News from your friendly neighbourhood Rapidoman
Rapido News Volume 80
©2016 Rapido Trains Inc.

Dear Rapido customer,
Summer is nearly here! Traditional summer activities of travel and outdoor stuff create a lot of greenhouse gases and are thus bad for the environment. We at Rapido urge you to do your part to help stop climate change: stay home and play with your trains until October! It is a proven scientific fact that air conditioning used to cool off your layout room or workshop does less harm to the environment than industrial fossil fuel extraction.

In this issue of Rapido News:
Mike McGrattan
Mike McGrattan 1962-2016
Rapido Mike McGrattan RIP

If you follow us on Facebook you will have heard that our own Mike McGrattan lost his battle with cancer last month. The last few weeks have been very difficult for the Rapido team and of course for Mike's family. He leaves his wife, Margaret, and his son, Sam, age 12. At the bottom of this email you can read the eulogy I gave for Mike at his memorial service earlier this month.

Mike has been a vital member of our team since 2013. Rapido is not just a company; we're a family. And we've lost one of our family.

Kanto Subdivision
Foreign power hauls Littl' Puddy on
Mike and Sam's Kanto Subdivision layout

Mike was an accomplished N scale modeller and was very well loved and respected on The Railwire forum under the name of "Puddington." His Puddington Valley line has had many iterations over the years, most recently in the Kanto Sub layout that he and his son built. After receiving his cancer diagnosis, Mike and Sam worked intensively and finished a gorgeous layout in only six months.

A few years ago one of Mike's freight cars, Littl' Puddy, travelled around the world and operated on N scale layouts from here to Japan and everywhere in between. You could say that Mike's modelling got around... Click here to read Mike's 2013 blog entry about Littl' Puddy.

Puddington Valley Gondola
Mike McGrattan Memorial Gondola
To commemorate Mike's contribution to our great hobby and to help his family out, we are now taking reservations for a Mike McGrattan Memorial N Scale Gondola. Jeff Arnold at Prairie Shadows has generously donated the use of his 52'6" Canadian gondola tooling.

100% of the money raised from sale of the gondola will be put into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for Mike's son, Sam. When he goes to college, those funds plus interest will be given to him to help fund his education.

The price of the N scale gondola is $35 plus shipping. If we can sell 500 gondolas that means Sam's RESP will have a starting value of $17,500. There are two numbers available.

Please click here to order yours if you live in Canada. Click here to order yours if you live in the United States or anywhere else. Your card will be charged now and the gons will be delivered around the end of the year. You can also order the gons through Prairie Shadows directly.

In case you want to share the link, the information page about the gon can be found here.
Rapido Teaser
Here's a tiny detail from our new ironing board model.
New Product Launch on YouTube 

We've spent the last four months working on a revolutionary new HO scale project. This model will boldly go where no Rapido model has gone before. It may be a new venture for us, but I can honestly say that I have not been as excited about any project since the TurboTrain back in 2007.

For this announcement, we are doing something different. Rather than send out an email, update our Facebook page or use any of the other usual tools, we will be launching the new product via our YouTube channel.

To ensure you don't miss this announcement, click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Alternatively you can watch our YouTube channel preview video by clicking on the image below. And then you can subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Subscribe to Rapido
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and see more poultry!
Rapido Open House
It's Rapido's first dealer open house!
Rapido Dealer Open House 

Next Thursday June 23rd is our first dealer open house. If you are a model train dealer, you are invited to join us for an exclusive afternoon with the Rapido team. There will be new product announcements, head office tours, product discounts, and a barbecue. You can drop in any time between noon and 9 p.m. Dinner and drinks will be served around 6 p.m.

Please RSVP by emailing us before next Monday, June 20th. This open house is only open to dealers, even though some of you guys buy more Rapido products than the dealers do! Depending on how it goes, we may do a public open house later in the year.
N Scale FL9
The N Scale FL9 locomotives have arrived!
Nice packaging, eh?
Latest Deliveries - New Haven!

This spring/summer is all about New Haven. The N scale FL9 locomotives have arrived and have been inspected and tested. They are being shipped to distributors today, so you will get yours soon.

