New Haven, Buses, Baggage Cars, F40s, Dynamometers and more. Rapido has been busy!

Rapido Newsletter Vol. 88 
©2017 Rapido Trains Inc. 
Dear Rapido Customer,

It's been a while! But that doesn't mean we've been idle. In this issue of Rapido News: 
New Haven Parlor Car
New Haven Parlor-Lounge
New Haven Parlor - Order Deadline May 15th

We're less than two weeks away from our next big order deadline, May 15th, for the HO scale New Haven Parlor and Parlor Lounge, a key part of the New Haven's stainless steel lightweight fleet.

The Parlors went through a number of tweaks between their original delivery in 1948 and January 1950. Eventually the New Haven settled on two configurations: the straight parlor (36 chairs) and the parlor lounge (26 chairs and 14 lounge seats). We're making both.
New Haven Parlor
Now that is a classy way to travel...
The New Haven Parlor and Parlor Lounge cars are not like a one-per-train dining car or Canadian "club car." Top New Haven trains usually had several Parlors in a mix of the two configurations. So you can't just order one...

If you have our New Haven 8600-series coaches, you know the quality you will get in your Parlor. The models feature:
  • Specially-formulated "Pullman Bradley" stainless-steel finish
  • Full interior with separate seats including antimacassars
  • Interior molded and painted in different, accurate colors
  • Full underbody including air, steam and electrical conduits
  • Full or partial skirting as appropriate
  • Track-powered, even LED lighting
  • Separate grab irons
  • Operating diaphragms with end gates
  • Accurate 41-BNO-11 trucks
  • Metal wheels with needlepoint axles
New Haven Parlor Rapido
Full skirting and partial skirting available.
Thanks are owed to the New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association for spearheading and sponsoring this project. Available paint schemes are:
  • New Haven Green (skirts)    
  • New Haven McGinnis (skirts) - NHRHTA Exclusive
  • New Haven McGinnis (no skirts)
  • Penn Central (no skirts)
  • Amtrak (no skirts)    
  • Painted, unlettered

Please reserve your Parlors and Parlor Lounges by May 15th. Delivery is late 2017/early 2018.


Click here for more info or to order direct.  

Rapido Fishbowl
Just one of the many custom buses you can make with our unlettered versions...
Rapido Bus - Order Deadline Postponed to June 26th

We appear to be the victims of our own success. Because orders were much higher than we anticipated for the FA-2 and Dash 8 locomotives, our factories will not have capacity to make our 1/87 New Look "Fishbowl" buses until the summer.

So we're extending the order deadline to June 26th, and we have filmed a new product features video to convince you to order a bunch! Click here or on the image below to watch it.
Bus Video
Click here to watch the video.
You can order our New Look bus model from your local hobby shop or diecast model dealer or directly from us. Click here for more info.
Rapido British Bus
What could this British bus be?
Warning: it's probably not what you think it is. We're known for our red herrings.
If you like buses in general, we are launching our first British bus model (in 1/76 scale) this summer. I absolutely love classic British buses from the late 1940s to the 1960s, and I am trying to convert my employees.

Please join me and some other yet-to-be-determined members of the Rapido team in England on July 16th at the Transport Museum, Wythall (near Birmingham) for our Rapido Bus 3D Scanning Event. You can see the 3D scan in process and learn how an accurate (double-deck) bus model is made. And classic Birmingham City Transport and Midland Red buses will be providing complimentary rides. The cost to get in is the regular admission price, which is just £4!

As this event is in the United Kingdom, complimentary tea will be served. (Of course.)

Remember the date: July 16th. Rain or shine.
Turbo on the Helix
Turbo on the helix... Josh in the helix...
You can order that awesome mug here.
Update on Jason's Kingston Subdivision

We're all model railroaders at Rapido (except Janet, but we're working on it). I'm currently building a 12x45 foot, triple deck layout of VIA Rail Canada operations on CN's Kingston Subdivision between Toronto and eastern Ontario. Most people who see the layout don't understand a life-long hobby. The most common question I get is "When will it be finished?" When a child asks me that, I often reply that "it will be finished when your children are as old as you are now."

Last year I only got to work on the layout a handful of times because I was travelling so much, including three trips to China. Now Bill is in China so I don't need to be there...

