Rapido Newsletter Vol. 102
©2018 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

We promised some big announcements, and boy are these big announcements. We launched our new products live on Facebook this afternoon and you can watch the video by clicking here. We also have some order deadlines coming up.

In this issue:

  • New! HO Scale RS-11
  • New! HO Scale RS-18
  • New! HO Scale Tempo Train Box Set
  • New! N Scale CN/BCR Dash 8 Locomotive
  • Order Deadline July 6th: Well Car, F40PH-2D
  • Order Deadline Extended: Royal Hudson, B36-7
  • Blast from the Past
  • Having Fun with the Rapido Bus

Please note: if you click a link and our web site does not load, it's because too many people are visiting at once. Please try again later. We're working on a permanent fix.
A trio of New Haven RS-11s haul a long train which includes many Rapido coaches!
Photo courtesy Bob's Photos.
New! HO Scale RS-11

We are delighted to announce the first ever museum-quality model of the iconic Alco RS-11 locomotive in HO scale!

Alco's RS-11 (catalogued as the DL-701) locomotive was introduced in early 1956. It was powered by an 1,800-horsepower turbocharged V-12 version of Alco's 251B prime mover. The RS-11 rode on B-B trucks of similar design to those used under the earlier RS-3 and FA series locomotives. Its hood style carbody featured notched corners that included the corner number boards and on most units sand filler hatches as well.

Many roads purchased RS-11s, with a total of over 460 units being built. The Norfolk and Western was the largest purchaser with 99 units. The Pennsy signed on for 38 units, the Nickel Plate took 35 and SP took 34.
Some of the unique details on the SP RS-11
Rapido's model is the first truly accurate plastic model of the Alco RS-11 in its many variations. In order to get the shape exactly right, we did a 3D scan of the real thing at the Depew, Lancaster & Western in Batavia, New York, and we climbed all over New Haven 1402 at the Danbury Railway Museum. Thanks to both of these organizations for giving us access.

Our first releases feature many road-specific details including PRR Trainphone antennas, N&W filters and battery boxes, SP lighting packages and New Haven whistles and cab signal boxes. Additionally, many optional parts are included with the model which you can install to replicate changes in the units over time.

Notice the modular tooling: the roof section containing the dynamic brakes and the air filters is a separate part. We have tooled several different versions of this section to represent several different filter arrangements and to produce a version without dynamic brakes, according to the prototype.
Our new HO scale RS-11 - this is the PRR version with Trainphone antenna.
First test casting shown with some parts 3D printed.
This tooling is far from finished - these really are the first test shots
out of the molds and need a lot of tweaking!
Our all-new HO scale RS-11 features:

  • Correct hood and roof profiles 3D scanned from the prototype - yes, it's even the correct height!
  • Operating number boards, headlights and green and white class lights and cab control stand lighting
  • Roadname-specific details including steps, lights, equipment boxes, handrails, fuel tanks, air intake louvers and more!
  • Rapido's innovative dead straight metal side handrails with plastic stanchions
  • Full underbody piping, conduits and steam lines, where appropriate
  • Correct roadname-specific corner steps
  • Separate grab irons and wire handrails installed at the factory
  • Heavy, die-cast chassis and full, multi-color interior
  • Rapido’s proven 5-pole skew-wound motor with dual flywheels and silky-smooth drive
  • DC/Silent (21-pin DCC Ready) or DC/DCC/Sound (ESU LokSound)
  • Accurate sounds recorded from a real Alco 251B prime mover
Our new HO scale RS-11 - this is the PRR version without Trainphone antenna.
Very rough test castings shown, including blobby white 3D-printed pilots
(the actual tooling wasn't ready yet). But you get the idea...
The HO scale RS-11 first run paint schemes are:

  • Alco Demonstrator
  • Conrail (ex-NH)
  • Conrail (ex-PRR)
  • Lehigh Valley
  • New Haven
  • Norfolk & Western
  • Penn Central
  • Pennsylvania Railroad
  • Southern Pacific Black Widow
  • Southern Pacific Bloody Nose (Road Unit)
  • Undecorated

We have many more roadnames to do, but bear in mind almost every one requires new tooling. So these are the first paint schemes but we intend to do every major original owner. No, we're not doing the Butte Munch & Southern or the (insert other obscure short line here) that owned two in 1984. So don't ask. Buy an undecorated model and paint it yourself.

