What do Cabbages and Road Switchers have in common? They are both featured in our new videos!

Rapido Newsletter Vol. 92 
©2017 Rapido Trains Inc. 
Dear Rapido Customer,

The autumn winds blow chilly and cold... or they will soon, anyway! Here's something to pass the time until you are back in your train room.

In this issue of Rapido News: 
Big September 15th Order Deadline

We have four new HO scale locomotives which must be reserved by September 15th, and that is also the deadline for the Early Bird discount on the N scale TurboTrain. Please reserve the new models with your local dealer or directly with us by the 15th. Dealers please submit your final orders to us or your distributor by end of day on Monday September 18th.

Please read on for more information and some great new videos.
CN and CP SW1200RS in action!
HO scale CN/CP SW1200RS - New Video!

As much as we try to convey the features of our models through photos and text, nothing works as well as a video. To that end, Dan and I took our two hand-painted SW1200RS pre-production samples to Our Home and Miniature Land, an awe-inspiring model railroad tourist attraction currently under construction in Mississauga, Ontario.

The video gives you a close look at the model features and points out the differences between the CP and CN versions of this uniquely Canadian locomotive. Click here or on the image below to watch.
SW1200RS Model
The Rapido HO scale SW1200RS features all-new tooling and is accurate for CN and CP. It is the first ever model of the SW1200RS in plastic. Click here or on the image below to read the SW1200RS Master Class and you too can become an expert on the history and spotting features of this hard-working locomotive.
SW1200RS Class
The SW1200RS features:
  • Heavy diecast frame, chassis and gearboxes for superior pulling power
  • Rapido's renowned smooth-running drive system
  • Working headlights, number boards, class lights, track lights, cab interior light
  • Separate metal handrails, including crash bars inside the cab
  • Numerous optional parts, including all-weather windows, winterization hatches, watchman's heater, snow shields, radiator covers, and alternative MU stands
  • Incredible underbody piping and conduit detail
  • Amazing, accurate sounds with a new MP3-quality speaker
The MSRP is $325 (DC/DCC/Sound) and $225 (DC/Silent). Please remember the order deadline of September 15th.

Click here for more info or to order direct.
Amtrak Cabbage
Amtrak Cabbage in action!
HO scale Amtrak Cabbage and F40 - New Video!

We've certainly been busy making videos this summer! And we're very proud of our Amtrak Cabbage video, which is one of the silliest videos we have ever made, but it also includes some serious bits where we look at the model features.

If you have no sense of humour, DON'T WATCH. You won't enjoy it. For the rest of us, click here or on the image below to learn more about the Amtrak Cabbage and modernized F40 locomotive and hopefully you will also be entertained. I had Roger Ramjet on my mind when I was working on it, as you'll be able to tell.
Amtrak NPCU Video
The Amtrak Cabbage is really called an NPCU, or Non-Powered Control Unit. In the 1990s, Amtrak began a rebuild program to convert some of its F40 locomotives into cab baggage cars for push-pull operation. They quickly became known as Cabbages (Cab + Baggage = Cabbage).

Our model is the first ever HO scale Cabbage, and it features:
  • All-new correct NPCU body
  • Rapido's smooth-running drive system
  • Operating, flashing ditch lights
  • Operating strobe lights, marker lights and step lights
  • User-controlled operating number boards
  • Etched-metal grilles and windshield wipers
  • Unmatched underframe detail
  • Full, decorated cab interior
  • Accurate Cabbage sounds, including on-board announcements

If you're wondering why the Cabbage model is powered while the prototype isn't, watch the video for the full explanation. Most people who request a non-powered Cabbage have never actually run their model Amfleet cars. Once they (try to) run their Amfleet cars, they generally stop asking for non-powered Cabbages. 

Amtrak NPCU F40
Amtrak Cabbage and Modernized F40 Paint Schemes
The "odd one out" is the Modernized F40PH. Only one paint scheme for that!
The Modernized F40PH locomotive has a ton (not "tonne") of new tooling, including a new body with ditch lights and recessed cab steps, and a larger fuel tank for long distance services. The sounds are the same great Rapido F40 sounds that have been so well received.
Amtrak F40 HO
Pointing out the Modernized Amtrak F40PH features on our YouTube video
You can watch the first run F40PH in action in our original F40 video by clicking here, or you can search YouTube as there are plenty of F40 reviews out there. Here's one from TSG Multimedia and here's an overview from Trainworld.

The MSRP for the Amtrak Cabbage or F40 is $299.95 (DC/DCC/Sound) or $199.95 (DC/Silent).

