Rapido Newsletter Vol. 107
©2018 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year! As has become an annual tradition, we're happy to entertain you with our Christmas newsletter. If you're reading this after Christmas or even after New Year, it's still valid! Why?

Because unlike other corporate Christmas newsletters, ours actually contain NEWS!

In this special edition of Rapido News:

  • Please Donate To Restore VIA 6309!
  • NEW! HO Scale Canadian Pacific D10 Steam Locomotive!
  • NEW! HO Scale Canadian National H-6 Ten Wheeler!
  • NEW! HO Scale EMD SW1200 Locomotive!
  • N Scalers Have Faith!
  • New Factory Video and China Factory Update
  • New Feature: Prototypical Diesel Inspection Lights
  • You Can Still Order The HO RS-11 and N Dash 8!
  • Rapido Winter Show Schedule
  • Business, Work and Family
Yours truly with 6309, rust and all. I was wearing a T-shirt and it was really cold...
Please Donate To Restore VIA 6309!

Exporail is doing a cosmetic restoration of VIA FP9A locomotive #6309 and moving it into their Angus Pavilion along with Dome Observation Sibley Park. The fundraising goal is $35,000 and they are halfway there!

6309 has now been moved indoors and body work has commenced.
Donors in Canada of $25 or more will get a tax receipt. Donors of $500 or more will get some nice perks, such as membership in the Canadian Railway Historical Association.

Donors of $1000 or more will get better perks, along with a $200 Rapido gift voucher.

Donors of $1500 or more will get even better perks, and a Rapido 6500-series ex-CN VIA FP9A with sound! This is all-new tooling of our GPA-17e FP9A with the 48" roof fans and medium winterization hatch. This model hasn't been released since 2013!

Full information about the various donor perks can be found here.
Rapido FP9A VIA
6542 from the 2012 release of the HO scale FP9A
To donate to the 6309 campaign, click here. If you donate before the end of the year, you will get a tax receipt for 2018. Please give generously. Guess what Rapido's financial reward is for this? Nothing. We just want to see more VIA stuff preserved and restored.
D10 #972 courtesy John Riddell Collection.
NEW! HO Scale Canadian Pacific D10 Steam Locomotive!

Thank you to everyone who ordered a Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson. As usual, our orders doubled in the final week and the project is already a huge success. We are thus pleased to announce the next two locomotives in the Icons of Canadian Steam series. The first is the CPR D10-class Ten Wheeler in HO scale.

The D10-class Ten Wheeler was the most numerous class of steam locomotive not only for the CPR but in all of Canada. 502 of these useful 4-6-0s were built between 1905 and 1913, and many lasted until the end of CP steam service in 1961. D10s were employed in freight and passenger work across Canada and into the United States on CP’s many lines. There is truly no more useful a locomotive for any steam era CPR layout than the D10.
Almost-finished render of the D10 locomotive with straight walkway
Of course, like any steam engine, the D10’s appearance changed over the years with variations In headlights, fuel type, walkways and more becoming apparent across the class. Rapido’s D10 will feature many optional details to accurately portray D10s in several configurations and subclasses, including:

  • Coal or Oil tenders
  • Raised or straight walkways
  • Centred or smokebox-top mounted headlights
  • Straight or angled front number boards
  • Two styles of power reversers
  • Straight or angled cylinder steam pipes
  • Two different bell locations
Initial render showing the wiggly walkway and straight cylinder steam pipe
You can learn more about the D10 by clicking on the image below - it will take you to the D10 Master Class.
The Rapido D10 will incorporate our smooth-running gear drive with flywheel allowing sure and silent operation. All silent models will be DCC ready, and sound-equipped models will be fitted with custom sound decoders that feature synchronized effects for ultimate realism. Lighting effects include headlights, marker lights, number boards and flickering firebox.
930 leads a local freight and illustrates why everyone needs more tenders.
Photo courtesy John Riddell collection.
The Rapido HO Scale CPR D10 is available in the following schemes:

  • Canadian Pacific
  • Canadian Pacific (Passenger)
  • Dominion Atlantic
  • Quebec Central
  • Credit Valley (Exclusive)
  • Painted/Unlettered

The MSRP is $599.95 (DC/DCC/Sound) and $499.95 (DC/Silent).

