Two big HO products need to be ordered by March 17th, and we hope you'll enjoy the latest videos!

Rapido Newsletter Vol. 87 
©2017 Rapido Trains Inc. 
March is a fickle month. It was 16 degrees Celsius here the other day (61F) and tomorrow night it's going to be -17. That's 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit to you guys in the States. This of course means that you should spend the rest of this month indoors with your trains and with our newsletter...

In this issue of Rapido News:
HO Dash 8
Order your GE Dash 8 Locomotive by March 17th
Early hand-painted pre-production sample shown. Some details will differ.
Big Order Deadline - March 17th

St. Patrick's Day is known in Canada as the day that most Canadians pretend to be Irish. A lot of Canadians (and northeastern Americans) trace their roots to Ireland... about 150 years ago! But that doesn't stop us from going to an Irish pub on March 17th every year, drinking too much ale, and putting on a fake Irish accent.

(My family comes from Poland and the Ukraine. No matter what accent I try to put on I sound like Jackie Mason.)

This St. Patrick's Day, please make sure you have your orders in for our new HO scale Dash 8-40CM and HO scale 3800 Cubic Foot Cylindrical Hopper. This is the FINAL, FINAL deadline for these models. They will enter the production queue by the end of this month. Delivery is in the fall.

Dealers have until Monday March 20th to submit their orders and distributors need to submit their orders by end of day on the 21st.
CN C40-8M
Working ditch lights on our new Dash 8. Click here to watch the video.
CN/BCR Dash 8 Locomotive

The Dash 8 (or C40-8M) is our first Prime Movers model and features working, tall stalk ditch lights as well as a decoder (or decoder plug on DC models) easily accessible in the fuel tank. We originally designed this as a bare-bones model, but it keeps getting more detailed. We can now confirm that the grab irons will be installed at the factory.

The Dash 8 comes in all of its major paint schemes and variations:
GE C40-8M
Six different paint schemes/lettering variations on the Dash 8
Full information including product features and pricing can be found here.

You can order from your dealer or direct from Rapido. Dealers please note that the Dash 8 comes with full wholesale discounts.
Canadian Hopper
Two different body styles on the 3800 cu. ft. covered hopper
3800 Cu. Ft. Cylindrical Covered Hopper

If there is one thing you need to know about our 3800, it's that this is a SHORTER CAR than the typical Canadian cylindrical hoppers that everyone and his cousin has manufactured. Many of the schemes on your longer 4550 cars are actually 3800 schemes. Look closely at the little writing. If the manufacturer got it right, the capacity is listed as 3800 or 3850 cubic feet. That means their car is too long.

(For more information, see our 3800 video. More on that below.)

The 3800s were used all over the place from 1965 until very recently - some are still in service, but not nearly as many as in the 1970s-2000s. The 3800s did not haul grain. They hauled everything else that comes in little bits, like potash, sand, cement, etc.
3800 Hopper
Two different body styles on the 3800 cu. ft. covered hopper
The 3800s were built by three major builders, and we've tooled the two most common body styles: National Steel Car and Marine Industries. The biggest spotting difference is that the NSC car has 11 body side panels and the Marine Industries car has six. There are also differences in the brake piping and the roofwalk supports.

Our first production run includes a wide variety of paint schemes. Note the CP cars and the CN "Lifesaver" car are Marine Industries versions. If you already own a CN "Lifesaver" car, IT'S A FAKE and IT'S TOO LONG. Put it on eBay and order ours instead.
Canadian Hopper Car
Our first run "3800" paint schemes.
The models are available in six-packs or individually. The six-pack is the only way to guarantee that you don't get a duplicate number, and you save TEN BUCKS! Ten bucks is ten bucks, eh?

Full information can be found here. Please reserve with your dealer or with us before the deadline. Based on our advance orders to date, this is our biggest-selling piece of rolling stock EVER. You won't want to miss out!

Now on to the video...
Rapido Freight Car Video
Our latest silly video
New Video - 3800 cu. ft. Cylindrical Hopper

Jordan and I have been at it again, though this time there were no fatalities. Click here or on the image above to take a tour of our new hopper cars, including prototype info, product features, and - most importantly - a quick and easy comparison with other Canadian cylindrical hoppers that you may already own.

We tried to be totally serious in this video, but... we're us. If you enjoy this video, please visit our YouTube channel and browse the many videos we have to offer. If you like science fiction I highly recommend the N scale FL9 video, even if you don't model N scale.
Rapido Bus video
Across Canada on the Rapido Bus!
Epic Bus Video

A lot of our videos are just slapped together in a jiffy, but for our amazing cross-Canada journey on the Rapido Bus we actually planned it... a bit. Please click here or on one of the pictures to watch Across Canada on the Rapido Bus. Dan, Jordan and I picked up our new bus in Calgary and drove it across the country.

