Rapido Newsletter Vol. 142
©2021 Rapido Trains Inc.
Dear Rapido Customer,

Welcome back! Lots to go through, so let's dive right in. We have one new HO Scale announcement plus a bunch of additions and updates! With that we also have one August N Scale deadline and two September deadlines to discuss. So, grab a cold drink and get relaxed, as Newsletter 142 starts...right...NOW!

New Announcements!
  • HO Scale 52' 6" Mill Gondola - They're Back!
  • Addition! HO Scale USRA Single Sheathed Boxcars - CP Clones!
  • Update! HO Scale USRA Single Sheathed Boxcars - Hutchins Roof!
  • Update! HO Scale U25B Road Numbers - ATSF and New Haven

August Order Deadline - August 17th
  • N Scale Procor GP20 20,000 Gallon Tank Car - Painted Samples and Video!

September Order Deadline - September 15th
These projects are at risk - you can help!
  • HO Scale F-M H16-44 Locomotive
  • HO Scale FPA-2u and FPB-2u Locomotive

Second Section
  • Product Delivery Schedule
  • New Arrivals, Factory Updates and more!
  • Living Through History: The Retirement of the Last CNJ Engineer
It's back and redder than ever.
HO Scale 53' 6" Mill Gondola - They're Back!

The HO Scale 53' 6" Mill Gondola is back, and it brings a few new paint scheme options! Let's dive into everything you need to know about this venerable gondola.
An accurate description of today's railroading. (Ed: You're in big trouble, buddy.)
Our 52' 6" Mill Gondola fully captures the details of the prototype car which were built in large numbers by National Steel Car (Hamilton) and Eastern Car Company (Trenton) for several Canadian railroads. Features include delicate Z (Zed/Zee) bracing or hat channel ribs where appropriate, separate wire grab irons, positionable drop ends and ratchet style hand brakes. Full underbody detail is, of course, included while a die-cast metal floor ensures good weight for trouble-free operation.

The interior has not been neglected either; it includes full rivet and tie-down
details. Three different 70-ton trucks – solid bearing, roller bearing and solid
bearing side frames with roller bearing inserts – are all offered as appropriate. Trucks feature turned, free-rolling metal wheels. Our metal Macdonald-Cartier knuckle couplers are fitted standard.
All sorts of underbody piping and detail.
Details, you want the details? Here you go! The Rapido 52' 6" Mill Gondola features:

  • Accurate Z-brace side posts or Hat channel ribs
  • Fully decorated and assembled
  • Factory-installed grab irons
  • Fully detailed underbody
  • Positionable drop ends
  • Correct era-specific trucks
  • Magnetic metal knuckle couplers at the correct height
  • Free-rolling turned metal wheelsets
  • Full interior detail
  • Multiple car numbers per scheme
  • All new car numbers (No duplicates from previous runs)

In addition, we now have one totally new scheme in PGE, three new variations in CP, British Columbia and CN plus the addition of brown or black, no data. ALSO, all re-run cars feature NEW numbers. Yes, all are new numbers so you can continue building your fleet!
Inside rivets (did someone hear a frog?) and tie down details.
Now, with that in mind, I bet you'd like to see all of the schemes on this run of 52' 6" Mill Gondolas. Scroll down to find out!
PGE: Province's Greatest Expense. Just kidding, it's the Pacific Great Eastern.
Time to check out the catalogue! All of the pertinent info you'll need to place your orders can be found by clicking the photo below.
It's been a while since the last run, so don't wait this time to place your orders for the HO Scale Mill 52' 6" Gondola.

The order deadline is October 15th, 2021. There is nothing to tool here, so we are ready to make them now. Please get your order in before the deadline to ensure you don't miss out.
Photo courtesy of Russell Pinchbeck.
NEW! HO Scale USRA Single Sheathed Boxcars - CP Clones!

Who likes more items? In Newsletter 139, back in June, we announced the HO Scale USRA Single Sheathed Boxcars. Now, we would like to add the Canadian Pacific Clones, which has the correct 7-8 Murphy Corrugated ends.

The CP cars were originally built with grain hoppers in the floors, eventually being removed and rebuilt in the 1930s with Ajax power hand brakes. Many of these cars remained in service through the 60s and some as late as 1983, so Jason has an excuse to run them on his layout! Even those CP service cars!

Need the fancy details of this car? Glad you asked!

  • Accurate new tooling
  • Murphy 7-8 corrugated ends
  • KC or AB brakes as appropriate
  • Full underbody with separate brake rods and piping
  • Ajax power hand brake
  • Unique CP details
  • Accurate decoration
  • Fully decorated and assembled
  • Factory-installed Rapido semi-scale couplers
  • USRA Andrews trucks with in-line brake shoes
  • Blackened turned-metal wheels
  • Available in singles or multi-packs, boxed for individual sale.

