Information on our new bus models, limited edition bus prints,
RDC deliveries, last-minute Christmas gifts, and more!

Rapido News Vol. 85  
©2016 Rapido Trains Inc. 
Dear Rapido Customer,

We are ecstatic to be able to reveal the full details about our new HO scale bus. And if you are not a bus foamer like we are, there is plenty of train stuff here too.

In this issue of Rapido News:
Rapido Fishbowl Bus
Rapido's HO Scale New Look Bus
Pre-production sample shown.

Read on for more information about our new bus model, both standard versions and deluxe versions with lighting and painted interiors.

The New Look Bus was the face of North American public transit in the latter half of the 20th century, with almost 45,000 built between 1959 and 1986. Everyone remembers the New Look, also known as the "Fishbowl" Bus. Amazingly, for a bus that had such an enormous impact on the urban fabric of our towns and cities, there have been surprisingly few models made of it.

The existing models - in 1/50 and 1/87 - suffer from serious dimensional flaws. The real New Look Bus was all about curves. The body cross section is fairly "tubular" with a pronounced curve to the whole side. The windows, similarly, are not straight. The ends have very distinct curves throughout. Yet every model to date has these areas dead straight. It means that the existing models were designed from rough two-dimensional plans and not from real blueprints.

We went one step further than real blueprints. As we showed in our video, A New Look for Rapido, we actually did a 3D scan of a real New Look Bus. And then we shrunk it to HO scale. We can thus honestly say that the Rapido New Look Bus is the only New Look Bus model that is the correct shape. Our first release is based on a T6H-5307N with double-stream rear exit doors. But we plan to do more versions in the future.
HO scale bus
Overhead view of our New Look Bus showing optional roof hatches.
Pre-production sample shown.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that the Rapido New Look Bus is a truly revolutionary bus model. The only bus models I have seen that are more detailed are in 1/24 scale.

Rapido's train models are known for "pushing the envelope" of what it is possible to do in 1/87 scale. In most of our passenger car models every seat is a separate casting so that you can see through the armrests and the seats can have proper cushion contours. Our lavatories have faucets on the sinks. Our underframes are completely detailed.
Interior of bus model
The interior of our Deluxe model showing lighting and two-tone seats
with printed silver handrails. The stanchions are standard on all models.
Pre-production sample shown.
Yet in the model bus industry most models still have diecast bodies with oversized details, inset windows, smooth surfaces where there should be rivets, one-piece interiors and underbodies without any detail at all.

That's not good enough for us. We love buses so much we even own our own. ( Click here to read about the real Rapido Bus.) Our injection-moulded New Look Bus comes in a standard version that is head and shoulders above any other bus model in 1/43 or smaller. Rivets, interior stanchions, separately-moulded seats, steerable front wheels - these are standard on all of our models. The deluxe version features painted seatback handrails, two-tone seats (where appropriate) and a full lighting package! A full listing of product features is below.
Rapido Fishbowl Bus
One of the undecorated New Look Bus models showing the closed side.
Note some of the optional roof details we installed on this sample.
Pre-production model shown.

All of our New Look Bus models include:
  • Correct tubular profile
  • Full interior including separate seats with seatback handrails and grooved flooring
  • Etched-metal interior stanchions and stamped-metal handrail
  • Steerable front wheels
  • Rubber tires
  • Printed "metal" window frames
  • Printed windshield gaskets (silver or black, as appropriate)
  • Double-stream rear exit doors (first time ever in a mass-produced New Look model!)
  • Three kinds of bumper (steel, water jug and rubber - and we mean REAL rubber!)
  • Standee windows or sheet metal panel as appropriate
  • Optional air conditioning housing with etched-metal fan cover
  • Optional etched-metal advertisement frames
  • Optional rear window air intakes and high level exhaust
  • Optional roof hatches, Sinclair antenna, microwave antenna, and cellular/Wi-Fi antenna
  • Multiple route/destination decals
  • Some liveries include licence plate decals.
Our Deluxe New Look Bus includes all of the above, plus:
  • Interior lighting
  • Working headlights and tail lights
  • Illuminated front destination sign
  • Painted seatback handrails
  • Two-tone seats (where appropriate)
A 12V DC power supply is required to power the lighting (not included).

We are also selling some parts separately for you to upgrade your other bus models, including bus lighting kits, bus and truck wheels, and bumpers. Visit our bus parts page for full info.
Bus model chassis
Incredible detail, even on the chassis! Note the steerable front wheels.
This also shows you how small our super-detailed bus actually is.
Based on the other photos, you are forgiven for thinking it was a 1/24th scale model!
Pre-production sample shown.

Bus AC Unit
Optional rooftop AC unit. It does not yet have its etched-metal grille above the fan.
Pre-production sample shown.

Bus interior with lighting
The interior lighting on the Deluxe models shows off the two-tone seats and
printed silver handrails. The two wires lead to a DC power supply.
We're fixing the "wibble" in the window glass.
Pre-production sample shown.