Click here for more info on the Cabbage.
Click here for more info on the F40.

Remember, the deadline is September 15th.
United Aircraft TurboTrain
Meet the Turbos!
(HO scale moptops shown.)
N scale TurboTrain - Early Bird Discount

The 5% Early Bird discount for the N scale TurboTrain only applies to orders placed by September 15th. Click here to find out more about the train or to reserve yours directly from us.

When we initially announced the TurboTrain back in June we said we weren't certain of the interest. Well now we can say with certainty that the interest is huge. We are definitely producing the Turbo in N scale.

The final order deadline will be in February, provided we have our working samples by then. If not, we will postpone the final deadline until you guys can see a video of the N scale Turbo in action. Videos are a great way to experience a model before you reserve. Since we posted the video of the Amtrak Cabbage we've been inundated with orders. We're on track for a late summer or early fall 2018 Turbo delivery.

Here's that link again: that link again.
Pennsylvania Railroad FA-2s in the house!
Big Factory/Production Update

You may have noticed that our factories (plural) have been a bit slow on deliveries lately. We've certainly noticed, and it's been driving us nuts! The LRC factory is still finding its feet and the Rapido factory moved to a new and improved location. The old location was near a bunch of ceramics factories so the air was quite dusty, requiring us to redo a lot of shells that got dust in the paint. The new location is in a much cleaner part of Dongguan and should save us a lot of time in the long run.

This has put us a bit behind schedule, but we're working overtime at both factories to catch up.

Production of the HO scale "Prime Movers" Dash 8 locomotives is now well under way:
CN Dash 8
CN Dash 8 shells in the printing shop. Note that in the new schemes, the lettering
is different on every unit. The factory LOVES us for that.
CN C40-8M Ditch Lights
CN Dash 8 ditch lights. On some units, they are VERY RED.
As you can see from the wires sticking out the back, these ditch lights actually work.
They are slightly fatter than the prototype to hide the wires and LEDs. 
The HO scale FA-2 production is proceeding very nicely and forms the bulk of the work being done at the LRC factory. PRR has already been delivered, and will soon be followed by CPR, NYC and the rest.
CPR FPA-2 locomotives on the assembly line at the LRC factory
New York Central FA2
Finishing up the pad printing on the New York Central FA-2 locomotives
After a delay of more than a year while we completely redesigned its guts, the Railcrew Switch Machine with rotating switch targets are in production. These were delayed because our first production run had some longevity issues - we had to scrap the whole run after it arrived at our warehouse! (Anybody need 5000 momentary toggle switches?) But it was worth it as we don't want to deliver a product that you will need to replace in a few years.

Remember - we want to be #2 in the world of switch machines! If you represent a model train club or work for a hobby shop we would be happy to send you a free sample of the RailCrew Switch Machine when it comes in. Just get in touch!
RailCrew switch machines in production
CP Royal Hudson
CPR Royal Hudson 2838. Photo courtesy John Riddell.
Tooling Update on the Royal Hudson

For this bit, I'm passing the baton over to Bill.

Bill: Thanks, hoser. It's been a while since we posted any meaningful updates on the HO scale Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson project. So... wanting to provide the most recent possible news we asked the factory to take photos of the various Royal Hudson moulds in the tooling shop. Here they are.
Bits of Royal Hudson Tooling... Yes, really.
OK, we're not entirely sure what we're looking at either...
Rapido Factory
Redesigning the Royal Hudson. Guess which head belongs to Bill!
Back in May I met with the engineering staff in China and we decided to make some changes to the drive system in the Royal Hudson. These changes will make the drive more powerful, smoother and more reliable. However, it did mean doing some significant changes to the chassis layout so we asked the tooling shop to stop work until all the design updates were done. We're now back in full tooling production and expect the first operating samples at the end of September.

So, what has changed?

One issue with many steam loco drives has been that, because of the use of the side-rods to transfer power from one driven axle to the others, any play in the side-rods gets multiplied. This can cause uneven starts and lurching movement.

To avoid these issues we have gone to a design in which all main axles are gear driven. In the case of the Hudson think of it as a C-truck diesel with really big wheels! This will allow the motor motion to be transferred smoothly to all driven axles. The valve gear is just along for the ride. This should give superior performance and long-term durability.
Cutaway of the revised gearbox and gear arrangement
We've also modified the original pick-up system, which relied only on axle bushings. We have added a low-friction plunger system riding on the backs of the driver rims. This will apply light, positive pressure to the back of the driver rim to pick up power and will be long-wearing and self-cleaning.