It was an amazing adventure, and you'll get to see the Canadian prairies up close and personal. The video is ostensibly a way for us to get you to buy our HO scale New Look Bus, but in actual fact we just had such a good time we wanted to share the experience with you.
Rapido Bus
Clean and shiny - and wet! - in Moose Jaw!
This is one of those rare Rapido videos you can actually watch with your wife. My wife did not hate it, which is rare for one of our videos. Usually when I show her our latest video she either falls asleep, groans, or shouts "BOR-ING." This time she said, "Pretty good." That is huge praise.

Here's the link again. Please click here to watch it, and please share it with your friends!
TTC Toronto
Yes, this is Sam the Record Man!
(with a bus in front)
The Nostalgia Bus Limited Edition Print

With all the talk of buses (real and model) lately, we haven't really given much coverage to our first limited-edition print.

Nostalgia Bus: Yonge Street was painted by famous Canadian artist Raffi Anderian and features a Toronto Transit Commission T6H-5307N "New Look" bus (the same as our model) on Yonge Street in front of the famous Sam the Record Man store. It's a fond look back at the 1970s and 1980s Toronto streetscape.

Every GenXer or Baby Boomer who grew up in Toronto has memories visiting Sam's, especially on Boxing Day when they had amazing sales on LPs and later CDs. We'd line up around the block just to save 10-25% on some music. Those were the days...

The painting is available as a large (16x20) signed and numbered limited edition print, or as a smaller (11x14) signed (but not numbered) open edition print. They have been professionally printed using a six-colour process and are gorgeous and vibrant.

Click here for more information or to order yours. This would make an amazing gift for the Toronto lover in your life. Nostalgia is not just for the 1950s, you know!

If the print sells well we will consider doing other transit and rail-related prints. You can order our prints from your local hobby shop or direct.
Tim Hayman Rapido F40 Kool-Aid
A Rapido F40PH-2D repainted and weathered by Tim Hayman
Toronto RPM Meet

This year Rapido is sponsoring the annual Toronto Railway Prototype Modellers Meet, and Dan D. and Bill will be there with bells on! If you have never been to an RPM meet, they are highly recommended. This is where very talented modellers come to show off the models they are working on. It's an opportunity to socialize, talk trains, see some excellent modelling and learn new techniques.

The meet is on Saturday, March 18th, 2017 at Humber College in the west end from 9:00am to 4:30pm. Click here for more information.

Thanks to Tim Hayman for supplying the photo of his impressive "Kool-Aid" VIA F40PH-2D!
Amtrak NPCU Cabbage
First pre-production sample of our new NPCU "Cabbage"
Update on the Cabbage and Rebuilt F40

One of the most frequent questions we get these days is "Is there any news on the Cabbage?" So here is some news.

The tooling is basically finished. Above is our first complete pre-production sample of our HO scale Amtrak NPCU - Non-Powered Control Unit - or "Cabbage" for short. This is ready for production but as you can see from our recent newsletters and advertisements we are making rather a lot of model trains right now. We haven't been able to devote the needed resources to marketing this model. A lot of people don't actually know about it yet, so please spread the word.

The same goes for our HO scale Rebuilt F40 with larger fuel tank and ditch lights, as can be seen below.
Amtrak F40
First pre-production sample of our new Rebuilt F40
When we first announced these models over a year ago we naively thought that they would be easy to make. We were wrong. We have to make all new bodies both for the Cabbage (which we expected) and the rebuilt F40 (which we didn't). Amtrak made enough small changes that we could not use our old body at all. Compare the rebuilt F40 above with our first run F40 below.
Amtrak F40PH
I love this photo.... Yes, those are our models!
Note the step wells on the rebuilt engines are recessed for greater safety. You can also note the ditch lights on both the Cabbage and the F40 as well as the large "bug eye" marker lights on the Cabbage, which meant that we couldn't even use the same nose for both the Cabbage and the F40! The fuel tank is now larger, and there are HEP cables in the front.

This spring we are making a new product feature video showing off the sounds and ditch lights in both of these models. We would have it sooner but the samples got destroyed on the way to Denver this month so we need to make new ones!

This video will be a sequel to our original F40 video, which can be viewed by clicking here or on the image below. It will even feature an awesome commercial at the beginning like the F40 video did. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel to ensure you don't miss the new video.
Amtrak F40 Commercial
Rapido F40 Monster Madness!
There is no order deadline yet, as we don't want to announce one until we know we have the factory capacity to actually make them. The deadline will probably be in September or thereabouts. But you can still get your order in now!

Click here for more information about the Cabbage.

Click here for more information about the rebuilt F40.

These are available to order from your dealer or direct.
McGrattan Gondola
The Mike McGrattan Memorial Gondolas
The Mike McGrattan Memorial Gondola

The memorial gons for Mike have just arrived and will be shipped out next week. 100% of the total sales value of these Rapido/Prairie Shadows N scale gondolas is being donated to Mike's family to help pay for his son's university education. Sam was only 12 when Mike died last year.

