Rapido Newsletter Vol. 120
©2020 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

Happy 2020! Here's some great reading to get you through the January blahs.

In this edition of Rapido News:

  • Canadian RDC Spotlight and Order Deadline
  • New Offer: Buy Four RDCs and Get One Free
  • New! HO Scale New Haven "County" Cars
  • More New Haven - Dining Car Video!
  • New! HO Scale FP9A Locomotives!
  • New! HO Scale Containers!
  • Last Call! N Scale LRC Starting Production!
  • See Our Latest Samples - FA-2, M420, Amtrak and More!
  • Visit Us At Springfield and Ride Our Bus in Canada
  • The RS-11 Is Here - New Unboxing Video!
  • We're Back In MR
  • Upcoming Order Deadlines - HO and N Scale
  • Delivery Schedule
  • More Rapido Who's Who

These newsletters take a REALLY long time to write and we want you to enjoy them. So relax... If you are reading this newsletter on something portable, treat it like a magazine. Have a seat in a comfy chair and enjoy. And thanks for reading!
BC Rail RDC-3
Hand-painted pre-production sample shown.
Canadian RDC Spotlight and Order Deadline

We've made so many announcements in the last year that occasionally one gets lost in the shuffle. It's time we gave the new HO scale Canadian RDCs some much-needed attention. We also want to increase the numbers for the factory, so we have a rare offer for you. Read on!

The RDC played a vital role in Canadian railroading. Together, CN, CP and PGE had 87 RDCs delivered between 1953 and 1957. As American railroads were reducing passenger services in the late 1950s and early 1960s, CN and CP boosted their fleets with 20 secondhand units bought or transferred from the States.
A pair of Phase 2 Canadian Pacific RDC-2s at speed.
Our models come with optional etched-metal safety cages
and operating door-mounted Gyralite.
Peter Cox photo courtesy Mark Perry.
Perhaps most interesting was the variety of RDCs in Canada. It wasn't just all coach-only RDC-1s. CP had more RDC-2s and RDC-3s than they did RDC-1s. CN and CP also operated a mix of Phase 1 and Phase 2 RDCs, so you would rarely see a complete RDC consist all looking the same.

The VAST majority of RDC-2s in Canada were Phase 2, and this has never been done in HO scale before now. All your old Proto models are Phase 1. Don't know the difference between RDC phases or types? Click here to read our detailed Master Class on the RDC.
VIA RDC-2 6204 is on the tail-end of a four-car consist led by an RDC-3.
The second unit is a Phase 1 RDC-1. The others are all Phase 2.
Photo courtesy Kaluza-Mueller Collection.
It's been over three years since we delivered the Canadian RDC-1s, and they are regarded by many to be the best RDC model ever produced, in plastic or brass, in any scale. In Model Railroad News, David Otte wrote:

I think these well-executed models taught me as much about the prototype as my research did. They are that exact. So, to answer the question, “Is this really the absolute RDC model?” the answer is yes, I can't imagine anyone improving on a mass-produced plastic model of the RDC-1 Budd car. Period. End of discussion.

Now we're making many of the needed RDC-2s and RDC-3s and "alternate phase" RDC-1s to bolster your fleet.
Canadian Pacific RDC-1 - Maroon with Hockey Mask
Hand-painted pre-production sample shown.
Because there was such a huge variety of RDCs in Canada, we could not do them all at one time. For example, all of our first-run CN noodle and VIA RDC-1s were Phase 1 models, despite the fact that almost half of CN's RDC-1s and fully half of VIA's original RDC-1s were actually Phase 2s.

Even with this new run, we still can't do every version. There are just too many. Despite that, this is our last planned big run of Canadian RDCs for a long time. So now is the time to fill up your roster.
VIA Phase 2 RDC-3 6356, a Phase 2 RDC-9 and a Phase 1 CN RDC-1 await their next assignment in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Photo courtesy Kaluza-Mueller Collection.
Phase 2 CN RDC-2 6203 leads two other Phase 2 units through Burlington.
Many CN and VIA RDCs had a grey-painted letterboard.
Rapido models will have them where appropriate.
Photo courtesy John Eull.
Here's a complete rundown of Canadian RDC models in this production run. We offer numbered and unnumbered models, but please note that we need orders of at least six of any unnumbered version to produce it.

