Rapido Newsletter Vol. 104
©2018 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

Enough of this sunshine and hot weather! We're ready for rain and snow and more time in our basements!

In this issue of Rapido News:

  • Royal Hudson - Order Deadline and New Video!
  • See the HO Scale Royal Hudson in Montreal!
  • The Latest Rapido Factory Video
  • 1... 2... 3... PUNT! Some Order Deadlines Postponed
  • Limited Edition - Weathered HO Scale GMD-1 Available Now
  • Greater Toronto Train Show Next Weekend
  • Other Rapido Show Appearances
  • Sleeping Car Work Session - 22-26 October
  • Delivery Updates
  • Did Somebody Say Dining Cars?
  • Essay: Did We Miss The Steam Boat?
Royal Hudson - Order Deadline and New Video!

Our long-awaited first Canadian steam locomotive, the HO scale Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson, is just about ready for production. We're making the final tweaks to the sounds, steam chuff synchronization, mould parting lines, and weight balance. So at long last we can announce our FINAL order deadline for this locomotive.

Sunday September 30th, 2018

That's less than two weeks away! Please make sure you have your orders in to your dealer or directly with us by the 30th. Dealers and distributors have until Wednesday October 3rd to get your numbers in, and we give those numbers to the factory on the 4th. We will make a handful of extras for latecomers, but we can't guarantee the locomotive number/variation that you want if you order past those dates.
The Royal Hudson on Keith Hopkin's layout
The Royal Hudson comes in the following paint schemes:

  • Canadian Pacific
  • 1939 Royal Train #2850
  • British Columbia Railway #2860
  • Southern #2839
  • BCR 2860 (early with BC crest) - PWRS exclusive

As mentioned in Rapido News 103, PWRS is producing the touring version of 2860, including the B-units and tank car which accompanied it across Canada. Click here to visit their web site.

You can read our Master Class on the history of the Royal Hudson steam locomotives by clicking here.
1939 Royal Train Menu Cover
Thanks to the guy who gave it to us at Credit Valley last weekend!
Royal Train locomotive #2850 is our second-biggest seller behind #2860. I mentioned in the last newsletter that we were going to match the Van Hobbies model. But then we saw the Van Hobbies model (thanks Mac Irvine!) and it raised a red flag. The colours did not look correct. (Note that colourized images like the one above must not be taken as accurate. They aren't.)

We were then contacted by railfan Daniel Calhoun who informed us that... he has a builder's plate from 2850! AND IT HAS SOME BLUE ON IT! Daniel matched it to a Pantone colour chart, and that is now the basis for our Dark Blue. The Royal Blue has been matched to the only existing colour photo of a Royal Train engine. We also verified it against other British Royal Blue paints from that era. This is the best we can do, and we're confident it will be a beauty.
The Royal Hudson on Keith Hopkin's layout.
The first car is a Dynamometer Car. Pretty fitting for a test run video, eh?
The biggest question we have had is: WILL IT PULL? Well, click here or on the image below to see our Royal Hudson effortlessly pull ten passenger cars - eight BRASS cars and two Rapido cars - on Keith Hopkin's gorgeous layout. The video contains some of our usual antics. Two people end up in the fridge. (Don't try this at home!)
Full information on our HO scale Royal Hudson can be found here.

Please order from your dealer or directly with us by the order deadline of September 30th.

I discuss our steam program and its viability in more detail in the essay at the bottom of this email.
2823 has just crossed onto the island of Montreal in this 1957 photo.
Photo courtesy John Riddell.
See the HO Scale Royal Hudson in Montreal!

Dan Darnell will be at the West Island Modular Railroad Club in Montreal on Tuesday - that's next week! - with our sample Royal Hudson. Come see it in person!

When: Tuesday 25 September, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Where: WIMRC, 502 Avenue O'Connell, Dorval, Quebec

You can visit the WIMRC Facebook page by clicking here.
The Latest Rapido Factory Video

Well we've done it again. We've enraged all of the angry China haters on the internet by once again being honest about where our model trains are manufactured and showing our customers the manufacturing process. And we'll continue to do so with pleasure!

Click here or on the image below to watch our latest factory video. Gareth and I take you to both our factories as well as to one of our mould vendors. You even get to witness some awesome Chinese karaoke!
Speaking of Chinese karaoke, below is a photo of me with our production supervisor, Ms. Wang (far right), and some other factory workers... at the karaoke bar! I was holding in my stomach for two hours. There's nothing like singing karaoke with a bunch of 20-somethings to make you feel tired, old and fat. I left at 11 p.m. to go to bed. They kept going till about 2 a.m. and still managed to be at work at 8:00 the next morning. My apologies to anyone whose model got QC'd that day...
One of these things is not like the others...
After all the time we spend explaining that Chinese people look younger than westerners and that there are no kids at our factory, Sidura gets this photo from me and responds "They look Dalya's age." Dalya is our daughter. She's 11. As co-owner of this company, Sidura needs to learn to stay on message...
Photos courtesy White River Productions; Kaluza-Mueller Collection; NHRHTA.
B36-7 photo taken by our own Gareth Bayer.
1... 2... 3... PUNT! Some Order Deadlines Postponed

So we looked at a bunch of our upcoming order deadlines and said, "There is no way we can start production yet on any of those!" The result? We're punting some order deadlines down a few months. This will also allow us to upload more product videos and show off the samples at more shows, so you can see the models in action.

