Rapido Telegraph

Rapido News Volume 42 - ©2012 Rapido Trains Inc.

Dear Rapido Customer,

Here are some quick updates as well as a brand-new product announcement!

In this issue of Rapido News:

CNR F9B Locomotive

Two B or not Two B... That is the Model.

Two B or not Two B. That is the Model.
Hamlet, Act III, Scene I (unpublished draft)

What a piece of work is this F9B,
How noble in Detail, how infinite in accuracy,
in form and moving how express and admirable.

Hamlet, Act II, Scene II (unpublished draft)

Yes, good reader, thine own eyes hath told the truth. Yea, verily - OK, OK. I'll stop.

Sorry about that - I got carried away by a bad pun. Anyway...

For the first time ever in plastic, Bill, Dan and I are proud to present the Canadian National F9B Locomotive in HO scale. Those of you unacquainted with CN's F9B locomotives might think: "big deal! It's another B unit!" CN's F9B is far from just another B unit. The Canadian National F9B locomotives were unique on the planet, with a single louver in place of the centre porthole and large (wacko! absurd! crazy!) steam generator details on the front end.

We will be producing these models in powered and non-powered versions, and the powered models will come in DC or in DCC with Rapido's unique 567C sound recordings as used on our FP9A locomotives. You can hear our sound decoders in action here and here.

VIA F9B Locomotive

F9B see-through grill detail

Do your existing B-Unit models have these features? Ours do:
  • correct style of roof-mounted cooling coils for each locomotive number
  • accurate car end and roof steam generator details for each locomotive number
  • see-through "no-warp" metal grills with free-standing coils visible
  • accurate detailing unique to CN, never before produced in plastic
  • full underbody detail including all piping, coupler cut bars and steam blowdown valves
  • solid stainless-steel wheels
  • separate grab irons installed at the factory
  • all-metal Macdonald-Cartier couplers mounted at the correct height
  • accurate sounds recorded from a real F9B prime mover pulling a load up a hill
If that wasn't enough, my unending obsession with VIA-CN has meant that we tooled up no fewer than FOUR different shells with accompanying details in order to bring you almost all of the variations on the prototype CNR F9B locomotives.

VIA CN F9B Locomotives

VIA-CN A-B-B set at Brockville, Ontario in 1978.
Photo courtesy the Kaluza-Mueller Collection

Now my accountant (along with some of you) is shouting, But it's a FREAKIN' B Unit! Why bother??? I know it's a B Unit, and that's why I bother. The B Unit goes right up at the front of the train; it appears in most photos of the train because we all love the 3/4 frontal view (check out the photo above!); and it plays just as important a role as the pretty thing in front of it.

If you want to pull more than about five cars, you need a B Unit to maintain your schedule. And a long train is much more likely to have one A and two or three B Units than the other way round. I think it only right that the B Unit - up at the front for all to see - should have a level of detail equal to the A unit it is boosting.

B Units everywhere need your support to get the recognition they deserve. You can change a B Unit's life forever by making your voice heard.

So stand tall and stand proud!

F9B Locomotive Movie

Please click here or on the picture above to watch a YouTube video about the terrible hardships that B Units have to endure. You can make a difference.

CNR F9B Locomotive

How often do you get to say: "What strange protuberances!"
Those things sticking out of the end are the Steam Generator's firepot exhaust stacks.
Yes, it's really called a firepot. Bring your marshmallows.

Here is a rundown of the four major variations we're doing. Basically, you can do any CN F9B locomotive 100% accurately except for three numbers as they appeared after about 1964. If you only want those three numbers, well tough tooties for you.