  • CPR Maroon Delivery - Ph2 RDC-2, Ph1 RDC-3
  • CPR Maroon with Hockey Mask - Ph1 RDC-1
  • CP Action Red - Ph2 RDC-1, Ph2 RDC-2, Ph1 RDC-3

  • CN Green - Ph1 RDC-1, Ph2 RDC-2, Ph2 RDC-3
  • CN Noodle - Ph2 RDC-1, Ph2 RDC-2, Ph2 RDC-3

  • VIA Rail (1977-1998) - Ph2 RDC-1, Ph2 RDC-2, Ph2 RDC-3

  • PGE - Ph2 RDC-3
  • BCR (Dogwood) - Ph2 RDC-3
CP Phase 1 RDC-1 90 snowblob 0 (possibly 9050) is on the rear of a six-unit train through Westmount in 1975. The maroon scheme with the hockey mask ends lasted until 1980, well into VIA ownership.
Photo courtesy John Eull.
Buy Four Get One Free!

Our orders for the new HO scale RDCs are good, but not nearly as high as the first run. We expected this, but Colin - our partner in China - has asked us to increase our order numbers to make factory production easier. He's offered us a quantity price break to do it, and we're passing that savings on to you.

So we are making you this unprecedented offer: buy four RDCs and the fifth is totally free. There are no air security surcharges, taxes, landing fees, or other junk. It's just... free.

This applies to dealer and direct orders, and it is retroactive. If you have already ordered four or more, you can contact your dealer and tell them which free one you want. If you've already ordered three, you can order two more and only pay for one of them! Dealers don't read all their emails, so if your dealer doesn't know about this offer, ask him/her to give us a shout to confirm.

If you've ordered some directly from us and you want to increase your order to take advantage of the offer, go ahead and order as normal. We'll go into the system and reduce the price of your fifth RDC to zero.

Canadian RDCs regularly ran in large consists on all four major railroads that owned them. The train of six CP RDCs in the photo above was often dwarfed by 10-car and 11-car RDC monsters in the Montreal area. In Ontario, three to four CN/VIA RDCs was the norm for Niagara Falls, London and Kingston trains. And on PGE/BCR, five or six was common, as in the photo below.

What I'm trying to say is... YOU NEED MORE RDCs!
A five- or six-car consist of RDCs on the stunning Pacific Great Eastern.
Note the first and third units are RDC-3s.
Peter Cox photo courtesy Mark Perry.
Looking at the preorders, we once again need the PGE guys to step up. Unless we get a huge inrush of orders, PGE will be cancelled. Contact your dealer or click here to order direct.

We also have almost no orders for one of VIA's RDC-3s, number 6302. This is because originally this was an unnumbered unit. But as VIA only had three Phase 2 RDC-3s, we changed it to the third number. And we never actually told anyone. Whoops! So please give VIA 6302 some love! That is product number 16251 (DC) and 16751 (DC/DCC/Sound).
Click on the image above (or click here) to download the Canadian RDC sales brochure, which includes a primer on the differences between the different phases.

American Price Reduction

This gets even better. If you are outside Canada, the USD MSRP for the HO Scale RDCs is $225 (DC) or $335 (DC/DCC/Sound). We mistakenly used the higher Canadian price for both currencies in the original announcements. And you still get the free RDC offer, so this is even sweeter. Again, this is retroactive. If you already have RDCs on order, we will adjust the pricing for both direct and dealer orders.
Canadian National RDC-2 - Delivery Scheme
Hand-painted pre-production sample shown.
The Final, Final order deadline is March 2nd. Please speak to your dealer or click here to order direct.
New Haven County Cars - Baggage-Parlor-Lounge
New! HO Scale New Haven "County" Cars

We are delighted to announce the newest release in our New Haven stainless steel passenger car series – the “County” cars. As with other cars in this series, these cars are being developed in association with The New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association ( NHRHTA).

