Rapido Newsletter Vol. 115
©2019 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

November 2019 is officially Rapido's 15th anniversary. I started the company in my spare time in 2003 but we were not incorporated until November 8th, 2004. As part of our 15th anniversary celebrations, we're delighted to invite you to our first American 3D Scan Party! Read on for more info...

In this edition of Rapido News:

  • Join Our 3D Scan Party In Portland!
  • Big HO Scale Order Deadline - September 9th
  • Pullman-Standard Dining Car - New Video!
  • USRA Double-Sheathed Boxcar
  • Rio Grande Ski Train
  • New Video! Shipment Arrival and Tempo Unboxing
  • N Scale Dash 8 Locomotive Update
  • Does anybody want a Canadian ten wheeler?
  • New Order Deadlines and Deliveries
  • Hey! Why did that project get made first???
What could our new model be?
Warning: This photo is almost certainly a red herring.
Join Our 3D Scan Party In Portland!

We will be performing a 3D scan for our latest model announcement and you are invited! This will be our first ever American 3D Scan Party. Come join us and see the new product announcement in person!

Date: Sunday October 27th, 2019
Location: Oregon Rail Heritage Center, Portland, Oregon
Time: Noon - 5 p.m.
Admission: Free!

We'll have munchies for you to enjoy, as well as free lunch for anyone who RSVPs with us by October 21st.

Dan Darnell, Bill, Jordan and Craig will be on hand to answer questions and show off a selection of Rapido products. The inimitable Doyle McCormack will also be on hand to chat about his steam and diesel preservation efforts as well as the history of the Heritage Center and its fabled contents. It's going to be a blast!
Scanning an RDC (Rail Diesel Car) in 2014
What is a 3D Scan?

A 3D scan is a method of capturing the exact shape of a train or bus (or other stuff, but we don't care about those). By bouncing a laser off the train millions of times we get a "point cloud" 3D image of the prototype which our engineers can then trace in their design software to ensure the shape of the model is 100% bang-on accurate.

A 3D scan is absolutely needed when the train or bus has a lot of curves, as these are very hard to recreate accurately without highly detailed construction blueprints. To date we have done 3D scans for many of our projects, most notably the RDC, the FPA-4/FA-2, the Stirling Single steam engine, the New Look bus, the Birmingham bus, and the British Rail APT-E train.
Having fun at the 3D Scan Party for our Birmingham Bus model back in 2017
Compare the nose of our HO scale FA-2 (left) with another manufacturer's FA-2 (right). Note how ours is much more angular in the corners, and it has a noticeable crease in the door. The windshield and roof profiles are also totally different. Our model was created using a 3D scan. The other was made from published 2D drawings. When it comes to recreating complex curves, a 3D scan is often the only way to get it right.
On the left: Rapido FA-2 nose made using a 3D scan
On the right: a competitor's FA-2 nose made from 2D drawings.
There are numerous noticeable differences.
At our 3D Scan Party, you'll be the first to hear about our new announcement, you'll learn all about the 3D scan process and you'll get a chance to talk to the team about our new products and plans for the future. It's also a fun day with your fellow model railroaders at a beautiful train museum! What's not to like?

To RSVP, just reply to this email and say "I'm coming" and give us your details. If you are coming as a group, let us know the name of everyone who is coming. We don't want anyone to miss the free lunch!

We look forward to seeing you on October 27th!

To share this with friends, here is the link to the 3D Scan Party web site.
Our Dining Car interior. Production models will be fully decorated, with silverware!
Big HO Scale Order Deadline - September 9th

Next Monday is a big order deadline for three new HO scale products. Mohan and I are on our way to China this weekend and we'll be working with both factories on these products. As we'll be really jet lagged, it's OK to get your order in a couple of days late! Dealers please submit your orders by end of day on Thursday, September 12th.
Our new dining car video
Pullman-Standard Dining Car - New Video!
Order deadline September 9th

Our Pullman-Standard Dining Car has turned into a sleeper hit, no pun intended. I guess it's been so long since we produced a Super Continental Line passenger car that the demand has really built up.

Our model is based on the CN prototype built in 1954 and it is very similar to diners owned by numerous railroads across the United States. Three versions are being made: 48-seat diners, 40-seat diners, and 32-seat diner-lounges.