The tooling is designed to allow us to produce chopped-nose units, so that is a possibility in the future.
Spotting features of the New Haven RS-11
The MSRP for the HO scale RS-11 is $335 (DC/DCC/Sound) and $225 (DC/Silent). Prices are slightly higher in Canada.

The order deadline is October 15th, with delivery next year.

Full information, including product and road numbers, can be found here.
Our new HO scale RS-18 - this is the CN Tempo version, MRE-18g.
First test casting shown with some parts 3D printed.
Like the RS-11, the tooling isn't quite finished yet!
New! HO Scale RS-18

We are also delighted to announce the first accurate HO scale model of the iconic MLW RS-18, Canada's answer to the RS-11 and easily our most-requested Canadian locomotive.

The RS-18 was the successor to the Alco 244-equipped RS-10, which was not known for its reliability. The RS-18, with its powerful Alco 251 prime mover, had no such issues. It is widely regarded as MLW's most successful locomotive from both an operational and a mechanical point of view.

351 RS-18s were built between December 1956 and June 1968 for Canadian National (225), Canadian Pacific (72), Pacific Great Eastern (29), and smaller railroads.
A pair of 3100s gives us some beautiful thrash on the Newmarket sub.
We need someone to make those balloon top coaches, eh?
Photo courtesy Don Jaworski.
The HO scale RS-18 has been something of a labour of love for us because nearly all of us here at Rapido need them for our layouts! We've really gone crazy on the road specific details and, of course, we couldn't make MLW's classic Canadian roadswitcher without offering the entire fleet of six Canadian
National Tempo conversions featuring an extended short hood with HEP (Head End Power) alternators. We're even making the Hawker-Siddeley Tempo train for them to pull! More on the Tempo later. (Tempo! We're actually making the Tempo!!! WOOO-HOOOOO!!!!!)

Sorry - I'll stay composed.

As we do on many of our locomotive projects, RS-18 project manager Dan Darnell started by tracing a 3D laser scan of the real thing. Thanks to David Monte Verde and everyone at the Depew, Lancaster & Western for letting us crawl all over their engine! This means for the first time ever our Alco/MLW roadswitcher has the correct hood radius and main dimensions.


(Did I mention we're making the Tempo?)

The RS-18s come installed with standard Dofasco Type B trucks or lightweight trucks as appropriate. The long and short hood details correctly replicate the differences between CN and CP locomotives as well as changes that occurred between various build groups. We've even made two different frame widths to replicate this never-before-offered feature!

(We didn't know about it before we started the design work, but there were indeed two different frame widths. The models that have stanchions mounted to the outside of the walkway have a narrower frame than the models that have the stanchions mounted to the top of the walkway. Thanks MLW for costing us an extra boatload in tooling for this barely-noticeable feature. It's much appreciated.)
That's what I call a pike-sized passenger train. De-HEPed Tempo unit 3153 hauls two coaches past Spadina Yard in 1980. Hey! I'm modelling Spadina Yard in 1980!
We need someone to make those Deluxe dual-vestibule coaches, eh?
Photo courtesy Kaluza-Mueller Collection.
Here are the versions of the RS-18 we're doing in the first run:

  • CN 3100s with pass-through steam lines
  • CN 3150 Tempo units - with HEP (only available in the Tempo box set)
  • CN 3150 Tempo units - without HEP
  • CN 3800s
  • CP 8700s

Two of the Tempo units, 3151 and 3153, were involved in wrecks and rebuilt without their HEP alternators in the short hood. These are available separately but the only way to get the HEP-equipped Tempo units is to buy the Tempo box set.