The New Haven took delivery of a group of twenty stainless steel baggage-parlor-lounge cars in 1948. A part of the post-war passenger train modernization, these cars were named after counties served by the New Haven. That part was simple. Now the history of these cars gets more complicated!
Three of the seven possible interior arrangements on the County Cars.
Many Different Versions

The initial 1948 County Car order was delivered in four different interior configurations, but all with baggage compartments, a drawing room, two roomette sleeping accommodations and a mix of parlor seat arrangements.

In 1952 the New Haven determined that they needed more drawing rooms so two of the cars were rebuilt with drawing rooms in place of the baggage section. This conversion was successful enough that four more cars (for a total of six) were also converted. However, these six additional cars included no fewer than three NEW interior configurations! Cars #210-219 somehow escaped the rebuilds and retained their baggage sections throughout their service life.
All of the body and paint variations available for our County Cars
There are so many styles... You can't just buy one!
The skirted McGinnis cars are only available from NHRHTA .
As you can tell, the County Cars are a huge headache for us as a manufacturer, but such is our dedication to New Haven modelers that we're doing them in all their super-modified glory. Though I don't mind telling you that we would love to go back in time and ask the good folks at the New Haven Railroad to please stop making life difficult for us.

As with many of the New Haven stainless steel cars, the McGinnis cars with skirts are an exclusive production for NHRHTA. Please click here to visit their web site to order those cars.

For all the other paint schemes and versions, please click on the image below to download the County Cars sales pack which you can take to your store. Or just buy them all!
We will start tooling the County cars in March. The initial order deadline is May 25th. We'll extend it if the tooling's not ready by then. Delivery is expected in the fall.

Full information can be found here.
Our New Haven Dining Car is in good company on the SSMRC layout.
More New Haven - Dining Car Video!

If a New Haven modeler ever tells you that no manufacturer is bringing out New Haven models these days - as Bill and I once heard at a trade show in Hartford, with our FL9 sitting on the counter in front of us - please ask him to look us up and be prepared to remortgage his house.

Bill took our new New Haven Dining Cars to the South Shore Model Railway Club in Hingham, MA. He and new Rapido engineer John Sheridan unboxed these beauties and put them through their paces. The cars also get the very important critical approval of Paul A. Cutler III, one of the world's foremost New Haven experts.

Click here or on the image below to watch.
Yes, the tables are fully laid in the Dining Car!
We have some extra diners still in stock. Click here to order direct, or contact your dealer. If you've populated your Rapido diners with passengers and food, please send us photos! We'll share them on our Facebook page.
Canadian National FP9A 6535 - Delivery Scheme (1954)
New! HO Scale FP9A Locomotives!

It has been SEVEN YEARS since we last brought out the HO scale CN and ex-CN FP9A locomotives. We think that's long enough, so we are delighted to announce a surprise run of new FP9A locomotives. And guess what? They are here! Now!
Note the big 48" fans with wire mesh grilles, along with the honking big winterization hatch. Further up front you can see the tank expansion pipes and the float valve. This is the standard VIA unit with the yellow nose paint ending at a 90-degree angle.
The GMD FP9A was Canada's workhorse passenger locomotive from the mid-1950s to the 1990s. CN received its FP9A locomotives in five deliveries between 1954 and 1958. Our new run is just of the last delivery - the E class. It's called the E class because the CN designation for their FP9A locomotives was GPA-17e: General Motors Diesel Division Passenger A unit, 1750 HP, delivery group " e." The coolest thing about the E class was that instead of having four 36" radiator fans on the roof it had two monster 48" fans.

