HO and N scale product updates from your neighbourhood train nuts.
Rapido News Volume 77
©2016 Rapido Trains Inc.

Dear Rapido customer,
In this edition of Rapido News we have some enticing audio-visual goodies as well as several project updates.
  • HO scale RDC Deadline - March 7th
    • New video showing sounds and lights
    • Some paint schemes at risk of cancellation
    • Master Class now online
    • Our real RDC #6133 - Restoration update
Rapido RDC
RDC by Rapido Trains Inc.
HO scale RDC deadline - March 7th

What started as an innocent "wouldn't it be nice to have an RDC with a full interior?" a couple of years ago is now reaching its ultimate conclusion. It's time to reserve your fleet of the most of accurate and advanced RDC models ever produced.

Please click here for full product information and to order direct.
Rapido New Haven RDC
Pre-production sample of our New Haven RDC-1.
Click on the images below to download a printable information booklet PDF about the RDC with all paint scheme and product number information. There is an American/Rest of World version and a Canadian version (eh?). You can check off the models you want and bring it to your hobby shop.

The MSRP is $325 (DC/DCC/Sound) and $225 (DC/Silent). Judging by the orders so far, almost everyone wants sound. I can't say I blame you!
American RDC booklet
Canadian RDC Booklet

New RDC video showing sounds and lights

We finally have a working sample of our RDC with sound and lights to show off, and we had a lot of fun making this video for you.

If you know of anyone who has insisted that their 15-year-old RDC models are "good enough," please share this video with them. The Cox F7 was "good enough" once...
Click here or on the image below to watch our RDC video. The factory accidentally installed Phase 1 doors on the ends of the Phase 2 body and we didn't notice until after we shot the video! We'll fix that for production.

Big thanks are in order.

Before showing you this video I have to shout out to My Two Dans. The first lighting circuit board samples from the factory had some tracing flaws on them and because it was Chinese New Year, we couldn't get new ones in time for the video. Dan Garcia spent a week basically hand-wiring the circuit board to get around the flaws, and he did a spectacular job.

Dan Darnell painted the maroon using his airbrush and then used decals to do all of the lettering and numbering. Just look at those end stripes! He is a pro. Thanks to both Rapido Dans for all of their hard work. Having decorated shells and working lighting gives you a much better idea of how awesome the production models of our RDC will be.
Rapido RDC Video
Some RDC paint schemes at risk of cancellation

Our orders so far for the RDC are higher than where we thought they would be, so we're very happy with the response. However, the orders are skewed to specific paint schemes. Some paint schemes have very low orders. If we don't receive pre-orders totalling 300 of a paint scheme, we may have to cancel it. 
Amtrak RDC
Pre-production sample of our Amtrak RDC-1
Here are the paint schemes at risk of cancellation:
  • PGE
  • Amtrak
  • B&M (McGinnis)
  • CNJ
  • MBTA
  • PRSL
If any of these schemes is cancelled, we will let you know in our newsletter and provide an extra two weeks to change your order to an unlettered or other version. The best way to ensure that your scheme is not cancelled is to reserve it with us or with your dealer before the deadline. Click here for the RDC order page.

I'd say about half of all American model train dealers have STILL never heard of us, so if you could let your dealer know we exist we would appreciate it! And please ask them to order some RDCs while you're at it!
Rapido SP RDC
Pre-production sample of our SP RDC-1
RDC Master Class now online

John Riddell and Bill Schneider have put together a brief history and spotting guide for the RDC. Click here or on the image below to read it. Please send us any errors you find and we'll keep the Master Class updated.
RDC Master Class
Please remember that order deadline: March 7th. 

The MSRP is $325 (DC/DCC/Sound) and $225 (DC/Silent). Please click here to visit our RDC page for more information or to order direct.
RDC 6133
Rapido's RDC with temporary Rapido logos.
The final ones will just be blue.
Our real RDC #6133 - Restoration update

We've got quite a bit of news on the 1:1 scale RDC we saved, VIA Rail Canada #6133 (ex-CPR, exx-DAR #9058). Most importantly, CN has approved 6133 for shipping on its own wheels! Chris Fox and I went to Moncton in early February and worked our rear ends off (Chris more than me, I don't mind telling you), but even with the help of Luc Doiron we could not finish in the time we had. So Chris returned to Moncton a week later, and he was joined by Jon Calon who flew in from Calgary at the last minute. Jon is an RDC fan who models the Esquimalt & Nanaimo in HO scale, where 6133 spent about 20 years of its operating life. You can visit Jon's amazing double-deck layout here.