A full listing of the affected items is below. There are two reasons for the delay. Reason one is that the production quantities recently have been much higher than expected. For example, we sold 50% more RDCs in the second run than our target. This is a good problem to have. We're not complaining!

Reason two is that we recently moved the Rapido factory to Guangxi province, and it's taken quite a while to get the logistics operating smoothly. We're starting to catch up now, but it's been hectic. We appreciate your patience.

N Scale  GE Dash 8-40CM
  • Order deadline extended to November 19th.
  • Click here for the YouTube video.
  • Click here to download the flyer.

HO Scale  Alco RS-11
  • Order deadline extended to November 19th.
  • Click here to download the flyer.

HO Scale  MLW RS-18
  • Order deadline extended to November 19th.
  • Click here to download the flyer.

HO Scale  Tempo Train
  • Order deadline extended to November 19th.
  • Click here to download the flyer.

Other HO Scale Locomotives
Comparison - our weathered GMD-1 model and the prototype. Pretty close, eh?
Prototype photo courtesy cnrphotos.com
Limited Edition - Weathered HO Scale GMD-1
Available Now

We have a very limited quantity of HO scale GMD-1 locomotives with DCC and sound, custom weathered by Rob Arsenault to match the real GMD-1 locomotive #1023. It even has the green door! This will make a gorgeous addition to any HO scale layout.

Please click here to order if you are in Canada. Click here to order if you are anywhere else.
The Rapido Bus will be at the show! Photo courtesy Chris Edwards.
Greater Toronto Train Show Next Weekend

Rapido is co-sponsor of the Greater Toronto Train Show, held every fall in the Toronto area. This is the largest model train show in Ontario, with over 50 vendors and exhibitors. Rapido will be there with the Rapido Bus!

When: 29-30 September, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Where: Brampton Fairgrounds, north west of the city

Visit TorontoTrainShow.com for more information. We hope to see you there!
Rapido at the Great British Train Show earlier this year.
Our transport is visible on the left.
Other Rapido Show Appearances

The Rapido team will be appearing at a number of other shows this fall:

21-22 September (i.e. RSN - Real Soon Now)
Baltimore, MD

22 September
George's Trains Annual Barbecue
Markham, ON

10-11 November
Milwaukee, WI

24-25 November
Birmingham, UK

We will also be appearing at DCCTRAIN in Cincinnati in late October. The date will be confirmed in the next newsletter.

I'll be at the Warley show this year with Bill, Gareth and Terry. I got an exit visa from my boss...
We dropped the B end truck from Edmundston earlier this month so we could do some repair work on the floor.
Sleeping Car Work Session - 22-26 October

We've been working hard on the restoration of our Pullman-Standard sleeping car, Edmundston. You can read the latest blog entries by clicking here. And our video about why we are saving this sleeping car can be viewed here.

We are organizing an intensive Edmundston work session the week of 22-26 October. Some of the jobs we need to do include:

  • Interior cleanup and painting
  • Insulation installation (say that five times fast)
  • Underfloor metal cleaning
  • New pipe installation
  • HEP wiring
  • Roof repair
Josh and Jordan inspect Edmundston from underneath.
We are looking for five to six people to help us for the week - the whole week if possible, but if you are only available for part of it, we may be able to work something out. We're talking daytime work rather than evenings.

We need people who have experience working with metal - maybe you are a mechanic or have worked in a body shop. Similarly, if you have plumbing or electrical experience you could be a huge asset.

We can pay you in Rapido stuff. If you are coming from out of town, we will put you up in a hotel. But we can't take just anybody - we really need people with the right kind of experience. Unfortunately model railroading does not count as experience. A Dremel won't get you very far on a real passenger car...

If you can help, please click here to email Chris Fox, our chief mechanic. Please let him know your experience as he knows what needs to be done.

If you are planning to come from the US, we can't pay you unless you have a Canadian work visa. But we can definitely put you up in a hotel and treat you like sleeping car restoration royalty.

We hope you can help out! Thanks in advance to anyone who steps up.
The NP boxcars have arrived! Jordan is amused.
Delivery Updates

We have recently shipped out:

Last week we shipped out:

In the next three weeks we are shipping out:
Final quality control of the N scale TurboTrains at the LRC factory
The N scale TurboTrains leave the factory TONIGHT. They will be here around November 1st. We have a tiny handful of Turbos available. Please contact us if you've just realized you want one.

