Rapido Newsletter Vol. 123
©2020 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

Bill here again. I hope that everybody is doing well and surviving lock-downs.

Jason is having too much fun in his basement working on his layout, so it falls to me to write this short but news-packed newsletter for your home isolation reading enjoyment(?)! We've even included some new videos to help you pass the time.

In this issue of Rapido News:

  • YOU Did It! The Turboliner Is Go!!
  • New! HO Scale Transition Era Meat Reefers!
  • New Video! Rapido-TCS Sound Decoders 
  • HO EP-5 update
  • New Video! Rapido “Ask Me Anything”
  • Great Reading! Two New Master Classes
  • Order Deadline Update
  • COVID-19 Operational Update
  • Delivery Schedule
  • Introducing Bobby (Dobby)!
  • Old Video! Across Canada on the Rapido Bus!
  • Please send us your photos!
  • Planning Ahead - Making the Most of Free Time
Rapido Ho Turboliner
Turboliners are go! F.A.B.!
Prototype photo courtesy Kevin Eudaly Collection.
YOU Did It! The Turboliner Is Go!!

Thanks to your show of support and – most importantly – your reservations, we are happy to announce that the HO scale Turboliner has been approved to finish the design process, enter tooling, and then actually get made!

The HO scale Turboliner has been Jordan's baby, so now he can breathe a little easier.
Jordan begs customers to order the Turboliner in this Facebook video .
Our Amtrak Turboliner is being scaled from prototype drawings and measurements and will feature the usual Rapido level of detail inside and out. Full interior lighting and accurate sounds are par for the course. We still have some design work to complete, so watch these newsletters or our web site for updates.

Of course, if you HAVEN'T ordered an HO scale Turboliner, what are you waiting for? We're still taking orders, so feel free to order yours now (or add to your order). You can click on the image below to download the sales pack or click here to go to the Turboliner web page..
If you haven't seen our informative and humorous Turboliner video, please click here or on the image below.
Click here to visit the Turboliner web site. You can order direct or from your favorite hobby shop.
Rapido HO GARX Meat Reefer
A Dubuque packing meat reefer from the first run... way back when!
HO Scale GARX 37' Meat Reefers - new run!

There's a standing joke at Rapido - only it isn't really a joke - that the easiest way to get a project made is to convince Jason that he needs some for his layout. Well, MANY years ago I managed to convince Jason to do a car that I needed for MY layout - the General American 37' meat reefer.

We first produced this car about seven years ago, and just my luck it came out right about the time that I had to tear down my layout. Well, now I am planning a new layout, so I'm going to try again....

Announcing a brand-new production run of the HO scale General American 37' meat reefers!
Rapido HO Meat Reefers
What a variety!
Our HO scale wood reefer is based on a design built between 1937 and 1941 by General American Transportation (GARX). Although built with a wooden-sheathed body and roof that made them look like a car from an earlier era, these GARX cars were modern for their time. They were constructed on a steel underframe and featured AB brakes, Equipco brake wheels and housings and Barber S-1 trucks.

More than 940 cars were built to this configuration making it one of the most numerous meat reefer designs, and they lasted in service into the 1970s. They would normally be assigned to meat service only, running between meat packing houses and regional dealers throughout North America, Including Canada.
Rapido GARX Meat reefer details
Complete underbody details, Barber S-1 trucks and turned metal wheelsets.
Rapido’s 37’ Meat Reefers Feature:

  • Complete underbody detailing with all piping
  • Super-detailed Barber S-1 trucks
  • Insulated blackened turned metal wheelsets
  • Accurate roof hatches and hardware
  • See-through brake platforms
  • Separate grabs and ladders
  • Accurate paint schemes
  • Multiple car numbers per scheme
  • Factory-installed Macdonald-Cartier couplers
  • Available in singles or multi-packs.*
  • Multi-packs boxed for individual sale

* Dealers must order multi-packs. Packs can be broken apart for individual sale.

Click on the image below to download the sales pack, or click here to go to the meat reefer web page. We'll announce an order deadline when we have a better idea of when our dealers are going to be back up and running. Hopefully it will be sometime this spring.
So, with the new run of these cars coming, I guess I'd better start building that new layout! More on my layout at the end of this newsletter.
New Video! Rapido-TCS Sound Decoders 

Before the planet got shut down, Jason and Mohan spent a couple of days in Pennsylvania with the folks at Train Control Systems (TCS). They were working on the specifications for the new decoders that will be used in some of our upcoming models. As Jason has discussed before, these decoders are ALL NEW and are being designed for maximum compatibility with the decoders used in our previous products. Click here or on the image below to see the video and learn more.
Mohan and Jason terrorizing TCS World Headquarters.
Here are few common questions (and answers!) we've been getting about our new Rapido-TCS decoders.