Jon and Chris (helped again by Luc) worked hard on the RDC for a further few days and finally managed to get it finished up and ready to move. Most of the work was done outside in the cold. It was about 20 below zero. And both Chris and Jon missed Valentine's Day to work on 6133. I understand that their respective wives, Shana and Michaelea, are in line for canonization.
Under Rapido RDC
Chris Fox connects a new main air reservoir in -20 degree weather.
Photo taken by Jon Calon, also in -20 degree weather.
The RDC still has a long way to go. We're waiting for CN to move 6133 from Moncton on a freight train. Despite being set up in their database (look up RPDX6133 if you have access) we have not yet been invoiced for the move, so 6133 is stuck in the yard. Once it is in Toronto and the weather improves, we're going to get started on removing the graffiti from the left side. It's a mess.

We have so far raised just over $32,000 in contributions from our fellow RDC fans and preservationists. Thank you again to everyone who has contributed. Every little bit helps. We're $13,000 short of our initial fundraising goal, so if you are able to contribute please click here to be a part of our restoration efforts.

You can learn all about our efforts to save 6133 and read more detailed updates on our 6133 web page. Click here to go there.
Rapido FA-2
First pre-production sample of the HO scale FA-2!
HO scale FA-2/FPA-2 update

We're over the moon with our first FA-2 and FPA-2 samples. The model above is the FIRST TEST SHOT. Looks pretty good, eh? It doesn't yet have rivets, and we forgot to install the interior (look carefully and you can see through to the grilles on the other side) but I have to say for a first sample it looks awesome.

Dan Darnell, one of Rapido's new recruits (but a veteran in the Canadian model railroad scene) is a very talented custom painter. He has been painting up our latest samples for us as it's far nicer than showing you an unpainted plastic model. 
Rapido Pennsy FA-2
Just look at that Trainphone antenna! It is AWESOME!
We've also received samples of the CPR and B&O FA-2, and the LV FPA-2. Dan will paint a couple of those up and then we'll share photos with you here and on our Facebook page. As you can see from these early test shots, this is not a bare-bones FA-2 model like the ones we have all been used to. Separate grab irons were a big deal in 1992, but you need a lot more to make a museum-quality model in 2016.

The available paint schemes are:

  • Baltimore & Ohio
  • Canadian National
  • Canadian Pacific
  • Erie
  • Lehigh Valley
  • New York Central
  • Pennsylvania
  • Baltimore & Ohio
  • Canadian Pacific
  • Great Northern
  • Lehigh Valley
The FA-2 and FPA-2 order deadline has now been set for May 24th, 2016. The MSRP is $325 (DC/DCC/Sound) and $225 (DC/Silent). Please click here for more information or to order direct.
Rapido FP9
Two of our new FP9A locomotives. Note the different grilles on 1410.
Now Shipping: FP9A and RailCrew

This week was one of those "let's finally get some of this stuff delivered" weeks. The RailCrew Uncouplers and Switch Stands were sent to stores and distributors, and we'll be sending direct orders out early next week. Same goes for the VIA and CPR FP9A locomotives which are shown above.
Rapido Uncoupler
Click here or on the image above to watch our introductory RailCrew video.

The RailCrew Switch Machines are still being reworked at the factory to increase the power of the magnets. We expect those later in the year. Once RailCrew is in stock, we intend to keep it in stock. We currently have inventory of the Uncouplers and Switch Stands so it is never too late to order.

