Rapido Newsletter Vol. 126
©2020 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

We hope you've managed to fit in some model railroading time over the last few weeks. But if not, never fear! There are always these wonderful newsletters to keep you entertained!

In this issue of Rapido News:

  • New! HO Scale PRR X31A Boxcar!
  • New! HO Scale SP B-100-40 Boxcar!
  • Freight Car Facebook Live With Bill and Jordan
  • July 15th Order Deadline: GARX Meat Reefer
  • New Rapido Order Deadline Plan - Mark Your Calendar!
  • New Videos! And Janet!
  • CPR D10 Project Update - Into Tooling!
  • Factory Photos and Delivery Update
  • Weird CNR Diner Issue
  • Here Comes The M420...
  • And Did We Mention the F59PH?
  • Lockdowns, Kids and Model Railroading
1943 builder's photo of PRR X31A #69308
Photo courtesy Ted Culotta Collection.
New! HO Scale PRR X31A Boxcar!

This is Bill's baby, so... over to Bill!

Bill: Thanks, Jason.

So, finally another car that I can use! It has been said that if you model the transition era, then you model the Pennsy. The Pennsylvania Railroad had the largest freight car fleet during this time – more than 237,000 revenue freight cars in 1945 – and their cars traveled all over North America. It would be practically impossible to NOT see a PRR car in an average freight train of the era!

One of the most numerous groups of PRR boxcars was the X31A, in either its single or double-door version. We are delighted to introduce both versions of the PRR X31A in HO scale!
Our X31A paint schemes.
The PRR X31A boxcars featured an unusual round roof appearance to provide maximum capacity within the then-standard loading gauge. The PRR produced 7200 X31A boxcars starting in 1934, with another 2000 cars being produced to similar classes X31B and X31C. In fact, the X31 series was the second-most numerous series of PRR boxcar after 1949. The X31 boxcar fleet was larger than the entire boxcar fleets of many railroads!

These cars traveled throughout North America and could be seen literally anywhere until the mid-1960s when age and attrition took their toll. Even so, more than 1000 were still in service at the time of the Penn Central merger.

Over the last few months we have been working with the The Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society and noted freight car experts to develop our all-new HO scale X31A boxcar models, available in both body styles.
Both early Ajax and Equipco style brake wheels and housings will be offered, installed as appropriate.
Our model is based on the earlier group of PRR cars which featured a brake system with a trademark transverse-mounted main air reservoir.
All new PRR type 2D-F12 trucks are offered with a combination of coil and leaf springs. Metal stirrup steps are fitted to all models.
These X31A boxcars feature state-of-the-art tooling with separate grabs, crisp and accurate details and correct PRR class 2D-F12 trucks with free-rolling turned-metal wheelsets. Both Equipco and Ajax brake wheels will be offered as appropriate. These cars will be offered in multiple numbers and sold to dealers as three- or six-car packs which can be broken up for individual sale.
The molds for the X31A sides feature slides for each version.
A detail part mold, including the two different brake wheels on the right.
As you can see from the photos above, the X31A model tooling is almost complete! We can’t wait to show you the first samples! Now I just need to get going on a layout to run them on!
Click on the image above to download a catalog, and click here to visit our web site for more information or to order direct.

The order deadline will be announced closer to the time, but it is expected to be in late summer or early fall.

Jason: Thanks, Bill!
Almost-new 656391 is part of a train in Colton, CA in 1977.
Photo courtesy Ron Hawkins.
New! HO Scale SP B-100-40 Boxcar!

And this project is Jordan's, so here's Jordan with his first newsletter bit:

Jordan: What, now?

Jason: Yes, now.

Jordan: OK! With the Turboliner now definitely going ahead, Jason gave me the opportunity to select a new freight car model. So I chose one of my absolute favourites, and I'm really excited to tell you that we are making the Pacific Car & Foundry B-100-40 boxcar in HO scale! Woo-hoo!

Jason: It's an American car. Leave the "u" out of "favorites."