  • GPB-17a/b - #6600-6613 as built 1954-55, with large steam generator exhaust stacks on the end
  • GPB-17a - #6600-6610 as rebuilt with plated-over exhaust holes on the end, rounded steam generator exhaust stacks on the roof, and large winterization hatch
  • GPB-17c/d - #6614-6630 with small winterization hatch and squared-off steam generator exhaust stacks on the roof
  • GPB-17e - #6631-6637 with 48" fans and squared-off steam generator exhaust stacks on the roof

CN F9B Locomotive

The fabulous post-1961 scheme CN F9B. Enough of that ugly green rubbish!

Some of our wholesalers have asked us to reduce the quantity of product numbers we announce with each product release. I have to extend my sincerest apologies to you guys - just to get two numbers of each tooling and power variation, there are over 90 different product numbers for the CN F9B. Sorry, guys!

In addition, we will be selling the DCC/sound-equipped F9B chassis separately for those of you who purchased The Canadian and wish to add sound and power to your Canadian Pacific F9B. Our F9B chassis and sound are so amazing in their awesomeness that you might want to use them under your F7B and F9B models from other manufacturers. That's just our humble opinion, of course... We're also offering a DC-only chassis because we know two of your will ask for it. Click here to order the powered chassis.

F9B locomotiv chassis

Check out how much detail it is possible to pack underneath a B unit!

The samples shown here are the first test castings, just arrived from the factory a couple of weeks ago. Some small tooling corrections still need to be done. Initial paint schemes will be CN (1954 scheme), CN (Wet Noodle Scheme), VIA Rail Canada and Undecorated.

VIA F9B Locomotive

And of course there's VIA.

The order deadline for the F9B is 29 March 2013. Delivery is planned to start at the end of 2013 or early 2014. As per our usual practice, we plan to release it over a few months one paint scheme at a time, so you can rest easy in ordering a metric tonne of F9Bs - you won't have to pay for them all at once!

You can pre-order the F9B through your local dealer (we're sending out sales packs to dealers and distributors this week) or you can pre-order directly from our web site with no deposit required. Click here for more information on the CN F9B.

All the world's a layout, and all the locomotives merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances; And the F9B in its time plays many parts.

As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII (unpublished draft)

VIA Rail Banff Park

Last Exclusive Run for 2012!

New and Final Production Run!
VIA Exclusive Park Cars!

In Volume 41 of Rapido News, we announced an exclusive run of Skyline dome-lounge-coffee shop cars for VIA Rail Canada. They sold out in five days. We found some more models for VIA, but then those too sold out.

Our first run of cars for VIA, three exclusive Park Car models, sold out in about two weeks. So VIA has decided to do one final run of Park Car models, and here they are! And better yet, they feature a working rear marker light that was not included on the first run!

The new Park Cars will (sort of) arrive in time for Christmas. We should get them on the 18th (along with the VIA Canadians); VIA (the real VIA, not the model VIA) should get the Park Cars on the 21st; and then you'll get them whenever Canada Post sees fit to deliver them to you. So if you leave the tree up long enough you can still put this under it... on the 28th... or maybe the 31st... Anyone for January 3rd?

Our exclusive Park Car models for VIA Rail Canada comprise three popular names:
  • Banff Park
  • Evangeline Park
  • Yoho Park
The Park Cars have graced the tail end of The Canadian since 1955, and have also been used on the Super Continental; the Ocean; the Skeena; the Atlantic; the Enterprise; the Abitibi and Saguenay; the Hudson Bay; the Panorama; the Bonaventure; and probably a bunch more trains I'm forgetting. Each Park Car features:
  • Realistic stainless steel finish
  • Full underbody detail including all piping and conduit
  • Accurate tinted windows with window blinds and interior handrails
  • Operating interior lights, marker lights and illuminated VIA logo drumhead
  • Working marker light above the bullet lounge (not on our previous Park Car models)
  • Fully decorated interior
  • "Canada" and Canadian flag decals (printed by Microscale) included to represent models post-1998
The price per car is $105 CAD and you need to order directly from VIA Rail Canada. Please click here to visit VIA's souvenirs web site. If ordering from outside Canada, you need to email VIA at feedback@souvenirs.viarail.ca. Our web page about the new Park cars can be found here. These will probably sell out within the next week, so order yours ASAP!

