Rapido News

Rapido News Volume 71 - ©2015 Rapido Trains Inc.

Dear Rapido Customer,

Greetings from the National Train Show in Portland, Oregon! We have two new product announcements for you this issue.

N Scale Baggage Car

New N Scale Baggage-Express - CB&Q Shadowline with 41-N-11 Trucks
Pre-production sample shown.

NEW! N Scale Baggage-Express!

Hot on the heels of our latest delivery of N scale Panorama Line passenger cars (the 10-5 Sleeper and Cafe-Bar-Lounge), here is our latest model. We're pleased to introduce the N scale Baggage-Express car.

Almost every train needs a baggage car, from the hot-shot streamliner to the two-car branchline local. This National Steel Car smooth side baggage-express car has been in use throughout North America for over 60 years. These cars, along with similar cars from other builders, have carried baggage and express traffic on primary, secondary and mixed trains. Many carried sealed mail for the post office. Despite being built in the 1950s, these cars have operated in the 21st century on Amtrak, VIA Rail, Ontario Northland, BC Rail and Algoma Central. They are still used on several tourist lines.

N Scale Baggage Car

New N Scale Baggage-Express - VIA with 6-Wheel Commonwealth Cast Pedestal Trucks
Pre-production sample shown.

The 73'6" Baggage-Express Car brings a new level of realism to baggage car models and has all the details you've come to expect from our N scale Panorama Line cars. This all-new model incorporates the superb features included on our most recent releases. (It really is all new, including the trucks - we rebuilt our truck moulds.) I don't think optional end doors have ever been offered on a ready-to-run N scale lightweight baggage car before. Ooooh, the HO modellers are getting jealous!

N Scale Baggage Car End Doors

Compare the awesome end doors on the NYC car with the standard end on the NP car.
Pre-production samples shown.

Our N scale Baggage-Express features:
  • Super-detailed underbody
  • Separate side grab irons applied at the factory
  • Etched-metal stirrups
  • All air, steam and electrical lines represented
  • Insulated 36" metal wheelsets (no pizza cutters!)
  • Diaphragms and safety bars
  • Four numbers plus unnumbered available in each scheme
  • Body-mounted Micro-Trains couplers
  • Will operate smoothly on curves down to 11" radius
  • Standard End or End Doors as appropriate
  • Super-detailed Commonwealth Cast Pedestal 6-Wheel trucks, 41-N-11 Inside Swinghanger trucks, or 41-BNO-11 Outside Swinghanger trucks as appropriate for each roadname and car type

N Scale Baggage Car

N scale Baggage Car - Stunning Underbody Detail
Note all of the separate parts. This is not just a lump of plastic.
Pre-production sample shown.

Here's a complete list of paint schemes for our first run. If you don't see your paint scheme of choice, have no fear! This is only the first run. There are too many schemes to do in one batch. Click here to skip all this and go place your order.

  • Amtrak (Phase III)
  • Baltimore & Ohio
  • Burlington (Shadowline)
  • Central of Georgia (yes, really)
  • Erie
  • Great Northern - End Doors
  • Milwaukee Road (1950 Scheme)
  • Missouri Pacific (Jenks Blue)
  • Northern Pacific
  • New York Central (Two-Tone Gray) - End Doors
  • Penn Central - End Doors
  • Southern Pacific
  • Undecorated
  • Canadian National (1954) - With or Without End Doors
  • Ontario Northland (Green)
  • VIA Rail Canada - With or Without End Doors
  • BC Rail - PWRS Exclusive

N Scale Baggage Car

N scale Baggage Car - New York Central with End Doors
Pre-production sample shown.

The MSRP for our N scale Baggage-Express car is $54.95 in the USA and $59.95 in Canada. The order deadline is a rather optimistic October 31st, for delivery in the first quarter of 2016. Please don't wait around - get your order in ASAP. This is our first attempt at a "tight" order deadline, rather than the usual "It's still available to order. Again. Really." Hopefully we have more than 17 cars ordered by the October 31st deadline. If not, I'll start begging.

