Rapido News

Rapido News Volume 73 - ©2015 Rapido Trains Inc.

Dear Rapido Customer,

Greetings from Exporail in Montreal! It is my pleasure to reveal the big announcement you've been waiting for. In this issue of Rapido News:

Icons of Canadian Steam

Icons of Canadian Steam

NEW! Icons of Canadian Steam

Power and elegance. Steam locomotives have captured the Canadian imagination for almost two centuries. They are the symbols of the golden age of Canadian railroading. They are the locomotives that moved the people and materials that built our nation. And they are still treasured, even though it has been over fifty years since they were retired from the Canadian mainline.

Rapido Trains Inc. is proud to introduce Icons of Canadian Steam. This HO scale collection is a daring program to produce twelve of the most important and famous steam locomotives in Canadian railway history.

Rapido Royal Hudson

CPR Royal Hudson H1c 2839 leads a rake of mixed passenger cars in the 1950s.
Photo courtesy John Riddell.

Those of you who know me are probably wondering: "Steam? Jason wants to bring out steam?" If you don't know me, I model 1980 and have been known to refer to steam engines (in jest) as ugly, black, smelly things.

The fact of the matter is I had an epiphany at the Great Edmonton Train Show in September 2014. I met many of you there and was struck by your longstanding dedication to our hobby. Looking at the faces lined with decades of model railroad experience, I came to the realization that Rapido needs to bring out Canadian steam engines - and fast - so that the model railroaders who grew up with steam would be able to enjoy affordable, accurate Canadian steam locomotive models in their lifetimes. This is also an opportunity to introduce Canadian steam to a new generation of younger modellers.

After the first day of the show Bill and I sat down for a drink (Lagavulin, if you will ask). And I said, "We need to do Canadian steam." Delighted that he had finally got through to me, Bill asked, "Which engine?" My response: "All of them."

Rapido Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson

CPR Royal Hudson H1c 2825 leads a freight through Palgrave, Ontario on 12 April 1958.
Photo courtesy John Riddell.

The first Icon of Canadian Steam is the Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson, possibly the most famous Canadian steam locomotive of them all. Following its release in 2017, we will produce two steam locomotives a year for the next seven years. We are working with some of Canada's most respected steam locomotive modellers to ensure that the Icons of Canadian Steam will be the jewels of your model railroad collection and will operate flawlessly.

That last bit is the most important. They have to run and pull well. Bill has been modelling steam for 40 years. Other experts we have on board, such as Winnipeg's John Morris, have been building and rebuilding model steam engines for longer. Together, we will bring you a Canadian steam engine collection that will give the Swiss clockmakers a run for their money.

Click here for our projected delivery schedule and locomotive list. I should of course note that seven years is a long time and the release order may change a bit as we get further away from "now." If you don't see your favourite locomotive listed, please keep in mind that if we are successful with the Icons of Canadian Steam project we will probably just keep going with more engines once we've completed the initial program.

Those are bold words. Let's hope they don't come back to bite me! But hey - if we could pull off The Canadian on a wing and a prayer, we can handle Canadian steam. We now have at least three wings and four prayers.

Rapido Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson

CPR Royal Hudson H1e 2860 at Squamish, British Columbia, in 1981
Photo courtesy Brian Schuff.

The Rapido HO scale Royal Hudson will feature:
  • Designed from blueprints and field measurements
  • Factory-applied details specific for each road number
  • Three stack styles - streamlined, straight or bathtub
  • One stack installed but both others included in the box for modelling specific years
  • Additional optional parts included in the box
  • Smooth-running drive with strong pulling power
  • Heavy diecast weight centred above drivers
  • Blackened metal wheels and driving rods
  • Correct tenders for either coal, oil, or oil-fired conversions
  • Correct tender trucks (Commonwealth or Buckeye)
  • Working head, marker, classification and back up lights*
  • Interior cab light, flickering firebox light*
  • DCC sound version includes synchronized chuff, accurate whistle, bell, air pump, generator, safety valves and many other effects!**
  • Accurate and complete piping, underbody and tender details
  • Accurate paint and decoration
  • Beaver logo printed on the cab side with "Spans the World" decal included in the box
  • Unnumbered locomotives include all possible number decals.
  • 18" Minimum radius (22" recommended)
  • All three tenders also available separately.
*Not all lighting effects available on DC silent versions.
**User-controlled features on sound-equipped models only accessible on DCC layouts.

We are currently in discussions with several sound decoder suppliers and will report the brand of sound decoder we choose in the coming months. Needless to say, it will be filled with special Rapido features based on discussions with steam modellers about what you guys want to see.

Rapido Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson

CPR Royal Hudson H1e 2862 at Vancouver, BC in 1955
Stan Styles photo courtesy John Riddell collection.

The MSRP for the Royal Hudson is $599.95 (DC) and $699.95 (DC/DCC/Sound). That price will not increase, no matter what the CAD-USD exchange rate is at the time. Delivery is anticipated in the first half of 2017. We will have samples in mid-2016 and we will welcome your feedback and suggestions on how to improve them.

I know that 2017 is Canada's 150th birthday and it would be great to have the Royal Hudson out before July 1st, Dominion Day, of that year. However, this is our first Canadian steam engine and we have one shot to get it right. Better late than a lemon. So the Royal Hudson will come out when it is good and ready, but we don't anticipate having any trouble delivering it at some point in 2017.

Please click here or on the images below for more information on the Royal Hudson, and click here to download a full-colour brochure.

