Rapido News

Rapido News Volume 62 - ©2014 Rapido Trains Inc.

Dear Rapido Customer,

Now that you've broken your back throwing out all of the "Black Friday" junk mail and you've bruised your fingers deleting all of the "Cyber Monday" junk email, here's good news for PLATINUM MIST WEDNESDAY!

Rapido not Kato Amtrak F40

The Ultimate Amtrak F40PH Model
Pre-production models shown.

In this issue of Rapido News:

Rapido Amtrak F40PH Nose

Amtrak F40PH In Your Face. Hey - Nice Plow!
Pre-production model shown.

New! HO Scale Amtrak F40PH - The Ultimate Amtrak F40
It's time to put your old models on eBay.

OK, Amtrak modellers. Stop complaining! It's not just the Hoseheads in the North that get a super-detailed Rapido F40. Now it's your turn!

Few locomotives in North American railroad history can be described as iconic. The Amtrak F40PH is one of the few. The F40PH represented the renaissance of passenger train travel in the United States. It was the face of Amtrak - to railfans, modelers and the public - for over 25 years. To date, no manufacturer has ever produced the definitive Amtrak F40PH model. Until now.

Rapido Amtrak F40PH Not Walthers

Amtrak Phase 1 Amtrak F40PH in Phase II paint. Not to be too confusing...
Pre-production model shown.

I'm delighted to introduce our worst-kept secret everrrrrrrr second all-American diesel locomotive - the first new ready-to-run model of the Phase 1 Amtrak F40PH to be produced since I was about nine years old.

The model has been scaled from original Amtrak and EMD blueprints and designed with the help of F40PH fans and current members of the Amtrak team who are themselves model railroaders. In layman's terms, the nose is the right length and the fuel tank is the right shape.

The Phase 1 F40PH comprises units 200 to 229 which were delivered starting in 1976. These locomotives feature 1500 gallon fuel tanks mounted toward the rear of the frame with air reservoirs and battery boxes to the front. The Phase 1 F40PH has low-profile roof details to clear the low bridges and tunnels in the northeast as well as a Nathan P5A horn. More prototype info below.

Rapido Amtrak F40PH Not Bachmann

Rapido F40PH underbody detail
Pre-production model shown.

Check out all of the cable runs in the photos above! And air pipes! We've brought a level of detail never before seen on any modern American passenger locomotive model. The only way for this to get more detailed is to have all of those air and cable runs actually work. We're having Bill get right on that.

The Rapido Amtrak F40PH features:
  • Extensive, separate underbody piping and conduit highly visible from trackside
  • Head lights, backup light, and marker lights
  • Working strobe lights that flash independently in DCC models - a first!
  • Separate, factory-applied wire grab irons
  • See-through, etched-metal radiator grills with visible interior supports
  • Etched-metal windshield safety grills included in the box
  • Era-specific details
  • Full cab interior painted in correct colors
  • Wind deflectors, see-through dynamic brake grills and radiator fans
  • Scaled from original blueprints to ensure accurate dimensions
  • Accurate fuel tank profile and exhaust silencer
  • Available as a sound-equipped model with a custom Rapido ESU LokSound sound decoder or as a DC silent model
  • Will operate smoothly on DC and DCC layouts
  • Rapido's proven 5-pole, skew-wound motor and silky-smooth drive system
  • Macdonald-Cartier metal knuckle couplers mounted at the correct height
  • Available in Amtrak Phase II and Amtrak Phase III (early) paint schemes plus undecorated
  • Eight numbers plus unnumbered available per paint scheme
  • Decals included for optional lettering and warning labels
  • This is an Amtrak model from the rails up. This ain't no foreign Canadian thang painted in American colors!

Rapido Amtrak F40PH Phase III

Phase III colors, left side
Pre-production model shown.

Rapido is offering an introductory MSRP of US$299.95 for sound-equipped locomotives and US$199.95 for silent DC models. (CAD$329.95 and CAD$229.95 respectively in Canada. Sorry Canucks! Go complain to the currency traders.)