I've been helped by my team at Rapido and by friends such as John Chipperfield and Tom Fetherston.

Click here or on the image below to watch a video of the "inaugural" run on deck three. My frogs aren't powered yet, so the Turbo is the only thing that will run reliably over the switches!
Turbo Train Video
Click here to watch the video.
I haven't had the time to keep the old Kingston Sub web site up and running, so I have been maintaining a Facebook page for the Kingston Sub. Click here to visit. I regularly update it with photos and now videos, and the ensuing discussions have been enlightening.
GMD-1 Rapido Kingston Sub Brockville
Unlikely motive power for a VIA Rapido on the Kingston Sub...
I find being in the layout room to be utterly calming, no matter what kind of awful day I have had. I highly recommend you get out of your armchair and start building that dream layout. If you are "in transit" at the moment, then I recommend a small switching layout or station scene. Just get building.

My biggest fear has always been waiting until I retire to get serious about my layout and then kicking the bucket after only a couple of years working on it. So I try to build when I can. Last year was tough. This year has been good, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity. If you have the chance, build.

Click here to see the 2017 progress (so far!) on the layout.
Josh Anderchek_ Rapido Bus
Welcome Josh Anderchek! And welcome, our awesome bus!
Photo courtesy Adrian Badaraco.
Introducing Josh Anderchek

Rapido Trains Inc. is delighted to announce our newest full-time employee,   Joshua Anderchek. Josh was a TTC driver for nine years, and before that he was a professional cartographer.

Josh brings an encyclopaedic knowledge of transit and train operations, extensive graphic design and copy writing skills, and a strong commitment to our hobby and our customers.
Josh Anderchek Rapido
Josh is getting a little too excited while preparing $10 bills for our forthcoming
VIA Rail Canada Rebuilt F40PH-2D - $10 bill edition.
He has quickly become an invaluable member of our team and has already learned how to be patient with me, a good asset as our offices are side-by-side. If you see the Rapido Bus on a weekend excursion around Toronto, chances are it's Josh behind the wheel.

You'll be seeing and hearing more from Josh in the future. Congratulations, Mr. Anderchek!
a5 VIA Rebuilt F40 Locomotive
Is that not absolutely gorgeous?
We've finally learned how to take a model shot that is mostly in focus. Woo-hoo!
Arriving Now: VIA Rail Canada F40PH-2D Locomotives

The much-anticipated VIA Rail Canada Rebuilt F40PH-2D locomotives have just arrived in our warehouse. Our original VIA F40 in 2015 was the first accurate VIA F40 ever produced, and the same can be said of our rebuilt F40.

The prototype features a separate HEP (head end power) generator in the large compartment at the rear of the locomotive, and our sound-equipped model includes recordings of that HEP generator starting up and running so your passengers can ride in comfortable, climate-controlled coaches.

We had planned to make a video showcasing the features of our model, but we are completely - absolutely - 100% sold out. So it hasn't been a huge priority. We'll get on it in the next couple of weeks in case you are still on the fence and your hobby shop still has some.

More information about our rebuilt F40PH-2D locomotives can be found here.
What we *thought* were production models of the new GMD-1 locomotives...
Projects in Development: Some Updates
  • HO scale GMD-1 with stripes
  • N scale Baggage Car
  • HO scale Mid-Train Dome
We posted the above photo of our new HO scale Rebuilt GMD-1 Locomotives in March thinking it looked awesome, but then we looked at it more closely and got more and more bothered by the yellow stripe. It was a bit wibbly. After a meeting with Colin, our Chinese manager and CEO of the LRC factory, we decided it wasn't good enough. So we disassembled all of the GMD-1 locomotives, injected new frames, and redid the stripes.
GMD-1 Factory
Reassembling the GMD-1 with new walkways and handrails
Above is a photo of a 1600-series GMD-1 being reassembled. Replacing the walkways meant that we also needed to inject new handrails and paint the ends. We're almost finished the reworking of the GMD-1 locomotives and they will be leaving the factory next week, with arrival in late June.

Click here for more information. We are making a handful extra of these in case you missed them, and we will be uploading a product features video later this month. The working ditch lights are awesome.
Erie Baggage Car Rapido
Erie baggage cars in the paint shop. What a load of baggage!
Production of our N scale Panorama Line Baggage Cars is well under way, and we expect them to leave the factory in early June, with arrival later in the summer. These are looking beautiful, and we're sure Mike would be proud.