As this is our first N scale American locomotive, we have made a handful of extras. If your dealer is sold out, tell him that he can order more. Note that the only paint schemes that have unnumbered engines are Conrail (blue/yellow) and Amtrak. If you ordered an unnumbered FL9 in another scheme, we have made extra numbered ones. Please tell your dealer which numbered one you would like. Sorry for the hassle, but the factory can't make only one unnumbered engine for a paint scheme. We are phasing out unnumbered locomotives as very few people order them.

Next week the N scale New Haven and B&M Osgood Bradley Coaches are arriving.

In early August, the HO scale New Haven 8600 coaches are arriving.

New Haven modellers: we offer our deep and heartfelt sympathies to your wallets.
Royal Hudson
Almost finished design for the HO scale Royal Hudson
HO Scale Royal Hudson Update

Bill reports that the development of the CPR Royal Hudson, the first release in our Icons of Canadian Steam program, has been progressing well. We're at a point where almost all of the major design work is done with just a few of the smaller details to finalize.  Here are a few of the latest CAD images, all of which are still subject to change. The model will be loaded with correct details.

You can reserve yours now by clicking here. You have plenty of time: we are not closing the order desk until you've seen our model in action.

Rapido Royal Hudson
This down-on view shows the full loco with later smokebox-mounted number board
(which will be lit on the model), "Bathtub" style stack and rounded front pilot.

CPR Royal Hudson Stack
Here we can see the optional straight stack and behind it the top feed check valve for
the Elesco feedwater heater. That odd offset on the right side handrail is the
front-end throttle linkage.

Royal Hudson
The area below the cab is full of details! Note the trailing truck booster and piping
(optional parts are applied to the appropriate models), ash pan details for coal-fired
locos and so much more!

Rapido Royal Hudson
Oil-fired locos will have their own unique firebox details.

CPR Royal Hudson
Our models will include full piping details even when they are mostly hidden!
Note the cooling coils, feedwater heater pump and plumbing and booster piping,
nearly all hidden behind the walkway skirting!
Note too the sandpipes and full brake rigging.

CPR Tender
The tenders also show the same level of detail. Here we can see the Commonwealth
cast steel underframe with steam lines and brake piping, optional Commonwealth trucks
(still undergoing revision!) and hanging rerailers.

CPR Tender
A top view of the coal tender with rear deck fairings. Note that the smaller walkway
textures and coal load textures have still to be rendered.

CPR Tender
A similar view of the coal tender converted for oil firing, this one fitted with rear deck
handrails and optional Buckeye trucks. We will also be offering a correct tender for those
locos that were built as oil-fired which includes a smaller oil bunker and does not have
the stoker access door that can be seen at the front left. We're still waiting for updated
drawings on that one!.
Are you drooling yet? You can also order the Southern version as well as separate tenders.

Click here to reserve your Royal Hudson today.
Rapido Diesels
More time to order...
Order Deadlines Extended

Our factory is up to its eyeballs in 8600s, RailCrew products and RDCs. Production will also be starting fairly soon on the FA-2s and GMD-1s. (You can still order the FA-2s and GMD-1s by contacting your dealer or us as we haven't sent the final numbers to the factory yet.)

There is no way they can start production of the new Amtrak F40s, VIA F40s, Amtrak NPCUs, and Dash-8 locomotives before the fall.

So we are extending the order deadline for the F40 variations and the Dash-8s to September 26th. Please reserve your Rapido models by the new order deadline.
Rapido FP7
Nothing to see here. Move along, now.

OK - we're in a bind here. We've tooled up two versions of a brand-new HO scale locomotive that are 100% accurate for Canadian Pacific and Ontario Northland, but let's face it: there has been too much CP stuff released lately.

First we delivered the FP9As, then Bowser delivered their awesome SD40-2, and next we're delivering the FA-2 and FPA-2. We have a CP freight announcement coming next week! That is stretching CP modellers' budgets too far.

So we're letting you know that we have tooled a brand-new locomotive for Canadian Pacific and Ontario Northland, but we're not actually announcing it yet.

Why are we telling you this now? Well, let's just say we're staking a claim. Should another manufacturer decide to announce a "sort of" or "accurate if you squint" version of our new model in the coming weeks or months, you can rest assured that we are doing it properly.

Full details to follow shortly.
Big Bang Theory Rapido
We gotta get on this show.
The Rapido Big Bang Theory Combobulation

We're all huge fans of The Big Bang Theory here at Rapido. Let's face it, we're all nerds. Even Janet. We count rivets on choo-choos all day, I have a full-size train in my basement, and the prevalence of Starfleet uniforms in our videos is a bit shocking.