Jordan: Right. Sorry, eh?
Amtrak 70006 is on a train in Daggett, CA in 2001.
Photo courtesy Chris Butts.
With 250 cars delivered exclusively to the Southern Pacific in 1976, these exterior-post B-100-40 boxcars featured a 5195-cu ft capacity, full Hydra-Cushion underframe, 12’ doors, Car Pac loaders and the iconic half-height waffle sides. Used across the SP system, these utilitarian boxcars could be seen throughout the USA and Canada. Most of the series are still in service today, many for SP successor Union Pacific and others in short line service.
Our 3D design is about 90% finished. We still have lots of corrections to do!
Our B-100-40 model features the following details:

  • Separately-applied metal grab irons and coupler cut levers
  • Detailed Hydra-Cushion underframe
  • Full underbody brake rigging
  • Scale-sized draft gear
  • Genuine Kadee #158 Whisker couplers (not shown on render)
  • Newly tooled trucks with in-line brake shoes and metal 33" wheels
  • Separate door rods and door tracks
  • Accurate paint and lettering
  • Multiple car numbers per scheme
  • Road-number-specific number patches where appropriate
Our B100-40 features Rapido's usual high level of underbody detail.
The image below shows all of our B-100-40 paint schemes, including undecorated... in case you wanted to paint it to match your Turboliner or something. Jason thinks we'll sell about six undec models.

We're on the lookout for two more accurate numbers of the UP repaint models. So far we've tracked down four. If you can help, please get in touch!
Our selection of B-100-40 paint schemes
Please click on the image below to download a catalog:
You can click here to visit the web site. We'll be letting you know the order deadline before too long. It's going to be some time in the fall. The car is going to tooling workshop in a couple of weeks, so we expect to have samples in August. I can't wait!

OK, Jason. How did I do?

Jason: Great. You can write ALL the newsletters FOREVER.

Jordan: Ummm... I've just been offered a job at Scaletrains. Gotta go. Bye!
Freight Car Facebook Live With Bill and Jordan

Jordan (still thankfully at Rapido) and Bill will be on Facebook Live tonight to chat freight cars and other stuff. Please join in! If you are reading this after they were live, you can still watch and you can still send in your comments.

Click here to visit our Facebook page.
Our meat reefer poses on Bill's ex-layout.
July 15th Order Deadline: GARX Meat Reefer

It seems like we just launched this freight car yesterday, and here we are announcing the order deadline! But the factory is very eager to start production, and the tooling is ready to go. So the HO scale Meat Reefer orders need to be in on July 15th.

In order to show off all the neat features of this car, Bill has made a new video. Click here or on the image below to watch it. As Bill made this video from home, one of his cats, Fritzie, sort of took over. I think Fritzie could smell the meat from inside the meat reefers.
You see fruit reefers all over people's layouts, but you almost never see meat reefers. Hey, guys! How do you think all that delicious meat got from the slaughterhouse to the cannery? If you model the transition era, you need some of these cars! Even if you're vegetarian!!! (Hey, realism is everything.)

Click on the image below to download the PDF catalog:
Click here for more information and/or to order direct. We'd prefer you to order from your hobby shop if you can. We need to support our stores!

Remember that deadline - July 15th! While we do always make some extra inventory on freight cars, we can't guarantee all paint schemes will be available if you order past the deadline.
New Rapido Order Deadline Plan - Mark Your Calendar!

One of the biggest challenges we've had as we've quadrupled in size over the last six years is keeping track of our order deadlines. They jump all over the place. Now that we are producing so many more models from three different factories, we have no choice but to get our order deadlines under control.

Going forward, there will always be a Rapido order deadline on the 15th of each month, or the following Monday if the 15th falls on a weekend. If the 15th falls on a holiday, the next day is fine. It usually takes us a couple of days to get our numbers together.

We will also no longer announce order deadlines when we launch a product (unless it has a short order window). We will announce each order deadline a month or two before the actual start of production. Please keep in mind that while there may be several items sharing an order deadline, they will not arrive here at the same time.

The next deadline after July 15th will be August 17th. We will let you know the products included in the next newsletter. You can also click here to visit and bookmark our delivery schedule. Order deadlines will usually appear there first.
New Videos! And Janet!

We've been keeping busy during this lockdown to make as many new videos as we can. We hope you will consider subscribing to our YouTube Channel so you don't miss any! Click on each image below to watch.
RDC Wars: The Last RDC

Our video superstar, Jeremy Fleming, had a great idea. Let's do the opening scene from Star Wars, but with trains! About 200 hours of work later, the super cheeze-ball RDC Wars: The Last RDC was ready. Now Jeremy regrets opening his mouth... There is some real content in the video, as I compare the sounds of our Detroit engine-equipped RDCs with our Cummins-equipped RDCs. But really we were just having fun. Click here to watch.
Rapido's Ask Me Anything #2

I spent an entire evening in my basement fielding questions and comments from my fellow modellers, and I just realized that I had two pieces of tape stuck to my sleeve the entire time! Well, that explains what happened to those two pieces of tape. This is the type of video to have on in the background while working on your layout, driving, or sleeping. I answer all sorts of questions about the hobby, and I get the name of the writer of the 1968 Doctor Who story "The Invasion" wrong. Sorry Derrick Sherwin. Click here to watch.
Janet and Jordan and the GMD-1

Janet and Jordan show off the features of our N scale GMD-1. We really should have made this video months ago but, as Jordan says, "we forgot." Janet only pokes Jordan once with a broom. But he gets her back. Click here to watch it.
This has proven to be our most popular video since the last one which starred Janet. We're detecting a trend...
99% complete render of the CPR D10
CPR D10 Project Update - Into Tooling!