We are taking reservations now for what we are sure will be the ultimate HO scale D10 models. Talk to your dealer or reserve direct. As usual, these locomotives will be made to order.

The order deadline is Canadian Thanksgiving, October 14, 2019. (It's different up here, eh?) Delivery is expected in 2020.

Click here for more information or to order direct.
A gorgeous photo of H-6-d 1532 late in life courtesy John Riddell Collection.
NEW! HO Scale Canadian National H-6 Ten Wheeler!

It just wouldn't be right for us to keep CN steam modellers stuck in the siding, so we're delighted to announce the Canadian National H-6 class Ten Wheeler steam locomotives!

Originally built by the Canadian Northern Railway, Canadian National’s H-6 class 4-6-0 were a light, general-purpose locomotive perfectly suited to freight or passenger work across the entire CNR system. They lasted in regular service into the late 1950s with several being preserved after the end of steam.

Full information about the prototype can be found in our Master Class:
Over the years, several modifications were made to the H-6 class which created some visually distinct locomotives. These include but are not limited to installing new steel cabs to replace the original wooden ones, conversion of part of the fleet from coal to oil fired, and wooden extensions to the tender bunker for those units that continued using coal.
H-6-g 1389 hauls a local passenger train in Winnipeg.
Photo courtesy John Riddell Collection.
Rapido’s H-6 will feature many optional details to accurately portray H-6s in several configurations and subclasses, including:

  • Coal (with or without an extended bunker) and Oil tenders
  • Wood or steel cabs
  • Manual or power reversers
  • Vertical or horizontal slat pilots
  • Two different bell locations
  • Two different headlight sizes

Like the D10, the H-6 drive will incorporate our smooth-running gear drive with flywheel allowing sure and silent operation. Here's a complete features list:

  • Designed from blueprints and field measurements
  • Factory-applied details specific for each road number
  • Smooth-running drive and heavy diecast weight centred above the drivers for exceptional pulling power
  • Blackened metal wheels and driving rods
  • Working head, marker and classification lights, as well as a flickering firebox light (not all lights available on DC models)
  • DCC sound version includes synchronized chuff, accurate whistle, bell and many other effects!
  • Accurate and complete piping, underbody and tender details
  • Accurate paint and decoration
  • 18" Minimum radius (22" recommended)
H-6-d 1536 has raised cab letters. They will be included in the box with every model.
Photo courtesy Brian Schuff Collection.
The Rapido HO Scale CNR H-6 will come available in two paint schemes – the tilted vermilion wafer and the horizontal vermilion wafer, both applied to the tender – plus two painted/unlettered variations.

The MSRP is $599.95 (DC/DCC/Sound) and $499.95 (DC/Silent).

We are taking reservations now for the H-6-g and H-6-d. Talk to your dealer or reserve direct. As usual, these locomotives will be made to order.

Like the D10, the H-6 order deadline is Canadian Thanksgiving, October 14th, 2019. Please click here for more info or to order direct. Delivery will be in 2020.
Thomas Anderson Photo courtesy Harry Wong Collection.
NEW! HO Scale EMD SW1200 Locomotive!

We are delighted to OFFICIALLY announce our new HO scale diesel locomotive, the EMD SW1200. In the 1950s, railroads were looking for a compact, lightweight locomotive to replace steam power on branch lines and other over-the-road assignments (freight and passenger) not requiring a full-fledged mainline road switcher. The SW1200 combined the right size and muscle for these assignments.
SOO Line Render, Showing Flexicoil Trucks
But hasn't this been done before?

The SW1200 has been made several times in HO scale, but it's never received the Rapido treatment. The prototype SW1200 was made available with both Type A and Flexicoil trucks, and the Rapido model represents those options. Other features available on the SW1200 include different fuel tanks, unique spark arrestors, MU cables, folding end-platform drop steps and different lighting options as specific to each road.

