Jason went to China and got BUSY.
Rapido News Volume 82
©2016 Rapido Trains Inc.

Dear Rapido customer,
I hope you've had a fantastic summer! To those of you who actually got into your layout room this summer, I salute you. I certainly didn't... Something about having three kids and going to China got in the way of my layout plans. I look forward to sharing my finished layout with you in 53 years' time.

I really need to send out more newsletters to keep them at a manageable length. This one is ridiculously long.

In this issue of Rapido News:
China rain storm
August is a LOVELY time to go to south China.....
Rapido Factory News

Many times in the last ten years I have turned to my team and said, out of the blue, "I need to go to China. Now." That happened this summer. I ended up in China for the first half of August, even though I had just been there in April. Simply put, I was not happy with the production capacity of our factory. We do great work at our factory, but when we get stuck on a difficult model like the British Rail APT-E train (click here to watch a detailed review of it), all other shipments get delayed. I needed to go to China to finally solve this capacity issue.
Rapido tooling factory
Rebuilt VIA F40PH-2D and new Amtrak F40PH mould cores at the factory last month
The first thing was to check in with our tooling vendors to see how our new models are progressing. About half of our models are tooled at Wu's factory, and several projects are in the injection testing phase. Here are the mould cores for the new Rebuilt VIA F40PH-2D and the new Modernized Amtrak F40PH. These cores allow the shells to be hollow. Without them, the interior of the locomotive shells would be a solid lump of plastic.

We also discovered an injection issue with the Phase 2 RDC model shells, which had to be fixed immediately as these are currently in production! Wu and I shot a video describing this. Click here or on the image below to watch it.
Rapido Tooling Factory
Click the picture to watch a short video of our tooling factory.
Production at our current factory was actually moving along quite nicely. While I was in China, the assembly workshop was putting the final touches on the New Haven 8600-series coaches and RDC production had already begun. But we're still behind on our deliveries for this year.

Rapido factory
Quality control testing on the New Haven 8600-series coaches.
Each coach has its lighting circuit tested and fixed if necessary before final assembly.
Our partners in our factory are Huang and Zhou. Colin - our Chinese manager since 2005 - and I proposed that they start a second factory with us. We had visions of a Rapido Factory Empire spanning all of Guangdong province. Future generations would come to Rapidotown and say, "My granddad worked for Rapido. Great company that was."

Our delusions were shattered by Huang and Zhou's response: "Go jump in a lake." They are too busy running our current factory to devote the necessary resources to starting a new one.

So Colin and I had the challenge of finding a new team to set up a second factory. And we had to do this QUICKLY. I needed to be back in Canada for a wedding later in the month, and I wasn't leaving China until we had something in the works.

Rapido China team
From left: Zhou, Huang, Some Nut, Colin
I only eat out vegetarian, and this is the only vegetarian restaurant in Chang'an.
We were PROPERLY sick of it by the end of the trip.
Colin never smiles for photos, so here I am smacking him to try to get him to smile.
It didn't work. He's trying hard not to laugh.
Well, we managed it. Working in model trains for over ten years, Colin knows a lot of people. We met a new design engineer and he was a perfect fit - he's old like Bill, Janet and Dan Darnell are. (I'm running for cover....)

Our new design engineer introduced us to a friend of his who is a production manager. We all got along great, so we now have two engineers to help run the new factory. We started looking at new facilities, and this continued after I returned to Canada. I'm pleased to let you know that we just signed the lease on a new workshop space last week. Have a look!

Rapido factory space
Our new factory. Not much to look at yet, eh? That will soon change!
It will take us about a month to set up the lighting, improved HVAC, assembly tables, painting booths, the new office, internet, printing machines, and - most importantly - a proper western bathroom with a TOILET SEAT.

Having a second factory will ensure more regular shipments of Rapido goods to you, our customers. It means when one of our factories is stuck on something difficult, we can still keep deliveries moving from the other factory. The new factory is called "LRC Model Company Limited." I wonder who thought up that name...