The first and only run (for several years at least) includes the following paint schemes:

Please do me a favor. Take any non-Rapido passenger car you own, turn it over, and compare it with this photo of our dining car model. Then give it away and order your Rapido dining cars.
Dining car underbody shot. If this were 1:1 scale, everything would work....
If you have color interior photos of dining cars from any of the railroads listed above, please email us. Bill is doing the painting diagrams right now and we'd like to get the colors right.

Here are some of the Dining Car features:

  • Full, multi-colored interior with track-powered lighting (DC/DCC)
  • Full underbody detail with all separate pipes and conduits
  • Inside-swinghanger or outside-swinghanger trucks as appropriate
  • Partial skirts or no skirts as appropriate
  • All-new one-piece body construction

Click here on the image below to watch our new dining car video. That's Richard, who took over the video when I became unintelligible....
Richard Longpre takes over our dining car video....
Full information on our dining car, including car numbers and product numbers, can be found here. Or you can click on the image below to download the product brochure.
Please remember to order yours by next Thursday!
Hand-colored publicity photo of the ubiquitous USRA boxcar
ACF photo, John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library Collection
USRA Double-Sheathed Boxcar
Order deadline September 9th

OK guys, now listen up. Before I go into my spiel about the USRA boxcar, I gotta tell you that 20% of our pre-orders are for THE ONE CANADIAN OWNER. And on top of that, fully 8% of our total USRA sales so far are for THE YELLOW CAR, of which there were ONLY TWO in existence.

Frisco: 3500 cars
Wabash: 2800 cars
Santa Fe: 2700 cars
Rock Island: 2500 cars
New York Central: 2300 cars
Great Northern: 1500 cars
The One Canadian Owner: 300 cars
The Yellow Car: 2 cars

Come on, USA! Show us that your class one railroads are WAY more popular than a regional line that operated in a small corner of southwestern Ontario!

Now where was I? Right... The USRA double-sheathed boxcar was one of the most common boxcar designs of the steam and transition eras, with over 25,000 built for numerous railroads and owners. Despite being so common, it has never received the super-detailed, 21st-century treatment from a model railroad manufacturer. Until now, of course...
Rapido USRA Boxcar
The many paint schemes of our USRA boxcar. One of these is yellow.
Our USRA boxcar features the usual Rapido bells and whistles:

  • All separate grab irons and ladders
  • Correct details including roof and handbrake
  • KC or AB brakes as appropriate for each scheme
  • Full underbody with separate brake rods and piping
  • USRA Andrews trucks with in-line brake shoes

Click on the image below to download the product brochure which you can take to your hobby shop:
Click here for more information or if you want to order direct. Remember that order deadline - next week!
Yes, that is our model.
The Ski Train poses on our photo diorama.
Rio Grande Ski Train
Order deadline September 9th

The Ski Train is ready to leave the station! Please get your Ski Train passenger car orders in by next week. You still have a few months to order the locomotives.

To make a full 14-car Ski Train, you want to order the following:

  • Ski Train F40PH Locomotives
  • 3-Car Ski Train Set #1 - Product #131201
  • 3-Car Ski Train Set #2 - Product #131202
  • Ski Train Single cars - Product #131203-131207

The above are available direct from us or from your local hobby shop. To get the remaining three cars, you need to order from Spring Creek Model Trains:

Click on the image below to watch our Ski Train product features video:
Jordan points out all of the Ski Train features in our popular video.
We think the Ski Train models look amazing and we hope you do too. Please get your Ski Train orders in on time. Click on the image below to download a Ski Train brochure:
Click here for more information or to order direct. Remember that order deadline... it's next week!
Josh oohs and aahs over the VIA Tempo in our new video.
New Video! Shipment Arrival and Tempo Unboxing

We received our first shipment from China in late 2006. 13 years later, we've received our first full 40-foot container of model trains. Usually we just get a few pallets or a 20-foot container. This shipment includes the Tempo, RS-18 locomotives and Western Pacific RDCs.

Click here or on the image below to watch the video of the container arrival, as well as the unboxing of a Tempo set. These sets come with lots of extra goodies and Josh gets a little excited...
Jordan is lost in a sea of Tempo boxes....
In the video you can see us passing the RS-18 boxes from person to person, and this scared a few of our viewers. Please rest assured, our packaging is designed to handle light tossing from person to person. It can't be designed to handle a 12-foot drop, which unfortunately sometimes happens - or worse - at the courier companies.