You can read all about the different classes of FP9A locomotive in our FP9A Master Class. Click here to have a look. We also have an FP9A Spotter's Guide, available here.
This is the gorgeous CN 1961 scheme.
Our HO Scale FP9A models feature the usual Rapido level of detail, including:

  • 100% accurate Canadian details
  • Correct fuel and water tanks, cooling coils, and other CN-specific details!
  • Numerous etched-metal parts including "No-Warp" metal grilles
  • Operational headlights, number boards, and optional ditch lights
  • Operational class lights and backup light
  • Full, multi-colour interior detail
  • Equipped with an ESU LokSound V5 decoder with sounds recorded by Rapido of an FP9A with an original 567C prime mover
  • Now featuring steam generator sounds as well!
VIA 6540 is also available with the angled yellow paint.
It wore this scheme until late 1981 or 1982.
Available paint schemes for the HO scale FP9A are CNR (1954 scheme), CN (stripes), VIA #6540 with the early angled yellow paint, and standard VIA with the straight yellow paint. We made a handful of #6540 in the early scheme simply because I wanted one for my Kingston Sub layout. It's also available in the standard scheme.

Click on the image below to download a sales sheet to take to your hobby shop.
Click here to order direct or contact your dealer.

When these are gone, they are gone. So go out and buy yours today!
Our new container two-packs: CP (left) and CN
Well car not included.
New! HO Scale Containers!

Another surprise announcement... more containers! We made a surprise run of our 53' containers in the latest CN and CP paint schemes. The good news is they are here now. The bad news is that we announced them to dealers last week and they sold out in one day. But that means your local hobby shop may have them in stock.

If not, have no fear! We are producing more containers in a variety of paint schemes, and we will take preorders for them. You can expect an announcement in the next newsletter and delivery later this year. You can also keep tabs on our containers web page.
N Scale LRC coaches
Hand-painted pre-production samples shown.

The LRCs as delivered had a blue belly and no "Canada" logo. That was added in 1998. Rebuilt coaches received the teal belly and yellow cant rail stripe starting in 2010. Most were never rebuilt. The roof-top emergency access decals were added to all cars after the Brighton vandalism incident in 1994.
Last Call! N Scale LRC Starting Production!

The factories are closed right now for Chinese New Year, but as soon as they open up again next month they are ordering production materials for the N scale LRC Coaches. This is the first modern VIA Rail Canada passenger car ever offered in N scale, and it features:

  • Scaled from original blueprints and measurements
  • Coach, VIA 1, and Business Class versions, and Amtrak too!
  • Full interiors with track-powered interior lighting (DC/DCC)
  • Working red marker lights operated by magnetic wand
  • Separate wire stirrups installed at the factory
  • Etched-metal end gates
The business class cars were rebuilt from VIA 1 coaches.
Hand-painted pre-production sample shown.
We have to thank Mark Kaluza, a very talented HO modeller, for going out of his comfort zone and doing a fabulous job hand-painting our N scale LRC samples. They look wonderful. Production models will include all the little warning labels and doodads, which will be applied using our Tampo pad printing machines. They will also have properly flush windows.

These photos show off the interior lighting and working marker lights. You can turn off the interior lights and turn on the marker lights just by waving the Rapido Lighter over the roof.
Rapido VIA LRC N Scale
This photo shows the end marker lights, the wire stirrups, and the etched-metal end gate.
The interior lighting provides a lovely warm glow for your passengers.
This is a screen shot from our N Scale LRC video .
I'm going to ask our N scale friends to step up. I've had a number of people poll their N scale buddies and the consensus was "I'm looking forward to getting the LRCs but I haven't reserved any."

Our total reservations for the N scale LRCs are certainly strong enough to make them, but I gotta tell you: we've sold TEN TIMES as many HO LRCs as N scale LRCs. That doesn't mean the HO market is so much bigger. It means that a lot of the N scale guys planning to buy these haven't preordered. And that's what was confirmed by our informal poll.

There's no way we can make so much inventory to meet the demand for these. So please preorder your LRCs to make sure you get yours. Final numbers go to the factory on Friday, January 31st, so they can start work on the following Monday. To guarantee delivery please make sure your orders are in by Thursday night. Please let your N scale modelling friends know.

The LRC coaches will be delivered quite some time before the F40s and Budd coaches, so you can spread out your budget. We still have tooling corrections to finish on those.
Click on the image above to download a sales sheet to take to your store, or click here to order direct.

The LRC is leaving the station. Don't be left behind!
Note the MU receptacle, nose grabs, and other unique details.
See Our Latest Samples - FA-2, M420, Amtrak and More!