Click here for more information.
Mid-Train Dome Car
What happened to this???
We are now getting several calls a week about our HO scale Mid-Train Dome. Where is the darn thing? Rapido used to take years to produce models but we don't take that long any more.

As you may have read here before, the moulds of our Budd cars have proved unworkable. We're committed to bringing out the Mid-Train Dome, but it requires a large capital expense in the form of new tooling. Because we have already produced several thousand domes, the overall demand is less than for a brand-new product.

As I am a business owner with a responsibility to keep the business afloat, I've had to push the Mid-Train Dome tooling back several times because we need to invest our limited tooling budget into projects that will bring in a healthy return. The Mid-Train Dome tooling quotes we received have been higher than the cost to tool a new locomotive, but the dome car will bring in only about 1/3 the revenue of a new engine. Clearly it has not been economical to tool the dome.

Rest assured we are committed to the project. Bill and Colin are meeting with the owner of one of our new mould workshops to see if we can arrange a deal on the tooling. We will keep you informed. Hopefully we can get this back into tooling soon. But if the Mid-Train Dome tooling continues to cost more than new locomotive tooling I can't see how we can justify the expense, unless we find a pile of money sitting around.

Once we hit the "go" button it just takes about 10 weeks to remake the moulds. Remaking moulds is much quicker than making them for the first time! Full information can be found here.
Rapido News
Extra! Extra! Big announcement on the way!
Click on the image to see a larger version.
Two Big Announcements for Canada Day & July 4th

We're preparing a couple of "huge" new product announcements, in HO and N scales. These will be launched on June 26th, the date of our second annual Rapido Dealer Open House. If you are a hobby shop owner and you carry our products, you are invited to come to Rapido's Intergalactic HQ for a barbecue and a schmooze. More information will be coming in Rapido's dealer newsletters.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page and your email inbox for more information about our new products. One of the announcements is a very poorly-kept secret, but the other should be a complete surprise! We're looking forward to it.
UK Rapido
Mmmm.... Big, Beautiful, Buses!
UK News: New Distributor for Rapido's North American Models

We're pleased to announce that Rapido customers in the UK can now reserve Rapido's North American products from Rails of Sheffield. Rails is one of the largest model shops in the United Kingdom and delivers model trains and accessories to enthusiasts and collectors around the world. We are delighted that Rails has chosen to carry most of our North American range.

UK residents can still order Rapido products directly from our web site, but having an actual British high street shop carrying our line is a great benefit and will help those of you who like to see and touch a model before buying.
Dynamometer Car
Rendering of the Dynamometer Car
Rails has recently developed a new manufacturing arm, Rails Exclusive. Working with Rapido, Rails Exclusive's first release is the LNER Dynamometer Car in OO gauge. This iconic passenger car achieved immortality running behind streamlined A4 Pacific Mallard on its record-breaking run in 1938.

You can reserve yours directly from Rails by clicking here.
Rapido LRC Factory
Bill is working on Royal Hudson designs with our engineering team at the LRC factory.
Ms. Zhang just started this week, and Mr. Xiong - on the right - is her husband.
Both have been in the model train business for over 20 years and Ms. Zhang
went to school with our factory CEO, Colin. It's a small world...
Bill's Factory Report - More Project Updates

Greetings from hot and humid Dongguan, China! (Jason: It's supposed to snow in Toronto on Sunday.)

Jason and I discovered some time ago that we can get a lot accomplished if we're sitting in the same office with our engineering and production staff rather than relying on e-mails and translations. As a result, either or both of us have been traveling to China on a regular basis. So, having been home all of ten days since my trip to England, I'm in China again! My wife, Theresa, muttered something about not coming home this time...

We have plenty of projects in various stages of completion that make this trip worthwhile. There has been lots of exciting progress on many fronts at both factories over the last few days, including a few projects that I can't talk about yet. You'll find out more on June 26th.