Rapido Amtrak F40PH Rear End

Every locomotive has a tush and the F40PH is no exception. What a nice rear!
Pre-production model shown.

The order deadline is May 15th, 2015 and delivery is late 2015. The Amtrak F40PH will be produced strictly to order. Reserve yours now to ensure you don't miss out!

Click here for more information. You can order from your dealer or directly from us. Whatever you decide, please order them by the peck.

Rapido Amtrak F40PH Master Class

Amtrak F40PH Master Class

Amtrak F40PH Master Class

At Rapido we believe that a knowledgeable customer is, in the long term, a better customer. We welcome you to count our rivets! If we are going to market our models as being super detailed and accurate, we need to show you all the ways they are. Don't just take our word for it! In order to help you become an expert, we produce a Master Class for each new locomotive we announce.

The Master Class features the history of the prototype as well as the spotting features of the prototype's various "phases" or variations. For the Amtrak F40PH, none of us at Rapido can be considered an expert. So we turned to the experts to write the Master Class.

Amtrak F40PH Phase 1 and Phase 2

Can you spot the differences?
Photo by Bill Hakkarinen

Alex Stroshane is widely regarded as one of the world's leading Amtrak F40PH experts. In fact, Alex knows about all Amtrak and other modern passenger locomotives. In fact, he just knows EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING. Matt Donnelly is a name many of you will recognize, as he is the man behind Amtrak's model train program and another F40PH fan and aficionado.

To read Alex and Matt's F40PH Master Class, please click here. Then to order your fleet of F40s, please click here.

Click here to browse through our past Master Classes.

N Scale Panorama Line

Panorama Line Surprise Announcement

New! Limited Run N Scale Passenger Cars

As I've hinted in past newsletters, we've commissioned a special run of N scale Panorama Line passenger cars from one of our factories. The first shipment (American roadnames) leaves the factory in about two weeks!

As our N scale customers know, our N scale passenger cars have suffered from a number of delays. When we started production of our new N scale cafe-bar-lounge and 10-5 sleeper, we thought it would be best to hedge our bets and produce a limited number of Duplex Sleepers and Coaches in case it's another year before we have the chance to produce N scale passenger cars again.

N Scale Duplex Sleeper

The business end of an N scale Duplex Sleeper

The result? We've produced a very limited number of N scale passenger cars, both new runs of past styles (not produced since 2009) and one completely new paint scheme (hello Long Island!). We are only producing 30 to 50 of each car name/number, and they are only available to order from your dealer - we are not taking direct orders. The new cars are:
  • CN (1954) - E Sleepers
    Eastview - Ekhart - Elderbank - Enfield - Eldorado

  • CN (Noodle) - E Sleepers
    Edmonton - Elnora - Englee - Erickson - Evangeline

  • Canadian Pacific - Coaches
    2240 - 2248 - 2261 - 2270 - 2279 - 2290

  • Great Northern - Duplex Sleepers
    Bad Axe River - Chumstick River - Mouse River - Poplar River - Spokane River

  • Long Island Railroad - Coaches
    2183 - 2185 - 2190 - 2190 - 2193

  • Milwaukee Road (1950) - Duplex Sleepers
    Madison River - St. Joe River - Yellowstone River - Minnesota River - Zumbro River

  • Northern Pacific - Duplex Sleepers
    355 - 356 - 357 - 358 - 360

  • Ontario Northland - Dayniters
    850 - 851 - 852 - 853 - 854 - 855 - 856

  • VIA Rail Canada - E Sleepers
    Edenwold - Edwardsville - Elmsdale - Endeavour - Euclid