Those people who just skim but don't actually read our newsletters will now email us asking if we are doing the chopped-nose CP RS-18. The answer is yes, but not in this first run. However, the tooling is modular and we have accounted for the design of the chopped-nose RS-18 in our tooling.
Another shot of our RS-18 first test casting. Beauty, eh?
We're revising the design so the etched walkway is never visible below the cab.
Our HO Scale MLW RS-18 locomotive features:

  • 3D scanned from an actual RS-18 for 100% accurate shape and dimensions
  • Rapido's innovative dead straight metal side handrails with plastic stanchions
  • Incredible underframe detail including traction motor cables and other piping, re-railer and a ridiculous number of separately-applied parts
  • Roadname-specific details including dynamic brakes and numerous different filter arrangements
  • Operational headlights, rear lights, bi-colour class lights, illuminated cab control stand, and operational factory-installed ditch lights on some CP units
  • Separate grab irons and handrails installed at the factory
  • Highly detailed cab interior with dual control stands where appropriate
  • Heavy, die-cast chassis with Rapido's proven 5-pole skew-wound motor with dual flywheels and silky-smooth drive
  • DC/Silent (21-pin DCC Ready) or DC/DCC/Sound (ESU LokSound) options
  • Beauty sound, eh?
Rendering of the CP RS-18. Some models have working ditch lights.
The Canadian MSRP for the HO scale RS-18 is $359.95 (DC/DCC/Sound) and $249.95 (DC/Silent). Prices are $335/$225 USD outside Canada.

The order deadline is October 15th, with delivery next year.

Full information, including product and road numbers, can be found here.
First test samples of our new HO scale Tempo train
From top: Club, Cafe-Bar-Lounge, Coach
Rivets and other final details not yet added.
New! HO Scale Tempo Train Box Set

Oh my... the train I have wanted since forever is finally being made by... US! Yes, we are making the train I swore no manufacturer would ever make: The Tempo! In a box! With extra free stuff!

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Tempo, a unique CN passenger train that operated between Toronto, Windsor, Sarnia and Chicago. For those of us of a certain age, the Tempo was as much a part of the Toronto railroad scene as the CN Tower and Union Station. It's our railroad history, and we haven't forgotten it.
The CN Tempo at Bayview, 1975. Photo courtesy John Eull.
The Tempo was transferred to VIA Rail Canada in 1978 and in 1987 most of the passenger cars were sold to the Rio Grande Ski Train. In 2009 the Tempo was sold back to CN for use on the Algoma Central. The Tempo is still in service today, 50 years later.

I measured and photographed the cars myself in Sault Ste. Marie in 2011. So I have been planning this model for at least seven years.
Double-headed VIA Tempo rumbles through Bayview in 1981.
Note the lead engine is 3153 without a HEP alternator.
Photo courtesy Don Jaworski.
The Tempo coaches were built by Hawker-Siddeley and were the first aluminum, head end power (HEP) equipped passenger cars in the national fleet. To pull the coaches, CN rebuilt six RS-18 locomotives, increasing the length of the short hood to install a Cummins diesel generator which provided HEP for the coaches. This new "MRE-18g" class of locomotives received a striking orange and white paint scheme.

In 1983, the Tempo coaches were converted from 575V to 480V so they could be hauled by VIA LRC and Amtrak F40 locomotives, usually on the International between Toronto and Chicago.
The International hauled by an LRC locomotive.
Photo courtesy Kaluza-Mueller Collection.
The Tempo is all about modern comfort. The 82-seat coaches feature comfortable seating, overhead reading lamps and doors that opened at the touch of a button.
Promotional photo of the Cafe-Bar-Lounge.
CN photo courtesy Richard Longpre Collection.
If your passengers are feeling hungry they can stroll to the cafe, where microwave ovens prepare piping hot food in just seconds. First class "Tempo Club" cars feature ultra-comfortable 2+1 seating and hot meals served at your seat.
Promotional photo of the Club Car.
CN photo courtesy Richard Longpre Collection.
The Model

Each Tempo box set contains:

  • One RS-18 MRE-18g Tempo locomotive (Sound or Silent)
  • Tempo Coach
  • Tempo Club
  • Tempo Cafe-Bar-Lounge
  • Two commemorative Tempo tumblers
  • 100 commemorative Tempo cocktail napkins
  • Tempo 50th Anniversary Photo Book

Additional Tempo coaches can be ordered to build a longer train. But the only way to get the Tempo locomotives and the Club and Cafe-Bar-Lounge cars is to order the set.