In production until May 1966, over 700 examples of this versatile road switcher were built by EMD with an additional 280+ built by GMD in Canada.
The Rapido SW1200 will be available in the following paint schemes:

  • Baltimore & Ohio
  • Burlington Northern
  • Chicago & North Western
  • Chicago, Burlington & Quincy
  • Rock Island
  • Conrail
  • Denver & Rio Grande Western
  • Grand Trunk Western (Three Versions)
  • Great Northern
  • Milwaukee Road
  • Missouri Pacific
  • New Haven
  • Northern Pacific
  • Pennsylvania
  • Penn Central
  • Soo Line
  • Southern Pacific
  • Undecorated
Prototype photo courtesy Stan Sienicki.
The order deadline for the Rapido SW1200 is June 24th, with delivery around this time next year. So you have plenty of time to save up for your fleet!

The MSRP for most of the planet is $335 (DC/DCC/Sound) or $225 (DC/Silent). The MSRP in Canada is $359.95 (DC/DCC/Sound) or $249.95 (DC/Silent).

For more information or to order direct, please click here.
An obscure part of a new N scale model...
N Scalers Have Faith!

My N scale modelling friends will no doubt notice that the three big announcements this month are all HO scale. I am asking you to hold in there. I am writing this part of the newsletter while on the plane back from China, and the vast majority of the new project design I was working on while there was N scale.
An obscure part of a different new N scale model!
I really don't want to give these away yet...
We have several N scale projects lined up for tooling in 2019. The first one goes into the mould workshop in late February when China has woken up from its Chinese New Year three-week shutdown. I'm the project manager on four different not-yet-announced N scale models. I will be consulting with the team in January to determine the announcement and release schedule. All will be announced in 2019.

All four projects also share one common theme - they have never been produced in N scale before.

Stay tuned!

One more thing... Scroll down for a photo of our new N scale Dash 8 sample with working ditch lights and rock lights!
New Factory Videos and China Factory Update

Speaking of China, I've just come back from a visit to our two factories in southern China. This was a very exciting trip for me, as I got to see the HO scale RDC finish production and enter the packaging stage. Click here or on the image below to watch the video.
While in China, I took part in an hour-long Facebook Live visit with Trainworld. I was able to explore some of the issues in producing trains in China to much greater depth than I can in a 10-minute YouTube video. I also answered many customer questions. Click here or on the image below to watch it. You don't need a Facebook account to watch. I suggest you skip past the first seven minutes or so - we were having technical difficulties!
My trip to China was essential, as always. Apart from the usual tasks of following up on designs and problem solving logistical issues, I caught a major mistake in one of our RDCs!
6215 is in the hole somewhere between Chapleau and White River in 2005.
This is VIA RDC-2 6215, with a snack bar. Notice the small window and the second large window from the right are blanked. That's where the snack bar is located. VIA RDC #6205 is similarly modified. The 6205 model was assembled correctly at the factory, but for some reason 6215 got the wrong window blanked.

The following photo sequence shows how we fixed it on the spot.
The offending models are pulled from the production line and have their shells removed.
The window and blank that need to be swapped are removed using hobby blades.
New window blanks and new windows are installed in the correct locations.
Mr. Liang, our new production supervisor, reassembles the corrected models.
The correction of almost 200 RDCs took just over an hour. That shows you how incredibly skilled our team in China is. Could you imagine how long it would have taken for us to fix almost 200 models here at Rapido HQ? We would have been buried for days! The factories send us samples and photos all the time so we can catch and correct these mistakes before they leave China. My being there sped up the process considerably. As the old saying almost goes, "To err is human; to fix, divine."