Milwaukee Road Duplex Sleeper

Milwaukee Road Duplex Sleeper

The MSRP is $59.95 per car, and each car features:
  • Super-detailed underbody
  • Body-mounted Micro-Trains couplers
  • Fixed steps or partial skirts, as appropriate
  • All air, steam and electrical lines represented
  • Insulated 36" metal wheelsets (no pizza cutters!)
  • "Easy-Peasy" battery-powered interior lighting
  • Flush windows with painted gaskets and shades
  • Full interior detail including armrests and headrests
  • Diaphragms with etched-brass end gates
  • Painted metal roof grab irons applied at the factory
  • Multiple car names and/or numbers per paint scheme
  • Will operate smoothly on curves down to 9-3/4" radius
  • Super-detailled 41-N-11 Inside Swinghanger or 41-BNO-11 Outside Swinghanger trucks as appropriate for each roadname and car type.
Here are some photos of these cars in production:

Rapido Factory N scale

Milwaukee Road Duplex Sleeper shells are ready for installation of windows.

Rapido Factory N scale

A finely-cut copper painting mask ensures that the NP dark green does not leak into the light green.

Rapido Factory N scale

Long Island Railroad shells waiting for final assembly

These are available strictly on a first-come, first-served basis. Dealers please note that full discounts apply. They are due to arrive in early January and will be a perfect tonic to your post-Christmas blues.

For more information, please click here. To download a PDF checklist to take to your dealer, please click here. Remember - when they are gone, they are gone. Contact your dealer today!

Rapido Dudes

Is that F40, like, real?

Meet Rapido at Des Plaines Hobbies

Bill and I are what are commonly referred to as "gluttons for punishment." We've just finished a whirlwind tour of a bit of the western bit of the UK, and now we're heading to Chicagoland to do a Meet & Greet with you guys.

We hope you can join us at the famous Des Plaines Hobbies, 1524 Lee Street, Des Plaines, Illinois. We'll be there from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday December 1st. If you leave work early, you will have time to come see us and then go home and watch the Habs beat the Colorado Avalanche.

We will have those two pretty Amtrak F40PH samples on display, as well as our new N scale Meat Reefer and a bunch of other neat stuff. If we can get a plane ticket for her, we will also be accompanied by Bill's nine-foot-tall pumpkin-juggling lemur, Fuzzy Susan.

Fuzzy Susan

Fuzzy Susan

Click here for Des Plaines's web site and directions to the store. To avoid rush hour traffic in Chicago, we suggest you leave your office or house on the preceding Thursday.

Rapido Meat Reefer and F40PH-2D

One of these things is not like the other...

Quick Delivery Report

Recently arrived in our warehouse is the second run of HO scale GARX Meat Reefers. These are being shipped to distributors right now and will be in stores within a couple of weeks.

Arriving at the end of the week are the HO scale original scheme (1986-2000) VIA F40PH-2D locomotives. These will be shipped to VIA early next week and immediately on to customers. VIA has a few available so please click here to order yours if you haven't yet.

The HO scale "Canada" scheme (1998-2012) VIA F40PH-2D locomotives will be arriving around 14 December. If you absolutely need those to arrive before Christmas, please contact VIA's souvenirs department and ask for them to send your locomotives using a faster shipping method.

The next shipment won't be until late January, when the N scale GMD-1 locomotives will arrive. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel as we'll be uploading videos of the VIA F40PH-2D and the N scale GMD-1 in the coming weeks.

Attention US and international dealers: if you are not getting our dealer sales packs and updates from your distributor, please contact me and I will put you on our dealer email list.

Adventures in the UK

Encountering Strange and Mysterious Creatures in Tibet Wales

Bill and Jason's Excellent UK Adventure

Bill and I have just returned from a crazy week in the UK. It was an absolute pleasure to meet so many UK railway modellers and I've uploaded a blog entry about the trip. Here's an excerpt:

The north Welsh coast, like so much of Wales, is stunning. Of course, I was busy designing a Pendolino advert so I missed most of it. But I'm told it's quite nice... Our destination was Bangor.

