Rapido Newsletter Vol. 133
©2020 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! If you are reading this in January, Happy January!

It's that time of year again. The holidays are here, the lights outside are sparkling and we have our annual Christmas Day newsletter PACKED with surprises!

No jokes, no nonsense, we have a lot for you in here today. This is actually one of our biggest newsletters EVER.

In this issue:

Three Huge New HO Announcements!
  • NEW! HO Scale E-Units! - With Video!
  • NEW! HO Scale Amtrak 50th Anniversary Commemorative E8!
  • NEW! HO Scale GLa Hopper!

January Order Deadlines
  • HO Scale EP-5 Electric Locomotive "The Jet" - New Video!
  • HO Scale PRR F30a/d/g Flatcar
  • N Scale FP9A Locomotives - Finally, a Video!
  • N Scale Horizon and Comet Passenger Cars - Of Course, a Video!

More Important News (And Anything Else We Can Think Of)
  • Rapido UK - We're Back!
  • Introducing Matt Gentry! - With Video!
  • Even More New Videos and Samples
  • Factory, Tooling and Delivery Updates
  • A Tribute To A Legend - John Gohmann
  • Christmas and New Year Greeting from Jason
NEW! HO Scale E-Units

Another E-Unit? No, no, this is THE E-UNIT. As in the definitive E-Unit that causes one to get in their car and drive through the hobby shop wall just to see it. (Ed: Please don't drive through your hobby shop's wall - that can be costly and dangerous. We're having a talk with Bobby.)
It's usually not appropriate to discuss others' noses, but yowsza! This nose is perfect!
This is a 3D render of our model, not of the prototype!
This is the Erie-Lackawanna version.
(Initial renders shown, subject to revision.)
E8 History

EMD’s E8 (and successor, E9) were the quintessential North American passenger locomotive of the 1950s through the 1970s. 450 E8A and 46 E8B units were produced, with an additional 100 E9A and 44 E9B locos following. The first E8s were delivered in 1949, with the last E9 being produced in 1964. These units pulled passenger trains from coast to coast, and later became the backbone of Amtrak’s fleet in its early days. Many were later used in commuter service before being retired. Today several units live on in museums and tourist railroads throughout North America.
Lots of labor and love went into each E Unit design. This is Amtrak.
(Initial renders shown, subject to revision.)
The 3D Scan Makes the Difference...

What makes Rapido’s E8 models different than every E8 or E9 that has come before? Simple – we’re doing it right. Every E8 model out there is a “best guess” as to the nose, roof and windshield contours of the real thing. At Rapido we don’t believe in making guesses. That’s why we commissioned a 3D laser scan of Union Pacific E8 #942 at the Southern California Railway Museum. A 3D scan ensures that we get those impossible-to-guess contours bang-on accurate. Our engineers trace the scan and shrink it down to HO scale.
You can see the 3D scan in action in our new E8 video. Click here or on the image above to watch!
Trainphone! Check out the details of the PRR E8s in the 3D rendering above and the parts diagram below. (Initial renders shown, subject to revision.)
The Model

We followed the 3D scan with months of research, referring to hundreds of photos, numerous blueprints and measurements of 942 to ensure that we had the correct details for each version of the locomotive that we are offering. That includes different porthole and grille arrangements. For the first time ever in plastic, we’re offering E8 models without portholes! Finally, modelers won’t have to pay for brass or ruin a factory paint job by filling portholes!