Our original plan was to print on the standee windows (the little windows above the normal windows) as this is what every other manufacturer of mass-produced New Look buses has done. But that wasn't sitting well with us; you would not get the feeling of the raised gaskets. And Rapido is not known for following what other people do.
Standee windows
Standee windows insert on the side of the bus shell. The gaskets are raised.
Since our pre-production samples were made, we redesigned the area above the windows. Our New Look Bus will come with a recessed area above the side windows. In the assembly process, we will install an etched-metal piece that represents blank sheet metal (as used on TTC buses) or standee windows with raised gaskets (as used on most agency buses, including our own Rapido Bus). The standee windows will be painted and printed to look like real standee windows. This is a compromise, as the windows need to be a scale 3" short in order to fit in the recessed panel. But we think it will look far, far better than just printing them on.
Bus model liveries
A sampling of our first run liveries...

The following liveries will be produced in the first production run:
  • Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Maroon*
  • BC Transit**
  • Boston MBTA
  • Connecticut Transit
  • DC Transit
  • Detroit DSR
  • Edmonton Transit**
  • Los Angeles (LAMTA)
  • Ottawa OC Transpo
  • Pittsburgh (Port Authority)**
  • St. Louis (Bi-State)
  • Unlettered (White/Silver)
  • Unlettered (Red/Silver)
  • Unlettered (Yellow/Silver)
  • Unlettered (Blue/Silver)
  • Unlettered (Green/Silver)
  • Unlettered (Silver)
  • Undecorated Kit

Bus numbers can be found on our New Look Bus web site


*Officially licensed product.
**Pending licence agreement.
Fishbowl Bus Model
I like big buses and I cannot lie...
Pre-production sample shown.

There is a huge overlap between bus and train fans. At Rapido, more than half of our team of model railroaders - Jason, Dan, Dan and Jordan - would probably be considered "bus foamers" by the general public. For model railroaders, a model bus provides an interesting focal point to an urban scene and can be enjoyed by layout visitors even when there is no train present. For bus fans, a model bus is a goal in and of itself.

Almost every one of our North American customers grew up with the New Look Bus and this important piece of history should be done justice in model form. Bus modellers, train modellers, car modellers, plane modellers, military modellers - we're all hobbyists and we're all in this together.
New Look Bus Model
I want confirmation on my information about my transportation from Spadina station.

The introductory MSRP in the United States and Everywhere But Canada is $49.95 (Standard) $69.95 (Deluxe). The MSRP in Canada is $59.95 (Standard) $79.95 (Deluxe).

The order deadline is May 8th 2017. We're giving you that long to order as we won't have factory capacity until then, and as we're new to the model bus market we need some extra time to get the word out. Delivery will be in fall 2017.

Click here for more information or to order direct.

If you are a bus fan you probably have a LOT of questions that I haven't answered here. Click here to read our Rapido Bus FAQ.

The samples shown are pre-production samples. We're fixing many things which we're not happy with, including the "wavy window" effect, the gauging of the rear wheels, the rivets and many other small corrections too numerous to list here.

If you can help us with accurate colours, licence plates and recommended destination routes (exposures) for our first run liveries, please do not hesitate to get in touch! We are new to model vehicles and we welcome your assistance and contributions of information. We've got Canada well covered. We can really use help with the American bus colours (that would be "colors") and routes.

One small note: You will notice that the letters G, M and C are missing from the badge on the nose of the model. If you know anyone high up in The Company That Must Not Be Named who can get us permission to include those letters on the bus model, we would love to print them on.
TTC Bus David Onodera
Rebuilt TTC New Look Bus.
Photo courtesy David Onodera.

We could not have made this incredible bus model without the generous help of the Toronto Transit Commission. They gave us unfettered access to the real bus and have been extremely encouraging throughout the development process. (They even spoke positively about our real Rapido Bus in the local media. Click here to read the article from the Toronto Sun.)

To continue that productive relationship we are pleased to announce a model of our New Look bus in the modern TTC livery as operated on rebuilt Toronto New Looks from 1995 to 2012. This is an exclusive for the TTC Shop.
TTC Rebuilt Fishbowl Rapido
Rebuilt TTC New Look Bus.
We are producing five different bus numbers plus an unnumbered version. Each model includes decals for destination signs and licence plates.

Please click here to reserve your exclusive modern TTC bus model from the TTC Shop. And thanks to the TTC for all their help and for commissioning the custom model. We could not have done this without them.
Nostalgia Trip: Yonge Street
Original painting by Raffi Anderian
Limited Edition Print by artist Raffi Anderian

Rapido Trains Inc. has commissioned famous Toronto artist Raffi Anderian to paint a scene of a New Look Bus in Toronto that is certain to bring back fond memories for Torontonians and visitors alike. Raffi is known across Canada for his work with the Toronto Star newspaper and his series of paintings, Raffi's Toronto, prints of which have sold in the tens of thousands.

Yonge Street has always been a cultural heart of Toronto, and anyone who grew up between the 1950s and the 1990s in the Greater Toronto Area most likely spent far too much of their teenage years browsing records and tapes at Sam the Record Man on Yonge north of Dundas. Raffi has beautifully recreated the feeling of Yonge Street from the 1980s in this impressionist masterpiece.