Voyager in Bangor

Virgin Super Voyager, Bangor

Strangely, nobody shouted "GO HABS!" at my Montreal Canadiens sweater the entire time I was on the train or in Wales. "Habs" is the nickname for the Montreal ice hockey team. I was under the impression that there were fans of the Montreal Canadiens in every conurbation around the globe.

Now, if anyone in the UK wants to become a fan of the Montreal Canadiens, I can arrange it. Just send me £1000 in unmarked bills and I will send you an exclusive Montreal Canadiens fan pack comprising seven hockey cards, a replica hockey puck, and a serviette that someone told me was once used by star defenceman P.K. Subban.

Bangor Station Layout

Bangor Station - Nice layout, eh?

Actually, Bangor station makes such an excellent layout that for a while we were convinced that it wasn't real and that we had been shrunk to 4mm scale. It's got totally unrealistic tunnels at both ends with a pretty station and some points in the middle. The Virgin Voyagers arrive from Birmingham, drive into the fiddle yard hidden in the tunnel, and then return to the station. It really is most unrealistic. I mean, what real place works like that?

Bill in Northern Wales

Being blown around in North Wales

We had to hire a car in Bangor as the train doesn't yet reach the Nant Ffrancon pass. Bill and Terry had to endure my driving again - it was OK except for the bits where we were on the wrong side of the road or trying to climb a 1 in 3 gradient in fifth gear. Did I mention I usually drive an automatic?

On our way to Nant Ffrancon we stopped for some photos. I took this one of Bill before the wind blew him down the valley. We spent four hours looking for him.

Click here to read more. (I should add that after publishing that part of the blog on RMWeb, two people in the UK did indeed shout "GO HABS" at me - including one fellow on a random station platform as we were boarding a Pendolino. We've started a revolution.) The blog includes comparisons between UK and North American modelling, rants about raving über-capitalists and science fiction geeks, and introductions to numerous British trains and places. I hope you enjoy it.

Ask Rapido

Ask Rapido!

Ask Rapido:
If you could go back in time to ride a specific train, which would it be?

Mike McGrattan

Mike McGrattan, Receiver of Complaints and Soother of Nerves

I would ride the original Lake Shore Limited; the elegant look of the NYC equipment, the fall scenic display and the food and service (I hear the beef stew was to die for...) (I will refrain from making any comments about you and food. -Ed.)

Janet Golfman

Janet Golfman, Keeper of the Holy Books of Antioch Rapido

The Orient Express of course: Fancy like me, mysterious like me, and with Peter Ustinov as a travelling companion. (He's too dead for you. -Ed.)

Bill Schneider

Bill Schneider, Designer of Things

I would go back and ride on the footplate of Stephenson's Rocket during the Rainhill trials in October 1829. In fact, I'd be driving. (I thought you were old enough to be there, Bill! -Ed.)

Dan Garcia

Dan Garcia, Fixer of Things

The original Shinkansen. It would be neat to go back from "ahead of its time" to travel on something ahead of its time. (I am sure I am not the only one confused right now. -Ed.)

Jason Shron

Jason Shron, Chief Nutbar

VIA Rail Canada, December 1980. I want unlimited funds and the entire month to ride on EVERYTHING.

This newsletter is a Rapido rarity - short and to the point. To reserve your HO scale Amtrak F40PH, please contact your dealer or click here. To reserve your N scale sleepers and coaches, contact your dealer (or click here for product numbers). And to get your HO scale VIA F40PH-2D before Christmas, click here.

Before I go, please spare a thought for Mike. Mike's been away for the last month dealing with some serious health problems. If you've sent him an email and not received a response, that's why. His emails are now being CC'd to Dan and me but we only started doing this recently when it became clear Mike would be away for a while. We're hoping he can be back at work in January. For now, please keep him in your prayers.

I'll be in touch next month with some new videos. Keep an eye out for our January newsletters as the announcement coming at the end of that month is completely bonkers. We're talking so many prototype variations that our engineers all resigned in protest and had to be lured back with promises of free Canadian beer for life. Stay tuned...

All the best,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.

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