Rapido’s E8 model features:

  • E8A and E8B models offered
  • 3D laser-scanned body shell
  • Accurate nose and roof contours
  • Seven different noses
  • Three different back ends
  • Two different nose sides – with and without lifting lug covers
  • Three different steam generator options
  • 36” fan, 48” fan or non-dynamic brake options
  • Single- or dual-headlight configurations
  • Freight or passenger pilots
  • Three styles of side grilles
  • Original porthole sides or rebuilt blanked sides (including unique variations)
  • Skirted or non-skirted fuel tanks
  • Original square, sloped or Hyatt roller bearing journal boxes
  • Heavy die-cast chassis
  • Smooth running drive system with all wheels powered
  • Complete lighting effects – headlights, class lights, backup lights, ground lights, cab lights and more
  • Numerous road-specific detail parts in both plastic and etched metal.
  • Accurate E8 locomotives sounds by ESU LokSound
(Initial renders shown, subject to revision.)
Everyone loves a nice rear end!
(Initial renders shown, subject to revision.)
Brand-new CPR 1801 at White River Junction.
Photo courtesy Brian Schuff collection.
Canadian Bacon

Canada had a huge fleet of THREE E8 locomotives. And they’ve been released again and again over the last 50 years… all of them wrong. Our models have a host of accurate spotting details, such as the correct horn, proper dual steam generator, era-specific pilot, and unique CP nose grabs. But we’ve gone further. VIA’s two E8 locomotives will have operating ditch lights – the only E8 locomotives in our first run to use them.
1800 couples to The Atlantic at Montreal's Windsor Station in 1975.
Photo courtesy Kevin EuDaly collection.
But wait… there’s more! When CP E8 #1800 was painted into Action Red in 1973, the front porthole panels were reversed. This made 1800 – and later VIA 1898 – a unique, “one of one” E8 variation. And… you guessed it: we’re tooling 1800’s unique portholes. It’s time to put all your old “not good enough” Canadian E8 models on eBay…
We weren't kidding when we said the CPs would be SPECIFIC!
1899 in Winnipeg, March 1982.
Photo courtesy John Eull.
Exclusive VIA Variation

VIA’s E8 locomotives originally carried their CP road numbers, 1800 and 1802. We are producing 1800 and 1802 (click here for more info). But VIA renumbered them to 1898 and 1899, and those are the numbers they wore to retirement. Otter Valley Railroad has commissioned a custom run of 1898 and 1899. Click here to reserve yours.
Why order just a few when you can order MANY!
Below is a list of just SOME of the E Unit road-specific detail parts that we are producing…

  • Four different sand filler hatch styles
  • PRR Train Phone antenna
  • PRR Nose lifting lugs
  • Southern rooftop air tanks
  • Southern large-capacity water tanks
  • UP snow shields
  • Cab-side walkways (2 styles)
  • Pilot MU hoses
  • ATS Shoes
  • Three different radio antennas
  • Six different headlight/warning light arrangements
  • Various bug screens, mirrors, and wind deflectors
  • Numerous grab irons
  • Many horn styles (in brass)

And probably more that we’ve forgotten!

Please click on the image below to download our E8 catalog.
Rapido’s all-new model of the E8 Locomotive breaks new ground and promises to be the most accurate plastic model of these iconic locos yet. We start tooling next month, and we’ll be announcing an order deadline when we are ready to start production. In the meantime, please click here for more info or to order direct!
Compare Amtrak 4316 with our model render. Notice the missing MU door, no portholes on the side, etc. Eat your heart out, all other E8 model manufacturers!
Prototype photo courtesy Louis Marre.
(Initial renders shown, subject to revision.)
NEW! HO Scale Amtrak 50th Anniversary Commemorative E8

2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Amtrak, the US national passenger network. Amtrak has defied all the odds to reach this incredible milestone, and it’s important that we celebrate this tremendous achievement.

