Rapido News

Rapido News Volume 66 - �2015 Rapido Trains Inc.

Dear Rapido Customer,


If you are an American or international hobby dealer and you would like to be on our dealer email list,
please reply to this newsletter with your store name and address and I will add you to the list.
With each new announcement and/or upcoming order deadline we send out printable PDFs
with all relevant product information so you and your customers can stay informed.

In this issue of Rapido News:

GARX Meat Reefer

N Scale GARX Meat Reefer - Unpainted Pre-Production Sample
(...on Bill's desk in his attic)

Order Deadline: N Scale Meat Reefers

The order deadline for our third N scale freight car, the GARX Meat Reefer, has been extended to Monday March 30th. Here's a neat illustration of most of the paint schemes to remind you of the upcoming deadline:

GARX Meat Reefer

N Scale Meat Reefers: Remember the order deadline!

(If you missed our first two freight cars in N scale, they were exclusive models of a 52'6" Mill Gondola and a modern Bulkhead Flatcar produced for Prairie Shadows last year. Click on the links for more information.)

The GARX Meat Reefers played a vital role in ensuring America was well fed from the 1930s to the 1970s. These were not general service reefers used for fruit and other perishables - these were specifically used for moving raw meat from the slaughterhouses to destinations across the country, including packing plants, meat distributors, etc.

These are not models for militant vegetarians.

Let's face it: would you want to spend the rest of your life eating nothing but oranges? Judging from the sheer number of PFE and FGE reefers found on a typical transition-era N scale layout you'd think everyone in N scale was a fruitarian. But in fact, what the N scale "man about town" really craves is a big, thick, juicy slab of beef. And our GARX Meat Reefer is just the car to deliver it.

GARX Meat Reefer

N Scale GARX Meat Reefer - Fantastic underbody detail
Note the in-line brake shoes on the trucks.

Our Meat Reefers feature:
  • Accurate tooling - never offered before in N scale!
  • Prototypical ride height
  • Fully decorated and assembled with factory-installed Micro-Trains couplers
  • Full underbody with seperate brake rods and piping
  • Correct roof hatch and latch details
  • NEW Rapido Barber S1-A trucks with in-line brake shoes and blackened metal wheelsets
  • Wheelsets in gauge and will have no trouble on all Atlas track
  • 9" Minimum radius
  • MSRP $34.95 (single) $139.80 (four-pack)
  • Dealers please note that full wholesale discount is provided.

GARX Meat Reefer

N Scale GARX Meat Reefer - Another Pretty Picture

The Meat Reefers are sold as single cars or as four-packs with four different car numbers. In addition to the numerous paint schemes available, we also offer three limited-edition collector packs. These packs will never be rerun. Click on any item below for more info.
Full paint scheme and product information can be found here. Please reserve your Meat Reefers with your dealer by March 30th to ensure you don't miss these!

Cuban GMD-1

Cuba: Sun, Sand and Beautiful Women

Cuban GMD-1

Cuba: Rust, Dirt and a 567C Prime Mover
Prototype photo courtesy Kevin Staddon.

Order Deadline: HO Scale GMD-1

The order deadline for our HO Scale GMD-1 Locomotive has also been extended to March 30th. With the HO FL9 deadline having been moved back a couple of weeks, the close proximity of the two deadlines overloaded our ability to actually promote the GMD-1 and the N scale Meat Reefers! We really have to develop a new corporate plan. Our current method of "make it up as we go along" can sometimes get us into a pickle.

For all you guys south of the border (i.e. Americans - we're north of you, remember?) reading this newsletter, we'd like you to join us in celebrating the recent thawing of relations between Cuba and the USA by buying a fleet of Cuban GMD-1 locomotives. This is what we refer to in Canada as a "crass, opportunistic marketing technique." Do you have those in the USA?

Cuban GMD-1

Some people want the Rapido Cuban GMD-1 so badly,
they'll even make peace with Cuba to get one.

Just like the prototype, our Cuban GMD-1 locomotive features a three-axle truck at one end and a two-axle truck at the other. It's up to you to add the broken headlight, tons of shmutz, rust, and other Cuba-specific details. It is available in three numbers plus unnumbered for the one of you interested in buying the fleet. Click here for more info or to order your Cuban GMD-1. It's not made in Cuba, so no worries - Americans can order it. The GMD-1 is made in that other bastion of capitalism and freedom, China.

Is that enough irony for one newsletter or should I go on?


