Rapido Newsletter Vol. 111
©2019 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

We wanted to make our first US Dealer Open House a Big Deal, and so we are pleased to bring you some Big New Announcements!

In this newsletter:

  • New! Amtrak Horizon Cars – HO and N
  • New! Commuter Comets - HO and N
  • New! Later Phase F40PH Locomotives - HO
  • New! Rio Grande Ski Train - HO
  • New! USRA Double-Sheathed Wood Boxcar - HO
  • Not New At All! Rebuilt FL9 Relaunch - HO
  • Video: Remembering Mike McGrattan
  • Video: HO Scale FA-2 and FB-2 In Action!
  • Big Order Deadline: June 24th
  • CPR FP7 Spotlight Fix
  • Our Model Railroad Community
  • Canadian N Scale Teaser
Horizon coaches behind a Cabbage... which we made too!
Photo courtesy Marshall Beecher.
New! Amtrak Horizon Cars – HO and N

We are super proud to introduce the Amtrak Horizon intercity passenger cars in both HO scale and N scale . And let me tell you - these babies are getting the FULL RAPIDO TREATMENT.

Introduced by Amtrak in April 1989, the Bombardier-built Horizon fleet (also known by very few people as the Amfleet IIIs) were based on the Pullman-Standard Comet-series commuter cars built since 1970. The new Horizon fleet consisted predominantly of two basic car types - Coach and Dinette - with 86 and 18 cars respectively forming the 104-car order. And we'll just agree to differ on how to pronounce Bombardier. (Mais tabarouette, les Canadiens savent le prononcer correctement!)
Amtrak 332 comprises Horizon coaches led by another of our Cabbages. Beauty!
Photo courtesy Marshall Beecher.
Over the years, the Horizon cars have remained largely unchanged from their as-built appearance, with the only predominant visual differences being the evolution of the Amtrak paint schemes from Phase III through Phase IVb. However, two key changes that have occurred include the replacement of the original power sliding doors with manually-operated parlor doors, and the replacement of the fold-down stairs with fixed steps. We're making both versions, of course.

The Horizons are still very much in service and are a vital part of Amtrak's fleet. Now you can finally have modern, Rapido-quality Amtrak coaches to look gorgeous between your Rapido F40PH Locomotives and Cabbages.
Here are a couple of early renders of the Horizons done by our very own John Sheridan. As the model progresses through the design stage, some parts will need to be beefed up a bit to meet our minimum tolerances. The tooling will begin in July.
The Rapido N scale and HO scale Horizon cars feature:

  • Coach and Dinette versions, original and modernized
  • Club-Dinette also available in HO
  • Full interior detail
  • Full underbody detail
  • GSI G70 trucks with metal wheelsets
  • Accurate painting and lettering
  • Tinted windows
  • Constant interior lighting in DC and DCC
  • Operating marker lights
  • Separate metal grab irons installed at the factory

HO models also feature:
  • Full, separate piping and conduit under the floor
  • Separate seats and cafe details in appropriate colors
Horizon paint schemes...
Amtrak, Amtrak, Amtrak, Amtrak and.... Amtrak
The order deadline for both the HO scale and N scale Horizons is November 18th. We'll be sharing videos before then, as well as bringing them to shows. You'll have plenty of chances to see them in action before the deadline.

The MSRP is $99.95 in HO scale and $59.95 in N scale. Prices are higher in Canada (sorry Canada).

Click here to visit the HO web site. Click here to visit the N web site. You can order from your favorite dealer or directly from us.
Metro-North ConnDot Comets on the Waterbury Branch in 1992.
Note the (Rapido) Rebuilt FL9 pushing.
Brian Solomon photo.
New! Commuter Comets - HO and N

Well we couldn't do the Bombardier copies without doing the Pullman-Standard originals, could we? Rapido is delighted to introduce the Comet coaches and cab cars in HO scale and N scale. These will go beautifully with your Rapido FL9 and F40PH locomotives or some stuff made by some other manufacturers that won't be as nice.