You can read more about RailCrew by clicking here. Ask for it at your local train store.
Rapido Model
Could this be our new locomotive?
All-new product line - announcement on March 17th

St. Patrick's Day may be an Irish national holiday known for parades, green clothing, a good party, and great beer. Up here in Canada it is also known as Product Announcement Day. Everyone gets the day off except for people who work with products. All of the large model train manufacturers announce new products on St. Patrick's Day, and Rapido is no exception. Like, top o' the mornin' to ya, eh?

We're not just announcing a new locomotive (which we are), but we are announcing a whole new line of products. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page and this newsletter as those are the first places you'll find the news. Dan is already painting up our first pre-production samples...
Rapido N FL9
N Scale FL9 Locomotive.
This is a screen grab from our silly FL9 movie, which can be viewed here.
N scale FL9 update

The calls have been getting crankier and crankier.... "Where is my FL9 already????"

The N scale FL9 locomotives are in production now. I have instructed the factory not to rush this, and I have asked them to send us samples at every stage of production. We just received a final chassis sample with the circuit board for testing, and we've approved them both.

We've not had the best of luck with N scale models. It seems that every time we bring out an N scale model, there is one niggly detail that we don't get right. I don't want to risk having this happen again, so I am not pushing the factory to deliver these quickly. We will also be sending some production samples to be tested by N scale experts in our industry before delivery.

You can read more about the FL9 here. You can watch our silly FL9 movie here. The order deadline has passed but your dealer may still have some available. We expect delivery in late spring but... we really aren't rushing it.
Ride the Rapido
First-class service aboard The Rapido.
Click here to watch the video.
"Ride the Rapido" documentary video
Many of you will recall that we chartered our own "Rapido" train (well, part of one!) to travel to Montreal for our Icons of Canadian Steam product launch back in the fall.

Filmmaker Marc Winegust has made a beautiful documentary about our trip. If you didn't get the chance to join us, this is an opportunity to get a feel for what it was like to ride a dome car through southern Ontario and Quebec with an enthusiastic group of model railroaders and railfans.

Please click here or on the image above to watch the video. It's much better done than most of our videos, as, unlike me, Marc knows what he is doing!
Rapido Mugs T-Shirts
A selection of items in our Swag Store
Rapido T-Shirts, Mugs and Locomotives
Our Swag Store is up and running and is proving a hit. We have T-shirts, passenger car-themed "Chuggamugs," books, an exclusive sound-equipped FPA-4, and other goodies for sale. Please click here to visit our Swag Store. Worldwide shipping is free on T-shirts.

We also have a FREE Rapido T-shirt offer to American Rapido customers. We are packing up the first batch of these T-shirts next week and sending them out to all of our American Ambassadors of Rapido (AAR). We have to send them to Bill in Connecticut first, and then he (well, his daughter, Laura) will send them out to individual Ambassadors. So it will take another couple of weeks before you receive your shirt.

If you would like more information or if you would like to sign up for our free AAR program, please click here.
N Gauge Pendolino
Wow! That is a Rapido model!
Photo by Ben Ando.
N Gauge Pendolino from Rapido!
You know, we don't just make American and Canadian models! Have a look at that gorgeous photo above. It is one of the most complex models we have ever produced, and we're darn proud of it.

That space-age model, my friends, is the second pre-production sample of the N gauge (1:148) Pendolino we're making with Revolution Trains in the UK and with full support of Virgin Trains, the operator of the real Pendolino.

The Pendolino would make an excellent visitor to any N scale layout. It runs on regular North American N scale track. If you are located outside Europe, you can order it directly from us by clicking here. If you are in Europe, you can order directly from Revolution Trains. You can visit their web site by clicking here.

To guarantee delivery, Rapido orders must be received by the end of March. Click here to order.
A final word...
We received a heartfelt email from a young customer, Josh, in Terrace, British Columbia. He is a member of the Skeena Valley Model Railroad Association and his friend and fellow member, Rene, has cancer and is wheelchair bound. Josh asked us to shout out to Rene. So this next bit is for you, Rene. Stay strong!
Rapido Shout Out

That's it for another edition of Rapido News. Thank you to all seven of you still reading. It's really appreciated!

And remember, if you are located in the United States, please tell your friends and the people at the local hobby shop that we exist.

I'll be in touch on the 17th!

Best regards,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.
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