To honor Amtrak's 50th, Rapido is honored to offer a special LIMITED EDITION model of Amtrak #4316, the first E8 that Amtrak painted in what would become a one-off paint scheme. The E8 was the backbone of Amtrak’s early locomotive fleet, and what better way is there to celebrate America’s national passenger railroad?
No detail left out! But that's not all, keep reading below!
The 4316 is a LIMITED EDITION production run of 500 pieces in DCC/Sound ONLY. Each will be packaged in an engraved wood presentation box and include a unique enamel pin as well as a numbered certificate of authenticity signed by Rapido president Jason Shron and Amtrak’s Matt Donnelly. Once these 500 pieces are gone, that’s it. We will not be reproducing this model in the future. You’ve got one chance to get yours.
4316 fresh from the paint shop - Harrisburg, PA, 1971.
Roger Puta photo courtesy Marty Bernard collection.
Rapido’s E8 Amtrak #4316 model features:

  • All the same features as our standard E8, PLUS
  • Unique 4316 details
  • Engraved wood presentation box
  • Exclusive enamel pin
  • Signed certificate of authenticity
  • Limited strictly to 500 pieces

Click the catalog below for more info!
Now a word of caution: don't wait to order this one-of-a-kind collectible locomotive! Once they're gone, THEY'RE GONE. Click here to reserve yours, or you can reserve it with your local hobby shop. But don’t delay. Once we reach 500 orders, the order desk will be permanently closed. It’s strictly first-come, first-served.

Distributors and hobby shops are advised to send in your orders for these weekly - do not wait until the final E8 order deadline, as these will be gone before then.
NEW! HO Scale O&W Hopper Car?

To introduce our newest freight car release, I now turn you over to Bill.
Bill: Thanks, Bobby!

Our newest HO freight car release is surely one of the most significant freight cars of the first half of the twentieth century. In 1935 the New York, Ontario and Western purchased 720 GLa-design hoppers….
Bobby: Umm, hold on, it’s an O&W car?
Bill: Of course! As I was saying, in 1935…
Bobby: How did you convince Jason to do THAT?
Bill: Well, there were other railroads that had them.
Bobby: Like who for example?
Bill: Well, the Pennsy did have 30,000 of them. But I'm not sure that matters…
Bobby: Hey, Bill! I hear the factory has a huge list of questions about the PA-1 model - one of your projects. I'll take the hopper announcement from here.
First test samples of our new GLa Hoppers!
Just go on and ignore those shelf couplers;
apparently the factory likes applying them to everything!
NEW! HO Scale GLa Hoppers

Hurray for hoppers! What's better than an all-purpose 2-bay open top hopper car? How about 30,000 plus of these so called GLa Hopper Cars! In 1904, the Pennsylvania Railroad built the first GLa hopper and eventually amassed nearly 30,000 cars!

But wait, there's more! By the 1960s, more than 7,000 cars remained in interchange service and by 1965, around 200 were left. Many also lasted longer as MOW service cars well into the PC era. Talk about a useful, long life for these cars!
Check out all those rivets! And this is a FIRST sample!
Now we can't forget to mention that there were thousands of GLa Hopper clones built for independent owners and many went on to second-hand ownership. Lehigh Valley, B&O and NYO&W (Hey wait a minute!) were among the groups that received some of these cars from the PRR. This also doesn't account for the near "clones" of these cars that were built in the same time frame.
That diecast underbody sure has lots of detail. And that brake line, wow!
In-line brake shoes are standard on Rapido models...
Now comes the most exciting part - picking out your favorite GLa Hopper schemes! There's plenty to choose from, even if you pick O&W. (OK, I sense I may have crossed the line there.) Here are all of the hoppers that will be available in the first run:
My favorite of the GLa Hopper car mix above is the Cambria & Indiana. Having spent a lot of time out there, I can assure you the history of that railroad is certainly worth looking up.

Now, the second part: Picking your schemes out with item numbers. Below is the catalog of each hopper and associated item number. You'll want to check that out when placing your order at your local hobby shop. Click the photo below to download the catalog.
So now that you're armed with a wealth of knowledge on the GLa Hoppers, it's time to place your orders. The order deadline will be announced in the not-so-distant future. Remember, you can never have enough hoppers in a train! Click here for more info or to order direct!
Big Order Deadline! - January 15th

A new year means new order deadlines and this one's a doozy! Up next month is the long-awaited HO Scale EP-5 Electric Locomotive. Yes, the Jet's almost ready to take off! Next up is the HO Scale PRR F30 Flatcars. For N Scale we have the one and only accurate GMD FP9A Locomotive and the Horizon Cars and Comet Cabs and Coaches. That's a lot of important order deadlines! Remember, January 15th...January 1-5. Yep, that's January 15th to get your orders in! Why are we being so encouraging? We'll if your new year's resolution is to buy less, we want you to buy more! (Jason, am I allowed to say that in the newsletter?) (Ed: Sure. Why not?)
HO Scale EP-5 Locomotive "The Jet" - New Video!