Are you abandoning ESU?
No, we aren't. We are continuing to use ESU LokSound decoders in many of our projects.

Why are you using more than one decoder supplier?
You're probably familiar with the expression "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." We want to diversify and we also want to support a great made-in-USA company like TCS.

Are these WOWSound decoders?
No. They are an all-new decoder designed collaboratively.

Will the new decoders be available separately?
Yes, of course.

Will the new decoders be available in N scale?
We are looking into that and we hope they will be.

I am so upset by this decision that I will never order another Rapido sound model again.
That is of course your choice. All we ask is that you have an open mind. Please see and hear the new models equipped with the new Rapido-TCS decoders before you make a judgment. Also please watch the video.
Rapido HO EP-5 Electric loco
Looking SO pretty.
HO EP-5 update

Our New Haven customers are very patient! We've received only a very few death threats concerning the delays to the HO EP-5 electric locos!

As you probably know, the tooling has been mostly complete for some time now, but the operating pantograph function has not been up to our specs yet. Our technical guru, Mohan, has been working with the factory to get this resolved, so I asked him for a quick update on that project. Mohan, all yours...

"The entire pantograph and its drive mechanism have been redesigned. We expect an operating decorated sample sometime in the next two months. As soon as these are tested and certified, we expect to start production of the EP5."

As soon as we receive an acceptable sample we will be back to Rick Abramson's HO scale New Haven layout to film a new video under the wires. (This has taken so long that Rick has had time to tear down and move his layout to a new house!) We'll then post that video and announce a final order deadline. Keep an eye on upcoming newsletters.

Of course, you can still reserve models ahead of that time. Click on the image below for the sales sheet, or click here to visit our EP-5 web page.
New Video! Rapido “Ask Me Anything”

Sitting home going stir crazy? Waiting for the paint to dry on your latest project? Have we got a video for you!

Recently, Jason, Jordan and Josh hosted a Facebook live event in Jason's layout room. (Have I mentioned that Jason has a layout and I don't?) During this event they invited Facebook viewers to ask them any question that they wanted, and they answered! It's still hard to believe some of the things that they committed us to....

Now Jason has edited that video feed and we've posted the shortened version on YouTube for your viewing pleasure! Click here or on the image below to watch, and learn all sorts of Rapido secrets - including several that WE weren't even aware of!
If you want to watch the full, uncut, TWO-HOUR-LONG Facebook video, please click here. You miss the cutaways in the YouTube video but you get closeups of dining cars in person that are missing from the YouTube video. Either way, enjoy!
Great Reading! Two New Master Classes

Rapido has always been a model train manufacturing company run almost entirely by model railroaders. And as modelers we want to share our research with you. If we find this stuff interesting, we know you will too.

To that end we have uploaded two new fact-filled Master Classes for upcoming Rapido products. Please click on the images below to do some serious learning.
GMD F59PH Master Class
Photo courtesy Dan Dell'Unto.
MLW M420 Master Class
Photo courtesy Kaluza-Mueller Collection.
Impress your friends! Awe your acquaintances! Win trivia contests! But most importantly, enjoy! And if reading these Master Classes encourages you to place an order, all the better.

Click here to order the F59PH. Click here to order the M420.
Here's another photo of the one HO M420 sample we have...
We have asked the factory to send us more!
Order Deadline Update

Our factories are still working hard and we don't anticipate much of a delay to our shipping schedule from them.

We had announced March 31 order deadlines for the HO scale M420 and F40PH locomotives. However, realizing that many stores are closed or running at reduced capacity and that many modelers are uncertain about their hobby budgets, we are postponing the March 31st order deadlines until after the immediate crisis has passed.

The tentative new deadlines are May 18th for the F40PH and June 29th for the M420. Both of these may change subject to external factors. And there are a LOT of those going around these days...
The Rapido team gets together every Friday for a company-wide Zoom meeting.
Silly stuff happens.
COVID-19 Operational Update

I'm sure you're sick of every company you ever contacted since 1998 sending you a conscientious COVID-19-related email. "You ordered a pillow case from us in 2009. Here's our COVID-19 update!" That's why we've buried our COVID-19 message way down in our normal action-packed newsletter.

Everything is changing by the day. At the moment, all Rapido employees are working from home except for Joel, our warehouse manager. He is in the warehouse a few times a week as needed to ship out dealer and direct orders. Our warranty team members drop off newly-repaired models each week and those will get shipped out as well. This will continue until the province of Ontario goes on lockdown, or until this whole thing passes.

