All-new Rapido Prime Movers product line coming in HO scale. N scale news too!
Rapido News Volume 78
©2016 Rapido Trains Inc.

Rapido Prime Movers
Introducing Prime Movers by Rapido
Introducing Prime Movers by Rapido

Ever since I started Rapido in 2003/2004, my goal has been to recreate the rail travel and railfan experience in miniature. This has meant museum-quality model trains that replicate the prototypes as accurately and with as much detail as possible. I've found an amazing team that shares these goals, and I'm proud of the incredible detail level in our model trains.

But that insane detail level comes with a price, and we want to see Rapido models on layouts of all budgets. To that end, it is my pleasure to introduce our new line of model trains that will pass the Three Foot Test but don't go too crazy on the detail.

Prime Movers by Rapido is not just a re-release of existing models with some of the bits left off; nor is it an attempt to squeeze more sales out of 20-year-old tooling by giving it a catchy new name. Prime Movers by Rapido is an all-new line of model trains featuring all-new tooling and new prototypes. Most importantly, Prime Movers by Rapido features

Wife-Approved Pricing!™

Many of the extra details are included in the box. If you want to super detail your model, you can go to town and the little bag of bits included with the model will give you a head start. If you want to take it out of the box and just let it run, all the power to you!

We will continue to make museum-quality models. But we're making these too.

Read on for our first Prime Movers by Rapido release...
Rapido Dash 8-40CM
Rapido's new Prime Movers Dash 8-40CM
Hand-painted pre-production sample shown.
New! Prime Movers by Rapido HO Scale Dash 8-40CM

Let's face it. A lot of today's big, modern diesels look very similar. There are a handful of GE designs and a handful of EMD designs. Combine that with mile-long unit trains and you have a recipe for same-old, same-old.

Then you're out railfanning and the next train is led by a pair of these beauties. The sound you hear above the thrum of the GE 7FDL 4000-horsepower prime movers is the collective sigh of contentment from all your fellow railfans on the bridge. The CN and BCR Dash 8-40CM locomotives are, quite simply, gorgeous. And they are the first release in our Prime Movers by Rapido product line. Read on or click here to skip straight to the ordering page!
Rapido Dash 8
Our Dash 8 sample leads our 1400-series GMD-1 sample. Nice!
Hand-painted pre-production samples shown.
The Dash 8-40CM (also known as the "CN Dash 8" - nobody calls it the C40-8M) was delivered to CN and BCR between 1990 and 1993. CN received 30 units (2400-2429) in 1990, classified EF-640a (General Electric, Freight, 6 Axles, 4000 HP, batch a). This was followed by a further 25 units (2430-2454) in 1992, classified EF-640b. The second batch was delivered in the new (at the time) CN North America scheme.

BC Rail received 22 units (4601-4622) in 1990, followed by four more (4623-26) in 1993. These were transferred to CN following the de facto purchase of BCR in 2004. The Dash 8s were the first new GE diesels delivered to a mainline railroad in Canada since CN 44-tonner #5 entered service in 1956!
Draper Taper
The "Draper Taper" on the Dash 8.
Photo by Dan Darnell.
The Dash 8 was the last locomotive delivered with CN's famous "Draper Taper." CN's Assistant Chief of Motive Power, William L. Draper, designed the notch behind the cab to allow for better reverse visibility on full-width cowl units.

Draper Tapers were introduced with the Bombardier HR-616 in 1982 and were used on the SD50F, SD60F and the Dash 8. They were also used on CP's "Red Barn" SD40-2F. Unlike American cowl units (such as the F45), CN chose a cowl design for mechanical and operational rather than cosmetic reasons.

Draper retired after delivery of the Dash 8s. Following his retirement, CN returned to more "off the shelf" locomotive designs, starting with the first Dash 9 order in 1994.
BCR Dash 8 Rapido
BCR 4609. Photo courtesy Brendan Frisina.
Amazingly, all 81 Dash 8s are still in service. Most are still in their original paint schemes but several have been repainted into the newer CN.CA livery. The Dash 8 locomotives can be seen all over North America.
CN Dash 8
You model UP? You need a CN Dash 8.
Photos by Lord Alfred Tennyson.