We're gonna rock down to Electric Avenue... and take the EP-5 to get there (ELECTRIC!) Sorry - We're big Eddy Grant fans at Rapido. Yes, the "Jet" preorder deadline is January 15th, 2021. The time has finally come to put this to bed and start production! You could say we're highly energized about this! (Yeah, I know, that's a terrible dad joke.)

In all seriousness, the EP-5's pantographs are approved, the sounds are being worked on and the locomotive is just about ready for production! We just have a few tooling tweaks to do. Now, let's take a look at some of the features, updated photos and some new videos.
Note the as-delivered and as-modified carbodies.
You could call this project a labor of love. (Or more accurately, the project that caused so many headaches that project manager John Sheridan bought a boat. As if he won't have any headaches there...) We revised the pantograph design numerous times until the exact one was specified and approved.

And that means we have a new EP-5 Locomotive video to share with you. (Or "Motor," or whatever you juice jacks call them). Click here or on the photo below to watch!
Ready to put down those orders if you haven't done so yet? I'd imagine you might want to double check your item and road numbers first. We got you covered. Click the photo below to view the EP-5 catalog.
New Haven fans and juice jack fanatics, this is the moment you've been waiting to hear: the EP-5 Electric Locomotive order deadline is January 15th, 2021. If you haven't already placed your orders, now's the time to do so. Don't get stuck at the station while the awesome EP-5 passes you by!
The classic PRR flatcar. Looked better in PC!
(Ed: You're in big trouble now, buddy.)
HO Scale PRR F30a/d/g Flatcar

Ah, the iconic PRR F30 Flatcar. Even though we just announced this like, yesterday, the order desk closes on January 15th, 2021. You've got three weeks to get those last-minute orders in!

Normally we have a video or two highlighting all of the amazing details and features before the order deadline hits, but with Bill hard at work on the E units and the PA samples, we just couldn't bother him. But don't worry! We'll have a video up before the deadline! Please click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Now back to the details!
Three fantastic versions of this versatile car!
Hand-painted, pre-production samples shown.
Rapido F30A Flatcar
Check out the detailed underbody and beauty top deck!
Eek! I'm talking like a Canadian!
The PRR F30 Flatcar was a versatile car built in the 1930s with many lasting all the way into Conrail in MOW service. These models have full brake rigging, separate grabs, a full die-cast chassis and deck for maximum weight and, of course, the correct PRR 2E-F10 roller- or friction-bearing trucks. Don't forget the specific details for the F30a, d and g versions! And how can you forget the trailers? The Fruehauf Trailer order deadline is still a ways away, but we can't pass up the opportunity to shamelessly plug them again! Click here to see more info on them.

Now back to the Flatcars. Check out the catalog below by clicking on the photo for more info on item numbers and schemes.
Don't forget to order your PRR F30 Flatcar by January 15th. Anything after we can't fully guarantee or, should we say, "Your order may fall FLAT." (Ed: Oooohhhhhhh.... It hurts!)
N Scale FP9A Locomotives - Finally, a Video!

Remember last newsletter when we said Jason was busy detailing his Brockville Station? Well we captured him and told him he wasn't allowed out until he recorded the N Scale FP9A Locomotive! Well, Jordan did most of it. Jason just ranted on about American and Japanese manufacturers shortchanging Canadian modellers. He's such a hosehead.

With that all done, we can now set the order deadline for January 15th, 2021, just over three weeks from now.

