Rapido Newsletter Vol. 121
©2020 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

Bill here. We have lots of updates for you in this newsletter, and a new loco announcement that has been MUCH requested!

In this edition of Rapido News:

  • New! HO Scale Fairbanks-Morse H-16-44!
  • Crazy New Amtrak Horizon Video - With Janet! And a Fight!
  • FINAL FINAL Deadline - HO Scale Horizon Coaches!
  • FINAL FINAL Deadline - This Budd RDC's For You!
  • New! HO Scale 53' Containers
  • RTL Turboliner... The Clock is Ticking!
  • HO Scale RS-11 Unboxing Video
  • HO Scale PA-1 Progress
  • New Video - The Platforum Interviews Jason
  • Upcoming Shows
  • Delivery Schedule - China Coronavirus Update

Let's get to it!
Two New Haven H-16-44s wait for their next assignment. NHRHTA photo.
New! HO Scale Fairbanks-Morse H-16-44!

Rapido is excited to announce a new locomotive model from a new (prototype) manufacturer: the Fairbanks Morse H-16-44 in HO scale!

The H-16-44 series was Fairbanks Morse’s attempt to compete in the growing hood-unit market in the 1950s. Built between 1950 and 1963, the H-16-44 offered 1600 HP from its 8-cylinder opposed piston diesel engine. 209 units were built for US railroads and 58 for Canadian roads.

In 1955, Fairbanks Morse updated the design for their H-16-44 locomotives. These changes involved raising the walkway & simplifying the design of the short & long hood to make construction easier. From the outside the locomotives looked much like their bigger brother – the H-24-66 “Trainmaster” but with 4 axles instead of 6. Under the hood the locomotives were nearly identical to the earlier phases of H-16-44 except for replacing the Westinghouse Electrical System with a more reliable General Electric system.
The model design is fairly well along. Here is a preliminary render of the New Haven version. This is an early render - more details to come!
A total of 165 of the H-16-44 Phase III Locomotives were built between 1955 and 1963. Locomotives for the Canadian Pacific Railway & Canadian National Railway were built by Fairbanks Morse subsidiary Canadian Locomotive Company. The last H-16-44 was built for the Ferrocarril de Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad in 1963. This was the last Fairbanks Morse Locomotive to roll off the assembly line as the company folded the same year. 

Our HO scale model is this Phase III version. Since we so much enjoy reducing our design engineers to tears, we are of course offering these locomotives with all the road-specific details we can fit. We want to make these models as accurate as possible!

Now you might be wondering... How the heck did Rapido find an H-16-44 to measure? Well, we found one! It was hidden deep in an abandoned Malon theta radioactive antimatter waste repository. Intrepid researchers Jon Calon and Chris Doering measured the locomotive for us and had to spend three days in a decontamination chamber at McKinley Station. Thanks to Jon and Chris, and also thank you to Captain Emily Bosch as well as the Alberta Energy Regulator for giving us access to the site.
Jon in his stylish garb and wielding his now glow-in-the-dark tape measure.
It's amazing the lengths that we go to (or put others through) to produce our models!
Our new HO scale H-16-44 model features:

  • Loads of roadname-specific details, including hood doors and handrails
  • Accurate dimensions measured from the real thing!
  • Separate grab irons and handrails installed at the factory  
  • Prototypical Trucks: Dofasco or AAR
  • Both Dynamic & Non-Dynamic carbodies 
  • Steam generators where appropriate
  • Full underbody piping and conduits
  • Different fuel tanks depending on road name
  • Lit number boards, headlights and green and white class lights 
  • Rapido’s proven drive system adapted from the FA-2  
  • DC/Silent (21-pin DCC Ready) or DC/DCC/Sound options 
  • Macdonald Cartier magnetic couplers installed at the correct height
Click on the image above (or click here) to download the H-16-44 brochure, or click here to go to the web page. Note this is the first run. If you don't see a paint scheme you want, we may do it on a second run. The sound decoder will either be a TCS-Rapido or an ESU LokSound. We'll let you know in a forthcoming newsletter, well before the order deadline.

Speaking of order deadlines, we will announce that when we have samples. We expect this to be in tooling by the end of March. You can order your H-16-44 fleet from your dealer or you can order direct by clicking here.
Crazy New Horizon Video - With Janet! And a Fight!

Apparently we have a star on our hands! It seems that every time that we release a new video WITHOUT Janet in it, we are bombarded with messages asking "Where's Janet?!"

So (and without analyzing this trend too much) - HERE'S JANET!

If that's not enough, you also will get to see Jordan beating up Jason. I'm sure that he deserved it! Click on the image below to watch.
Trains? You want TRAINS in your video.... Oh, OK. There are some gorgeous Horizon cars tootling around on Jason's layout, after Janet had the guys clean up the layout room first. Did I mention that Janet was in the video?
Hand-painted pre-production sample of the Horizon Dinette
FINAL FINAL Deadline - HO Scale Horizon Coaches!