The Tempos are basically sold out, but we do have available RS-18 locomotives. Please contact your local dealer to increase your RS-18 order (because of course you pre-ordered, right?), or contact us if you have any trouble getting them.

We plan to upload an RS-18 unboxing video in the next few days. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel to see it first.
Hand-painted pre-production sample of our N scale Dash 8-40CM
N Scale Dash 8 Locomotive Update

We've been stuck in a siding waiting for a production slot for the N scale Dash 8 locomotive. It was at the LRC factory but the factory was too busy, so it was moved to the Rapido factory. By the time it got there, the factory was up to its eyeballs in HO B36-7 production. So we've decided to make lemonade from this scheduling lemon. We're reopening the order desk for one month only - until October 7th - and then we're finally starting production.

To get you in the mood, the factory has sent us a hand-painted sample of the Dash 8. Despite the super thick paint on the end handrails, it's looking pretty nice...
This rear view shows that we have tooled the correct BC Rail double headlight. This N scale model is more accurately detailed than our HO model!
Nose and cab details include etched-metal windshield wipers, separate grab irons, working ditch lights and rock lights, and etched-metal sunshades.
Full information on the N scale Dash 8 locomotive can be found here. We'll be uploading a new video to our YouTube channel soon, so again please consider becoming a channel subscriber so you don't miss it.

The order deadline is October 7th. If you've already placed an order, you don't need to order again. Delivery will be early 2020.
3D rendering of our CPR D10 steam locomotive
Does anybody want a Canadian ten wheeler?

One of the things that makes Rapido stand apart from our competitors is that we share a lot of information with our customers that most companies don't. So I'm going to be brutally honest with you guys.

When we announced that the Royal Hudson would be our first North American steam locomotive, we heard many positive comments but we also heard many of the same concerns: "That's the wrong one! We don't need it! Make a D10 instead! I won't buy any Royal Hudsons but I'll buy five D10s!" Needless to say, I'm glad we stuck to our guns because the Royal Hudson was a success.

We announced the CPR D10 and CNR H-6-d/g almost nine months ago. We received more Royal Hudson orders in the first week than we have received combined CPR and CNR ten wheeler orders in nine months. Based on the feedback we were getting, such a disparity was totally unexpected.

Steam engines are extremely expensive to tool. We tooled the RS-18, RS-11 and Tempo cars for about the same amount of money as the Royal Hudson, and our sales of those three models combined are almost double that of the Royal Hudson. So while the Hudson sales were great in the end, the "tooling cost to sales ratio" for steam engines in general is much higher than for other models.

Knowing this, we decided we would not start cutting the moulds for the D10 and H-6-d/g ten wheelers until we saw where the numbers fell. The initial order deadline is October 15th. At this point, we will be very surprised if we get enough orders to continue with these models. But please place your orders with us or with your local hobby shop and we will let you know after the 15th if either or both models can go ahead. We hope to be very surprised...

You can learn more about the CPR D10 here, and you can learn more about the CNR H-6-d/g here. Please spread the word. We would love to be able to make these.
Production sample of our RS-11 locomotive , showing the working inspection lights
New Order Deadlines and Deliveries

We've shifted around some order deadlines to give you more time to order and to give us more time to clear up the factory backlogs. It will also give us time to show you the pre-production samples in more detail.

October Order Deadlines

December Order Deadlines

The later phase F40PH has been punted to after the Springfield show so we can share samples with you before the deadline. You can read the essay about project delays at the end of this newsletter.
Our new well cars and containers. They are looking pretty snazzy!
Delivery Schedule

We announced a special charity well car on our Facebook page last month and they sold out in two days. This was in support of Lionel Strang's "One More Year" campaign, specifically for the Psychosocial Oncology Department at Princess Margaret Hospital. You can learn more about this and donate directly to the campaign by clicking here.

If you are on Facebook but don't currently follow our page, please click here to visit us and "like" and/or "follow" us to ensure you don't miss future surprise announcements like that.
Rapido at the Greater Toronto Train Show last year
Yes, we usually bring the bus.
Upcoming Shows and Toronto RPM

We're at a bunch of shows in the next few months, including a new show that we are hosting ourselves, the Toronto RPM meet at the Greater Toronto Train Show.