Have a look at these first test castings that just arrived from the factory on Thursday:
Tempo Club Car features individual seats and fully-detailed galley.
The original Tempo coach seats were found to be unreliable and were replaced with Mount Royal seats out of repurposed 1954 EM coaches. Our Tempo coach has Mount Royal seats. This is the first time Rapido has made Mount Royal coach seats.
I know what they look like. Four pairs are in my basement!
The Cafe-Bar-Lounge interior features separate seats and tables.
Each Tempo passenger car features:

  • Scaled from blueprints and field measurements
  • Full, multi-colour interior with individually-installed seats
  • Complete underbody with separate piping and conduit
  • Track-powered interior lighting
  • Working marker lights
  • Etched-metal end gates
Tempo's unique trucks feature outside disc brakes.
They wouldn't be Rapido passenger cars without an insane amount of underbody detail.
Check out the 26C brake system!
We even include stuff YOU CAN'T SEE. That is the open rear of the AC compressor, which is completely invisible from trackside. But it's THERE!
The Tempo is available in the following paint schemes. Each box set contains different locomotive and car numbers.

  • CN - Two different box sets
  • CN - Four extra coaches available separately
  • VIA - Two different box sets
  • VIA - Four extra coaches available separately
  • Algoma Central - Club, cafe-bar-lounge and three different coaches
  • Undecorated - coaches only

Algoma Central is a conditional announcement subject to minimum order quantities being reached. We do plan to make the Rio Grande Ski Train but we won't announce it until the locomotive is ready...
Here our first Tempo test castings pose on my layout.
The foreground is cut and pasted from one of our photo dioramas.
Here's what it really looked like:
Bill photographs the Tempo over what will be the Cataraqui River at Kingston Mills.
Full information on the new HO scale Tempo can be found here. The order deadline is October 15th, with delivery in mid-2019.

Long live the Tempo!
First test casting of our N scale CN/BCR Dash 8. This is the later CN version.
New! N Scale CN/BCR Dash 8 Locomotive

We promised some new N scale locomotives were coming down the pipe, and here's our first one. We are absolutely delighted to announce the N scale CN and BCR Dash 8 locomotive! And here's the kicker - our N scale model is a super-detailed, full-on Rapido quality model. That means it's MORE detailed than the HO version, which was a budget model.
A pair of Dash 8s leads a pair of GMD-1s in this 1991 photo by John Eull.
Hey - why is the second GMD-1 doing all the work?
The main features of the distinctive Dash 8 Locomotive are the four-window Canadian cab, the cowl-style body and the famous ‘Draper Taper’ cutout behind the cabs. These great-looking locomotives always turn railfan heads in trains!

I should probably point out the locomotive's proper name is the C40-8M, but I have never met a Canadian railfan who actually calls it that. To us it's just the Dash 8 (or the Dash 8-40CM if you want to get technical).

You say "Dash 8" in Canada and almost everyone knows you're talking about the Draper Taper, including people who work in a flower shop and have never even heard of CN. Weird, eh?
4609 in the lead.
Photo courtesy Brendan Frisina.
The Dash 8-40CM was introduced in 1990 with an order of 30 units for Canadian National (2400-2429), classified EF-640a. This was followed by a further 25 units (2430-2454) in 1992, classified EF-640b. BC Rail received 22 units (4601-4622) in 1990, followed by four more (4623-26) in 1993. The BC units were transferred to CN following the de facto purchase of BCR in 2004. The final units were for QNSL, which acquired three locomotives (401-403) in March 1994.