Introduced by Pullman-Standard as a replacement for aging commuter cars, the soon nicknamed “Comet” cars were first built between 1970 and 1973 for the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad’s services out of New Jersey. ("Comet" is a far better name than "Suburban Passenger Car" so we're sticking with Comets.)

Given their success with the E-L and then New Jersey Transit, the use of the Comet cars quickly spread to other commuter agencies. The rights to the Comet design were acquired by Bombardier and variations on the design continued to be produced until 1996 . They are still in service today!
VIA LRC 6912 hauls Comets to Windsor Station in Montreal.
You can now model this entire train with Rapido models.
Awesome photo courtesy Ken Goslett.
Our HO scale and N scale Comet cars featur e:

  • Full underbody and interior detail
  • Correct inside-bearing trucks with metal wheelsets
  • Smooth-rolling wheelsets with real ball bearings
  • Accurate painting and lettering
  • Tinted windows
  • Constant interior lighting in DC and DCC
  • Working headlights and ditch lights on cab cars
  • Working marker lights
  • Separate metal grab irons installed at the factory

Like the Horizons, the HO models feature a bit more detail because... well, because they're bigger, aren't they? Installing individual seats in N scale would send our assembly workers up a tree.

None of our Comets - HO or N - feature working windshield wipers. Sorry.
Comet Paint Schemes
We can afford to make the unique Montreal class lights if
every single person in Cote-St-Luc orders a Comet set.
HO models come in three-pack sets plus additional unnumbered coaches. N scale models are sold individually.

The MSRP is:
  • HO 3-car set: $329.95
  • HO single car: $99.95
  • N cab cars: $69.95
  • N coaches: $59.95

Prices are, as usual, higher in Canada. But Canadian models come with extra Us and EHs in the instructions so it's good value, eh?

Click here for more info on the HO models. Click here for more info on the N models. You've got plenty of time - the order deadline is February 10th. We'll send you lots of reminders before then, including the usual YouTube videos and all that stuff.
Amtrak 325 leads the Maple Leaf en route to New York.
Photo courtesy John Eull.
New! Later Phase F40PH Locomotives

We are delighted to introduce some of the later phase F40PH Locomotives in HO scale. These are the most detailed and accurate F40 models on the market, bar none.
Rapido F40
This snapshot of our first run Amtrak F40PH shows our incredible level of detail.
Note the pipes, traction motor cables, and see-through grilles.
But don't take it from us. Here's what MRN's David Otte had to say about our Amtrak F40PH model in the April 2016 issue:

I had to grin at Rapido’s own admission that this was the “most awesome Amtrak F40PH model ever produced.” All fun aside, now that I have experienced it in total, there is no denying it, Rapido's F40PH is simply the most accurate, yes, the most awesome F40PH ever. I highly recommend it — whether it fits your modeling era or not; sometimes it’s okay to own a superbly crafted model just for that sake alone.... I can only hope (and pray) Rapido moves forward on tooling to recreate the Phase II and Phase III models.

We are delighted to be able to fulfill David's wish and that of many other Amtrak modelers, and we're throwing some commuter and other railroads into the mix as well!
Above are our Phase 2b paint schemes.
Note the large fuel tank on CSX units.
Our new HO scale F40PH model includes:

  • Extensive, separate underbody piping and conduit
  • Correct body details for each variation
  • Era-specific details
  • Working head lights, backup light, strobe and marker lights
  • Working ditch lights where appropriate
  • Separate, factory-applied wire grab irons
  • See-through radiator grills and dynamic brake grills
  • Full cab interior painted in correct colors
  • Scaled from original blueprints to ensure accurate dimensions
  • Accurate fuel tank profile and exhaust silencer
  • Sound-equipped models feature a custom ESU LokSound V5 decoder

On top of that, we are also offering:

  • New fuel tank and air reservoirs just for CSX!
  • Phase 3 commuter units without dynamic brakes
  • Extra stuff like nose bells, different horns, etc. to match each version
Commuter paint schemes on our F40PH.
And now you have something for them to pull and push!
The order deadline for these awesome screamers is November 18th. The MSRP is $225 (DC/Silent) or $335 (DC/DCC/Sound). Guess what? The prices are higher in Canada, eh? Hosers.