Now, let's check out the three new paint schemes of the CP Single Sheathed Boxcars. They are wildly different from each other. Gold star to whoever can tell them apart.
What can brown do for you?
We've made a tiny catalogue just for the CP cars. Click on the image below to download it.
Once we get physical samples, we will announce an order deadline for the HO Scale USRA Single Sheathed Boxcars. Keep alert for future updates and place your orders!
The Hutchins Three.
Update! HO Scale USRA Single Sheathed Boxcars - Hutchins Roof!

Many of the B&O and PRR were re-roofed with Hutchins style roofs starting in the 1930s. We listened to the PRR and B&O fans and have added the Hutchins roof to the three paint schemes already being offered. Nothing will change with the item or road numbers on the USRA Single Sheathed Box Cars. Nothing will change with the item or road numbers. These cars were re-roofed with a Hutchins roof from the original Murphy style.

We have updated the sales pack to reflect the updated information - go check it out!
Just like with the CP Clone cars, once we get physical samples, we will announce an order deadline for the HO Scale USRA Single Sheathed Boxcars. Keep alert to our social media pages or a future newsletter for updates and place your orders!
Update! HO Scale U25B Road Number Changes - ATSF and New Haven

We have made a few changes to road numbers of the HO Scale U25B Locomotive. All of the Santa Fe numbers have changed to better match the body and detail variations. Let's look at the new numbers.

  • #1600 becomes #1609
  • #1602 becomes #1610
  • #1604 becomes #1612
  • #1606 becomes #1613

On the New Haven side, we have changed two road numbers:

  • #2503 becomes #2504
  • #2505 becomes #2508

Nothing else changes cosmetically. But in case you wanted to see the updated info in the sales catalog, check it out by clicking the photo below.
Don't worry, you still have plenty of time to reserve one or many U25B Locomotives! Stay alert and up to date via our social media pages or a future newsletter for updates.
August Order Deadline - August 16th

Just one order deadline this month, but it's a big one for N scalers! The N Scale Procor GP20 Tank Car will officially close out its ordering period on Monday, August 16th. Check out below for more details.
Yes, N Scale really is that small.
N Scale Procor GP20 20,000 Gallon Tank Car

The N Scale Procor GP20 Tank Car might be small and compact, but it has a lot to offer. With the level of detail and the variety of paint schemes this is going to be one amazing tank car! Just take a look at the video Jeremy put together by clicking here or the photo above.
Grabs, cut bars and all! Yes, this is N. Hand-painted sample.
Don't forget with all of that detail, this is N Scale! See through walkways, brake rigging and individual piping under the car means we took it to the next level.

Here are the features of the N Scale GP20 Tank car:

  • Drawn from original blueprints and drawings
  • Photo-etched metal walkways
  • Detailed vent stacks, loading hatches, air tanks and braking equipment.
  • Operating knuckle couplers

Need to see another photo? Why not! Scroll down for the goods.
Sure is neat to have that underbody piping and razor thin safety bar.
Need to see all of the road numbers being offered? Check out the GP20 Tank Car catalogue by clicking the photo below.
The N Scale GP20 Tank Car order deadline (August 16th) is now just a few days away! If you haven't placed your orders yet, don't forget N Scalers! This is a model you won't want to miss.
September Order Deadlines - September 15th
These projects risk not being made - But You Can Help!

Two unique locomotives will close their ordering periods on Wednesday, September 15th: The HO Scale H16-44 and the HO Scale FPA-2u and FPB-2u. These are both conditional releases. If we don't get enough orders by September 15th, we will have to cancel them. Keep scrolling to find out more!
No mistaking the New Haven version with the Hancock Air Whistle.
3D renders, subject to revision.
HO Scale F-M H16-44 Locomotive

In June we announced the relaunch of the F-M H16-44 Locomotive. So far, the original schemes and the new schemes have done very well. This is good news as we head towards the September 15th order deadline. However, we have not presold enough to guarantee this project will continue.
One of the nicest schemes to grace an H16-44. The gray, gray and dark gray Canadian Pacific era. (Ed: Very funny, but you misspelled grey.)
In July's Newsletter, we made a few road number changes to the Canadian H16-44 Locomotive. While CP tended to keep their F-Ms in the Kootenay region of BC, there were two that ventured across the entire system: 8715 and 8716. These were equipped with slow-speed control for use on the Speno rail grinding train in the 70s and end up travelling all over the CP system. So with the updated number, now you can model both units!
An important, yet possibly underrated locomotive in the transition era.
Need to see those schemes being offered on the HO Scale F-M H16-44, again? Check out the nice collage below.
This is our first Virginian release... Please help us make it happen!
Check out the H16-44 catalog. It is your one stop shop for info. Click the photo below. Remember - if you printed this out before June, you need to reprint it as it has some new numbers.
We really want to make these, but with so many new Rapido projects, we can't afford to tool an oddball engine if not enough people want it. Please place your orders for the F-M H16-44 Locomotives by September 15th and hopefully we can go ahead.
It's an FPA-2... but with MORE POWER.
CN wants to Pump... you up!
HO Scale FPA-2u and FPB-2u Locomotives
This is a conditional release!