We've been sending letters, posters and live animals to the Big Bang Theory production team for years, and one time we even sent Dan in a box via UPS. We have a full-time mailbox watcher who sits by the mailbox 24 hours a day in the anticipation of a reply. Nothing yet, but we're sure it's coming soon. So now we're hiring a second mailbox watcher in case the first one falls asleep.

Because we know that most of the executives at CBS are closet model railroaders, we're appealing to you, Mr. or Ms. CBS Executive: we'll gladly send you free model trains to replace the same tired train set model you've used over and over again on the show. We'll send you free 100% Nerd T-shirts because nobody in Los Angeles makes T-shirts. We'll also invite you to come film your show in our office or in the full-size train my basement... for FREE! Hey - the new Star Trek series is filming here in Toronto so you can sneak into the studio and nail two birds with one stone. What do you say?

(Did that sound desperate enough?)
Mike McGrattan Memorial
Remembering Mike McGrattan
Remembering Mike

I had the honour of speaking at Mike's memorial service earlier this month. Below is the text of my speech. I don't usually get nervous speaking in front of crowds, but I was shaking when I gave it. It's not been an easy few weeks here at Rapido.

My name is Jason Shron, and I have had the pleasure of being Mike's boss at Rapido Trains Inc. for the last three years. In 2013 we advertised for the position of "Dan's clone." We wanted a clone of our operations manager, Dan. That sounds like we were a big company, but there were actually only three of us in the office.
Mike was the first to respond, and he came in for an interview. We knew within about three minutes that we had found our new team member. He was obviously "our kind of people." I don't think we stopped laughing for the entire hour.
Within days, Mike went from being some guy to an indispensible member of our team. Just a couple of months ago one of our employees cut himself badly and as I am incredibly squeamish I just looked at Mike and he said, "I'm on it." He left his cane by his desk and went and took care of our team member, calming him down and fixing him up like a pro.
Another time we got a surprise visit from the safety inspector. I shouted out to Mike, who came and talked the talk with this guy. He managed to get us out of a six-figure fine for having a botched-together mezzanine, and by the time the inspector left, Mike and the inspector were drawing track plans and Mike had sold him a bunch of freight cars.
Within a few months I realized that Mike was becoming one of my best friends. During Hockey Night in Canada, when the Habs would schmear the Leafs - sorry, I mean when the Habs would meet the Leafs in a well-balanced and hard-fought game - Mike and I would watch the game on the phone together. Our Montreal-Toronto rivalry extended to his hospital rooms, where I was happy to take advantage of his immobility to decorate his surroundings with Montreal Canadiens posters.
Similarly, we would often debate politics - loudly, in the middle of the office, in front of customers. Those of you who saw the Justin Trudeau posters in his hospital rooms - that was me too. My favourite was the Photoshopped picture of Mike and Justin with the caption: "We're brothers from different mothers."
I could do things like decorate Mike's room with stuff he hates because that was his sense of humour. He lived for our camaraderie and kibitzing, and so did I.
For the last three years, if I started to panic about work I would call Mike. He was always able to make me see the big picture and to calm me right down. I know Mike didn't want us to focus on our loss here today but the truth is I've lost my confidant. Like all of you, I have an empty space inside me right now. I keep reaching for the phone to call for Mike's advice. I keep thinking he's going to come into my office and sit down and tell me we're doing fine.
Mike touched the hearts of thousands of model railroaders. The emails and messages have been pouring in for the last two weeks. People all around the world miss Mike, even if they never met him in person.
There is a prayer said in synagogue every Saturday morning called Nishmat Kol Chai, the Soul of Every Living Being. I'd like to read you a part of it:
"Were our mouth as full of song as the sea, and our tongue as full of joyous music as its multitude of waves, and our lips as full of praise as the breadth of the heavens, and our eyes as brilliant as the sun and the moon - we still could not thank You sufficiently, Lord our God and God of our ancestors, and to bless Your Name for even one of the thousands of thousands and myriad myriads of good things that you have done for our ancestors and for us."
Mike was one of those good things. And I cannot thank God enough for giving him to us.
Until next time,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.
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