Chinese New Year - which is on January 25th this year - is like a big reset for our factories. They like to tie up as many loose ends as possible and start the new year fresh. So we've been flooded with new samples. We'll have some of them at Springfield and at our other upcoming shows. More on our show appearances below.

We're particularly proud of our new Alco/MLW FA-2 and Alco/MLW FB-2 models. These have left the factory already and are en route. They are expected to arrive in late February/early March. A small handful are still available. Click here to order your A units and click here to order your B units.
Note the large fuel/water tank, winterization hatches and other unique details.
Note the differences from the EL unit above, such as the long vertical nose grabs, SP&S roundel, five-pipe hose clusters, and more.
Not all FA-2s are the same!
Note the brake chains, etched grilles and other details.
First injection sample of our MLW M420 . For a first sample, it's pretty good!
The plastic handrail stanchions are injected around the metal handrails. This engine is such an oddball that we could not use any major parts from our other models.
Hand-painted second injection sample of our Amtrak Horizon Coach .
Still a lot of small corrections to do.
Hand-painted second injection sample of our Amtrak Horizon Cafe .
Still a lot of small corrections to do on this too.
Check out the see-through etched-metal steps!
First injection samples of a hodgepodge of later-phase F40s .

The factory wanted to show us all the new F40 parts, so we have AC units on MBTA engines, hot pink strobes, the wrong door windows, etc. But they look neat! We'll wait for our next samples before closing the order desk.
These are actually the same HO scale Flexi Flo samples we showed you in our Flexi Flo video , but Bill has spent all week decaling them! We'll have them at Springfield. Production starts early next month. Get your order in, like, RIGHT NOW.
The Rapido booth at Springfield, 2019
Visit Us At Springfield and Ride Our Bus in Canada

We have a number of show appearances coming up. We hope you can join us!

25-26 January: West Springfield, Massachusetts
("The Springfield Show")
Mallary Building section #148
Rapido Crew: Bill, John, Dan, Dan, Josh, Mohan, Craig

8 February: Tillsonburg, Ontario
Rapido Crew: Dan G., Jordan

23 February: Copetown, Ontario
Rapido Crew: Jason, Dan, Dan, maybe more

7-8 March: Denver, Colorado
Rapido Crew: Dan D., Bill, Craig
The Rapido Bus on an excursion to Crawford Lake last week.
Photo courtesy Immanuel Burton.
Join Us On The Rapido Bus

We'd like to invite our friends to join us on the Rapido Bus to the Copetown Show on Sunday February 23rd. We'll be picking up in Vaughan and in Oakville. There is no charge. Please RSVP by replying to this email with the subject "Rapido Bus." Space is limited so please let us know soon.

The bus trip is weather permitting. As long as the roads are clear and not icy, it will go ahead.
I always look forward to Great Model Railroads and Model Railroad Planning , the annual publications from Kalmbach. Here I'm enjoying GMR on a Great Western Railway Pullman Dining Car service from London to Exeter. Now that is the way to travel.
We're Back In MR

After an all-too-long absence, we're pleased to let you know that we are back in the pages of Model Railroader magazine. We will be parking ourselves on the inside front cover for the foreseeable future, and we plan to be more involved with our friends at Kalmbach.

Our hobby is a small community, and we feel it's best to work together to expose more people to the wonders of model railroading and the unique approach to it that is embodied by Rapido Trains Inc.

Most of us at Rapido are still very much fans of printed model railroad magazines, so we will continue to support White River Productions, Kalmbach, Cowcatcher Magazine, N Scale Magazine, Canadian Railway Modeller, and other publishers. If you have a regular model train magazine in print, please reach out to us and we will consider advertising with you.
Upcoming Order Deadlines - HO and N Scale

Our order deadlines are somewhat flexible. Until we are ready to start production, we keep punting the order deadlines. There is no reason to stop taking orders if we haven't started making the stuff yet. When we say that an order deadline is FINAL it means "No more dilly-dallying. We're starting to make this stuff."