Amazingly, all 81 CN/BC Rail Dash 8s are still in service. Most are still in their original paint schemes but several have been repainted into the newer CN.CA livery. They can be seen all over Canada and across the USA.
Our N scale Dash 8 features improved roof detail over our HO scale Dash 8!
Along the frame we have traction motor cables and other details.
Truly, this is more detailed than the HO model.
Have a look at these N scale Dash 8 features:

  • Accurately scaled from prototype blueprints - completely designed from new. We didn't just shrink the HO model.
  • Roadname-specific details including bell position, single or double rear headlights, with or without battery boxes behind cab, horns, tall or short sand fillers, CN or BCOL style ditch light castings and more!
  • An insane level of underbody detail with air filters, many separate pipes and moulded traction motor cabling and air/control pipe runs
  • Heavy, die-cast chassis with a powerful coreless motor and dual flywheels
  • Operational headlights and rear lights with operational factory-installed ditch lights (plus working rock lights on BCOL locomotives)
  • Separate grab irons and handrails installed at the factory
  • DC/Silent (Next18 DCC Ready) or DC/DCC/Sound (ESU LokSound)
  • Accurate sounds recorded from a real General Electric Dash 8
  • Factory-installed couplers mounted at the correct height

That's one beauty model, eh?
Now if only we could recreate the sagging frame of the prototype...
But seriously - doesn't that look gorgeous?
The Canadian MSRP for the N scale Dash 8 is $169.95 (DC Silent) and $289.95 (DC/DCC/Sound). Prices are $149.95/$259.95 USD outside Canada.

The order deadline is October 15th, with delivery next year.

Full information, including product and road numbers, can be found here.
CBC 50th Anniversary F40PH-2D
Photo courtesy Ian Deck.
Order Deadline July 6th: Well Car, F40PH-2D

We looked at our order deadlines and realized that they were a bit silly. Nobody is ordering stuff on Independence Day (July 4th) or Dominion Day (July 1st). Two of the "early next month" order deadlines have been combined on Friday, July 6th.
Kool-Aid F40PH-2D #6404. Ooooh YEAH!
Photo courtesy Manny Jacob.
HO Scale F40PH-2D

We have to make these immediately. Even though we just announced the wrapped VIA F40s a couple of months ago, this order deadline is firm. We will make a handful of extras for latecomers, but the factory is ready to go. We can't tell you why there's a rush, but some of you will figure it out.

The paint schemes/versions in this new run are:

  • Home Hardware
  • Kool-Aid
  • CBC 50th Anniversary
  • Operation Lifesaver
  • Telus
  • Coors Light (two-locomotive set)
  • As Delivered
  • 1998 Repaints
  • Renaissance Rebuilds

Looking at the orders so far, the Coors Light set is leading the pack by a country mile. It's definitely happening. The factory is going to kill us...

The rest are a bit iffy. So make sure to get your orders in by the deadline.

Click here for more information or to order direct.
Unpainted pre-production sample of our Well Car and Container
Note the etched walkways and super fine handrails.
HO Scale 53' Husky Stack Well Car and 53' Container

We haven't mentioned the Husky Stack and Container in a while. It sort of fell off our radar what with all the locomotives we've been making lately. Nevertheless, the factory tells us they are eager to get rolling, so please get your reservations in by July 6th.

This model was originally announced as a Prime Movers model with a limited amount of detail. We've since upgraded it to a higher-end model but we've kept the price the same. It now features:

  • Etched metal walkways
  • Die-cast metal construction for good tracking empty or loaded
  • Super-fine handrails
  • Fine brake detail
  • All-new 70-ton trucks with three visible springs

The factory is tossing this into the production line whenever there is a spare moment so please get your orders in by the 6th to guarantee delivery.

Click here to download a PDF illustrated sales sheet on these models. Click here to visit the web site.
Royal Hudson samples in progress at the LRC factory
Order Deadline Extended: Royal Hudson, B36-7

While the F40s and Well Cars are ready to start production immediately, the HO scale Royal Hudson and B36-7 are not. We are waiting for final pre-production samples of the Royal Hudson, which are due next month. When they arrive we will quickly upload a video to our YouTube channel showing them in action.

Similarly, we are waiting for some tooling revisions on the B36-7, which is OK because we won't have capacity at the Rapido factory until the fall.