Have a look at some of these RDCs in the assembly line. Anyone who says Rapido only makes eastern prototypes can go jump in a lake...
Great Northern and Alaska Railroad RDCs go through final assembly and QC.
Western Pacific RDCs await final QC and packaging.
Note the rooftop number boards and working door-mounted Gyralite!
VIA RDC-1 #6135 gets a final coupler height check before packaging.
While the LRC factory was filled to the brim with RDC production, the Rapido factory was working hard on FP7 locomotives and British J70 tram engines. Well, mostly J70s. But here's a photo of the FP7s in the paint room. I love the hazard tape on the floor... CAUTION! HO scale locomotive shells!
The one advantage the Rapido factory has on all other model train factories in China is the location - it is absolutely gorgeous! I stayed in nearby Yangshuo, and this was the morning view out my hotel window:
As I was leaving China the LRC factory was well into Royal Hudson production and was doing colour tests for the Tempo and RS-18. The factory is growing and looking for one or two new customers, so if you are a mid-sized model train manufacturer looking for a better factory to make your stuff, please give me a shout and I will put you in touch with Colin, the LRC factory grand poobah.
CP RS-18 Inspection Lights. Photo courtesy Kaluza-Mueller Collection.
New Feature: Prototypical Diesel Inspection Lights

We've been including operating inspection lights on our HO scale locomotive models for a few years now, but they've always been lit by a hidden LED up in the floor, and we've never been totally happy with that. What we really wanted was to get the actual inspection lights to work. But we were never crazy enough to actually try that.

Well, until now.
Working inspection lights on a mocked-up RS-18 chassis and shell. Beauty, eh?
I took that photo at the factory last week. On our RS-11 and RS-18 locomotives, the inspection lights actually work. Dan Darnell is responsible for this innovation - he's mad about inspection lights. Don't they look fantastic?

This should finally convince the most stubborn AHM RS-11 holdout to upgrade to Rapido!
Testing the working ditch lights and rock lights on the N scale Dash 8
We're making them brighter... But at least they now work!
You Can Still Order The HO RS-11 and N Dash 8!

Speaking of the RS-11, it's not too late to reserve yours. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, we're retooling the cab to be the correct height. So the RS-11 won't start production until around March 1st, and we've re-opened the order desk. We're sure the working inspection lights has convinced everyone on the planet to order an RS-11. Click here for more info or to order direct.

Similarly, the Rapido factory is completely full of FP7 and British tram engines right now so it won't be able to start production of the N scale Dash 8-40CM until March 1st. Click here for more info or to order direct.
Our booth at last month's Warley show in the UK. Yes, we brought a bus!
Rapido Winter Show Schedule

We're going to be at a bunch of shows in the next few months. Come by and say hello!

January 10-12
Cocoa Beach, Florida

January 26-27
West Springfield, Massachusetts
Mallary Building, Booth 148

February 24
Copetown, Ontario
We'll have the bus!

March 2-3
Denver, Colorado

March 16
Toronto, Ontario

April 13-14
Calgary, Alberta
Partners in Plaid. We're such hosers.
Business, Work and Family

I'm writing this part of the newsletter at my dining room table, having just returned from China a couple of days ago. Yesterday I stupidly drove to the office, and being 13 hours jet lagged I didn't make it through the day. Jordan had to drive me home in my car! We didn't intend to dress and look exactly the same. That's just Jordan and me normally...

Many of you know what it's like to have to travel for business when you have a young family. Basically, it sucks. Their childhood is precious and fleeting, and nobody ever looked back on their life and said "I wish I'd been away from my kids more." This year, I had to leave for my twentieth trip to China during the seventh day of Chanukah, which meant I had to "light" the candles on the plane.
Sure it makes a great photo: "Oh neat! A chanukkiah in the sky!" But while I was taking this "great photo," Sidura and the kids were with my mother-in-law having a wonderful holiday dinner. There's no need to say where I would have preferred to be. (Yes, I love my mother-in-law. Hi, Maylene!)

Looking ahead to 2019, these are some of the questions I'm asking myself.

  • Is it absolutely necessary for me to take all of these planned business trips, or can other people share those responsibilities?
  • Can I leave my work at the office so I can concentrate on my family in the evening?
  • How often did I go see my son play hockey in 2018?
  • Are the emails more important than reading to my daughter at bedtime?
  • If my point of view is upsetting my father, is it so important that I make my point?

What questions can you ask yourself?

The most important thing in this world is family. We need to spend as much time as we possibly can with the people we love.

Sure, most of us are spending time with family during the holidays. How much more special would it be if family time was a priority for the other 50-odd weeks of the year?

Wishing you a wonderful 2019 filled with love and family.

Best regards,


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