This is Bill's baby, so here he is again.

Bill: Thanks, Jason.

I'm still doing my best to convert Jason to a steam fan, but in the meantime it’s probably better if I give you an update on the HO scale Canadian Pacific D10 4-6-0.

In a word (or three) – we’re almost there.

We have been working with the factory engineers to update and change a few aspects of the design based on new available technologies and on our experiences with the Royal Hudson. First and foremost, we have upgraded the motor to a new coreless design that offers higher torque, smoother operation and lower current draw. We’ve also greatly simplified assembly of the loco superstructure (without compromising any details) to make access to the mechanism for routine maintenance easier.

Unchanged from the Royal Hudson are features like a full gear drive on all main loco axles, all-wheel pick-up on both sides of the loco and tender and synchronized chuff settings using sensors instead of just relying on (and constantly chasing!) CV settings. We continue to maximize the weight of the locos by using diecast metal for most components and filling every void practical with weight. This will result in a little loco that can become the pride of any number of layouts, large or small.
This D10 render features triangular front number board, alternate bell position and Pyle headlight.
We will continue to offer a wide variety of options on our HO scale D10, including different styles of walkway, power reversers, bell, feedwater, headlight (and headlight position) and steam delivery pipes, coal or oil tenders and much more.

With just a few minor adjustments to the design remaining, we should be ready to start tooling by the end of the month. We know that this has been a long time coming, and we appreciate your patience and support. We promise, the final result will be well worth it! Please click here for more info or to order direct.

Now, if I could just convince Jason to do a camelback…

Jason: Thanks, Bill, and no chance. I need MLW diesel switchers.
N scale Dash 8s are now entering the final assembly stage.
Check out the BC flag logo... Beauty, eh?
Factory Photos and Delivery Update

All three factories have been busy on Rapido production, and they have been kind enough to send us photos! Scroll down to see the factories at work.

In terms of deliveries, here's what's coming over the next two months:

The TH&B yellow boxcars, B&O FB-2 locomotives and C&NW FA-2 and FB-2 locomotives will all be arriving at some point over the summer. We've also been pushing the Rapido factory hard for the replacement B36-7 sideframes and Stratolites, and Zhou told us this morning that they are leaving the factory next week by air. So... not long to wait now!
I prefer the stripes, but I'll admit this is cool.
How many years have we waited? F7B and F9B are in production, finally!
HO scale LRC cars will be leaving China at the end of this month.
The Flexi Flos are a huge quantity. These are still in the print shop.
They will leave the factory in August, most likely.
HO scale 53' containers will leave the factory at the end of the month.
N scale LRC coaches are in the paint shop.
New Haven 8600 coaches are in the print shop.
Weird CNR Diner Issue

We've found a problem on some of the CNR 1954 Dining Cars, and we want to let you know so you can check your diners and see if it affects you. Some CNR 1954 dining cars have scuff marks and/or fingerprints on them. We've only had 12 reports of this so far (out of over 1000 cars), but it's enough to raise alarm bells. We were really surprised at this as we've rarely seen this kind of problem on our models, at least not in many, many years.

When we asked the factory what was going on, they explained that the paint used on the CNR 1954 diners was having trouble curing and was leaving a lot of marks from handling. But they assured us - and we have no reason to doubt them - that their QC inspectors cleaned every CNR model before it was packaged and there were no marks visible at the time.

Well it looks like the paint reacted to the polyurethane plastic sheet and on some models the handling marks came back up to the surface. I am not a paint expert and I can't explain it. But we tested it ourselves. Dan D. cleaned a model, let it dry, put it back in the packaging, and - Boom! - the marks came back a couple of days later.

If you have a CNR 1954 diner, here's what we would like you to do.