Rapido CN Dash 8
You model BNSF? You need a CN Dash 8.
Photo by Gomez Garcia.
Not yet convinced? Click here for a shot of a Dash 8 leading a UP stack train at Cajon Pass, and click here for a shot of a Dash 8 leading a CSX train in New York, and click here for a shot of Dash 8 trailing on a Norfolk Southern freight in Pennsylvania. (Coincidentally all three photos are of BCR units.) This kind of stuff isn't so rare - so now you have no excuse! All you modern American freight guys who hang out on internet forums can finally order some Rapido products!
Rapido Dash 8
Batteries? Nope. Decoder access!
Model Features 

As you can see in the photo above, there is an access door on the bottom of the fuel tank. On DC models, there is a dummy plug above the access door. To add a silent DCC decoder, just pop open the door, remove the dummy plug, and add the decoder.

The model is also available with a four-function sound decoder with GE sounds installed at the factory.

The Prime Movers by Rapido Dash 8-40CM incorporates the following features: 
  • Available in DC (silent) or DC/DCC/Sound
  • Decoder (DCC) or 21-pin dummy plug (DC) accessible from the bottom of the fuel tank
  • Several road numbers per paint scheme
  • Door and pilot handrails installed at the factory
  • Grab irons, sun shades, lift bars, windshield wipers included in the box
  • Drill starter holes included for most grab irons
  • Working front headlights, rear headlights and number boards
  • Scaled from original blueprints - it's the correct length!
  • Accurate Dofasco trucks
  • With or without battery boxes and nose bells, according to prototype
  • Same smooth motor and drive system as our regular models
  • Metal Macdonald-Cartier couplers at the correct height
  • 18" minimum radius
Rapido Dash 8
A pair of Dash 8s at Bayview shortly after delivery.
Photo by Dan Darnell.
The Prime Movers by Rapido Dash 8-40CM MSRP is: 
  • Canada: $174.95 (DC), $264.95 (DC/DCC/Sound)
  • USA: $159.95 (DC), $249.95 (DC/DCC/Sound)

The order deadline is Tuesday August 2nd. At the height of summer. When most model railroaders are golfing. Oh well. You gotta do what you gotta do...

Dealers take note that the Prime Movers by Rapido models come with a full wholesale discount.

Click here for more information or to order direct.

Rapido N Baggage Cars
Our new N scale baggage car. Anyone want it?
Pre-production samples shown.
N Scale Baggage Cars - Anyone?

One of the biggest complaints we get from people is "you don't make enough N scale." The trouble we're having is that, with the exception of New Haven, B&M and LIRR modelers, nobody seems to be ordering our N scale models!

(Thanks again to the New Haven, B&M and LIRR guys, by the way. The N scale FL9 and Osgood Bradley coaches are both in production at our factory and we expect delivery in May.)

You know we take an "honesty is the best policy" approach when communicating with our customers. We announced the N scale Panorama Line Baggage-Express at the National Train Show in August. Since then, we've almost had a lot of orders. By "almost" I mean "not remotely."

We think these cars are pretty cool (well we would, wouldn't we?) They are the first model ever done of this National Steel Car prototype and I'm pretty sure they are the first N scale baggage car available with optional end doors. The detail is top notch, even if the samples have rather chunky roof lines (we're fixing that).

But the truth is we sold more HO scale baggage cars painted in Canadian National's 1954 colours than our current orders for all 15 paint schemes of the N scale baggage cars COMBINED.
Rapido Panorama Line
What pretty stripes! Surely you would like to own a model that has them!
Pre-production sample shown.
We've already tooled the N scale baggage car, so we're committed to making these models and we aren't cancelling them. But we can't make them until our orders meet the minimum production requirements of our factory. Right now they meet the minimum production requirements for some guy named Doug hand-painting them in his garage.

Click here to visit the N scale baggage car web site, and click here to download a PDF sales brochure and checklist to take to your store. If you like our Panorama Line passenger cars (and we've sold a ton of them so there must be some people out there who like them), please encourage your friends to order these baggage cars.

The order deadline is April 15th, but realistically you can order them until we have enough orders to make them. Hopefully that will happen in my lifetime...
Rapido RDC 6133
Baby it's cold outside! RDC 6133 on a freight train through Halton.
Photo courtesy Adam Wills.
RDC Update - Real and HO Scale

We have great news about the RDC, both real and model.

Firstly, our real RDC, 6133, has made it to Toronto! It actually rolled past the back door of our office, which was incredible! Please click here or on the image below to watch a short (50 second) video of 6133 and train passing by Rapido's Intergalactic Headquarters.
Rapido RDC YouTube
Click here for more information about our preserved RDC.

