner locomotives are based on the True Line Trains tooling, but will feature ALL-NEW, CORRECT TRUCKS and correct side grilles and fans. They will also feature added road specific details such as grab irons and horns. Decoration will include new artwork and accurate colors. Sound-equipped units will utilize Soundtraxx Tsunami decoders. All locomotives will feature all-wheel pick up and drive as well as Rapido's new 5-pole motor for smooth operation and superior pulling power.

Please note that the hand-assembled model in the photo above has the original trucks. Our model will have new trucks tooled from scratch.

The first releases in this series will be Long Island Railroad and New Haven These locomotives will be produced strictly to order so get your reservations in by December 15, 2010!

HO scale "The Canadian" passenger train update

The Canadian Park dome - observation

The Park car, CP's gorgeous dome-observation and a classy ending to "The Canadian."
VIA models come with the nifty center marker light.

I hate plumbing.

Because I own an old house I have had to become familiar enough with the tools to repair late night leaks, but I still hate plumbing. Because of this, I am extremely grateful that I never had to work under one of The Canadian's Budd-built passenger cars in real life! Of course, I've been spending most of my working days recently staring at pipes anyway - if only on a computer screen - as we forge ahead with the final underbody designs for the upcoming HO scale "Canadian" passenger train. Of course, this would not be a worthy Rapido product without a full complement of underbody details and all those pipes! Here are a few current images of the evolving designs. For more information on this exciting new project, click here.

The Canadian Park dome - observation details

Most of those pipes were needed just to get hot water up into the sinks!

The Canadian Park dome - observation details

Just a bit more of the Park car's tangled plumbing. There is still more to add!

The Canadian diner details

Dinner in the Diner... a view that the diners will never see!

That's it for now, but we'll have much more to talk about in the next month or two. We'll be announcing our new HO scale freight car model at the 2011 Prototype Rails meet in Cocoa Beach, Florida. We might even have a sample by then! Make your reservations today.

In the meantime, happy modeling and as always thank you for your support.


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