At this time we can't accept new warranty returns nor can we send out replacement parts. Most of the time, nobody is at the office to receive deliveries, and the people who pull parts for shipping are not at the office. Please hold off on your warranty returns until we are back in the office. We don't yet know when that will be.

Below is a message that Jason shared on our Facebook page on March 24th when it became clear that it was going to be a rough ride. In the meantime, please enjoy your hobby and stay safe.
Rapido Jason Shron
Jason and friend.
A message from Jason Shron, president of Rapido Trains Inc.

Like most of our fellow model train manufacturers, we have been asked by our local government to close our offices for at least two weeks, and probably longer. We only had three or four people left in the office, and now everyone will be working from home. We are continuing to run Rapido remotely, but the one thing we can't do while the office is closed is ship products to our customers.

Despite the fact that everyone is in a similar situation right now, the anxiety is real and can at times be overwhelming. We're all concerned about our livelihood; we're worried about our loved ones who may get sick; we're wondering if Canada or the United States will be the next Italy; and we're worried about how Rapido will survive if this goes on for months.

While I've been doing my best to put on a brave face for my team and for my customers, inside I'm scared. I'm responsible for a lot of people, a lot of families. And I hate not knowing what's going to happen in a month, a week, or even tomorrow.

I don't have a pithy answer that will make everything magically better, but I can tell you how I am coping. I am focusing on gratitude. I am writing or reading a list each night of all things I am grateful for right now. It's easy to be grateful when things are going well, but it is much more difficult - and much more beneficial - to be grateful when things are a mess.

I am grateful that my family is safe. I am grateful that Rapido has enough savings to keep everyone employed for the time being. I am grateful for the health of everyone on the Rapido team. I am grateful for the passion I have for model trains and for having an enriching and engaging hobby. I am grateful that we can each be in our homes and still be connected to each other. I am grateful for my children's teachers, who are providing an excellent home-schooling curriculum. I am grateful for the health care workers, supermarket employees and journalists who are on the front lines of this pandemic.

The list goes on and on, because it is a very big list.

Once I start writing the list, I keep thinking of more and more things for which I am grateful, and it makes me feel better. I am a religious person, and while I don't understand why God has given us this pandemic, I nevertheless thank God for all that He has given us - including our uniquely human ability to overcome this challenge.

As for Rapido, throughout this crisis we'll still be here on social media, goofing off like usual. We hope you'll join in the fun and that it will help brighten your day just a bit.
Rapido HO USA Boxcar
Production HO scale USRA boxcar - coming soon!
Delivery Schedule

Obviously with the uncertainty around the COVID 19 crisis, our upcoming delivery schedule may be a bit... fluid. However, the factories are up and running and we do have product on the way.

We have just shipped out the HO scale FA-2 and FB-2 locomotives, and these are in hobby stores now.

The HO scale USRA Double-Sheathed Boxcars are on the way, and should be here in early May. We will process these as quickly as we can, subject to whatever limitations are in place at the time.
Rapido HO CN Diner
Looking fine! HO CN Diner production model.
The HO Scale Pullman-Standard Dining Cars are also on the way. They are due to arrive shortly before the USRA boxcars. Check out the dining car detail, inside and out:
1:1 table setting on the left; 1:87 table settings on the right
Thanks to Richard Longpre for the real china photo.
Yes, we are so crazy that we actually put the correct china pattern on the plates in the CN diners. The factory hates us. We will have a new dining car video for you in the next week or so. Jordan has been filming it in his house. Click here to watch our introductory dining car video, with passenger car expert Richard Longpre.
Rapido HO NP Boxcars
HO NP boxcars from the previous run - the one that sold out!
The second run of the HO scale NP 10000-Series Boxcars are also on the way. Again, we will get these sent out as quickly as possible once they arrive. Look for more definite updates in the next newsletter.
Bobby Allard new at Rapido
Bobby Allard - the newest Rapido team member
Introducing Bobby (Dobby) Allard!

We'd like to introduce the newest member of our team, Bobby Allard.

You may recognize Dobby from working at another company in the industry for the past five years before joining the Rapido family. If you like modern commuter models, chances are you may own one of the projects he’s worked on.

While he might be one of the newest members of the Rapido team, it only took Jobby 20 minutes to be in a video (and only two minutes before he promptly ran out of it.) Currently Zobby’s working in Product Design, working on a lot of important new projects, or at least he thinks he is.

Although Lobby grew up on the state-side, he’s always had an interest in Canadian railroading. Believe it or not, this guy from New Jersey is a big fan of BC Rail. (We think that he wanted to get hired so he could push us to make a correct BC M420 with the double set of rock lights or GF6C’s so he could build the Tumbler Sub…) Someday Wobby plans to start building a layout based on the line along Seton Lake, complete with speeder rock patrols… someday.