You can read more about our baggage car by clicking here. You can learn more about the exclusive BC Rail baggage cars from PWRS by clicking here.

N Scale Baggage Car

N scale Baggage Car - Northern Pacific with 41-BNO-11 Trucks
Pre-production sample shown.

You can order from your dealer or direct. If ordering direct from outside of Canada please order here. If ordering from within Canada please use our Canadian order page. All of the paint schemes are illustrated on the order pages.

Dealers please note that full wholesale discounts apply. Dealers can sign up for our Dealer News by clicking here.

Northern Pacific Box Car

Northern Pacific's Unique 10000-Series Boxcar, Delivery Scheme
General American Car Co. photo, NPRHA Collection.

NEW! HO Scale Northern Pacific 10000-Series Boxcar!

We're really excited (over the moon!) to announce our first railroad model based on a prototype that was built west of Chicago. It's a 100% Northern Pacific prototype, the 10000-Series 40-foot DS Boxcar!

This has been at the top of NP modelers' most-wanted lists for generations. The cars ran from 1923 to the 1980s! Nobody has dared to make the NP 10000-Series Boxcar before in ready-to-run plastic because, to be blunt, they would have to be crazy to make it. It was owned by exactly ONE railroad: Northern Pacific. Rapido has never been put off by the phrase, "There is no way this will make money." We built our company on obscure Canadian prototypes, for heaven's sake! So we're diving in head first - this boxcar is far from obscure.

Northern Pacific Box Car

Northern Pacific's Unique 10000-Series Boxcar, 36" Monad
Photo courtesy Bob's Photo.

The iconic 10000-series Northern Pacific 40-foot DS Boxcar was built by Western Steel Foundry in Portland throughout the 1920s. 4000 cars were built and many remained in service for over 50 years in regular service and then in company service. These could be found on most NP freight trains as well as on freights across the United States and Canada. Really - you need a lot of these even if you model Motown, Moncton or Miami. They made it that far.

Rapido's model has been scaled from original blueprints and field measurements. Most importantly, we have worked closely with Dean O'Neill, Rick Leach, and other members of the NPRHA to make sure that this boxcar is as accurate as our technology and budget will allow.

Northern Pacific Box Car

NP 11237 in St. Louis, 1955
Joe Collias photo.

The NP 10000-Series Boxcar features:
  • Never before offered in RTR plastic
  • Correct details including roof and handbrake
  • Full underbody with correct brake valve and separate brake rods/piping
  • Fully decorated and assembled
  • Factory-installed metal Macdonald-Cartier couplers at the correct height
  • All-new U-channel trucks with in-line brake shoes and turned-metal wheels
  • Available in singles or four-packs. Four-packs boxed for individual sale.
Click here for general info. The model is being offered in NP, NP, NP, NP and - wait for it - NP. The MSRP is $49.95 for a single, $199.80 for a four-pack. Dealers please note that full wholesale discounts apply.

For more information or to order direct, please click on one of the paint scheme illustrations below. We've given the approximate dates for which each paint scheme was applied, but please bear in mind that paint schemes lasted many years beyond the dates shown.

The order deadline will be early in 2016. We'll announce it once the tooling is finished, which will be in the next three months or so. (We would have shown you 3D renderings from the factory but there are still some corrections to make and we didn't want to share incorrect drawings.) We'll have samples on display at the Springfield Show in January, located a mere 3000 miles from where most NP modellers actually live. Hmmm... that was well thought out.

More info can be found on our boxcar here.

NP Boxcar

NP 10000-Series Boxcar - Pre-War (1923-1939)

NP Boxcar

NP 10000-Series Boxcar - 36" Monad (red ends/roof, painted 1940-44)

NP Boxcar

NP 10000-Series Boxcar - 36" Monad (black ends/rood, painted 1945-50)

NP Boxcar

NP 10000-Series Boxcar - Main Street (painted 1951 onwards)

NP Boxcar

NP 10000-Series Boxcar - Company Service (1956-1982)
(Yes, they really operated into the 1980s... with punk haircuts and everything.)