For those of you wondering "Why can't they start up this factory in Canada?" the answer is simple. If we started the factory in Canada, we would never be able to repay the setup costs, and our models would cost five times as much as they do now. We've seriously looked at it, and that's not an exaggeration. So manufacturing has to stay in China for now.

China has its quirks. People in China like to wear clothing with English writing on it. The problem is, they have no idea what the English says. This results in T-shirts like this one:

China Chinglish T-Shirt
This isn't meant to be funny.....
I bought a pile of shirts to bring home. (One really lovely women's shirt had "Aeroplane of Idiots" written on it. Another had a woman's face with "Kill everything you don't understand" written beside it.) The salesperson asked why I was laughing. So I translated some of the shirts into Chinese. She started laughing so hard she fell on the floor.

But it goes both ways. This is a western person wearing a "cool" Chinese T-shirt:

Woman in Chinese shirt
Don't wear what you don't understand.
Her shirt says "Bian Tai." Entirely by coincidence, "Bian Tai" is Chinese for "Pervert."

Driving in China is always an adventure...

China car accident
Creative driving?
I hope our new factory has better luck than this guy, who we saw en route to Wu's mould shop. Truck tries to make a tight U-turn WAY too fast. Truck falls over. Car hits truck chassis. Just another day on the roads of China!

More updates on our new factory to come....
Zombie Trains
Remind you of anyone?
Our Zombie Projects

Rapido is the only small manufacturer to have its own factory - now factories - in China. We started our first factory in 2013 because we weren't happy with the quality at our old factory, where we were just one client of many. The models looked good but the issues were more behind the scenes. The tooling seemed to be held together with duct tape and prayers.

Today our tooling is of a much higher standard, as is our production quality. The trouble is the old tooling caused us so much trouble that a lot of it is unusable. And I'm not just talking about minor plastic injection problems. Wu got a bad burn on his arm when one of our N scale moulds from the old factory exploded in the injection machine. These moulds are, literally, dangerous.

This explains why we haven't yet brought out all of our Budd passenger cars separately or produced a fund-raising model of our own sleeping car, Edmundston.

Damaged Mould
One of our older moulds, actually splitting. The mould was cheaply made despite
our paying top dollar for it. This shoddy work can be extremely dangerous.
The situation means that - in many cases - we have to retool the models. We've already done that for our Canadian Pacific FP9A locomotive which was released earlier this year. We have received very positive feedback about its improvements over our old FP9A.

We are retooling most of our Budd passenger cars, starting with the Budd Mid-Train Dome. We are using the opportunity to tighten up the construction of the dome based on feedback from our existing dome car customers.

And we will be retooling the "Oh, So Steamy!" Steam Generator Car and the Canadian Pacific F9B after the Mid-Train Dome. We will relaunch each of these projects and announce a firm order deadline when the tooling for each one is almost ready.

Obviously, with this amount of new tooling, it is going to take us some time to bring these models out. I apologize for the delay to these projects but I hope you can understand that for financial reasons we can't delay a new project, of which we would sell 4000 or 5000, for a rerun of an old project, of which we would sell 1000 or 2000. So we will squeeze the tooling into gaps in the schedules of our mould factories.

Unfortunately we are going to have to pull the plug on The Confederation Train. The amount of new tooling needed for that train is way too high to justify the expense. All orders for the Confederation Train will be cancelled. If we ever decide to give it a shot again in the future, you will need to order again. We would only announce it again if we had the correct coaches to go with it. They are planned for 2018, so you never know...

And what about the N scale Zombie Projects?
The two delayed N scale models - the 1400-series GMD-1 and the Panorama Line Baggage-Express Car - have been delayed due to lack of orders rather than any problem with the tooling.