So the new order deadlines are:

Click on the project names above for more information or to order direct.
Our first trade show booth, at iHobbyExpo in Chicago, 2004
Blast from the Past

I was clearing out some old boxes and I came across the above photo. It's of Rapido's first trade show booth - at iHobbyExpo in Chicago, October 2004. We had just set it up when I snapped this shot. Sitting in the booth is my friend, Gala Barrett. We drove to Chicago in my parents' Jeep with a rented U-Haul trailer. Another friend, Jean Seo, joined us there. Jean played a huge role in the early days of Rapido and I couldn't have got the company off the ground without her.

There was just one problem with the ride to Chicago. Gala and I arrived in Sarnia after a four-hour drive and discovered that I had forgotten to pick up the booth. So we turned around and drove home. We ate take-out Chinese food, Gala slept in my parents' den, and the next day we did it all over again. That time we remembered to pick up the booth on the way.

The Turbo we were advertising was a resin kit. It eventually became our first ready-to-run model. Here's a piece of advice for anyone getting into model train manufacturing. For your first powered model, do not choose an articulated high-speed train with guided single axles between cars. Go with something simpler, like a Heisler or a 10-truck Shay.
Sidura, Jason, Jordan, Dan, Josh and Bill (and Isaac and Dalya) pose by
the Rapido Bus at the York Region Transit Promenade Terminal.
Having Fun with the Rapido Bus

Preparing for this launch has been a huge amount of work for everyone at Rapido. Most companies announce four new models in a year. We've just announced four in a day, and one of them has three different car styles!

That large amount of work can be quite stressful at times, and I've noticed in the office we've been a bit frayed around the edges over the last few weeks. So I invited everyone who was available to come on the Rapido Bus for an outing yesterday. Six of the Rapido team could make it, and we had a wonderful time.
Rapido and friends enjoy a day out at Halton County.
We invited a bunch of friends and we took the bus out to the Halton County Radial Railway, Ontario's only streetcar and subway museum. We got to ride a 1923-built Peter Witt streetcar along a scenic interurban railway, and their collection of Toronto streetcar and subway equipment is unmatched. Those Gloucester subway cars were a trip down memory lane as I rode them to and from school every day.
TTC old and new at the Promenade Terminal
Photo by Scott Atkinson
The TTC driver of the Bathurst North 160 got such a kick out of our bus in the Promenade terminal that she insisted we pull forward for a photo. We would have changed the destination to "Bathurst 7G" (which was the original route for the 160) but the Viva bus driver behind us was laying on the horn! Can't say I blame him...

These kinds of excursions are important for team building and for just taking a break. The Rapido Bus has more than covered its costs by providing joy to our team members as well as to all the people smiling, waving and taking photos of us wherever we go in the Toronto area. Except for the guy who lives on the court across from my house who kvetches every time I park the bus for a few minutes on "his street" (his words). What a yutz.
The wheels on the bus go round and round...
One more thing before I sign off. Rapido is a real team - it has come a long way from just me working in my brother's old bedroom at my parents' house, packing up LRC coach kits while trying desperately to raise capital to make ready-to-run trains. While I am sitting in my office writing this, everyone is buzzing around me getting ready for the launch. There is a real energy here, and it's very much a team effort.

But Rapido is still a family business, and Sidura and I are up to our necks in it. Many of you know what it is like to run a family business, and how the stresses of work and company finances can have an effect on your family life. Sometimes it's necessary to take a step back from the "business" and just appreciate the "family" part.

So from our family to yours, we thank you for your continuing support and enthusiasm for Rapido and its products.

(This is all an excuse to show you a picture of my kids. See below.)

Anyway, we are all announced out. We have lots to make. I'll be in touch next month with, hopefully, no new product announcements!

All the best,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.
The Shron Family, June 2018
Dalya (11), Sidura, Boaz (almost 13), Isaac (6) and Daddy
This is for my Uncle Michael, who complains that there are
not enough pictures of my kids in these newsletters.
USA: PO Box 796, Higganum, CT 06441
Canada: 500 Alden Road, Unit 21, Markham, ON L3R 5H5