Rapido Newsletter Vol. 125
©2020 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

In 1976, British Rail introduced the Intercity 125, a pivotal moment in railway history which changed passenger rail services in the UK and around the world forever.

In 2020, Rapido Trains Inc. introduced its 125th newsletter, which accomplished absolutely nothing.

In this comparatively underwhelming newsletter, you'll find:

  • HO Scale Fishbowl Bus - You Gotta Order Now!
  • New Bus Video - Bring On The Passengers!
  • Our SOMEWHAT LARGE SALE is ending on May 29th...
  • Rapido on Facebook Live - Three New Events!
  • New Rapido Factory Photos
  • Delivery Updates
  • Zobby's First Rapido Video - How To Clean Your Loco
  • Rapido Models (Plural) Of The Decade... Wow!
  • New Model Railroader Videos
  • We Are So Fortunate
Gorgeous modelling by Peter De Alba, featuring our model bus.
Man - the whole thing looks real!
HO Scale Fishbowl Bus - You Gotta Order Now!

We've been a bit bus-focused lately in these newsletters, and our customers have taken notice... Our bus orders have tripled in the last three weeks. Thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered their 1/87th New Look Bus fleet. The order deadline is Monday, May 18th. We'll guarantee any orders received by end of day on Tuesday. If you're reading this past the deadline, have no fear! We always make a few extra Deluxe buses in each livery. Go ahead and send in your order.

Our best seller, for some reason, is Santa Monica bus number 2525:
Please do not try this at home, folks!
Please be kinder to your model 2525 than these guys were to the real thing!

Here's a listing of liveries we are doing in this run:

  • Rapido Trains Inc. #3380
  • BC Hydro (Vancouver) - Exclusive!
  • Calgary Transit (Two-tone Blue)
  • Chicago Transit Authority (Two-tone Green)
  • GO Transit (Toronto)
  • Dallas Transit System
  • Denver Tramways
  • Kansas City "KC Metro"
  • London Transit Commission (Orange/Brown) - Exclusive!
  • Milwaukee County (Two-tone Green)
  • Minneapolis MTC - Exclusive!
  • New Orleans Public Service
  • New York MTA (Green)
  • New York MTA (Two-tone Blue)
  • OC Transpo (Ottawa)
  • Philadelphia SEPTA (Red/White/Blue)
  • Quebec City CTCUQ - Exclusive!
  • San Francisco MUNI (Maroon/Cream)
  • San Francisco MUNI (Landor)
  • Santa Monica SMMBL
  • Winnipeg Transit
  • Painted/Unlettered (White, Red, Blue, Green)

If you would like to commission an exclusive run for your home town, it's not too late! Let us know by Tuesday. Minimum is 300 buses.
Deluxe buses feature lighting and better interior decoration, like on this bus!
Why go Deluxe?

It's not just the lighting that increases the appeal of our Deluxe New Look buses. The Deluxe buses also have enhanced interior decoration, such as two-tone seats where appropriate and the handrails picked out in silver. As you can see from the photo above, this adds a huge dose of realism, and helps explain why the vast majority of our sales are for Deluxe models. If you want to upgrade your model to Deluxe, your dealer can adjust your order. Just let them know.

Click on the image below to download a bus catalog:
Remember that order deadline - it's basically NOW.

Click here to visit the bus web page. And please send us photos of your Rapido bus models so we can share them. Because you know it's all about that bus,'bout that bus... I'll stop now.
New Bus Video - Bring On The Passengers!

Our new YouTube superstar, Jeremy Fleming, has created another "how-to" video. This one is about putting little people in your model Fishbowl Bus. Even if you have no intention ever to do this, it's a very entertaining video. It even includes a guitar.

Click here or on the image below to watch.
Because we haven't beaten this dead horse enough today, HERE'S THE LINK to order your new bus models.
Get all your LITTLE TINY Rapido models today!
Our SOMEWHAT LARGE SALE is ending on May 29th...

Well it's not a HUGE sale, but it's... respectable? Adequate? Tolerable? Not half bad?

Whatever it is, the chance to save 10% on almost everything in stock AND qualify for free shipping across North America expires on May 29th, when prices SHOOT UP back to what they were in the olden days.

Please click here to start shopping.
On the train, but not going anywhere... Jason on Facebook Live
Rapido on Facebook Live - Three New Events!