Nostalgia is not just for our parents and grandparents. For younger generations of Torontonians and transit fans, the 1970s and 1980s are our nostalgia. Nostalgia Trip: Yonge Street celebrates our transit and urban past.
Raffi Anderian painting
Raffi signs prints at Rapido Galactic Headquarters.
in time for Christmas!

We have produced a limited edition run of 360 signed and numbered prints. Each print is 16x20 inches and is printed in vivid colour on archival paper by a professional art reproduction printing facility. The price is $249.95 each.

We have also produced a signed, open edition of 11x14 inch prints. The colour reproduction is just as vibrant and the price is $99.95 each.

Shipping and handling is a flat $9.95. Frame and matting are not included.
  • Orders placed by Wednesday (14 December) are guaranteed for delivery before Christmas in the United States.
  • Orders placed by the following Monday (19 December) are guaranteed for delivery before Christmas in Canada.
Once the general public in Toronto learns about these prints, the limited editions will get snatched up in a heartbeat. As a Rapido customer, you are hearing about this first so you have a rare chance to get one.

Click here to order your Nostalgia Trip. Hurry to make sure you get one of the limited editions before they are all gone. The prints are also available to dealers. Just give us a shout.
Rapido T-Shirts Mugs Trains
Just some of the T-Shirts, mugs and models available NOW in our Swag Store.

Our " Swag Store" is up and running and it is a railfan's paradise. We have T-shirts, mugs, limited edition models, cardboard trains, and other goodies in stock now.

Just like the prints, orders placed by Wednesday (14 December) are guaranteed for delivery before Christmas in the United States. Orders placed by the following Monday (19 December) are guaranteed for delivery before Christmas in Canada.

Click here to go shopping.
Rapido warehouse
RDCs are on the move!

It's been two years since we started development of the HO scale RDC model by doing a 3D scan of two real RDCs. (Watch the video here. It also shows the design process and the sound recording. Interesting stuff!)

And now we're finally shipping the first RDC models to stores and direct customers. This is very exciting! The first paint schemes to arrive are:
  • B&M Minuteman
  • CN Noodle
  • C&EI
  • CNJ
  • LIRR
  • New Haven Script
  • New Haven McGinnis
  • PRSL
The remaining RDCs will arrive in two batches - early January and late January. They are sold out at Rapido but stores may have some inventory. You can still order the limited edition VIA/Rapido RDC #6133 fundraising models by clicking here. We're about 60% sold out of those.
ESU spreadsheet
Part of the spreadsheet I sent to ESU when programming the RDC decoders.

I made a programming error on the RDCs that will affect people who are running a sound-equipped RDC on a DC layout. This is entirely my fault and I apologize. I requested that the Gyralite LED - hidden behind the doors - defaults to "ON" in DC. Unless you are installing a Gyralite, you don't want this on as the light leaks.

This only affects SOUND models running on DC layouts.

It does NOT affect silent DC models. It does NOT affect DCC models running on DCC layouts.

If you will be running your sound-equipped RDC on a DC layout, we very humbly request that you ask the hobby shop where you ordered your RDC or someone with a DCC system to change CV #14 to "3." It takes about ten seconds and it will solve the problem. The trouble is, for us to do it here would take over a month and involve opening everyone's RDC - including the RDCs belonging to the roughly 96% of customers who are not affected by this glitch.

If this will affect you and you've ordered directly from us, let us know and we will reprogram yours before we ship it to you.

Again, I'm sorry for this inconvenience. If you could spread the word I would appreciate it. I hope that people who are not internet savvy and who have ordered sound models for their DC layouts know about this in advance so they are not surprised and upset when they get their RDC home and see the light leak in the nose.
Rapido Phase 2 RDC
Phase 2 (and difficult phase 1) RDCs in production
Photos taken last week at the factory.

Now that the first shipment of RDCs is en route to stores, that's pretty much it for 2016. However, early 2017 promises to be very busy for Rapido deliveries.

As we get the new LRC factory fully up and running you will see deliveries start to speed up even more. (If you haven't yet watched the video of the LRC factory starting up, click here.) By the middle of 2017 we should have two major projects being delivered each month. 

Rapido NP Boxcar
Northern Pacific 10000-Series Double-Sheathed Boxcar
HO scale. Pre-production sample shown.

While high-profile projects like the RDC and the New Look Bus have been in the news a lot lately, we've been quietly working on other Rapido projects.

The HO scale Royal Hudson is in tooling and we expect the first samples in the spring. And the NP Boxcar tooling is just about finished. Remember that project? We announced it in 2015 and promptly got swamped with other things. But we haven't forgotten about it! A full relaunch will be coming in the next newsletter.

Also coming in the next newsletter is the next instalment of the Rapido Bus saga. (The first instalment, A New Look for Rapido, can be watched here.) We drove the bus across the prairies, and a bunch of silly stuff happened...

Until we next speak, I hope you have a stress-free December and a wonderful Christmas!

All best wishes,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.
Rapido Trains Inc. | 1-855-LRC-6917 |