March 2nd, 2020 is the Final Final deadline for getting your orders in for the HO scale Horizon coaches and dinettes. That's like, RIGHT NOW. You may have seen these great cars in the new video (did we mention that Janet was in the video?). Now is the time to get your reservations in.
Working interior and marker lights come standard in our Horizon cars.
Introduced by Amtrak in April 1989, the Horizon fleet consisted predominantly of two basic car types - Coach and Dinette - with 86 and 18 cars respectively forming the 104-car order placed with Bombardier.

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 VI. However, two key changes that have occurred include the replacement of the original power sliding doors with manually-operated Dutch doors, and the replacement of the fold-down stairs with fixed steps. Of course, we're making these variations!
Hand-painted pre-production sample of the Horizon Coach.
Look at all that amazing underbody detail, including separate conduits! The coach and dinette versions have different underbody arrangements with different conduits.
Our HO scale Horizon models feature:

  • Coach, Dinette and Club-Dinette cars available
  • Full underbody details unique to each car style
  • Full multi-color interior detail with separate seats
  • Folding steps or fixed stairs as appropriate
  • GSI G70 trucks with free-rolling, turned-metal wheelsets
  • Accurate painting and lettering
  • Constant interior lighting in DC and DCC
  • Working marker lights
  • Separately-applied metal grab irons

For a full, printable item listing please click on the image below to download our Horizon Car sales pack.
The Final, Final order deadline is March 2nd. We will take orders all next week and then send the numbers to the factory. Please speak to your dealer or click here to order direct.
FINAL FINAL Deadline - This Budd (RDC)'s For You!
Another "no expenses spent" video from your friends at Rapido Studios!
Click here or on the image to watch.
We are taking orders for just a few more days on the next run of HO RDC models. These include Canadian RDC-1, RDC2 and RDC-3 models. A complete rundown of Canadian RDC models in this production run can be found here.

Don't forget, we're offering a special deal on this group of RDCs: 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!

This offer is only applicable to this production run. Gord in Thicket Portage has four really nice rubber-band-drive RDCs he bought in 1966, but that doesn't mean he's getting a free Rapido one now. Sorry, Gord. And please stop calling us.
CP RDC-1 with "Hockey Mask" front end. Beauty goal, eh?!
Click here to watch the Canadian RDC Video...eh.
We managed to get together a new video of these RDCs in action just in time. Sorry, Janet is not in it - she's still recovering from the last one. However, there are some amazing shots of HO RDC models! Click here or on the image above to watch. It would have made sense to have a four- or five-car consist in the video but Jason forgot them at home. We're really professional. 🤦🏻‍♂️

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. The free RDC offer also applies to dealer and distributor orders too!

The Final, Final order deadline (we mean it this time!) is March 2nd. We'll take last-minute orders throughout most of next week, but then the factory gets to work. Please speak to your dealer or click here to order direct.
Rapido HO scale containers - second run
Our new container two-packs: CN, CP, JB Hunt and Schneider feature new numbers.
The rest are all-new schemes!
New! HO Scale 53' Containers

Our last run of containers could not be contained - they sold out immediately! So, we're producing more containers in several new paint schemes and others with new numbers. We are taking reservations for them now. You can expect delivery later this year.

For a full listing of available schemes and numbers see our containers web page.
The Amtrak RTL Turboliner in an Amtrak publicity shot - a thing of beauty!
Photo courtesy of Matt Donnelly and Amtrak
RTL Turboliner... The Clock is Ticking!

For a long time now Jordan has been driving us NUTS around the office BEGGING for us to make the Rohr Turboliner train in HO. He even found a few friends who also seemed interested. They started an e-mail blitz that convinced us to offer the train - conditionally.

We announced that we would make the Turboliner if we received enough orders by the order deadline - March 17, 2020.

Well, we're waiting.......
Turboliner 162 in service as train #82 "The Adirondack" passing through Mechanicville, NY in November of 1977. Help us recreate this scene in HO!
Kaluza-Mueller Photo Collection
To date we have indeed received quite a few orders, but not yet enough to kick us over the threshold needed.

So, if you want to see the Turboliner as well, or if you're a friend of Jordan's, then please make sure to reserve your fleet quickly! We'll announce whether the project will go ahead after March 17 and the orders are tallied.

We should warn you, if the project does not get enough reservations then Jordan will have nothing to do but make more videos, and he'll be really grumpy in them. So please, help us all out....

To make this more attractive, Orders place before March 17th, 2020 will be entered at a special Early Bird price, saving 5% off the MSRP.

(Orders places AFTER March 17th, 2020 will be at full MSRP).

For a full, printable listing please click on the image below to download our Turboliner sales pack. Make sure to order one of each!
Reserve your Turboliner from your favorite hobby shop or directly from us. The 5% early-bird discount applies to all orders received by March 17th, whether from your hobby shop or direct. Click here for more info!
HO Scale RS-11 Unboxing Video

Jordan and Gomez (with Mike's help) have recently finished a video showing off our gorgeous new HO scale RS-11 locomotives. They show the details, run through all the features, and then get to play trains for a while. (Some job....) Click on the image below to view.
We have a handful of RS-11 locomotives left in stock. Click here to see what is available.
An early - and I mean EARLY - CAD render of the PA-1.
HO Scale PA-1 Progress

With the factories having been closed for the Chinese New Year holiday - and beyond (see more below) - progress on many projects has been delayed. However, we are moving forward on the HO scale PA and PB Project and I thought that I'd share an early CAD rendering with you.