Some of that will get cleared up with the N scale announcements in our next newsletter. Stay tuned.
Rapido Sleeping Car
Tiffany Pang cuts into the rotten bathroom walls in our sleeping car
while Dan Garcia looks on.
Preservation News - Our RDC and Sleeping Car

We currently have two teams working on our two preserved bits of railroad history. Tiffany Pang has come on board as our Edmundston restoration manager. You can see her in the photo above. We've uploaded a big update on the restoration progress here. Edmundston is a former VIA Rail Canada 1954-built Pullman-Standard 4-8-4 sleeper (4 sections, 8 duplex roomettes, 4 double bedrooms). It was originally built for CN and then transferred to VIA in 1978. We are restoring Edmundston as a VIA sleeper.

Here is a big opportunity for railway history fans. We have about a dozen spots available for Edmundston's first run on the Credit Valley Explorer tourist train north of Toronto. We don't know when that will be, but we're hoping it will be this fall. The top 12 contributors of $400 or more to Edmundston's restoration between now and the middle of October will get a seat on the first run. Please click here to contribute.

Thank you to those of you who have already contributed. We received a generous $1000 donation last week and used it to buy coin grip flooring - boy that stuff is expensive! And we received another generous donation over the weekend - for $1115 (Edmundston's car number is 1115) - which will pay for the new wall carpeting that we are picking up this week. I wish I could say that's all we need!

Every little bit helps, so thank you again.
RDC 6133 Video
"Captain, we have power! But I dinna know for how long!"
Meanwhile, Chris Fox has been working hard on the restoration of our RDC, VIA Rail Canada #6133 (formerly Canadian Pacific/Dominion Atlantic #9058), often with the help of John Carey.

Click here for detailed updates on their efforts, including the roof leaks which will make anyone thinking of buying a railcar immediately change his or her mind.

Chris recently got the lights working on 6133. Click here or on the photo above to watch the quick video. We'll be posting more "Rapido Quickies" videos on our YouTube channel in future. They aren't as polished as our usual videos, but they get the message across!

Please click here to contribute to our 6133 preservation efforts. We need to buy new rads and they aren't cheap! Chris has already managed to get one of the engines started with the starter motor but we need to buy another engine for the spare parts in order to get our second engine started. Oh, the joys of owning old train stuff....
But it's all worth it in the end. Below is a neat photo of the A end of Edmundston from Tiffany. You can also follow the progress on our sleeping car and our RDC on our Facebook page.
Rapido Sleeping Car Edmundston
A neat fish-eye photo of the sections/berths in Edmundston.
All of us at Rapido (except Janet) feel that the preservation of our railroad history is vitally important. (Janet, who is our financial controller, is all for preservation as long as someone else is paying for it.)

North American railroad museums are stretched for space and for funds. So we're doing our part to save our railroad heritage. I know this bugs some people, who think we should just focus on model trains and nothing else.

But that's not what Rapido is about. We're more than just a model train company - we're a company in love with trains. If we allow these important pieces of railroad history to get scrapped, future generations will have no clue  what 20th century railroading was all about. If we had the resources, we would preserve more. Hopefully we will be able to afford to save some more cars in the future. (Just don't tell Janet. It's easier to get forgiveness than permission.)
James Wright Rapido
James Wright comes to town! Mmmm... Turbo.... Arrgrghrgrhhh.
Sorry - I got distracted by our sign.
More Behind-The-Scenes Videos

The very well-respected YouTube model railroad reviewer, James Wright, came to visit us over the summer. We gave him a tour of our office and indeed of Toronto - we ended up at the CN Tower and the Toronto Railway Museum! Click here or on the image above to watch the video. It's really, really long so grab some popcorn and please don't feel guilty for watching a video rather than spending time on your layout... Watching videos about Rapido is almost, but not quite, model railroading.
Lionel Strang Rapido
Lionel Strang dropped by as well! Here he's interviewing Jordan.
When James came to visit, Lionel Strang came along for the ride and shot his own video, which includes interviews with Jordan, Dan, Thomas and Janet. By talking to Rapido's employees and not just to the blabbermouth boss, Lionel really captures the feel of what it's like to work here.

Click here or on the image above to watch it.