This is the ultimate, only accurate representation of a GMD FP9A in N Scale! Nothing comes close; do not be fooled by imitations! These will be available in BOTH CN and CP styles. The specific detail list is longer than that famous drug and convenience store's receipts. (Ed: Dude, there is no CVS pharmacy in Canada. We have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.)

Oh. Can I think up any Shopper's Drug Mart analogies? (Ed: No.)

Here's a sampling of the detail variations: with or without roof-top Gyralites; with or without dynamics; different grab iron arrangements; icicle breakers; 36" or 48" roof fans; Farr grilles or slit grills; different steam generator details; and more!
The E class CN on the left with 48" roof fans and a CP shortly-after-delivered model on the right with the tall winterization hatch, Gyralite and icicle breakers. B-E-A-U-T-I-E-S!
Rivets still to be added.
Aren't these purty! But wait, what about that video we mentioned? Click here or on the image below to watch Jason and Jordan discuss the N Scale FP9A details and history. Mainly just details and, as I said above, one serious Jason rant! You can't ask for much more!
For a refresher on schemes being offered, we present the N Scale FP9A catalogue. Can't decide which ones to pick? How about all of them! (OK, maybe not all - that would be a lot, but it would make us happy!) Click the image below to check out all of the schemes being offered. Don't forget: by January 15th, 2021 you must have your orders in! But if you do send it in on the 16th, we'll still accept - but Dan might not be happy!
You still have just a bit of time left to order these beauties! Click here for more info or to order direct. Save the date! Order an N FP9A today!
You might ask, "How do our spouses look when they have to help us at work?"
Christa's expression explains it all.
N Scale Horizon Cars

Never before in N Scale has a passenger car been sorely needed as much as the Horizon Cars. (Ed: Hey, didn't you say that in the last newsletter?) OK, you're right, I need to actually write new stuff. How's this: The N Scale Horizon car is truly a masterpiece with a host of details and variations. No Amtrak or passenger train modeler will want to miss out on it!

We've taken the Horizon Car to new levels with the incredible underbody details unique to each car type, free-rolling wheelsets, interior lighting and even interior details! Whip out that magnifying glass or monocle to check out the inside! In fact, check out the combined Horizon and Comet Car video by clicking here or on the photo above!
Feeling hungry? Want a snack? Head over to the Cafe car.
The usual level of detail that you've come to expect was packed into each car variation. Yes, this is N Scale! Now there are zero excuses to build that Hiawatha or California service train set. In fact, their cars will routinely get tacked onto the Cardinal and other long distance trains for servicing at Beech Grove. Even more reason to buy some!

But what if you can't decide which scheme to pick? Check out the image below for all of the N Scale Horizon cars being offered. Your models won't be quite as "neon" as they appear on your screen. We just wanted to get your attention.
Every phase for you to pick from: III, IV, VI and California. A few Horizon Cars would look right at home being ferried on the California Zephyr or Southwest Chief. Ready to choose your cars? Click on the catalog below for all the details.
Just a little bit of time left to preorder the N Scale Horizons. We hope you get your orders in soon!
Our Horizon/Comet video also features some nice proto shots!
N Scale Comet Cabs and Coaches

One of the most requested models in N Scale: The Comet Cabs and Coaches. It's safe to say that these aren't just popular cars, but some of the most detailed models we've done in N Scale.

Some of the stand-out features of these cars are: Full interiors, interior lighting, full underbody details and yes, the cab cars have operating lights! No need to imagine the lights are on or hours upon hours drilling holes or running wires. These are the pinnacle. Just have a look at the samples! But if that's not enough, check out the combined Comet Car and Horizon video by clicking here or on the photo above!
Pre-production samples shown.
Don't mind the door handrails or that weird headlight. We're fixing those...
But what about the commuter agencies? Which schemes are you doing? Glad the person I'm writing in third person asked! Check out all of the N Scale Comet Car schemes below.
Now comes the important part: selecting your item numbers for the Comet Cars you want. We've made it simple by putting together this catalog full of item numbers and info. Click the photo below to be whisked away!
Now we mean it! This is the last call for the N Scale Comet Coaches and Cabs preorders! Get those orders in before January 15th. (2021, that is. Did we mention sometimes people read these newsletters years later and try to order?)
Smashing logo, what?
Rapido Trains UK - We're Back!