  1. Please inspect your CNR dining cars.
  2. If there are any scuffs or fingerprints on them like in the above photo and it won't wipe off with some warm, soapy water on a towel, please take a picture of each affected car and email the photos to us along with your name, address and phone number.
  3. We will make replacement dining car shells for all those affected and we will send them to you at no charge. It is very easy to do a swap and just requires the removal of two screws. You can keep your old shells. You can expect the new shells before the end of the year. Unfortunately, we don't have a production slot open until early fall.
  4. Fingerprints can be removed by rubbing mineral spirits gently over them with a Q-Tip. We'll still send you a new shell, but if you want to get rid of the fingerprint in the meantime so you can run your car, you can do it quite easily. Just don't put it back in the packaging. Otherwise the fingerprints will come back.

I'd like to personally apologize to anyone who is affected by this problem. It is not on every car and none of the cars we spot checked had it. Since the motor problems in the RS-18 last year, we've focused very strongly on improving our quality control practices at the factories. This diner issue may have been out of our control, but it still feels like a kick in the gut. All we can do is try our best to prevent stuff like this happening in the future. We really appreciate you guys for sticking with us.
Our new M420... Doesn't that model look gorgeous?
Here Comes The M420...

We have received factory-decorated pre-production samples of our new HO scale M420. We're now moving this project into high gear.

After almost three months of lockdown, John and Dan from Train Control Systems met up with our own Zobby at the Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad near Erie, PA. They spent two full days recording the sounds of real M420 #3568 as it hauled a freight train up and down the line. Click here or on the image below for a teaser video on our Facebook page.
We are working on two new M420 videos. The first will cover the sound recording process, and the second will feature those same sounds inside our models. Both are expected in the next month.

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel to ensure you don't miss them.

Please click here to visit the M420 web page and please order a huge fleet! We will most likely be announcing the order deadline in the next newsletter.
Our new HO scale F59PH. Beauty goal, eh?
And Did We Mention the F59PH?

We just wanted to show you our new HO scale F59PH sample, beautifully painted by Dan Darnell. Jordan, Janet and the team have shot a new F59PH video showing off the model features and sounds, and that will be uploaded to our YouTube channel in the next few days.

Please click here to visit our YouTube channel. (Please, please, please subscribe!!!)

Please click here to visit the F59PH web site. Like the M420, we will likely announce the order deadline in the next newsletter.
Boaz Shron, aged 14, and the GHQ loader he just built.
Beauty hat, eh?
Lockdowns, Kids and Model Railroading

Last week my son, Boaz, and I spent a day in the layout room. While I was doing scenery, he tackled a very challenging GHQ front-end loader kit. As you can see from the photo above, he did a great job. You can tell how proud Daddy is. There is a Yiddish word for it... I'm kvelling. Boaz is almost 15.

Looking back, many of our fondest memories involve model railroading. Luckily, I found the photos to prove it! Here he is in 2017, when we had just finished a Walthers bridge.
Boaz Shron, aged 11, and the Walthers bridge he'd just built.
Going further back, here is Boaz in early 2012, aged six. We built a pair of Accurail Great Northern boxcar kits. This was his first time using a hobby knife and styrene cement.
Boaz Shron, aged six, and the Accurail boxcars he'd just built.
Dalya and Isaac are also builders, and over the summer I expect they will both be pitching in on layout construction. Dalya, in particular, has a knack for scenery. She built this for a school project:
Dalya Shron, aged 13, and the diorama she built.
The class was told to use stuff they had around the house to make a diorama. The teacher didn't know what hit her.

Isaac, who is eight, has also built a couple of models (though I'll be darned if I can find the photos) and will take any opportunity to run trains. Here's a photo of him operating on Dave Gunn's layout in Nova Scotia last year:
Isaac Shron, aged seven, operating Dave Gunn's gorgeous layout
This summer, your kids or grandkids will likely be stuck at home. I know my kids will be. This is a wonderful opportunity to get them into the hobby. I'm not expecting my kids to be avid model railroaders through their teenage years - even I wasn't building models between the ages of 15 and 20.

However, I am planting seeds which, I hope, will take root and bear fruit years from now. When my kids are much older and each in a house of their own, I hope they will remember the fun times spent model railroading with Daddy and be inspired to explore the hobby for themselves.

Even the most devoted Tik Tokker will get bored of his or her screens if stuck at home all summer. If you are able, now is the perfect time to share our hobby with our children or grandchildren. Plant those seeds now, and we may have another dedicated model railroader in 30 or 40 years. This hobby is a long game. There is no need to rush!

On that note, I hope you have a safe, happy and healthy summer. We'll be in touch in a few weeks with two new announcements and the next order deadline information.

All the best,


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