If you are a subscriber to Trainmasters TV, Dan D. and I were just featured on their regular show. Click here to watch it or, if you aren't a subscriber, click here to watch the preview.
Mark Your Calendar
Mark Your Calendar: September 26th!
Big Order Deadline - September 26th

September 26th is our next big order deadline. Please contact your store or order direct from us by then to ensure you don't miss out.

Rapido CN Dash 8
Prime Movers by Rapido - CN Dash 8
Prime Movers by Rapido - CN/BCR Dash 8
The Dash 8 has been through its second round of tooling revisions and is almost ready for production. We had to make quite a few changes from the model seen above, such as correcting the angle of the body steps, sharpening the fuel tank, and making the bell support a separate part in order to represent the later order which did not have a bell on the cab face.

Rapido Dash 8 Locomotive
The latest sample from the factory still has lots of issues which are being fixed now.
The handrails got smushed en route from the factory, so they look dodgy.
Oh, the joys of showing off early samples!
We will be posting videos on our YouTube channel in the near future so you can see how this model goes together and how you can access the decoder through the fuel tank. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel to ensure you won't miss it.

Available paint schemes are below. Click on Canada to go to the Canadian listing, or click on USA to go to the "everywhere in the world that isn't Canada" listing.

(Note that our web site header cuts off the picture when you click on a link to a specific paint scheme, so scroll up a bit and you will see the picture of the scheme in question. We are trying to fix that...)

Click here for full information including product features. 


If you are old fashioned like most of us you can click here to download an order form to take to your local dealer.  

Rapido Amtrak Cabbage
Downeaster NPCU
Amtrak "Cabbage" NPCU
The Cabbage tooling is just about finished. We will upload photos to Facebook and, hopefully, a video to YouTube when the samples arrive this month.

The Amtrak Non-Powered Control Unit is still used today on Amtrak trains across the country. Our model is powered. Toss it on the end of your local train of Amsleds and you can actually have a train that is longer than four cars. (Those of you who have tried to pull a long train of model Amfleet coaches - Amsleds - with one locomotive will know what I am talking about.)

The Cabbage comes in the following schemes:
(Note: the above links are to the US shopping cart. If ordering from Canada, you need to click here. Also, like the Dash 8, please note that our web site header cuts off the picture when you click on a link to a specific paint scheme, so please scroll up a bit and you will see the picture of the scheme in question.)

You can click here to download a handy PDF order form for all of our new F40 models to bring to your dealer. Or you can click here to read more about the Cabbage and to order direct.

You can order your Cabbage to go along with...
Amtrak F40 Ditch Lights
Rebuilt Amtrak F40PH with ditch lights and large fuel tank.
John Eull photo.
Amtrak Modernized F40PH with Ditch Lights
Amtrak's Phase 1 F40PH locomotive operated into the 21st century all across the United States. I can't count the number of times we've been asked, "When are you doing the later Amtrak F40s with the large fuel tanks that operated out west?"

It's a common misconception among freight modellers that long-distance Amtrak trains only had later phase bodies, and that the later phase bodies were the only ones with the large fuel tanks. Not so! Fully one third of the Phase 1 F40s were assigned to the west coast, and when they were rebuilt they got the same larger fuel tanks, as seen in the photo above.

Our Modernized Amtrak F40PH features working ditch lights and strobe lights, and both the strobes and the ditch lights flash when approaching a grade crossing on DCC layouts. We'll be posting a video of this to our YouTube channel when our first samples come in. If the samples don't arrive before the deadline, we will extend the deadline.

The modernized/rebuilt Amtrak F40 comes in the following schemes:

That's it. But we're doing a whole bunch of numbers! Woo-hoo!


How good does our Amtrak F40PH model look? As good as this: 

Rapido F40
Yes, this is our model.
Rapido's Amtrak F40 is the only one that can be mistaken for the real thing.

Full information about our rebuilt Amtrak F40PH can be found here. And that downloadable PDF checklist featuring all of our new F40 models can be found here.

You can order our Amtrak F40s from your local dealer or directly from us. Delivery will be mid-2017, so you have plenty of time to save up for the six that you are going to buy.