Remember when we suddenly announced an exclusive VIA Rail Canada F40 locomotive last autumn? The one that sold out in three days and now goes for silly money on eBay? Some people were upset that we didn't give enough notice before the announcement so they could arrange to have funds available. This is your notice.
3D Rendering of Our New Haven Dining Car
Did Somebody Say Dining Cars?

Guests at the New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association annual reunion were delighted when Bill quietly announced a New Haven dining car in HO scale. It's true - we're making it in cooperation with NHRHTA. You can read more about it here.

However, this is just a quiet launch. It's a soft launch, otherwise known as a Nerf launch. We will be officially launching (hard launching?) the New Haven dining car next month. You see, we have another dining car to announce at the same time, and that launch is not ready yet. Stay tuned!

How many times can YOU use the word launch in one paragraph?
Announcing Icons of Canadian Steam at Exporail in October 2015
Did We Miss The Steam Boat?

With the Royal Hudson - our second steam engine - finally about to enter production, we've been having a lot of internal discussions about our ambitious Icons of Canadian Steam project. This was announced in 2015 during our Ride The Rapido excursion to Exporail, Canada's national railway museum. You can watch a really nice documentary video about that trip by clicking here or on the image below. It was professionally made by filmmaker Marc Winegust. So the production values are much better than our usual stuff!
The tooling costs for the Royal Hudson are very high. Let's put it this way: based on our sales to date, I predict that we will sell the same value (not quantity) of Royal Hudsons as we sold of the SW1200RS. But the tooling cost for the Royal Hudson was more than double that of the SW1200RS, as is the unit cost. That means if the total value of sales is the same, the profit margin on the Royal Hudson is lower.

This leads me to wonder if there are enough Canadian steam modellers today to make the Icons of Canadian Steam project viable. Some people have said: "I need XYZ and not the Hudson - you should have made that first." You can say that about any prototype. Had we made the CN 10-wheeler first, a lot of people would have said, "Nice, but let me know when you are doing the Royal Hudson."

You're probably saying to yourself, "Aw, Shron is trying to guilt us into buying a Royal Hudson." Well, duh! Of course I'm going to try to increase our sales in any way possible. If sharing my doubts about the number of steam modellers out there gets a bunch of guys to step up and buy a Royal Hudson, that makes a big difference.
A screen shot from our new video showing the backup light. Yes, it's white.
Because we have already tooled lots of "Hudson" bits, we've decided to move the H1a/b Hudson (including 2816) up in our schedule and it will be produced next. We'll do a full and proper launch of that next year when you have your Royal Hudson in your hands.

After that, we need to look at our sales and the interest generated by these two locomotives and determine the best course for the Icons of Canadian Steam. The schedule may need to be juggled some more. We are hoping that the video showing the amazing pulling power of our model will convince the doubters and boost Royal Hudson sales. When people own the models and see how good they are, we are confident that interest in the Icons of Canadian Steam will increase.

For Rapido, North American steam is uncharted waters. We usually get a significant number of pre-orders in the last week before the deadline so we'll know next month how this project has been received by our customers.

Anecdotally, we're hearing a lot about younger modellers getting into steam. I have to admit that seeing our sample chuff along Keith's layout has convinced me of the need to bring some steam to my 1980-era VIA Rail Canada layout. But the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Let's see how the models actually do.

Click here to order your Royal Hudson. Remember the final order deadline is September 30th.

Now about that first steam engine we made...
Our first steam engine was the Great Northern Stirling Single. We delivered it earlier this year to universal critical acclaim. According to British Railway Modelling magazine, the Stirling Single is - wait for it - the UK's finest ready-to-run OO model. Yes, you read that correctly. And that includes diesels, electrics, freight cars, and everything else in between! Here's the complete quote:

An American modeller working for a Canadian business designs the UK’s finest ready-to-run OO model – how can that happen? Take a bow Bill Schneider, you really have achieved something quite special in overcoming the challenges and producing a model of such fine quality.

You'll be pleased to know that Bill and Dan Darnell are the project managers of the entire steam program. Compared to the engineering challenges of the Stirling Single, the Royal Hudson is a very straightforward locomotive.
The Rapido Bus in Streetsville.
Photo courtesy Jonah Nixon.
In other news, we took the Rapido Bus out for a couple of excursions last Sunday as part of Credit Valley Railway's 25th anniversary events. Check out the photo above - it looks like it was taken in 1978! If you want to keep informed about neat stuff like this, please follow our Facebook page. That's where we announce last-minute events, sales, and other miscellaneous junk.

The excursions were fun - even though we almost got arrested at Meadowvale bus station! That MiWay driver was not a happy guy. All the other bus drivers were photographing our bus and giving us the thumbs up while this jerk was busy calling the police. What a doofus. We decided to make a hasty retreat.

That's it for now. I'm going to go sit in a hut in my back yard for a week. I'll be in touch in October.

Best regards,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.
USA: PO Box 796, Higganum, CT 06441
Canada: 500 Alden Road, Unit 21, Markham, ON L3R 5H5