In the last issue of Rapido News I mentioned that several HO scale RDC model paint schemes were at risk of not being produced. I'm pleased to say that all but two are safe. The two paint schemes still at risk are PGE and MBTA.
The very attractive Pacific Great Eastern RDC-1. Love the nose fluting!
Peter Cox photo courtesy Mark Perry.

MBTA operated their RDCs on their own and as cab cars.
Anyone modeling the Boston area needs at least one, especially if you model the 1840s.
Photo courtesy Gerry Putz.
We've created a special web page for you to order PGE or MBTA RDCs. We would really hate to cancel these schemes. If we can get enough orders in the next few weeks, we can go ahead and make them. Click here to order your PGE or MBTA RDC.
PGE RDC Rapido
Who wouldn't want to model a scene as gorgeous as this?
To do so, you need to order at least two PGE RDC-1 models...
Peter Cox photo courtesy Mark Perry.
The factory informs us that they won't be able to start production until the middle of next month, so if you missed the order deadline for the RDCs you can still place an order for the next few weeks, either direct or with your train store.

We've reactivated the RDC shopping carts for the time being and will take them down again in early April without advanced notice. So if you are still on the fence about the RDC, now is the time to take the plunge. Click here to order your RDC.
B_O FA-2 Rapido
First test shot of the B&O FA-2. Note the nose louvers. The production model will have an
etched-metal nose herald and the proper "dotted" typeface in the number boards.
Model hand-painted and lettered by Dan Darnell.
More HO FA-2 Samples

Dan Darnell has been busy painting the HO scale FA-2 locomotive samples that arrived back in January. It's wonderful having him here in the office as the photos really give you an idea of what the finished model will look like. Usually we get one painted sample and that's it - the rest of the photos are of undecorated samples. Click on any FA-2 photo for a larger version.
FA-2 LV Rapido
Here's a Lehigh Valley FPA-2 sample, again hand-painted by Dan. Note the vertical battery
box louvers, the mileage recorder, the ATS (Automatic Train Stop) shoe, the roof steam
generator panel, and - most importantly - the large combination fuel and water tank.
Railroad historians will tell you that LV never owned the FPA-2. Hmmm. It looks like an FPA-2.
It acts like an FPA-2. It sounds like an FPA-2. We'll call it an FPA-2.
FA-2 Roof Rapido
Here's the roof of the CP version. Note the etched-metal fan cover and the
super-detailed winterization hatches.
We've got some competitors' FA-2 models kicking around the office. Have a look at the comparison photos below to see why your layout needs some Rapido FA-2s. The photos really do speak for themselves, especially when you consider that our models are our first, unfinished test samples with no modifications done to them, and we're comparing them to factory-finished production models bought in a shop. We still have to fix some of the tooling and add rivets and other details to our locomotives.
Most importantly, our nose was scanned from the prototype. The competitors' models were designed using published drawings in railfan books. You can see immediately that they are different, and we know for certain that our nose is correct. The 3D scan doesn't make stuff up. The real FA-2/FPA-2 nose has quite sharply-angled corners. This is entirely missing in the competition's models.
CPR FA-2 NYC Rapido
Here's a comparison between our CP FA-2 and a competitor's NYC FA-2. Note the CP unit has winterization hatches, Farr grilles, the unique CP fuel tank, and other road-specific details.
Click on the photo to see a larger version.
PRR FA-2 Rapido
We're saving the most obvious for last. Our model is in front. The vertical battery box louvers
and pilot on our model are true to the PRR prototype, but these accurate details are
overshadowed by our awesome Trainphone antenna. Our PRR model is a hand-painted
sample. Before the Brunswick Green police start casting aspersions on the internet, note
that we will get the colors and paint finish approved by the PRRT&HS
before we go into production.
The FA-2 and FPA-2 are available to order in the following paint schemes:

  • Baltimore & Ohio
  • Canadian National
  • Canadian Pacific
  • Erie
  • Lehigh Valley
  • New York Central
  • Pennsylvania
  • Baltimore & Ohio
  • Canadian Pacific
  • Great Northern
  • Lehigh Valley

Click here to order yours. The deadline is May 24th. I'll have more updates for you in future newsletters.  

Rapido NP Boxcar
3D rendering of our NP 10000-Series DS Boxcar
The psychedelic patterns in the screen capture cost extra.
HO Scale NP Boxcar Update

We're pleased to inform you that our NP 10000-Series Double-Sheathed Boxcar has finally entered the tooling workshop! Bill has been so busy with steamy things lately that he was not able to finish off the designs with our engineers. They are finally ready and the model is in tooling. We'll be announcing a firm order deadline when we have the first test shots.