Click here for more information or to order direct. All the guys who told us they were waiting for us to bring out the later phase Amtrak F40s... now is your chance to show us that you mean business!
The classic Ski Train shot!
Photo courtesy Steve Patterson.
New! Rio Grande Ski Train - HO

You've asked for it and we're delivering it. We are delighted to announce the Rio Grande Ski Train in HO. The eagle-eyed Coloradoans (is that a word?) will have already noticed the Ski Train F40s in our locomotive announcement above. Well we're also making the cars to go with them!
You need a monster layout or shelf to fit your monster Ski Train!
Photo courtesy Steve Patterson.
The Ski Train operated between Denver and Winter Park starting in 1940. In 1988 it received a new fleet of former CN/VIA Tempo cars built by Hawker Siddeley in 1968. In 1999, the Ski Train purchased three Amtrak F40s to haul the train. Before that, it primarily used GP60s. You can realistically haul your Ski Train with freight engines, Amtrak F40s or Ski Train F40s.
Yes, those are Amtrak F40s on the Ski Train in this gorgeous evening shot.
You need to order both Amtrak and Ski Train F40s!
Photo courtesy Steve Patterson.
Our HO scale Ski Train cars feature:

  • 100% accurate ex-Tempo cars
  • Fully decorated interiors with separate seats
  • Full underbody detail including separate conduits and piping
  • Beautiful interior lighting (DC/DCC) and working marker lights
  • Free-rolling inside-bearing trucks with disc brakes
  • Coach, Parlor-Club, and Cafe-Lounge cars
  • Maybe Snack Coaches too... (read on)
Production sample of our CN Tempo shows our models of these unique cars.
The interior lighting and markers are user controlled.
The Ski Train is available in a three-pack (Coach, Parlor-Club, Cafe-Lounge). We are also selling additional coaches separately.

Maybe Snack Coaches Too...
The real Ski Train also featured Snack Coaches in the "Peak" series that were rebuilt from standard coaches by VIA Rail Canada in 1983/4. We are offering three of these cars separately. If we get enough orders, we will tool the accurate Snack Coach car body with the extra window. If we don't, we will substitute the standard Coach body. So please encourage your friends, family and pets to order Snack Coaches by the busload!
From the top: Cafe-Lounge, Coach and Parlor-Club
The MSRP is $319.95 for a three-pack and $109.95 for single cars. Guess what - those prices are HIGHER. IN. CANADA. They'll be burning me in effigy in Moose Jaw before I'm done this newsletter.

You can read more about the Ski Train by clicking here. Please reserve your Ski Train cars by September 9th. That's right - you only have three months to get your order in. We want stores to have these in stock before the ski season ends!

And don't forget your Ski Train F40s!
Our new USRA boxcar. Hand-painted, pre-production sample.
New! USRA Double-Sheathed Wood Boxcar - HO

Boy, we've got something for almost every era in this newsletter. We are delighted to announce the USRA DS wood boxcar in HO. This is a perfect complement to our highly-regarded Northern Pacific boxcar... the one which sold out in five minutes last year. (Another production run of the NP cars is available to order by clicking here.)
These are definitely not 50' hi-cubes...
During World War I the US railroads were struggling to keep up with wartime traffic, in part because of a shortage of serviceable freight cars. In an attempt to solve this problem, President Wilson nationalized the railroads under the United States Railway Administration, or USRA. One of the first tasks assigned to the USRA was to develop common designs for new freight cars. Among these was a 40' double-sheathed wood boxcar with a fishbelly steel underframe.