We really miss connecting with you, our customers. Our last "Ask Me Anything" was on Facebook Live back in March. So here are three Rapido Facebook Live events coming up:

Ask Jason Anything - Wednesday May 20th at 8 p.m. EDT
Join me in VIA Rail Coach #5647 and let's chat about Rapido, the model railroad hobby, real trains, all the roles Norman Jones played in Doctor Who, and anything else. Click here to visit our Facebook page.

(I've been watching a lot of Doctor Who lately, so maybe we should just talk about Norman Jones. And David Daker. He kind of looks like Norman Jones.)

TrainWorld Live with Rapido Trains - Monday May 25th at 7 p.m. EDT
Celebrate Memorial Day with Bill Schneider and Jordan Smith from Rapido. Ask them the same questions you ask me and get TOTALLY. DIFFERENT. ANSWERS. Bill and Jordan have extensive knowledge of our American model plans and will be sure to drop some completely misleading hints. Click here to visit the TrainWorld Facebook page.

Sidura's Book Launch - Monday, May 18th at 8 p.m. EDT
Thank you to everyone who ordered Sidura's book after the last newsletter. We really, really appreciate it. You Are Not What We Expected rocketed to the top of the charts for short story collections on Amazon's Canadian site that weekend! The official book launch takes place on Monday as part of the National Arts Centre's #CanadaPerforms program. Please click here to visit Sidura's Facebook page.
This worker at the Rapido factory is using a three-head tampo printing machine to apply logos to N scale BCR Dash 8 Locomotives .
New Rapido Factory Photos

The factories are extremely busy with both N scale and HO scale production. Have a look:
The N scale CN Dash 8 shells are in the printing room, receiving their loco numbers.
Geez - that must be every N scale QNS&L Dash 8 we sold in that one bin, there...
This tampo worker is verifying that the black stripes on the D&RGW Ski Train cars are straight. He's using the best tools for the job... his eyes!
We're making several thousand Ski Train cars and each car has about 40 seat pairs to install one... at... a... time. Could you do this all day? I certainly couldn't!
We're almost finished decorating the new TH&B USRA boxcar shells... with black doors!
Flexi Flos in the printing room! Woo-hoo!
Our dining cars absolutely filled Cargo Bay 1.
Delivery Updates

Amazingly, we are receiving shipments and we are sending them out!

The HO scale Pullman-Standard Dining Cars are mostly out the door. If you ordered a dining car and you have not heard from us, chances are our email ended up in your spam filter. Please get in touch ASAP. If you've ordered from a store that has either closed permanently or never seems to fulfill their Rapido pre-orders, please contact us as well so we can make sure you get your models.

We have a handful of diners left available. Visit the web site to order yours.
And the USRA boxcars filled Cargo Bay 2!
The HO scale USRA boxcars and Northern Pacific boxcars are also here... crammed into our very small Cargo Bay 2. We're moving them into Cargo Bay 1 on Tuesday and will start shipping them late next week. The Missouri Pacific FB-2s are with them.

We'd really like to renovate our Cargo Bays. Jordan wants Cargo Bay 2 to look more like this:
Cargo Bay 2... The Next Generation?
The next major arrivals will be the Rio Grande Ski Train and the HO scale LRC. We expect both to arrive in early July. The C&NW FA-2s and FB-2s and the TH&B USRA Boxcars are expected in June.
Zobby's First Rapido Video - How To Clean Your Loco

As Rapido's most junior project manager, Dobby has been very keen to start doing some videos. After his critically-acclaimed cameo in Jordan's FA-2 video, we felt it was time for Robby's solo career to take off.

Click here or on the image below to watch Knobby's tips on keeping your Rapido locos cleaned and well tuned. Floor runners take note - if you run your Rapido locomotive on E-Z Track on the carpet or floor and the loco stops working, there is a good chance your gearboxes need cleaning. Gobby shows you how to do it.
As an aside, you would not believe how many Rapido models we get back that don't run due to carpet fluff and cat hair clogging up the gearboxes. There's nothing wrong with running your models on the floor, but you gotta keep 'dem gearboxes clean!

So When Can I Send Stuff To Rapido?
Many of you have been asking when you can start sending back your models for repair. We are now back at the office (with a skeleton staff) but Canada Post is still holding parcels and not delivering them... despite our repeated requests for them to start. Please check in with us before sending a warranty model back to make sure we can actually receive it. Hopefully parcel delivery starts up again soon.
An awesome achievement indeed...
Rapido Models (Plural) Of The Decade... Wow!

We are honoured (with a U) to have fared very well in the recent Model Rail Model of the Decade poll, winning first or second place in three categories. Our N gauge Virgin Pendolino won first place in its category, as did our OO gauge LNER Dynamometer Car. Our sleek APT-E train won second place in its category.