To be honest, I'm always nervous about showing something this early in the process. This is only the second CAD file that the factory has sent (the first being VERY basic) and there are still LOTS of things to add and correct. Still, we are making good progress and the factory engineers are working on an updated version even as I type this. We'll have more updates for you in upcoming newsletters.

With a Little Help From Our Friends

One of the biggest challenges on this project has been finding good, reliable information. As you may have followed, we were lucky enough to be given full access to Doyle McCormack's gorgeous "NKP 190" at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center and allowed to perform a 3D scan of it. (You can watch the video of that event here.)
Santa Fe #59L at the Museum of the American Railroad. Just a little work left to do...
Recently we've also received a bunch of help from the folks at the Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco, Texas and I want to take this opportunity to thank them for it. Their crew is restoring the other PA-1 in the US, Santa Fe #59L. They have been able to provide us with field measurements and photos of parts that are either not on Doyle's unit or have been modified on his.

You can click here to see the story of their impressive restoration efforts. I'm sure that they'd also appreciate any donations that you might want to put toward their efforts!
What kind of idiot sits out in the snow and cold for an hour to talk trains?
(Note - Rapido is now hiring to replace the guy writing
this newsletter, who has just been sacked).
New Video - The Platforum Interviews Jason

So, regular readers might be wondering at this point where Jason is. Well, in fact he's still thawing out.

Recently Jason was interviewed for The Platforum, a video podcast put together by noted Canadian modeller and Rapido friend, Bob Fallowfield. In each episode Bob tortures his guests by making them sit outside in the cold and talk trains.

In this episode, Jason discusses the trials and tribulations of trying to build a large model railroad while also trying to run a business and juggle family life. It's actually quite interesting! Most impressively, Bob was able to get a few words in during Jason's interview! Jason doesn't know when to shut up. (Seeing as he already fired me a few paragraphs ago, there's nothing holding me back.)

Click on the image above or here to watch. Don't forget to dress warmly!
The Rapido booth at the Rocky Mountain Train Show, 2019.
The guys were enjoying their last few quiet minutes before the show gates opened!
Upcoming Shows

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

29 February: Long Island, New York
Rapido Crew: Bill

7-8 March: Denver, Colorado
Expo 2N booths C25, C26
Rapido Crew: Bill, Dan D., Craig

26-29 March: Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
Rapido Crew: Bill

18-19 April: Calgary, Alberta
Rapido Crew: We're still figuring it out.
Delivery Schedule - China Coronavirus Update

On a more serious note, many of you have no doubt been following the news about the Coronavirus outbreak in China. If you've read these newsletters or have watched our videos for any time you'll know that we have a very close relationship with our factory workers and partners in China and are proud of it. We are happy to report that, to the best of our knowledge, none of our factory workers has been infected.

However, in an ongoing effort to control the spread of the virus, both the Chinese national government and many regional authorities instituted travel restrictions and factory closings. As a result, both of our factories remained closed an extra three weeks after the end of the Chinese New Year break. This means no production, no shipments - nothing - until after they have reopened and had a chance to get back up to speed.
In an almost surreal image for those of us who have been there, the streets near the LRC factory are almost completely deserted. A local travel ban was in place in an effort to control the spread of the Coronavirus.
Because of this, some projects have now been delayed at least an extra few weeks, some more. This is why we have continued to take orders on products that are technically past the order deadline, and have extended some other deadlines a few more weeks.

The good news is the factories have now reopened and workers are returning. Of course, it will take some time to get back up to full capacity, but we are assured that things are improving daily now.
The factory sat idle for almost two months, waiting for the workers to be allowed to return. That train that you're anxiously waiting for is probably in one of those blue bins.
To compound the delivery uncertainties, the Canadian rail system was shut down for the last three weeks due to blockades. (Jason was quoted in a Toronto Star article about this. Click here to read it.)

Our container of HO Alco FA and FB-2 models was stuck in the port of Prince Rupert for over two weeks. Fortunately, that too is now on the move and is... stuck behind all the other trains that were stopped! At least it's moving now!

Obviously, both of these situations are outside of our control, and we appreciate your patience.

So, with that in mind, here is our best current estimate of delivery times:
Delivery Schedule (see above)

Arriving Early March:

Arriving Late April:
And that's it for another nice short edition of Rapido News.

Should any of you have actually made it this far, remember... order more Turboliners! Please? Pretty please? With sugar? You don't want a sad Jordan, do you?

Until next time,


Bill Schneider
(Former) Product Designer
Rapido Trains Inc.

P.S. A lot of people have been asking Jason about how he built his helix. He's just started showing this process on his layout's Facebook page. Click on the image below to get involved in the discussion. Now I'm hoping he'll hire me back.
Cutting and fitting the helix base at a local woodworking shop
USA: PO Box 796, Higganum, CT 06441
Canada: 500 Alden Road, Unit 21, Markham, ON L3R 5H5