Do your future travel plans include Canada? (If you are currently in Canada, the answer is probably yes.) If so, your model plans should also include...
Rapido VIA F40
The tuchus of the new VIA F40PH-2D
Photo by Mark Kaluza.
VIA Rail Canada Rebuilt "Renaissance" F40PH-2D
This model almost needs no introduction. We are a Canadian company, and a LOT of Canadian modellers want the rebuilt VIA F40. These were rebuilt between 2010 and 2012 and form the bulk of VIA's locomotive fleet. Each locomotive has a separate engine in the rear which provides Head End Power for the train. These F40s will last another 20 years in service.

Our model has the same incredible detail as our original VIA F40PH-2D, along with a working emergency light and see-through grilles in the HEP compartment. We actually got up on the roof and looked down, as you can see in the photo below.
VIA Rail F40 Roof Grilles
A comparison of the real F40PH-2D HEP compartment and the model.
If you are going to complain that the 1/87th model doesn't have enough lines in the grilles,
you're out of the band. By the way, the boots cost extra.
The Rebuilt VIA F40PH-2D tooling is almost finished and we will be posting a video on YouTube soon. We are going to VIA to record the sounds of the rebuilt locomotive later this month.

In addition to the regular rebuilt F40PH-2D model, we are producing a $10 bill edition with 6403 decorated in the same scheme it wore for Canada's new $10 bill. 50 of these locomotives will have a mint, uncirculated $10 bill hidden in the box. One of these locomotives will have 10 consecutive uncirculated $10 bills hidden in the box. You'll want to order one of these...
VIA Rapido F40
The Canadian polymer $10 bill featuring our F40PH-2D.
Full information about our new rebuilt VIA F40PH-2D can be found here. You can order from your dealer or direct.

Based on my understanding of the mould progress I can tell you that, most likely, the VIA F40 models will be produced before the Amtrak models. That means you really need to get your VIA orders in ASAP.

A downloadable PDF checklist featuring all of our new F40 models can be found here.
Rapido Covered Hopper
First test sample, hand painted by Dan Darnell.
The brake piping on the car end has not yet been installed.
HO Scale 3800 Hopper - New Body Style! 

OK - I have to admit I underestimated Canadian freight car modellers. When Dan asked me which version of 3800 we should do, I said, "Let's do the NSC version." When he told me there were two versions and showed me the photos, I said, "Those are really close. We can just do one."


Due to overwhelming demand from you guys, we are now also tooling up the Marine Industries version of the 3800 Hopper. That means that your model will have the correct details according to which builder made the car. And that means we're doing four different brake valve arrangements.
Marine Industries 3800 Hopper
Hawker Siddeley 3800 Hopper - CP Version
Tooling up new slides and a new chassis mould puts the project back a bit, and now we don't expect delivery until the first half of 2017.

But it now means we have a proper order deadline for the model: November 18th. Please make sure your orders are in by then. We'll have the second factory up and running by then so it could be produced any time.

Full information on our covered hopper can be found here. You can order from your dealer or direct from us (minimum two cars on direct orders).

Click here to download an illustrated PDF checklist to take to your store.

Speaking of freight cars...
Rapido Well Car
Rapido's new well car and container - New samples!
HO Scale Well Car and Containers - New Samples!

New samples have arrived of our new Prime Movers by Rapido 53' Gunderson Husky Stack well cars and 53' containers. The tooling is almost finished. So much so that these may in fact arrive before the Dash 8 locomotives!

Have a look at the CP version, hand painted last week by our own Dan Darnell:

HO scale well car
Gunderson Husky Stack - Canadian Pacific
Our well car and containers compete with other high-end models on the market in detail, despite being a part of our "budget-conscious" line. The most important things to remember are:
  • Each well car includes TWO randomly-selected containers. Collect them all! Trade with your friends!
  • The body is diecast so these can run empty at the front of your train like CN and CP always seem to do.
The new order deadline is November 18th. Did I mention that we also sell the containers on their own?