The FPA-2u and FPB-2u Locomotives... These are the definition of "oddball." There were two A-B sets made. Jason really, really, REALLY wants these for his layout. He has asked me to do everything short of begging to get you to order them. (Ed: No, you can beg.)

Brief history: CN felt that their FPA-2s sucked. So, they upgraded two A units, 6758 and 6759, and two B units, 6858 and 6859, with new Alco 251 prime movers. The upgrade was a huge success and these new units were so reliable that CN ordered a whole fleet of them from MLW. That fleet became the FPA-4 and FPB-4, which we made back in 2015.

The four rebuilds all remained in service into the 1980s.
I still say that ONR loco behind the blue thing is nicer.
(Ed: You are really not getting the point, are you?)
Remember, this is a CONDITIONAL announcement. That means without the required preorders, we won't be able to proceed with the FPA and FPB-2u Locomotives. In one month the September 15th order deadline will be upon us, so keep that in mind!

Here are the FPA and FPB-2u Locomotive features:

  • The only HO scale MLW FPA-2u and FPB-2u units ever. Full stop. End quote.
  • Operating headlights, class lights and back-up lights
  • Canadian-cast Dofasco Type B trucks
  • Full underbody piping and conduit
  • Separate grab irons and handrails
  • Correct MLW-specific large-capacity fuel/water tanks
  • Heavy, die-cast chassis
  • Rapido’s improved 5-pole motor with dual flywheels
  • Full, multi-colour interior
  • DC/Silent (21-pin DCC Ready) or DC/DCC/Sound (ESU LokSound) options
  • Accurate sounds recorded from the REAL FPA-2u #6758
  • Improved light grey colour on the CN 1961 scheme

OK, now time for the FPA and FPB-2u Locomotive schemes! All three of them!
Don't need one, you say? Wrong! You do need one of these FPBAU-2 thingies.
Check out the FPA/B-2u catalogue for all of the lowdown on item numbers. You can do that by clicking the photo below of that fancy looking FPA/B-2u in front on the signal bridge.
So, again just to summarize, this run is based solely on conditional orders. This means DO NOT HESITATE to get that order in for one or all of the FPA and FPB-2u Locomotives. The order deadline is set for September 15th, 2021, one month away but plenty of time left!
Ef þú getur þýtt þetta er þetta bara mynd, ekki vísbending.
(Ed: Very impressed! I am in Gimli, Manitoba right now and you have just been named honourary mayor.)
Second Section - August 2021

Hold on, stop. It has been brought to my attention that the photo above has brought all sorts of excitement and questions from our friends in the Northeast region. Apparently, the sight of an NJ TRANSIT Geep is ruffling everyone's feathers. The story as to why the photo appears is that it is the only photo I have taken where the green class lights are lit. Hence "Second Section." But, I agree, CNJ/NJ TRANSIT GP40PHs are exciting - if you want one, maybe you should start explaining how they ran on the Kingston Sub in 1980 (hint...hint).

OK, onward to the business parts!
You've seen it before, but you're going to see it again.
Product Delivery Schedule - Mid 2021 Update

We've been getting a lot of email questions about the Delivery Schedule. With a good amount of projects in production, pre-ordering and on the way, now's a good time to remind everyone that our online schedule is the best way to keep yourself updated.

And, as always, we will say it again: There is no secret schedule. The Delivery Schedule on the website is not a front; this is the real deal. Lots of products are nearing delivery, but due to the current shipping backlog, many items are stuck en route.
The Summer 2021 what's new video. Worth a look.
New Videos!

Jeremy's been hard at work creating the newest mini motion pictures for Rapido. So far, we have a Summer Arrivals video, which you can watch by clicking here or the photo above. This includes the HO Scale B36-7 and more! I can't spoil the surprise, so go watch the video!

Jeremy and Jordan have also been working another project, called: Tell Us How You Really Feel. This is a collage of some spicy emails we receive on a regular basis, read by your favorite Rapido Staff and Janet. Click here or the photo below to watch. All you Janet fans will be happy.
She looks too excited reading those comments.
The N Scale FP9A are seen in the paint booth. Next up is the detailing stage!
Factory Updates

Our factories have been hard at work on the numerous projects in production. Let's take a look at the updates they just sent us!
Another view of the N Scale FP9A locomotives.
It's the HO Scale PC&F B-100 Box Car! They're currently being detailed and are one step closer to shipping!
UP, Golden West and SP patch-out. The B-100 Box Cars are almost here!
The F30 Flat Cars all lined up after painting. Those decks sure look nice!
It's the Barrel Ore Car! These are in the decorating stage and should be ready for overseas shipment, shortly.
If you bought every SW1200, well first of all you are awesome, but second,
this is what it would look like!
New and Future Arrivals!