RPM stands for Railroad Prototype Modelers and it's an opportunity to show and share some beautiful kitbashing, scratchbuilding, super detailing and weathering. We hope you will come join us - at the Toronto RPM and the Mid-Atlantic RPM - and it would be awesome if you could show off some Rapido models that you've customized or kitbashed.

Date: Saturday September 7th
Place: Essex, Connecticut
NHRHTA 57th Annual Reunion Train Show
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location: The Valley Railroad's River Valley Junction
Rapido Team: Bill Schneider and John Sheridan

Date: September 19th to 22nd
Place: Baltimore, Maryland
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Baltimore - BWI Airport
Rapido Team: Bill Schneider (busy guy!)

Date: October 5th and 6th
Place: Brampton, Ontario
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Brampton Fair Grounds
Rapido Team: Lots of people
The long-delayed LRC locomotive finally came out in 2015.
Models and photo by Patrick Gagnon.
Hey! Why did that project get made first???

This is a question we get asked a lot, and we've been asked it since the company was in its infancy. We announced the HO scale LRC locomotive in 2007 but did not release it until 2015! I often heard, "Why are you announcing more models? Bring out the LRC first like you promised!"

I mention the LRC because, as an extreme example, it illustrates why we are always announcing new stuff - even if the old stuff hasn't all been delivered yet. Had we stopped everything and just waited for the LRC to be released, it would never have come out. We would have been out of business long before 2015.
Rapido SW1200RS locomotives in service on Bob Fallowfield's layout. These went from announcement to delivery in just one year. Models and photo by Bob.
At Rapido we are always planning 12-24 months ahead. Bringing a model train from design to delivery can take up to three years (the LRC saga was a special case), and that assumes everything goes smoothly! We have to constantly announce new models because we're looking ahead one to two years from now and we need to make sure we can keep both factories busy and keep the lights on at our HQ.

Often we discover things about the prototype after we've already finished tooling and then we need to do time-consuming modifications. And we'd rather make the changes and bring out a correct model if we can, so we will postpone the model until the changes are done. Another project may end up leap-frogging the delayed project simply because it's ready to go.
A pair of Rapido RDCs strut their stuff on the
Garfield-Clarendon Model Railroad Club layout.
Models and photo by Bradford Smith.
Sometimes a production run that we expected to take two months actually takes five months, either because of technical difficulties (such as the APT-E) or - and we love this one - because we sold twice as many as we planned (such as the RDC).

Sometimes a project is moved up because we can't have both factories working on rolling stock at the same time. At least one has to be doing locomotives or we won't make our sales targets. So rolling stock occasionally gets punted down the track.

Sometimes orders for a product just aren't that great. A good example is the 6-6-4 sleeper we did many years ago. We kept postponing the order deadline and adding new road names just to sell enough so we could make them! Hey - I needed a bunch for my layout!
Rapido FL9 HO Scale
Our HO scale modernized FL9 is finally getting a lot of interest.
Order yours by October 31st.
Hand-painted pre-production model shown.
As well, we've occasionally made the mistake of announcing a new run too quickly after the first run. A good example of this is the rebuilt FL9 locomotive. Now that it's been four years since our initial FL9 release, there is a lot more interest in the rebuilt version, so we're finally making it this winter.

Simple things like color can hold up a project. If we can't get an accurate color sample, we can't make a model. In some cases, the guys in the railroad's historical society have two or three opinions about which color is correct, so we spend a lot of time tracking down prototype information to try to get it right. And sometimes despite our best efforts we still get it wrong!
An original SP color drift card along with two SP models from different manufacturers.
Southern Pacific is a great example. Every manufacturer has done SP gray and red differently, and virtually nothing out there matches the original SP color drift card that was sent to us! Navigating these landmines takes time.

I hope this helps explain why some stuff gets released quickly and some stuff seems to languish in limbo. Rest assured, in most cases the models do get released and if there is a delay or the occasional cancellation we let you know through these newsletters.

So... why bring this up now? We have a boatload of new announcements coming between now and late January. Most of the products are well enough along that we will be announcing them with pre-production samples. It promises to be an interesting ride, and we're delighted to have you on board.

Until next time,


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