Hair Comment: When Robby lets it grow out he looks like he should be in a K-Pop band, so kindly remind him to get it cut, often.
Bus, meet Train. Train, meet Bus.
Old Video! Across Canada on the Rapido Bus!

Hey - we all have a little more free time on our hands. Well, except for those of you with young children - I am so, so sorry. (Ed.: Yeah, right. Grumble....)

Anyway, for the rest of us, here's a fabulous 20-minute bus ride of adventure. Jason, Dan and Jordan flew to Calgary to pick up our real GM "New Look" Fishbowl bus, and proceeded to drive it home. A lot of fun stuff happened on the way. Click here or on the image below to watch.
Hey - did we mention we are making more model buses?
Rapido GM New Look Bus
Hand-painted, pre-production sample of a New York bus.
Note the single-stream rear doors and "batwing" advertising panel.
We have an all-new production run of New Look buses coming out later this year, including several new body styles. The order deadline is April 20th. This may shift a bit due to the COVID-19 crisis, but the tooling is almost all done and these buses are just about ready for production, so we don't intend to delay it much. Click here for the web site, or click on the image below to download the sales sheet.
Rapido HO GMD-1 weathered by Rob Arsenault
An HO GMD-1 custom weathered by Rob Arsenault.
Want one for yourself? We actually offer these for sale. Click here .
Please send us your photos!

Practising social distancing from home means more time for modeling and we want to see what you’re working on! As a semi-regular new feature, we will be posting the best of what you guys are doing with your Rapido models and home layouts. Send us your photos and you too may be featured on the Rapido Facebook page! Some of the topics include the following:

  • Model Railroading Monday (Show us your layout progress)
  • Modern Tuesdays
  • Weathered Wednesdays
  • Throwback Thursday (Pre-80's)
  • Freight Friday
  • Passenger Saturday
  • Scenic Sunday

Just make sure your photos include a Rapido product and we will select the best shots for our page. Your photo can be a weathered locomotive, or even a train under attack by sharp-shooting Imperial walkers...
Thank you for travelling with us. For first class passengers, we will shortly be serving a complimentary hot meal and choice of beverage. For economy class passengers, we apologize for the delay. Please remain seated and everything will be over soon.
Rapido Bill's old layout
The local freight working in my old O&W layout.
Planning Ahead - Making the Most of Free Time

In the last newsletter Jason talked about how great it was to have time to work on his layout now that he’s stuck in the house. That’s all well and good, if you have a layout already, but what if you’re still in an advanced planning stage, like I am? What are we supposed to do?

Some years ago I was lucky enough to have a layout based on my own favorite prototype, the New York, Ontario and Western (O&W). It pretty much filled a small spare room in the house with two decks and a third deck for staging. It was... cozy. One of my favorite comments from a visitor was that "You didn’t visit Bill's layout so much as put it on!"

In late 2013 that layout came down as my family’s space needs changed. (Fortunately, much of it has been reassembled in a good friend’s basement where he continues to enjoy it). Dreams of a new layout started then.
Out with the old
Out with the old.....
Chris Adams and Bruce Edgerton haul out a piece of Bill's layout.
For the last year and a half (or more – I try not to keep track now) my wife and I have been working on a major addition to our circa-1900 farm house. The architect quickly caught on that what he was really building was a decent-sized layout room with a really thick ceiling.

Well, we’ve now reached the point where that “ceiling” is finished, but the layout room still needs some electrical and Sheetrock work (Ed.: Most people say drywall, eh?) before I can start any real layout building. With the current situation, that may not happen for a bit. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t still get some modeling done.
Rapido Bill's new buildings
The old Walton, NY station in HO - about 26" long!
The new layout will also be based on the O&W, but a few miles north of my previous locations. Because I am trying to model the towns as closely as possible, I have to scratch-build nearly all my buildings. Fortunately, I enjoy doing this and I now have the time! So far, I have three stations and a water tank done, and another station nearly complete.
Rapido Bill's new buildings
Keeping busy while stuck inside with no layout!
The station in the back is still a work in progress.
Taking the time to build these now not only means that I will have a jump start on those areas of the layout, it also allows me to get my hands dirty and stay occupied. There's something therapeutic about creating a model, and we all need that therapy these days! Hopefully you are all able to find something that you can work on to keep you occupied and focused, even if you don’t (yet) have a layout.

Did I say that this newsletter would be short? Oops... :>)

Everybody please stay safe and well.... Until next time.

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