In early August, we took delivery of the final half of the HO Scale SW1200 Locomotives. By the time you read this, the models will be en route to hobby shops and direct customers. Make sure you grab them while you can as they sell out fast!
The B-boats are almost here and almost sold out! Grab 'em while you can!
Arriving towards the end of August is the much-anticipated HO Scale B36-7 Second Run. The catch is the ATSF Kodachrome will arrive at a later date. These are just about sold out from us, so check our web site as you can still order a couple of numbers.
All new and shiny for the HO Scale GP20 Tanks.
The HO Scale Procor GP20 Tank Cars should also be arriving towards the end of August or early September. There is still time to order one of these tank cars, so make sure you don't miss out! This shipment left the factory the first week of July. Normally it would be here by now, but there is no normal these days.
Those Later Phase F40s sure are sharp! Look for them in early September.

We can't leave N Scale out! The N scale FP9A, N scale F40PH-2D and N scale Rebuilt F40PH-2D locomotives should be hitting the warehouse around the same time. Because of the shipping delays, we now send all our N scale locomotives by air. Otherwise they wouldn't be here before November!

One disclaimer we have for you is that all of these dates mentioned are "tentative." We get emails every week from our shipping company, and every week the delivery dates get pushed back due to slow sailings, congestion at ports (in China and here) and delays at the arrival warehouse. We take some comfort in knowing that the entire planet is suffering from the same logistical issues, but it has still been a very frustrating few months. Shipping is not expected to return to normal until the middle of next year.

Please keep checking our Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter as those are the best way to find out if something new has arrived.
The 53' All-purpose Well Cars will be arriving sometime in late August or early September.
D-L 2045, an ex-BC Rail M420, sits in Columbia, PA. Photo courtesy of Bobby Allard.
Living Through History: The Retirement of the Last CNJ Engineer
By Bobby Allard

Like many of you, I am a huge railfan as well as a model railroader. Railfans are presented with rare or unique opportunities from time to time, and it is wonderful when we have the opportunity to capture a special moment in history. For example, the Delaware-Lackawanna used to make three trips a week to Columbia, PA. Now, they rarely run this far east. Thankfully I was able to capture this...once.

This past July, I found out that NJ TRANSIT's last CNJ engineer would be making his final run after over 50 years of service. That's dedication to the fullest! I also was not going to miss this chance at witnessing something that would only happen once.

Frank Strunk started his career on the Central Railroad of New Jersey in 1968, just a measly 53 years ago. To put that into perspective, the Apollo 11 mission to the moon was still over a year out. The Boeing 747 to London was two years away and Disney World would open its gates three years later. Think about it and let that all sink in. All of the changes in railroading that he saw along his career are absolutely fascinating, from steam heat to HEP.
At one point, both of these locos worked side by side.
Photo courtesy of Bobby Allard.
Now to connect the dots on Frank's last day in service... During the final period of his career, he would guide commuter runs for NJ TRANSIT on the old CNJ main, which was now called the "Raritan Valley Line." To put a nice end cap on his career, NJ TRANSIT put together a plan to bring one of the ex CNJ GP40s over to make the last inbound and outbound run. This was no easy task, as most trains now run with a dual mode locomotive for operation into New York City.

But NJ TRANSIT sent over GP40PH-2, number 4109 (ex CNJ 3677) on a train the previous night, setting the stage for Frank's final run. This would mean the ex CNJ hire would be operating a true CNJ locomotive on the old CNJ main. How could I resist seeing history?

After work, I drove over to Raritan and set up my photo location near "RA" tower, an original CNJ tower. Since the info of his retirement spread quickly, there were plenty of others gathered to see this final run.
Note the crowd! It's a safe bet this was the most photographed train this summer.
Photo courtesy of Bobby Allard.
Now, normally I wouldn't think too much about someone retiring, but go back to where I mentioned "all of the changes in railroading that he saw along his career." I think back to how the railroads have changed since my late dad, Bob Allard, started taking me railfanning in New Jersey in the late 1980s. I have witnessed over 30 years of changes to the railroad scene. I'm so glad I have had that opportunity, and really glad that I captured a lot of it on film (or in pixels!).
Taken on the Raritan Valley Line in the early 90s. Photo courtesy of Bobby Allard.
OK, enough deep thinking. It's time to wrap up this month's current events in the world of Rapido.

September isn't far and that means we might just have more announcements. What could they be? You'll need to check back to find out!

Until next time,


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