I am pleased to report that we have so far sent over $12,000 to Margaret, Mike's widow. Thank you to everyone who has purchased one or two of these gondolas. And thank you for your kind messages to Margaret and Sam. We have indeed passed them along.

We have about 150 gons left. If you would like to order a memorial gondola or two, please click here.
VIA Rebuilt F40
VIA F40s in production
Other Factory Updates

Both factories are hard at work on Rapido production.

The VIA Rail Canada rebuilt F40PH-2D will be leaving the factory around March 20th, for a late April arrival here. We've made a handful of extra DCC/sound models so if you didn't order one and you'd still like one, please speak to your local hobby shop.

This shipment includes our collectible $10 bill edition. 50 of these models will have a crisp, uncirculated Canadian $10 bill (featuring the rebuilt F40 on the back) in the box. One of these models will have a consecutive series of ten $10 bills. The boxes will be sealed here at the Rapido office.

The 1400/1600-series GMD-1 models (the ones with the stripes!) are in production at the LRC factory and they will also be leaving around March 20th. We also made a few extra DCC models of these if you did not order one. Late April will be a tough time for the wallets of modern-era Canadian modellers.

We will be uploading videos of both these locomotives in action in about a month's time. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel to ensure you don't miss them.
N scale FPB-4
N scale FPB-4 for Prairie Shadows
We have also just received the revised HO scale Penn Central 8600-series coaches and we will be swapping shells on those as soon as the Mike gondola models are shipped out.

The LRC factory has started work on the HO scale FA-2 while the Rapido factory is working on the N scale FPA-4 and FPB-4 as well as the N scale baggage cars. This is in addition to the N gauge Pendolino and the OO gauge Class 156. So we have our hands full!
Rapido Bus Trip
Boarding the Rapido Bus in Toronto
Why Did We Buy a Bus?

So this is the question a lot of people have been asking me over the last few months. Why on Earth did Rapido buy a real bus?

So there's a personal reason and a professional reason. The personal reason is that I've always wanted to drive a bus. When I was nine, the other kids wanted to be firemen or doctors. I wanted to drive the Bathurst 7G in the morning and be a grade 4 teacher in the afternoon. You know how you have flying dreams? I used to have bus driving dreams. Until I was 40. And a bit.

(I'll be 42 next week.)

When I was 18 I was one of the bidders on old buses at TTC's Hillcrest shops. My plan was to paint it maroon and cream and drive it across the country. I had enough money for the bus. That was it. I didn't have enough money to move it or to insure it. My parents talked me out of the purchase. Thankfully.

Now at age 41 (and 51/52nds) I own a model train company that is branching into model buses, so buying a bus made sense. And the bus needed a new paint job. And it was located across the country. You get where I'm heading with this? Driving that bus across Canada was, in every sense of the expression, a dream come true.
Rapido Bus Winnipeg
Stopping in Winnipeg
The professional reason for buying a bus is that it is actually a lot more portable than a train (even though it costs twice as much to insure our bus as it does to insure our trains!). And we plan to take the Rapido Bus on the road to events throughout Ontario (and hopefully beyond) to bring the hobbies of model railroading and model vehicles to more people.

We got a little taste of this when we took the Rapido Bus to the Copetown train show last Sunday. The photo below is a link to Stephen Gardiner's blog about the trip.
Tim Hortons bus
It's the bus to Tim Horton's!
Why is it necessary to do this kind of outreach?

Let's face it. Traditional men's hobbies as a whole have been under threat recently. What are traditionally seen as women's hobbies are booming, such as crafting, dollhouse miniatures, needlework, scrapbooks, etc. But our fellow guys? Their eyes are glued to their smartphones. I am certain there are millions of creative guys out there who have a model railroader or other hobbyist trapped inside them, trying to get out.

There isn't a hobby shop in every strip mall or shopping centre any more. Guys are less likely to chance upon hobbies. The Rapido Bus is a way for us to bring hobbies to guys directly.
Rapido Bus Regina
Enjoying the sights and sounds of Regina, The Queen City.
Our first non-train show is the Barrie Automotive Flea Market in early June. This four-day festival is one of the biggest classic car shows in Canada. And if you compare classic cars with our hobbies of model trains and buses - it's all the same creative genes at work. We hope to introduce some classic car fans to our hobbies, and if we get 10 people to walk into a hobby shop after that show, we will consider it a worthwhile expense of time, money and effort.

I'm very proud of the work we've done so far to introduce our hobby to others. Have you seen our ads on the Amtrak ticket folders? See the photo below. We're always looking for new ways to bring people into our community.

So was buying the Rapido Bus worth it? Definitely. 100%. The Rapido team is living the dream and we wouldn't have it any other way.

On that uplifting note, I will bid you adieu until the next newsletter or silly YouTube video.

All the best,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.
Amtrak Ticket Folders
Our Amtrak Ticket Folders. Really!
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