Here are some quick updates on a few projects that you do know about: 
FA-2 Locomotive Parts
Assembling FA-2 Chassis
Production has started on these models with plastic injection nearly complete and subassemblies under way now. OK, it's not much to look at, but this is the less glamorous end of model train production! We're currently finalizing paint colors and decoration arrangements. For the most part this is going well, but there are a few "challenges" in terms of getting the colors right. For the sake of my LV and PRR friends I won't mention names! The Chinese workers are already learning to curse the phrase "Dark Green Locomotive Enamel."

Don't worry. We'll get there.  
GMD-1 Production
GMD-1 final touches
HO Rebuilt GMD-1 Locomotive
Jason already gave an update on this project, but I thought this photo is neat, showing two lines of 99% complete GMD-1 locomotives. We've received complaints before that there was "evidence someone touched my model." Well how did you think they got built? All of our models are assembled by hand.  
Royal Hudson tooling
The Royal Hudson tooling... not much to look at yet!

Bill couldn't find a mould that looked recognizable to people who are not
model train engineers, but rest assured those big blocks of steel
comprise a good portion of the Royal Hudson tooling.
HO scale Royal Hudson
As mentioned in earlier newsletters, the Royal Hudson is in the tooling factory, and we were expecting samples next month.

I know that we've been silent for a while on this, but not for lack of progress! Tooling is under way now but we don't yet have plastic bits to show for it so you'll have to use your imagination. We'll have complete, running and decorated samples this summer. Really. If not, Jason will fire me. (Please send your resumes to "I Want to go to China in Bill's Place, c/o Rapido Trains Inc.")

I've been working closely with our new engineer, Mr. Fu. Like me, he was born in 1963, which makes him tied for "most distinguished and decorated and honorable" Rapido employee. (Jason: You're both old.)

Mr. Fu has almost 30 years' experience designing steam locomotives and he found some problems with our drive system, which was designed by a younger engineer. A quick call was made to our tooling factory and work was halted. This has saved us a more costly rework later.

We are redesigning the chassis now and expect the tooling to start up again before I leave next week. The tooling factory boss was relieved to hear that we won't be making changes to the exterior details, as those are quite advanced on the moulds.

We are planning a fall tour of select hobby shops in Canada and the United States to show off the Royal Hudson to our customers. We will then close the order desk and start production. Please keep an eye on these newsletters for more information.

Mr. Fu is now the project manager for the design of all of the Icons of Canadian Steam locomotives. A big thank you is owed to Colin and Xiong for hiring him!

Another Black Sooty Thing
In case you were wondering whether there's progress on the rest of the Icons of Canadian Steam series; well, yes. The factory is starting the design of the next loco in the series now, the Canadian Pacific D-10. More on that once we have something to show for the Hudson.
Painting the Class 156 DMU
Realtrack Class 156 DMU models in the paint shop
In addition, there's great news on some of our British projects, including the N gauge Pendolino from Revolution Trains and the OO gauge Class 156 DMU from Realtrack Models which are both in production now. Final adjustments are being made on the OO Gauge Stirling Single 4-2-2 steam loco for and, if things keep on schedule, I'll have samples in my carry-on bag going home.

Meanwhile, I am working with the printing master at the Rapido factory, Mr. Lei, to determine the best way to print teak wood grain for the Rails Exclusive Dynamometer Car Jason mentioned earlier. This is going to be fun...

Throughout the next week I will be posting more factory updates on our Facebook page. Please visit the page and "like" us! 
A Budd RDC on the Sudbury-White River run in 2005.
Nice photo, eh? I think I have a VIA obsession...
Fighting the Fight for Passenger Rail

Thanks, Bill. We aren't just model train manufacturers here at Rapido. We are railfans and passenger train advocates. Today I had my first opinion piece published in the Ottawa Citizen, calling on the Canadian government to fund a new intercity fleet for VIA Rail Canada. The old Budd cars do their job fine on the leisurely trip across Canada aboard The Canadian, but they are not at all suited to high-density intercity services in Ontario and Quebec. The last purpose-built cars for VIA were delivered 33 to 36 years ago!

Click here to read the article and please join in the discussion.

You can also click here to listen to a radio interview I gave on the need to expand services in western Canada and the Maritimes. This was on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) radio show called The 180.

That's all for this edition of Rapido News. We will be in touch in early June with a brief update and then it's the big announcement on the 26th.

Thanks for reading,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.

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