At noon on December 1st (Greenwich Mean Time, of course) Rapido Trains UK was born (again). But this time we have actual, real British employees, Andy and Richard, to help guide us.

Did you think we were going to relaunch with just this exciting news? Of course not! (Cheeky, aren't we?) The new launch included FOUR new models:

Check out their most recent newsletter by clicking here and signing up for the newsletter by clicking here. UK models will be available to North Americans - we just haven't finalized how yet. We'll let you know once that's all been set up.
Preliminary drawing of the 15xx. Jolly good show!
Uhh, Matt, you're facing the wrong direction. The camera's this way.
Introducing Matt Gentry - (Yes, THAT Matt, Including Video!)

Do you recognize the name MATT GENTRY? For everyone that said yes, we're glad you did! If you're not familiar, well here's how we found him. Click here or the photo below to see what it takes to find new Rapido designers.
Matt's designed or improved many model locomotives and rolling stock, appeared at many shows across North America and hosted a livestream for his previous employer during much of 2020. Matt has been a fixture in the industry for some time now and chances are if it's modern and part of a unit train, he worked on it.

Now might be a good time to mention Matt likes unit trains, such as those non-descript coal cars that all look alike. (I'm sure I'm getting emails and letters for that last line!) (Ed: Who cares? You're right! I can't tell the dang things apart!) Now Jason's getting angry emails. Better him than me.

In fact, it took us three weeks to remind Matt that there are more than just coal gons and hoppers that exist in railroading. Matt likes to railfan and occasionally railfans with Rapido's very own, California Dreamin' Craig. That's Craig Walker, who used to work for the same company that Matt worked for. Please do not read anything into that. Though I guess you could say we're getting the band back together for a reunion tour...

Matt also said he DISLIKES the cold and is three years behind editing photos.

Hair Comment: He has a full head of hair and has zero patience if it gets longer than 2 1/3 of an inch.
2564 sure looks spiffy!
Factory and Tooling Updates - With A Surprise!

Here come the MLW M420s! Earlier this month the container doors closed and they left the factory for the voyage to Rapido headquarters. The wait now begins for these beauts! But in the meantime if you just can't wait to see more of the M420s, check out the M420 video highlighting the ESU sound decoder from a few months ago. Click here or the photo below.
Is every M420 numbered "2564"?
This run is basically sold out, but we have a few extras. Click here for more details or to reserve yours. But don't wait as they won't be available for long!
SURPRISE! The HO Scale PA/B 1 and 2 Locomotives

Is that? YES! It's a PA and PB locomotive update! These early test samples just arrived! From 3D scan to physical model, these are sure to impress! Let the photos do the talking.
Did you know "PA" stands for "perfectly amazing?"
Something to keep in mind is that these samples are still in the early phase of review, so many details and features may change before the final production run.

Now with that said, aren't those Alco PA contours just delightful? It took the factory days to shape these out of snow - er, I mean plastic. Seriously, from 3D scan to what you see, it is just beautiful! (Ed: How many times are you going to reference "3D scan"?) Hey! Did I mention we also did a 3D scan of the E8?
That nose, those grills, ooo-la-la!
Because we're chatty today and want to remind you of ALL the details the Alco PA/PB models feature, here's a list:

  • Correct nose and roof profiles 3D-scanned from the prototype
  • Loads of roadname-specific details
  • A units and A-B sets available
  • Dynamic or non-dynamic brake versions, where appropriate
  • Underbody piping and conduit
  • Separate grab irons and handrails installed at the factory
  • Etched-metal grilles, where appropriate
  • Lit number boards, headlights and green and white class lights
  • Lit control stands and full cab interior
  • Operating Gyralite or red Mars light, where appropriate
  • DC/Silent (21-pin DCC Ready) or DC/DCC/Sound options
Check out that sideframe!
(Ed: NO, not that! Look at that underbody piping!)
Can't forget the B Units! Look how fine that grille is!
Lest we forget to mention...The PB-1 and PB-2 are only available in A-B sets, i.e. along with an A unit. However, before anyone takes their Christmas tree and throws it out the window, please note that dealers, clubs, and even model railroaders can order a six-pack of unnumbered B units...Or A units! They need to be ordered direct from Rapido rather than through a distributor. So talk to your dealer or your friends and see if you can get an order together.

The more I look, the more I'm reminded I should probably place my order for the D&H versions. So before I forget, click the photo below to view the catalog for all pertinent schemes and road numbers being offered.
Once we get a bit further into the review process and are confident to head to production, the PA/B 1 and 2 Locomotives order deadline will be announced. Look for that sometime early in 2021. Until then, keep on ordering!
Those are some Speedy buses in production at the Rapido factory...
Next is the New Look Bus. Those paint shop guys sure are speedy and can get the job done, fast! By the time you read this, chances are the buses will be in final assembly. They will be arriving in two batches in spring 2021.

Don't forget the great exclusive runs of buses that are being offered. Check them all out with individual links posted below the items by clicking here.
Check out the RS-18u number board cutouts at top.
Check out this parts sprue from the HO Scale Alco RS-11, MLW RS-18u and RSC-14 projects! The factory is working their way closer to delivering us a sample of each locomotive and we couldn't be more excited! There's still time to get your orders in for each, so don't wait!
LOTS of Chateau Sleepers. Love those upper roomettes! Best ride quality in Canada...
It's the N Scale Canadian! These will most likely leave the factory in April, for a late spring arrival. Thousands and thousands of passenger cars....
Now, if you can keep a secret, we have one more exciting announcement - but we can't make it just yet! You'll just have to keep guessing. But this guy is painting them.
I wonder what "NFW HVFN" means?
New Videos and Samples

This newsletter is bundled with new videos and the next one we'd like to highlight is the New Haven 8600 Coaches. In this instructive video, Jordan and Janet - that's right, JANET - tell you all about the New Haven 8600 model features and even do a cameo with our London Taxi. (Please someone buy it!) Click here or on the photo below to watch the video. We should also mention that by the time you read this, the 8600s will be in hobby shops!
Hey, it's JANET!
F40s, Horizons and Phase III. Classic, classic Amtrak.
HO Scale Horizon Cars

It's the HO Scale Horizon cars! These just arrived and have been shipped from the warehouse. Whatever stock we have left is most likely almost sold out!

But if you can't wait to pick up your models, here are a few photos of the cars just unboxed!
Phase VI, NPCUs and Horizons. Nice!
These cars are stunning and in a full consist, really look awesome! Now all you need to pull your Horizon Cars is that NPCU or possibly a Late Phase F40PH to lead the way if you're building a Hiawatha or Michigan Service train.
California Dreamin'.
Now remember what I said about them going fast? Don't be like me and forget to place your order! The HO Scale Horizon Cars will be out of stock in no time!
A high nose B23-7 on the left, an ex-Conrail on the right and a B40-8 in the center.
Three's company!
A Tribute To A Legend - John Gohmann

On December 13, 2020, the world lost a great person in John Gohmann. This short story of my travels to Minneapolis/St. Paul highlights the generosity of John and his beloved Minnesota Commercial Railway.

In late 2018, I was determined to see the Milwaukee Road 261 and some of the railroad scene in the Twin Cities. But I knew the Minnesota Commercial Railroad was every bit as interesting with the eclectic roster of locomotives they stabled. So I emailed John Gohmann, owner of the Minnesota Commercial, a short line pioneer and a truly humble person whom I met while working with a previous employer.