Starting in 1918, nearly 25,000 copies of the double-sheathed boxcar were built and delivered to 24 railroads throughout the country. The cars were well received, and many cars continued in regular service into the 1950s with many updated to the newer AB-brake system. Our models feature either K or AB brakes as appropriate to each paint scheme.
USRA boxcar paint schemes
Our new USRA boxcar features:

  • Accurate new tooling
  • Correct details including roof and handbrake
  • KC or AB brakes as appropriate
  • Full underbody with separate brake rods and piping
  • Separate grab irons installed at the factory
  • USRA Andrews trucks with in-line brake shoes

The MSRP is $49.95 per car, $199.80 for a 4-pack, or $99.80 for the one bright yellow 2-pack. Canada. Prices. Higher. Tough luck. (Ça parle au diable!)

The order deadline is September 9th.

Please click here for more information or to order direct.
Our Rebuilt FL9 - hand-painted pre-production sample with 3D-printed parts
The additional parts are currently in tooling.
Not New At All! Rebuilt FL9 Relaunch - HO

So here's a project we launched a couple of years ago and then... forgot about it. Our brains are only so big, and with all the new stuff we've been producing lately the Rebuilt FL9 simple got squeezed out.

Now that we are producing the distinct Comet cars to go behind them, we thought this would be an excellent opportunity to move this exciting locomotive project to the front of the line. We are thus delighted to re-introduce the HO scale Rebuilt FL9 locomotive!
Metro North FL9 #2012 pushes a pike-sized train into Harlem Valley-Wingdale station.
This train can now be modeled entirely using Rapido products!
Photo courtesy Patrick Yough.
The EMD FL9 was the New Haven's workhorse, and was still serving Grand Central Terminal on commuter services in the 1980s when it was decided to rebuild the fleet with head end power. This wasn't just a case of shoving a generator where the boiler was and slapping a couple of cables onto the rear of the engine. This was a full-blown rebuild.
Rebuilt FL9 Paint Schemes
The Rebuilt FL9s remained in daily service until 2009. They plied the rails out of New York towards New Haven and up the Hudson Valley. They could also be found on the head end of Empire Service Amtrak trains. One of the most striking paint schemes - literally - was the lightning stripe New York Central units. These were decorated to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Hudson River Railroad and were a welcome sight for nostalgic railfans!
Rear of the rebuilt FL9
Hand-painted pre-production sample with 3D-printed parts
Our model of the Rebuilt FL9 includes:

  • Same great detail and running quality as the original FL9
  • Modernized body details including class lights and rear panel
  • HEP rooftop details
  • Modernized underbody components
  • Nose and rear HEP plugs
  • Optional operating ditch lights
  • Correct horns
  • Accurate paint schemes

Have a look at all of the extra bits in the drawings below. This rebuild was quite involved, and we think our model represents it well:
Rebuilt FL9 Spotting Features.
The new order deadline for the Rebuilt FL9 is October 31st. We'll send you reminders in plenty of time. If you've already ordered your locomotives, you don't have to order again... unless your local hobby shop has closed down!

The prices for this are... higher... in... Canada. (C’est décidé. Je n’achèterai plus d’autre produit Rapido d’ici mardi prochain.)

You can read more or order direct by clicking here. Remember that spooky deadline - October 31st!
Interview with, and retrospective on, the late Mike McGrattan
Video: Remembering Mike McGrattan

It's been three years since we lost our dear employee, Mike McGrattan, to cancer. Before he died, he and I recorded a video with his thoughts on Rapido and the hobby in general. It's taken me this long to be able to put this video together. Please click here or on the image below to watch it.
Our FA-2 and FB-2 on Chris Adams's layout
Video: HO Scale FA-2 and FB-2 In Action!

The order deadline for our FA-2 and FB-2 is June 24th - just three weeks away! To whet your appetite in anticipation, we've finally put up a video of our pre-production samples in action. Click here or on the image below to watch it.
Our first run of the FA-2 and FPA-2 in 2017 was a huge success. If you have never seen one in action, just search YouTube for Rapido FA-2 and you'll find a bunch of videos, from us and from other people. Our FA-2 is the only FA model on the planet that was designed from a 3D scan of a real FA unit, in this case FPA-4 #6765. Therefore it is the only model with 100% accurate dimensions and curves. The ancient video of the 3D scan can be found here. I still had black hair!