Northern Pacific modelers are now jumping for joy, while non-Northern Pacific modelers are saying, "Gosh, those paint schemes look very similar to each other." We're confident that sales figures will reach at least triple digits...
Here's the link to the NP boxcar page again: The Link.

N Scale FL9

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Another Wacky Rapido Video

As I was departing for Winnipeg on board The Canadian earlier this month, I realized that we have never actually asked you guys to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Apparently this means I fail the most basic of YouTube marketing exams, so in an attempt to rectify the situation I have put together a commercial for our YouTube channel which shows some of the ridiculous things we do in our videos. If you've only started following our progress in the last couple of years, you may not know that we spent a good deal of time in 2012 throwing our models off high places.

Please click here or on the image below to watch our 45-second video and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

RailCrew Video

N Scale FL9

N Scale New Haven FL9 - Pre-Production Sample

N Scale FL9 Update

The tooling for the N scale FL9 Locomotive is now 99% finished, and we just received our second decorated pre-production samples. These are on display here in Portland, a mere 3000 miles from where these ran. Once again, we could have thought that out a bit better...

Over the next four months we will be tweaking the operation of the N scale FL9 and ensuring that it works perfectly in DCC and DC. We are not rushing this model to market.

N Scale FL9

N Scale Conrail FL9 - Pre-Production Samples

We will have samples operating at the Springfield Show at the end of January. The order deadline will be two weeks after the show, with delivery in the spring. Please click here to order your N scale FL9.

Rapido HO scale RDC

First test shots! Rapido's Absolute RDC-1
Check out the grab irons and safety chains!
And the... um... lack of a pilot? Well, they are first samples, after all!
(Actually many railroads operated their RDCs without pilots, and this feature is offered.)

HO Scale RDC First Samples

Our engineers and one of our tooling workshops have been working overtime the last month in a desperate rush to have some sort of RDC model that isn't just a blob of plastic on display at the train show this weekend. And I must say they came through with flying colours! Have a look at our first sample of the HO scale Absolute RDC-1.

The Phase 2 RDC tooling is not yet finished but you can see from the photos of the Phase 1 RDC that this model is unlike any RDC model ever produced in any scale. The full interior is just stunning, as is the jam-packed underbody detail and end chains. If you thought your 60-year-old model with rubber-band drive or your 15-year-old model with moulded-on grab irons is "good enough," you may want to think again...

Rapido HO scale RDC interior

This is the first RDC-1 model ever produced with a full interior, including see-through armrests.
There is no motor visible through the windows or tinted windows needed to hide what's inside.

Rapido HO scale RDC underbody detail

Unmatched underbody detail on our RDC-1. No blobs here!

Rapido HO scale RDC

Wait - that wasn't supposed to be made yet. What's going on?

Full information about our Absolute RDC can be found here. Please place your orders soon before we realize we are selling these too cheaply and increase the price!

Rapido N scale Freight Car

Production samples of our N scale GARX Meat Reefer

N Scale GARX Meat Reefer

Production is now finishing up on our N scale GARX Meat Reefer. This is our first American freight car model in N scale, and features the usual extreme Rapido detail. The factory is just waiting for couplers, which I of course forgot to order. Conveniently, I am in PORTLAND, the home of Micro-Trains. The folks at Micro-Trains kindly delivered the couplers to my hotel on Wednesday! The factory should have them early next week so we can finish up production the week after Labor Day.

Rapido N scale Reefer

Excellent roof detail, including texture on the hatches.

Our N scale GARX Meat Reefer features:
  • Accurate tooling - never offered before in N scale!
  • Prototypical ride height
  • Fully decorated and assembled with factory-installed Micro-Trains couplers
  • Full underbody with separate 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
  • 9" Minimum radius
  • Available in four-packs with individual numbers
  • Dealers can break up the four-packs for individual sale

If you didn't reserve yours, the good news is that we've made a handful of extras. You can still order them from your dealer or directly from us. Click here for more information or to order direct.

