The interest in the recently announced Royal Hudson and the entire Icons of Canadian Steam project has been overwhelming. Hundreds of Rapido fans have taken the time to contact us with a wide range of comments, questions and queries.
Rapido's own Mike McGrattan (still kicking!) has put together the following list of frequently-asked questions and answers.
Q: Will I be able to buy an H1c without the crowns (pre-1940)?
A: No, but we are looking at an additional part (the running board cover) being available in the pre-crown design. As soon as we figure out if this is possible and practical we'll announce it.
Q: Did you guys know the Southern RR ran a Royal Hudson? Will you add it to the list?
A: H1c 2839 did run excursions on the Southern for about a year and a half. We've decided to add it to the list in one of the paint schemes it wore when on the Southern. Stay tuned for more info on this new addition.
Q: Can I buy just a tender? I want to retrofit my existing Canadian Pacific steam engines.
A: Yes. Our web page has all three styles of tender listed for sale.
Q: Will Rapido's Royal Hudson have working steam?
A: This question has caused considerable thought and discussion here at Rapido HQ. None of us at Rapido is a huge fan of smoke generators in model steam engines but we do realize that there are some modellers who really want to see their Royal Hudson puffing away. We are working now to design the model so that it will accept an after-market smoke generator, but it will not include steam effects from the factory.
Q: Will the Hudson have a choice of pilots? There were two styles.
A: We have designed both styles of pilot. Right now we are considering whether we should make the models with one style and make the other an available part or if we should equip some models with one style and other models with the other style. More on this when we make a final decision.
Q: Can I get a totally undecorated Hudson?
A: Unfortunately, no. We are not offering an undecorated locomotive but we are offering unnumbered.
Q: Will there be a way to attach a second tender (like the modern BC Rail Royal Hudson)?
A: We are working on a design that will allow a second tender to be fitted. You will be able to remove the rear coupler on the first tender and install a drawbar connection, included with every BCR Royal Hudson. Please note that we are not tooling a 100% accurate second tender as the prototype second tender was from a D&H 4-8-4 Northern.
Q: When are you announcing the N scale Royal Hudson?
A: Sorry; even N scale Mike doesn't think we should go there right now. We have no plans for N scale steam. Hey! We're still just getting started in HO steam!
Q: We love your steam project but why haven't you announced (fill in any one of fifty locomotives we didn't choose)?
A: When you are trying to narrow down a field as broad and complex as Canadian steam locomotives you're never going to satisfy everyone. When we chose the Icons we looked at many factors including locomotive history, quantity, longevity, perception (by the railroad, by the public and by model railroaders), and available alternative models. Even after all that we did leave some great Canadian locomotives off the initial list. As we move through the Icons list who knows if we will be able to add some further down the line? Let's hope so!
Q: You are doing a Royal Hudson. So does this mean you're doing an RDC-4?
A: Um.... (Jason bangs head on desk. He really got that question when he first announced the LRC coach kit in 2003.)
We try and answer every question you send us about the Royal Hudson but we are still deep in the engineering and design phase of the project and sometimes we can't give a definitive answer. Before we start the tooling process, we plan to share images of the Royal Hudson designs on the RMWeb Rapido forum for feedback and corrections. Click here to visit the forum. Signing up just takes a minute and is free.