Click here for more info on the new models.
Big Order Deadline: June 24th

June 24th is the order deadline for the following HO scale products:

To be fair, we have not yet uploaded videos of the diners or the EP-5. If we can't get those online before the 24th, we will extend the deadline for a few weeks. We will let you know. The EP-5 pantograph mechanism is being redesigned by Mohan for more reliable operation and the first injection tests on the diners happened last week. We'll put photos up on our Facebook page later this week.

The HO scale SW1200 order deadline has been extended to November 18th. Because so many are midwestern prototypes, we would like to show the samples in person at Trainfest in Milwaukee before the order deadline. And let's face it, the LRC factory isn't going to have time to make them before November anyway. They are neck-deep in Tempos, RS-18s and RS-11s.
CPR F-unit roof showing where the spotlight used to be...
CPR FP7 Spotlight Fix

In the last newsletter I mentioned some of the headaches we've faced with the CPR FP7 project. Well, the headaches continue. The factory installed roof spotlights on most of the FP7 locomotives. They weren't supposed to... You don't need to call attention to your slag freight crawling through the Rockies. Nobody wants to come see it except for railfans and maybe Nicholas Morant...

If you bought a CPR FP7 and you don't want the spotlight on the roof, please get in touch. We are making etched-metal plates which will cover the hole left by the spotlight when you pull it out or cut it off. We're calling it "extra realism" because CP often covered old mounting holes with steel plates. That's our story and we're sticking to it... Please send us an email to let us know how many you need and in which colours.

We apologize for this and any other small mistakes that made it through production on the FP7. We've since put further measures in place to make sure stuff like this doesn't happen again.
Market Deeping model railway show, after the devastation.
Our Model Railroad Community

Most of you have probably heard about the Market Deeping Model Railway Club show in the UK. In case you haven't, it's a terrible story. Four teenagers got into the school hall where the annual show was set up and destroyed everything. They smashed layouts that had been worked on for over 20 years, they smashed rare locomotives - you name it, they broke it. I don't have to tell you how these modellers felt. As a reader of this newsletter, you know already.

I'm not going to address issues of juvenile delinquency, lack of role models, or appropriate punishments. Those have been covered in great detail on all the model railroad forums. Instead I'm going to try to look at this in a positive light.

Model railroading is often a solitary hobby. We modellers can be found squirrelled away in our layout rooms or workshops, taking our time to complete a needed structure or weather a boxcar.

But we are also part of a community of model railroaders. There are wealthy modellers, poor modellers, famous modellers, shy modellers, gregarious modellers. We may come from different walks of life and have different personalities, but we're all model railroaders. And as such we share a strong, common bond. Get any two modellers in a room together and we've got something to talk about. As Anne of Green Gables likes to say, we are "kindred spirits."

The Market Deeping incident has revealed the strength of our community. A crowdfunding page has been set up to help the club members and exhibitors rebuild. To date it has raised over £100,000! That's over $125,000 in American money or $170,000 in Monopoly Canadian money. Singer Rod Stewart - a very talented transition-era modeller - contributed £10,000. (Thanks, Rod!)

We are very fortunate to be a part of this community. Terrible as the Market Deeping incident was, there has been an enormous amount of compassionate reporting by the global media. If the media coverage encourages more people to discover our great hobby and join us, then in the long run we as a community are better for it.
I will (hopefully) be in touch with a quick update in a couple of weeks and then our huge Canadian new product announcement is coming on June 24th. Man, I think it's time to train Josh to write some of these newsletters....

Below is a teaser photo of one of our new Canadian N scale mould sprues. I chose the one that is the least recognizable!

We'll be doing a Facebook Live broadcast from our Canadian Dealer Open House on the 24th. I hope you'll join us!

Best regards,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.
One of our new N scale parts moulds. What could it be for???
USA: PO Box 796, Higganum, CT 06441
Canada: 500 Alden Road, Unit 21, Markham, ON L3R 5H5