John Riddell has kindly crafted a brief history of the Royal Hudson. You can read that by clicking here.

Click here for more information on Icons of Canadian Steam. There is no order deadline yet. We'll let you know the order deadline when we have finished samples in 2016. We're excited about this project, even if it is tremendously daunting. I sincerely hope that we exceed your expectations for these beautiful models of Canada's historic steam locomotives.

Rapido Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson H1c

CPR Royal Hudson H1c with coal tender, Commonwealth trucks, and teardrop stack

Rapido Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson H1c

CPR Royal Hudson H1c with modified oil tender, Commonwealth trucks, and bathtub stack

Rapido Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson H1c

CPR Royal Hudson H1c with coal tender, Commonwealth trucks, and straight stack

Rapido Royal Train Royal Hudson H1d

CPR Royal Hudson H1d as used on the 1939 Royal Train

BCR Royal Hudson H1c

British Columbia Railway Royal Hudson #2860

Rapido Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson H1e

CPR Royal Hudson H1e with oil tender, Buckeye trucks, and straight stack

Rapido Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson Tender

CPR 12,000 Gallon Tender - Coal

N Scale FL9 Video

N Scale FL9 Video
(That's me standing on the layout in the foreground.)

N Scale FL9 - New Crazy Video

We're only three days away from the order deadline for the N scale FL9 locomotive. To make you an "informed shopper," I spent last Sunday at the office recording a somewhat absurd video. The premise: "What would it be like if I could actually be on the layout, in N scale?" Thankfully, the powers of Q (which I had just for the one day) made this possible. The result is an entertaining demonstration of the FL9 sound and motor features.

Please click here or on the image below to watch our new N scale FL9 video:

Rapido N Scale FL9

The N scale FL9 needs to be reserved with your dealer by THIS THURSDAY so they can get their orders to us on Friday. Production starts next week. Direct orders will be accepted until Friday.

Click here for more information or to order your N scale FL9.

N Scale Baggage Car - CB&Q

N Scale Baggage Car
Pre-production sample shown.

N Scale Order Deadlines

Speaking of N scale, Saturday October 31st brings order deadlines for two hot N scale products. Please make sure you reserve with your dealer or directly with us by the deadline! The trick-or-treaters can wait while you place your order.

Panorama Line Baggage Cars

The Panorama Line Baggage Car features incredible detail top, sides, bottom and ENDS! Yes, our model is the first ready-to-run baggage car with end doors. Check out the comparison of the normal and "doorful" car ends here:

N Scale Baggage Car - End Comparison

N Scale Baggage Car - Both Types of Ends
Pre-production sample shown.

  • 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
Full information can be found here, and a printable brochure to take to your dealer can be downloaded here. Please remember to reserve your baggage cars by the deadline. Delivery is expected spring 2016.

N Scale GMD-1

N Scale GMD-1 - 1400 Series
Pre-production sample shown.

You know, we don't get complaints any more that we never make anything in N scale...

The modern 1400-series N scale GMD-1 locomotives also need to be reserved by October 31st. These were rebuilt by CN in the 1980s and again in the late 1990s and were used in service until, oh, about two weeks ago. We're currently negotiating with CN to activate one to record the sounds. Failing that, we will speak to second-hand owners.

These locomotives feature new, 2000-gallon fuel tanks and two-axle Flexicoil trucks. You can read more or order direct by clicking here, and you can download a printable order form here. Please remember to reserve yours on time! Delivery of these locomotives is also expected spring 2016.

Rapido Moving

Rapido is moving!

Rapido is Moving

I hate moving.

The unthinkable has happened. We have outgrown our office and warehouse space in Markham, Ontario and we have to pack everything up and start afresh. New Dan was tired of sitting on Janet's desk and Thomas told us he no longer wants to work from the bathroom. So we're boxing up the office and moving...

200 feet away.

From later this month, our address will be:

Rapido Trains Inc.
500 Alden Road, Unit 21
Markham, Ontario
L3R 5H5 Canada

Please be patient if you've recently sent in something for repair. As you've no doubt experienced, moving is a major hassle and it takes a lot of time and effort to pack everything up and then to unpack everything and find a place for it. We're going to be a bit behind the ball for the next few weeks but we intend to be back up to full speed by the middle of next month.

I hate moving.

Rapido Mike McGrattan

Rapido Mike in 2013

Prayers for Mike

Mike McGrattan, otherwise known as Rapido Mike or Puddington, has just been diagnosed with bone cancer. Mike has been a core member of the Rapido team for over two years and is personally responsible for our increase in N scale output. He has led the steam project since its early days and organized both the Shuttlecraft LRC and the Ride the Rapido charter that got us to Montreal this weekend.

Behind the scenes, Mike has brought his extensive business and administration experience to the table and has been instrumental in helping us plan for Rapido's future. He's my confidant and I owe him a lot. When I am falling into panic mode about some aspect of Rapido that is not running as it should, Mike has been there to pull me up and calm me down. He is truly one of my best friends in the world.

Whatever your faith, I ask you to please keep Mike in your thoughts and prayers. Maybe God will listen if enough of us shout real loud. We pray that Mike has the strength to fight this latest setback and that he can continue to be there for his family and for us in good health.

Hang in there, big guy.

To avoid ending on a sad note, Mike tells me to tell you: "Make sure you take a moment to appreciate the people you live with, work with and model with. Just because they model N scale, they can't be all that bad."

Mike also made me promise that the Royal Hudson lives up to his standards because he fully intends on getting the first one in 2017. I intend to keep that promise.

Best regards,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.

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