The 1100-Series CN GMD-1 Rebuild

Also due on March 30th are your orders for the Canadian National 1100-series GMD-1 Locomotives.

The six-axle GMD-1 was originally designed for lightweight branchline service. The idler wheelsets helped to spread the locomotive's weight over more axles and thus allowed it to run on very light rail. By the early 1980s, many of those branchlines had been abandoned.

The GMD-1 still had plenty of life left in it so the three-axle trucks (with their reduced pulling power and increased maintenance costs) were replaced with two-axle Flexicoil trucks that came off recently-retired lightweight GP9s. At the same time, the fuel capacity was doubled by the replacement of the original fuel tank with a large, 2000-gallon tank.


1100-Series GMD-1 in the CN North America Scheme
Photo courtesy Brian Schuff.

The 1100-series GMD-1 fleet totalled 33 units, so these weren't some backwoods oddball. They were used all over Canada in yards and on the mainline and remained in service until 2000. If you model the 1980s or 1990s, you will want a couple of these on the layout.


Southern Railway of British Columbia GMD-1
Photo courtesy Mark Forseille.

And we mustn't forget the Southern Railway of British Columbia GMD-1 locomotives which have been commissioned as an exclusive by PWRS. SRY owns a fleet of five 1100-series GMD-1 locomotives, which they numbered in the 1200-series - not to be confused with CN's 1200-series SW1200RS locomotives, which is another juicy project altogether.

Full information as well as online ordering can be found at the PWRS web site. Please click here to go there. The order deadline for the SRY GMD-1 locomotives is also - you guessed it - March 30th.

Here's a full feature list for the HO Scale GMD-1:
  • HO Scale DC or DC/DCC/Sound
  • 5-pole, skew-wound motor with excellent slow-speed performance
  • DC models are DCC-ready
  • Numerous accurate 1100-series details including sand fillers
  • Road number-specific paint and lettering, including safety striping
  • Operating number boards, headlights and class lights
  • Heavy, die-cast chassis and interior
  • Full cab interior oriented the correct way (short hood forward for 1179)
  • True GMD-1 sounds recorded from #1118 on the Alberta Prairie Railway
  • Factory-installed Macdonald-Cartier couplers mounted at the correct height
  • All models come with road number and safety decals.
The MSRP is $325 (DC/DCC/Sound) and $225 (DC Silent). There may be a slight increase in price in Canada depending on the value of the Canadian dollar when these arrive.

Remember - please order your GMD-1 by March 30th. Delivery is fall 2015. Here's that GMD-1 link again: that GMD-1 link again.

LRC Locomotive

The LRC on Chris Plue's phenomenal model railroad

New LRC Locomotive Video!

When I started the HO scale LRC Locomotive as a resin kit, Rapido had one employee - me. And my annual income from Rapido was about minus $30K. That was in 2005. Today, almost exactly 10 years later, the ready-to-run LRC locomotive has finally arrived in our warehouse. And my income is only minus $15K.

I put one of these babies on the track the other day and I realized that most of you have not actually seen one in action yet! So I called up my buddy, Chris Plue, and asked if he would kindly allow us access to his spectacular Rapido Route layout in order to film the LRC. (The Rapido Route is named after the CN train and not our company, much to my chagrin.) He agreed, and provided some single-malt Scotch to boot!

For those of us interested in big-city modelling, there are few layouts as impressive as Chris's. Even though it is far from complete, it already evokes George Selios with its abundance of bridges and towering skyscrapers. A great layout for a great train...

Click here or on the image below to watch the video.

VIA Train Engine

Click here for more information about the LRC. We are sold out so I suggest you contact your dealer if you haven't ordered already. The VIA locomotives have arrived and are en route to dealers; the Amtrak and experimental schemes are arriving next month. If you are getting any weird rattles out of your LRC speakers, please click here to visit the support section of our web site for the solution.

Rapido FL9

Rapido HO Scale FL9 Pre-Production Sample

HO Scale FL9 Update

Thank you to everyone who reserved your HO scale FL9 Locomotive before the deadline! I'm pleased to say that, by some amazing miracle, the project should actually be profitable. Woo-hoo! That bodes well for those of you hoping that we will do the HEP version. Let's get these to market first.

As many of you know we don't make inventory so as of now we are officially sold out. If someone mentions to you that they are looking for an FL9, or if you suddenly feel the urge to increase your order to 37 locomotives, I know for a fact that two of our US distributors ordered some extras to have on hand for last-minute orders. Please have your dealer get in touch with us for their info.