Bill and our engineers had to be quite ingenious to design the underframe of the NP boxcar. The center sill is very prominent and visible from track side, but to have the correct brake rigging meant that we could not use traditional boxcar model techniques. Their solution, visible below, is quite elegant.
Rapido NP Boxcar
3D rendering of our NP 10000-Series DS Boxcar
Check out all of the amazing detail. Seriously, this car will look great when it derails...
The NP Boxcar is our second 100% American freight car, and it is available from your dealer in singles or in four-packs. The model features accurate dimensions, correct curved roof profile, full underbody details including correct center sill profile, and gorgeous U-channel trucks with in-line brake shoes.
NP Boxcar
3D rendering of our NP 10000-Series DS Boxcar
Here you can see the correct roof profile on our model.
The MSRP is $49.95 per car or $199.80 per four-pack. The car is available in a variety of paint schemes: NP, NP, NP, NP, NP and Undecorated. The huge variety of paint schemes explains why these cars have a slightly higher MSRP than you would normally expect with a boxcar.

Dealers please note that full wholesale discount applies.

Click here to learn more about the model or to order direct.
Southern 2839
CPR 2839 stars as Southern 2839 in Coal Miner's Daughter, a moving
biographical film about the country-singing steam locomotive, Hillbilly Hudson.
The people on the platform are sad because 2839's visit will be far too short.
New F40 and Royal Hudson #s
Do to popular demand, we've added some new item numbers to previously-announced HO scale products. You can order these from your dealer or direct.

VIA F40PH-2D Renaissance Rebuilds
Now you can order unnumbered locomotives.
82013 (DC) - 82513 (DC/DCC/Sound)
Click here to order.

Southern 2839
Icons of Canadian Steam Royal Hudson
Southern Railway #2839
600014 (DC) - 600514 (DC/DCC/Sound)
Click here to order.
Rapido office
Rapido's New Intergalactic Headquarters. Mmmmm.... Turbo.
Rapido's New Office
We've recently moved to a new Intergalactic Headquarters in Markham, Ontario. Our old unit was so small that we literally had two or three people working in each office. Seeing as we only have seven employees here that tells you something. And when we moved to the old unit in 2013 we thought it would last us a decade...

We've certainly continued the train theme right through the building. Check out our reception area:
Rapido Office
I'm detecting a trend...
In the photo above, Dan and John Burns admire John's handiwork. I've known John for many years. He's an accomplished model railroader and an excellent contractor. He built our entire reception area, including the "train car effect" windows and door. It was not easy to incorporate a real VIA/CN Dutch door into a normal steel-studs-and-drywall office...

John works in the Greater Toronto Area and you can hire him to do anything you need done around the house or office, from fixing a hole in the wall to a top-to-bottom bathroom reno. He can also build train rooms and layout rooms including benchwork, lighting, backdrops, fascias, etc.

If you want to hire John, give him a shout at
The last word...
Rapido Mike's health has taken a turn for the worse lately. Please keep him in your prayers. His spirits have been pretty low.

Despite the challenges, he and his son, Sam, have managed to start, build and almost finish an amazing N scale model railroad. They plan to exhibit Puddington Valley at the Lindsay Train Show in two weeks' time. Check out the photo below. The layout really is fantastic.
Puddington Valley
The new paper mill area of Mike's layout. Heck, the whole layout is new!
It's my birthday today so now that I've spent the whole day working on this newsletter I intend to go home and celebrate by taking Boaz to goalie practice.

When you're in the thick of parenting, you'll do anything for a few minutes of peace. Then when your kids have grown up, you wish you could have appreciated parenthood better when you were younger. Here's a note from younger me to older me: being a parent is utterly exhausting. In your wistful, rose-coloured recollection you've forgotten about all the worry, the mess, the headaches, the mess, the accidents, the mess, the taxi service, the mess, the not having five minutes to yourself until 9:30 at night, the mess. Go play with your grandkids, and enjoy the fact that someone else has to clean up the mess...
Shrons on VIA
Daddy had his hands full on board The Canadian last month.
Mummy flew. 
I'll be in touch next month from China. The goal of the trip - apart from doing some awesome Chinese karaoke - is to build a relationship with a new factory. Now that we're making models for North America and the UK, we need another production facility. Ours is too small. I'll also be working on the designs of three new projects (not yet announced!), and making sure that the Royal Hudson design is progressing as planned. I'll let you know how it all goes.

Best regards,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.
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