HO Scale Containers
Here's a photo illustration of our new containers.
We "painted' two samples in Photoshop.
The MSRP for the well car and two containers is $49.95 (US) $59.95 (CAN). The MSRP for the two-pack of containers on their own is $24.95/$29.95. These come with full wholesale discount so some stores may sell for less.

Click here to download a PDF checklist to take to your store.

Click here for more information or to order direct.
HO Scale Switch Stands
RailCrew switch machine and operating switch stand
RailCrew Update

We delivered our RailCrew Uncouplers and Switch Stands earlier this year and we quickly sold out of all 4000 Remote Uncouplers in the space of two months! We're making more and they will leave the factory later this month. You can expect them to arrive in October. We're sorry we have been out of stock. We did not expect to sell out so quickly.

But a lot of people are still waiting for their Switch Machines, and here's a detailed update on that project. We actually did produce a full run, but we found some issues that were serious enough that we decided not to ship out the run. It's now been cannibalized for parts in our warehouse so we have PLENTY of switch stands available for your layout. In fact, we can probably meet your switch stand needs even if your layout is the size of Kentucky.

We've now redesigned the internal switch mounts for more reliable operation; we've added a temperature switch to provide heat protection; we've added a ceramic capacitor to solve the Back EMF problem; and we've increased the size of the magnets. We want these switch machines to provide you with years of trouble-free operation, and we were not willing to ship them out unless they were perfect.

We're also tooling some new parts to help with installation. Have a look at the photos and descriptions below.
RailCrew Switch Machine
This is the machine without the switch stand. We've added those two little nubs
on the top of the machine. That will allow you to easily adjust the tension of
the throwbar as you install the machine. The next photo shows how.
We've also changed the throwbar design.
The new design is more reliable than the one that is shown here.
RailCrew Switch Machine
This handy knob fits over the two nubs and allows you to rotate your switch machine
from above to get the perfect amount of tension on your throwbar wire.
The illustration above mistakenly shows the wire interfering with the knob. That's just
the illustration. It doesn't interfere with the knob on the actual model.
Rapido Switch Machine
We're tooling headblock extensions and cribbing to allow your switch stand to sit
at the correct height for most cork and foam roadbed. You can cut the ribbing and
headblocks to fit your installation. We're actually tooling two versions. The prototypical
spacing between the headblocks is shown above. It's quite narrow.
HO scale switch machine
This image shows the widely-spaced headblocks which many model turnouts
will require. This was a challenge to design as every brand of commercial turnout
has different headblock spacing. We've compromised on a distance of
12mm from outside edge to outside edge on the headblocks.

Every Switch Machine will come with both styles of headblocks.
As you can see from these images we've put an enormous amount of thought into our Switch Machine design. Everyone and his cousin uses the Tortoise and we can't hope to unseat it as global switch machine champion. But we want to be Number Two!

The moulds will be finished in about two months and then we will remake the switch machines, with delivery in the first half of next year.

We apologize for the delay, but we think you will agree that it is better to wait and get a product that will give you a lifetime of reliable operation than to rush something to delivery and have it cause you endless frustration.

Click here for pricing and ordering info. 
Rapido RDC production
RDCs in the paint shop!
Delivery Schedule

As you can see from the photo above, HO scale RDC production is well under way. Here is our tentative North American delivery schedule for the coming months. All are HO scale.


September: New Haven 8600 Coaches (two shipments)

October: RailCrew Uncouplers, Trucks and Wheelsets 

November: RDC - first shipment

January: RDC - second shipment

February: CN Rebuilt GMD-1; VIA Rebuilt F40PH-2D 


It may not seem like a lot of shipments, but the quantity of RDCs being produced is so big it is taking over our entire factory for almost four months. We should always have such problems.  


We don't yet know which RDCs will be in which shipments. We should have an idea later this week.  