These were very broad categories and we beat out a lot of fantastic models by manufacturers that have been around a lot longer than we have. Thank you to everyone who voted for us! You can read the complete list on Model Rail's website.

We are in the process of expanding our British model offerings, so there will be a lot of news for our UK customers in the coming months.
New Model Railroader Videos

After many years, it's a delight to see Rapido products back in the pages of Model Railroader magazine, and our friends at Kalmbach have been kind enough to include us in some of their new videos:

David Popp takes you through the history of the New Haven lightweight dining car and shows off the model inside and out.

YouTube Model Railroad sensation James Wright goes over the features of one of our newer RDC models.

Dana Kawala takes the RS-18 for a spin on the famous Milwaukee, Racine and Troy layout.

We hope you enjoy!
Even with limited free time, this part of my Kingston Sub layout has seen a lot of progress in the last 30 days. The inset photo was taken a month ago today.
This is Lyn Road, west of Brockville, Ontario.

I'm not happy with the clump of trees to the left of the road in the foreground, as they should be on dirt, not grass. Next step... pull them out and redo them!
We Are So Fortunate

In the early days of this pandemic I found it very difficult to cope. We are a family of five with three school-aged children. Finding a new routine that reduced the meltdown factor - in both children and adults - took us a solid month. During that time I actually had a letter about this published in The Globe and Mail , Canada's national newspaper, which made a lot of parents chuckle. Here it is:

The COVID-19 crisis seems to have divided Canadians into two broad groups: One is being told to stay home, relax, catch up on their favourite TV shows and indulge in their hobbies or a good book; the other has young children.

While the first group is on their balconies and porches cheering for health-care workers, we parents are outside screaming for mercy. If I see another happy Instagram post from childless relatives showing off great cooking experiments or massive finished puzzles, I am boxing up my kids and sending them COD. Pass me the packing tape.

However, once we found a routine that worked for the whole family, life in lockdown hasn't been that bad. In fact, for my model railroading, it's been really good. I had been all set to design my control panels, get them printed on plastic, and wire up all my switch machines on Deck Two. Valuable work, but the progress is mostly behind the scenes. However, the sign shops were closed, so that plan was kiboshed. So instead I decided to get started on scenery. With scenery, you see progress pretty much instantly.
The tried-and-true ground cover method of blowing dirt onto a glue-covered hillside...
The next few weeks were full of firsts for this layout: my first road! My first forest! My first ballast! My first static grass! I had done all of these to some degree on previous layouts, but not on The Big One. And of course with The Big One I wanted to get everything right the first time. I was quite hesitant at first but I had a lot of encouragement from many of you through the Kingston Sub Facebook Page. Your comments and advice have been of tremendous assistance.
This my first forest. The top is my prototype inspiration, a hillside west of Brockville in November. The bottom photo shows my interpretation. I'm really happy with how this turned out.
The time in my layout room has brought tremendous calm to my life in a world that has been turned upside down. And it got me thinking about how lucky we are as model railroaders to have a passion that instantly centres us and brings us to a place of joy, of nostalgia, of creativity and of harmony. Most people do not have this escape route - they are stuck at home eating Cheezies while watching Netflix and letting the anxiety take over.

It's not just model railroading. Those of us who are passionate about hobbies have an edge in the long term. In the old days you worked until 65, you played golf for a bit, and you were dead by 67. Those of us newly retired can now expect 20 to 30 active years ahead. Those of us stuck in the middle ages right now (like me!) could potentially have 30 to 40 years of active retirement.

As hobbyists, we know what we'll be doing when we're retired and most of us can't wait. One friend, who is not a hobbyist, retired at 60 and sat on the couch watching television for the next 15 years. He's not in a good state. That's not going to happen to us.
Canada's busiest highway, Highway 401, crosses the Kingston Sub twice on my layout, and parallels the mainline in another section. I was initially very nervous about building roads but after giving it a shot on Lyn Road (in the top photo and again below), now I feel confident enough to tackle something as big as the 401. I'm having a ball!
Because taking layout photos has become so easy, we have to pay attention to details that weren't important a generation ago. In this case, the girders in the Lyn Road bridge are an easy detail to add and contribute so much to the realism of the photo.
If the current situation is getting you down and you haven't done so already, now is the time to go work on your layout or on your trains. Get to that place that brings you calm.

We'll be in touch in a few weeks with an all-new freight car announcement and more of the usual silliness. Jeremy is working on a new video that involves laser beams. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel to catch that when it comes out. Should be fun...

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