I emailed John asking if he had any information on the railroad's current running patterns and any helpful pointers for getting around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. He wasn't sure where they might be, but to email with one of his managers for more info. The next part was what made John such a humble and awesome person. He said, "Where are you staying at?" and "The car is always open." How could I not pass up an opportunity to stay in his railcar...In the middle of the shop complex! That was the type of person John was.
Sure, the view from a cruise or resort by the ocean was nice, but how about a GE rumbling away? I'll take the latter! (We also don't need to mention that to my wife...)
When we arrived in the evening, the people of the Minnesota Commercial were so friendly and more than willing to discuss some of the rare locomotives in the shop, like the ex-Green Bay & Western RS-27 or the ex-SP B36-7. At one point we had to move away from one of the stalls as they wanted to bring in their ex-GB&W C424 number 313 for the night. (As a Green Bay & Western fan, it doesn't get much better, sans bringing the railroad back to life.)

The next morning I was awoken by the blast of a K3L horn and the sounds of multiple GE locomotives idling close...very close. I looked out the window and literally 2 feet away was a B30-7 set and two of their B40-8s moving across the turntable. Quite the wake-up call!
The pride and joy...the venerable RS-27, no. 316. All sparkly and posed!
(Photo taken by good friend Rob Pisani on a previous trip.)
The next day we were on our way to chase the Milwaukee Road 261 across the farmlands of Minnesota. But I will be forever thankful for John's hospitality and the opportunity to stay in his car. Sadly on December 13th, 2020, John passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a true gentlemen and pioneer of shortline railroading. He took great enjoyment in saving some of the rarer locomotives built, like the CP M636 CAT rebuild (4711) and the neat RS-27s, plus a host of others. He was very excited when Rapido produced his B36-7 in HO scale.

An article in Trains Magazine has a bit more on his history and his purchase of the Minnesota Transfer, which became the Minnesota Commercial, an astounding success story.

So on behalf of the Rapido family, we would like to extend our condolences to the Gohmann Family as well as the Minnesota Commercial Railroad. He is gone but not at all forgotten.
The Shron kids enjoyed a tootle around Toronto this week in the Rapido Bus.
Christmas and New Year Greeting from Jason

In the last few years Rapido has grown from a small, stressed group of four people to a large company with more than 20 employees on two continents. Managing our growth has been the biggest challenge over the last few years, and – as I discussed in my recent candid interview with Drew Warrington – I almost gave up the business due to stress in 2018.

Well, I didn’t give up and we have been able to grow because of my amazing team.

You’ve probably noticed that Bobby writes the newsletters now, and Jordan and Jeremy take care of the videos. These three guys – my PR team – have been a life saver.

The project management team has really upped their game and each of them is now successfully juggling far more projects than they ever did. The warranty guys are on top form and are turning around customer models in a matter of days. The admin team is successfully wrestling with a Byzantine accounting system and working on a new web site and accounting system for 2021. The UK team presided over a stellar new product launch despite Brexit, lockdowns and the lack of a bank account! And Mohan and Janet (with the help of our business coach, Rich) are making sure the company runs reliably and in the right direction.

I want to thank everyone on our team for stepping up in 2020 to help grow our great company in this time of uncertainty. And I want to thank all of you for supporting us, promoting us, and assisting us as we strive to be the best model train manufacturer in North America and the United Kingdom.

Sidura and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Here’s hoping for even more great things in 2021! OK, back to you, Bobby.

Bobby: Aw, shucks! Thanks, Jason!

Until next time, stay safe, stay warm and enjoy as much as you can in these times but – most importantly – have fun with model railroading! I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together.


Bobby Allard
Marketing Officer and
Grand Poobah of Newsletters
Rapido Trains Inc.
USA: PO Box 796, Higganum, CT 06441
Canada: 500 Alden Road, Unit 21, Markham, ON L3R 5H5