If you model Australian railways, you'll be pleased to know that we are producing the RDC in Commonwealth Railways colours as an exclusive for Notch 8 Precision Models. Click here to read their announcement on Facebook. First Canada, then the USA, then the UK, and now Australia. Oh dear! Our plans for world domination have been exposed.... 

Spadina Yard
The famous coaling tower at Toronto's Spadina Yard.
Update On My Kingston Sub Layout

Like most of you I find it very difficult to find time to work on my model railroad. I am modelling the Kingston Sub in HO scale. This is the CN/VIA mainline between Toronto and Montreal.

Often people will give me suggestions for new projects in my layout room and I dredge up the same response: "That will be awesome to do when I retire." Keeping a full web site up to date was too much work on top of working on the layout and I hadn't updated it in a couple of years.
Jason_s Kingston Sub layout
Queens siding east of Kingston Station on my HO layout
However, as you can see in the photo above there has been quite a lot of progress on the layout, so I've made a Kingston Sub Facebook page which is much easier to maintain and update, and it allows my fellow modellers to comment and engage in discussion about the layout, the prototype, and modelling methods. It's been especially rewarding to connect with people who worked on the railway or in the industries I am modelling, such as Clarke Transfer in Brockville.

I invite you to come visit and "like" the Kingston Sub on Facebook. It features progress images, prototype photos, building plans, and a whole bunch of other neat stuff. Click here to go there. You don't need a Facebook account to view the images but you do need one to participate in the discussion.
Rapido Canadian
The view from the Skyline on board The Canadian this summer
This Fall Is Train Time

I had a good excuse for not working on my layout the last couple of weeks - I was in Winnipeg and, as usual, I rode The Canadian to get there. I purchased my tickets at close to 50% off using VIA's weekly "Discount Tuesday" offer. Every Tuesday VIA sends out an email with discounts for the coming week. (To sign up for these emails, click here and register with VIA. They will email you the discounts every Tuesday.)

There are almost ALWAYS deals available on The Canadian between Toronto and Edmonton. The train runs half empty until it gets to the mountains, so you can ride in a 1950s Budd sleeper - with all meals included in the dining car - for a little more than the cost of a plane ticket.
Shron kids
Isaac (4) and Boaz (11) enjoy "first call for lunch" in the dining car.
Lately Boaz has been protesting the lack of an NHL team in Quebec City.
The kid may have been born in Toronto, but he is turning into a true Quebecois. Ta***nak!
When I was a kid, I would count down the days until my next ride on the Turbo, the Rapido or the LRC. I only travelled on the train about three times a year, and it never occurred to my parents to take me railfanning or even to take any photos of the train or of us on the train. The only time I got to see Spadina Yard was when we went up the CN Tower. The idea of walking on the Spadina Avenue bridge or getting an access pass to the yard just never occurred to them.

In contrast, I've tried to expose my kids to train travel at every opportunity. I first rode The Canadian at the age of 19. My kids have been riding it once or twice a year since they were in diapers. (It helps that the grandparents are in Winnipeg, on the route of The Canadian!)
Shron Kids
Dalya (9) and Isaac take some quiet time on board VIA sleeper "Cornwall Manor"
My wife and I have a routine - every time the family goes to Winnipeg she flies and I take the kids on the train. It works, and it's nice to see so many familiar faces on the train. Some of the VIA crew members remember my kids' names from one trip to the next.

It may not be the Ritz, but riding in a sleeper on VIA or Amtrak is an experience worth having. My kids will always remember the train rides with Daddy, and please God I will be able to continue sharing these memories with them as they grow older and even as they have children of their own.

There is nothing quite like riding the train.

On that note, I'm off. I'll be in touch in the next few weeks with two big (and one small) N scale announcements and updates on our HO scale bus and other projects. But this newsletter is too long as it is.

So, until next time - keep modelling or at the very least take your kids or grandkids on a train somewhere!

Best regards,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.

P.S. I'll leave you with one picture. Yes, we really bought a bus. Janet wants to kill me.
Rapido Bus
Our buddies in Calgary, Sylvain Duclos and Jon Calon, check out our new baby...
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