Rapido HO scale GMD-1

HO scale 1100-Series GMD-1 - Production Samples

Delivery Schedule & HO GMD-1

The new HO scale 1100-series GMD-1 Locomotives have left the factory and are now en route. We have made a handful of extras of each version. Click on any image below to order yours now. Note that the Rail Link GMD-1 is an exclusive for PWRS.

Rapido HO scale GMD-1

HO scale 1100-Series GMD-1 - CN Noodle

Rapido HO scale GMD-1

HO scale 1100-Series GMD-1 - CN North America

Rapido HO scale GMD-1

HO scale 1100-Series GMD-1 - Cuban National Railways

Rapido HO scale GMD-1

HO scale 1100-Series GMD-1 - Southern Railway of British Columbia

The rest of the HO scale FL9 locomotives have just arrived and will be shipping to distributors in about a week. If you ordered directly from us, please contact your credit card company and tell them to expect a charge from Rapido Trains in the next two weeks. If you are in the USA and you don't give advance authorization, chances are your credit card company will reject the charge because we're located in Canada, and as you know Canadians can't be trusted...

Those FL9s do look quite nice, don't they? We're basically sold out of all the HO scale FL9s. But some dealers might have stock available. Good luck!

Rapido HO scale FL9

HO scale FL9 - Metro-North and Amtrak

Rapido HO scale FL9

HO scale FL9 - Penn Central and Conrail

Finally, our first shipment of RailCrew Remote Uncouplers and Switch Machines with Operating Switch Stands has left the factory and will be arriving around October 1st. We have some pre-production demonstration samples at the office which we are sending out - at no charge - to model train stores and large model train clubs.

If you work at a train store or are part of a big club (minimum 10 members) we would be happy to send you a sample set for you to try, share with your buddies, and give us feedback on how we can improve it for future production. Limit one set per club/store. Just drop us a note and if you qualify we'll be happy to send you a free set.

Rapido RailCrew Switch Stands

HO scale Switch Machine with Operating Switch Stands

If you haven't yet seen our RailCrew demonstration video, you can click here or on the image below to watch it. Despite the fact that we make our own Macdonald Cartier couplers, I personally recommend you use Kadee couplers on your equipment for 100% reliability of the RailCrew Remote Uncoupler. (Yes, I failed Marketing 101.)

RailCrew Video

We always intend to keep RailCrew products in stock, but the Switch Machines and Uncouplers may occasionally be backordered while we are waiting for a new shipment. Click here for more information or to place an order. RailCrew products are available from all good train stores.

VIA Rail Dome Car

Riding a dome car does not necessarily mean a freight train on your head.
In this case, however, it does.

Rapido Launch - Mark Your Calendars!

Our Ride The Rapido charter train sold out in two days, but never fear! If all goes smoothly it will not be our last charter train. However, you can still join us for our big Rapido Product Launch Party on Monday October 12th. It will be at Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum near Montreal, between 10:00 and 15:00. In addition to meeting the Rapido crew and about a hundred other modellers and railfans, you will have the chance to tour pieces of historical railroad equipment normally closed off from the public.

Exporail has a huge collection of preserved equipment; a working Montreal streetcar you can ride on; a 7.25" miniature railroad; a fantastic HO scale layout; a movie theatre and gift shop. It is a wonderful day out, made even more wonderful by the number of hardcore modellers descending on it for the day! Please join us for the launch. The cost of admission is just the regular Exporail admission price. We would love to see you!

That brings another Rapido News to a close. I wrote most of this one aboard the Coast Starlight between Los Angeles and Portland. What a trip! Too bad I missed it because I was staring at this #$%^@ screen the whole time.

Coast Starlight near Oceano

P42s 150 and 91 haul our train north of Oceano.

I'll be uploading a blog entry about my adventure from Toronto to Portland via Winnipeg, Vancouver and Los Angeles in the coming weeks. Click here to read our current blog, all about our new 1:1 scale sleeping car - which is stuck somewhere in Ohio as I write this. More info on that can be found on our Facebook page.

Until next time...

Best regards,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.

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