Our mould shop is working on the final shell corrections (we're trying to make those nose MU doors more flush) but we have already ordered materials for most of the other parts. The factory is cautiously optimistic that we can have the first delivery in stores THIS SUMMER, as in several months earlier than planned. So start putting your pennies away.

More information about our HO scale FL9 locomotive can be found here.

Rapido N Scale FL9

First injection test sample, N scale FL9
Lots of work still be done, especially in the gorilla eyebrows.

N Scale FL9 and GMD-1 Update

The N scale FL9 Locomotive tooling is about 50% complete, as you can see by the scary looking sample in the photo above. We haven't finished eroding the details (note the lack of an anticlimber) or polishing the moulds, and the brow above the windshield looks like a gorilla. The top slide is not fitting properly.

You can't see it properly in the photo, but in person the rivets look like spaghetti is oozing out of the shell. They are about a scale 4 inches tall! We're going to print on the MU nose doors as right now they look massive... Needless to say, I look forward to showing you photos of this model when the tooling is complete. But the photo above shows that the N scale FL9 is not actually a figment of your imagination.

We've extended the order deadline until the tooling is complete and we've made sure this thing runs properly on DC and DCC and on all types of track. We'll be sure to upload a video of its functions before that order deadline. So stay tuned to Rapido News and our Facebook page for updates.

Rapido N Scale GMD-1

GMD-1A #1600. Yes the #1 is supposed to look like that!

As I mentioned in our last newsletter, our silent N scale GMD-1 Locomotives had running issues in DC. As well, we've found that many of the drivers are a fraction of a millimetre too tight, which is not enough to foul the NMRA gauge but is causing issues on some turnouts. Dan and I wrongly assumed that if the wheels fit in the gauge they would work in all turnouts, proving once again that we know nothing about N scale. When Mike came back to the office he gave us a stern lecture on our naivete.

So depending on your layout, the Rapido GMD-1 is either the best thing since sliced bread or something you want to put into your toaster oven and set to "toast with a vengeance."

We're offering replacement chassis and wheelsets for anyone whose engine is affected by the gremlins. Click here to visit our GMD-1 Support page and get all of the details.

Please note that if you are having running issues with your sound-equipped locomotives, that is most likely solved by doing a tune up. Information on how to do an automatic tune up of the ESU decoder is in the full instruction manual under the rather illustrative header "Awesome Slow Speed Thingy."

And for those of you have actually complained about the Easter eggs hidden in the higher function buttons - please don't buy our products again. We prefer to sell our products to people with a sense of humour.

Rapido Warehouse

Coming soon to layout near you...

New Arrivals

We're in the middle of one of our busiest periods right now, so it's time for you to empty out your mattress of all that hidden cash and take it to your model train store...

(Arriving in April. CN flipped yet another oil train in northern Ontario so there was a two-week backlog on the west coast and now slow progress across the country.)
(Arriving later in April, unless CN flips another oil train.)
(Arriving even later in April, or in May or even June if CN flips yet another oil train. We're not kidding - it could very well happen.)


FPA-4 Locomotives in Production
Note the anti-glare strip on top of the nose. Neat, eh?

(arriving late May)
After that we have some breathing room. The next arrival will be the HO scale FL9 Locomotive, in August.

Welcome Aboard Amtrak

Welcome aboard!

Travelling by Train, Again!

I've just uploaded the latest Rapido Blog entry, and I return to that favourite subject of mine: Get Your Butt On The Train. Click here to read it.

It's part train story, part travelog. We took all three kids on Amtrak to New York City. It's worth a read if you are thinking of incorporating train travel into your vacation plans, and it's especially worth reading if you aren't thinking of incorporating train travel into your plans.

A lot of model railroaders are opposed to actually taking the train to get somewhere, and I admit I find this perplexing. If you fall into that category, it might be worth reading why I think you should give it a shot. And you can leave a comment on the blog comments page if you think I am full of baloney.

Once again, click here to read the blog. It's a good way to waste five minutes.

That's it for this brief newsletter (riiiiight). I'll be in touch soon with more updates. Remember that order deadline: March 30th! We keep getting FL9 orders and we have to tell people to go away. Don't miss your N scale GARX Meat Reefers or HO scale GMD-1 Locomotives.

Take care,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.

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