VIA F9B Locomotives

Osgood Bradley Coaches packed and ready to go!

Finally! Something American!

Our ever-patient American customers continually ask when we will have more for them. I can finally say that we have something American en route right now. It's about time!


Long Island (MTA) Osgood Bradley finally on its way!

The Osgood Bradley 10-Window Coaches in Long Island (MTA) and Bangor & Aroostook have left the factory and are expected to arrive here in the second week of January. Only half of the Long Island (Dashing Dan) and Penn Central cars were finished so I asked the factory to hold on to them until the next shipment when they could all be shipped together. It would not be fair if some stores got their cars in January and some in February.

For those of you hankering for some American Rapido models right now, we have a limited number of United Aircraft TurboTrain models available for immediate delivery. These models feature our new and improved drive systems for better speed control.

The TurboTrain operated primarily between New York and Boston between 1969 and 1976, but also went on a national tour in 1971 and worked between Washington D.C. and Parkersburg WV as well as in the Midwest.

The United Aircraft TurboTrain still holds the record for the fastest production train in North American history, achieving 170.8 MPH on the PRR in New Jersey on 20 December 1967. That's faster than the Acela, believe it or not! The TurboTrain was painted in the US DOT silver paint scheme (shown below) when it achieved the record.


TurboTrain in its first USDOT paint scheme
In this scheme the TurboTrain achieved the North American speed record.

The TurboTrain entered service in 1969 while wearing the more colourful blue, red and silver scheme. Both of these schemes are in stock right now.


TurboTrain in its second USDOT paint scheme
In this scheme it entered service between New York and Boston.

If you would like to order a TurboTrain (or two!) to run around your tree this Christmas, we'll give you 25% off the retail price. Just write JASON SAID SO in the "Special Instructions and Coupon Codes" section when you add the trains to your cart. We will deduct 25% from the total before charging your credit card, and you still get free shipping worldwide.

Click here to order the record-smashing silver paint scheme and click here to order the in-service scheme used by Penn Central.

The Canadian in Miniature

Lake Louise, Alberta - Photography by Jeff Friesen

Artful Photography - The Canadian across Canada

Photographer Jeff Friesen took my original sample of The Canadian - the one so many of you saw on tour in 2011 - on its second trip across Canada. That sample train is most definitely well travelled! He photographed the train in iconic locations across the country and the results are simply stunning.

The Canadian in Miniature

Gatineau Cascade, Quebec - Photography by Jeff Friesen

Jeff's series of photographs of The Canadian have become a media sensation, and have featured in the Telegraph and Daily Mail (UK) as well as 21CN in China and the New York Daily News and MSN Now here in North America. As more people discover his work, it is appearing in more and more media sites and publications. If anyone forwards you a link to Jeff's pictures, be sure to tell them you know the guys who made that train! I mean that literally. Bill and I actually made most of that sample train while sitting at the factory back in May 2011.

Bill Schneider

Bill solders the FP9A chassis for the sample Canadian. China, May 2011

Visit Jeff's page by clicking here. The really nice piece in the UK's Daily Mail can be found here.

Dave Gunn's layout

Dave Gunn's stunning model railroad in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

New Rapido Blog Entry: A Maritime Adventure

This past summer the Shron clan headed east to experience Maritime railroading (1:1 and 1:87) at its finest. If you want to read about our adventures and see more gorgeous modelling like Dave Gunn's layout shown above, please visit our blog by clicking here.

It's just a short newsletter this issue as I intend to be back at Christmas with something very exciting to show you. Until then, have a great December and don't let the stress of preparing for the holidays take away from your Christmas cheer!

All the best,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.

P.S. and Happy Chanukah to the 11 other Jews who read this newsletter, most of whom are related to me.

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