The Amtrak Horizon cars will start production as soon as the last tooling corrections are done. Because the factory is closed, we don't yet know how long this will take. So we're not calling the deadline FINAL just yet.

January 29th

February 10th

February 24th

March 2nd
The 3800 Hoppers are here! You can order yours by clicking here .
Delivery Schedule

In Stores Now:

Shipping Now:

Arriving February:

Arriving March:

*Undecorated models will arrive in the spring.
Mohan's really getting into his new role as COO.
More Rapido Who's Who

We'd like to introduce you to more of the people behind the scenes at Rapido, and give you regular updates about our team.

Mohan George, the spectacular manager that seemed to be dropped in our laps by the Almighty (see the bottom of Rapido News 110), has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Yes, we are now big enough to have a COO. That is the scariest part.
Dave and Roslyn pose for a selfie at Rapido HQ.
Dave O'Neill

Dave is our Warranty Repair Manager. Dave spent many years fixing photocopiers before coming to Rapido. In fact, due to an unfortunate photocopying accident, the Dave in our office is just a three-dimensional copy of the original Dave, who has been stuck inside a Xerox 8200 in Banff, Alberta since 1987. Photocopy Dave is brilliant at diagnosing and repairing model trains. He is the only human who can do a motor-motherboard-decoder replacement on an RS-18 locomotive in less than three days. Photocopy Dave is an excellent N scale modeller and knows everything about every science fiction television show and movie ever made. Live long and prosper.
Roslyn Brex

Roslyn Brex has been working at Rapido for almost two years. We hired her because I could tell instantly that she was as big a nerd as I am. She has moved up the ranks from Gopher to Order Desk Manager, and now she is vital to the operation of the company. In her spare time, Roslyn makes enamel pins that explain the meaning of life through the metaphor of fast food. Click here to buy her first pin. It's really neat! Roslyn is the only person I know aspiring to be a D&D geek. Most D&D geeks out there are actually aspiring to be Roslyn. Roslyn and her husband, Noah, have a beautiful toddler, Griffin. I recently was chagrined to learn that Griffin is not named for the founder of Hogwarts.
Lystra Balliram

When Lystra showed up for work she was immediately thrown in front of the camera for her critically-acclaimed cameo in our hit video, A Day In The Life of Rapido. She was so new to our team that Bill called me and asked who the nice lady in the video was. (Seriously.) Since then she has become the face and voice of Rapido to our visitors and callers. She's good at getting people - without offending them - to stop telling her the number of every Union Pacific locomotive they have ever owned. She's also become an expert at telling people off the street why she can't sell them bus tickets. She is a married mother of three beautiful children ages 19, 16 and nine, and she is a huge foodie. We're thinking of promoting her to office chef.
Mark Stapleton

Mark Stapleton just showed up at the office one day and started fixing things. We're not sure who let him in, but he's been here since September and he's actually very good at it. First he was fixing the food replicator, then the ceiling tiles, then the furniture, and then - lucky for us - he started fixing model trains. He has since become indispensable to our warranty repair team. In fact, he's 50% of it. But he's hoping to be 33% or even 25% of our warranty team. That is a not-so-subtle hint that we're still looking for more warranty repair people. (Please click here to submit your resume.) As you can see in the above photo, Mark is an accomplished British 4mm scale modeller and "he don't half know how to build 'em, don't he?"
And that's it for another Rapido News. Thank you to all seven of you still reading this far down. We do very much appreciate connecting with you in this way each month.

Until next time,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.

P.S. My mother and my Uncle Michael give me a hard time when these newsletters don't contain photos of my kids. (Bill will be writing more of these newsletters so you can see photos of his kids instead.)

Here are two photos taken last month when Dalya (aged 12) helped me lay track on my Kingston Sub layout. It's always a joy to get the kids involved in layout construction. You can tell I'm a proud papa.

Please click here to follow the Kingston Sub construction progress on Facebook.
Budding model railroader Dalya Shron assists Daddy with track laying in Oshawa.
USA: PO Box 796, Higganum, CT 06441
Canada: 500 Alden Road, Unit 21, Markham, ON L3R 5H5