As an avid operator and steam enthusiast, one of my pet peeves is standing close to a layout watching a sound-equipped loco roll slowly by, then hearing the sound come out of the tender coal pile! I KNOW that isn't where the sound comes from. On our Royal Hudson we've mounted one speaker in the smokebox that is ported out through the bottom between the cylinders. In tests I've found that this provides more than enough sound in a normal layout environment, and it seems to come from the right spot! However, if you're one of those operators that insists that every loco volume control should go to eleven, or if you like to play your Rush concert CDs at full volume while running your train, we've provided speakers in the tender as well that can be disabled if, like me, you don't feel that you need them.

Speaking of tenders, if you open the tender on our Royal Hudson you will notice one group of items missing that you might expect to find there - the electronics. We have designed our Royal Hudson so that the PC board and DCC decoder socket are inside the boiler, atop the drive, and easily accessible with the removal of just a few easily accessed but hidden screws. This means that the tender has no extra dead weight that will compromise the loco's pulling power, and it significantly reduces the number of wires needed between tender and cab. Of course, every additional available space in the loco is crammed full of metal for maximum traction.

We are planning a cross-Canada tour with the Royal Hudson in January and February 2018, and the order deadline will immediately follow the tour. It will be just like The Canadian tour in 2011, except that Jason doesn't know squat about steam engines so it will mostly be Dan Darnell and me on tour. I'm hoping to score a couple of trips on The Ocean and The Canadian on Jason's dime. Please innocently suggest this next time you happen to speak with him. If you catch him in our bus, he will be more inclined to listen. That's his happy place.

Back to you, Jason.

Thanks, Bill. And I'll be happy to pay for your ticket on The Canadian but only if you take it to Regina.
Hornby Tri-Ang Canadian
We discovered a bunch of hidden treasures at Rails of Sheffield,
such as these pristine Tri-ang Canadian models from 1970!
Visiting a Massive British Train Store - New Video!

Gareth and I were in the UK last month. (You can read about it - and our new double decker bus - in our last newsletter, here.) While there we visited Rails of Sheffield. This is a model train store in - would you believe? - the city of Sheffield. But it's more than just a store. It's more of a village.

As they've grown, they haven't moved to a big place in the suburbs like most companies. Instead, they just kept buying more Victorian shop fronts and apartments around their Victorian shop front. So their stuff is spread all over the place. In storerooms, in apartments, even in the bathrooms!

Click here or on the image below to take a tour of the premises. I was seriously injured while filming this, but I made up for it by stealing all their stuff.
Rails of Sheffield Rapido
Stealing a beautiful bus model from Rails of Sheffield... Click here to watch the rest!
Rapido Sucks
I don't think he likes CN's "wet noodle" scheme... 
Grumpy, Grumpy, Grumpy

In Rapido News Vol. 90 I discussed how model railroading is supposed to be bring peace to our stressful lives (you can read it here). One of our customers clearly wasn't getting the message.

We received this really angry message in response to our SW1200RS video:

Get rid of the atempted and constantly FAILED, CHILDISH comical scene's in all of your videos, they are NOT funny, only wierd and put the WT* in ones mind... Concentrate on your products, slow down the naration, especially the credits at the end that just fly past, and get rid of the wise crack comments of your big mouth posy that over dub and ruin your discriptions of your product, its not take your kids to work with you, just leave your children at home.
I posted this on our Facebook page and we were overwhelmed by the response. The vast majority of your comments were enormously supportive, and it seems that our sense of humour connects with you, both in our videos and in our product manuals.
Everyone has met guys like this one. There are people who take the hobby so seriously that they are unable to get any enjoyment out of what is supposed to be fun. In Vol. 90 I mentioned people who call and scream at us because a part has fallen off their model. I didn't go into detail about the other type of angry customers - those who, like the angry customer above, take issue with how we do business in general.  
We get emails and phone calls on occasion from model railroaders who are absolutely convinced that everything we are doing is wrong and they want to school us: we put too much detail underneath our models and nobody cares about that stuff; we choose the wrong models and we should choose a different prototype instead; we shouldn't waste our money preserving real trains and that's why our models are so expensive; our marketing is terrible and we're clearly about to go out of business; everything we do is just to feed Jason's massive ego. The list goes on.
At times, Dan Garcia (Gomez) has had to hang up on people because they didn't stop berating him for Rapido's crimes. There isn't much we can do about guys who can't let go of their anger except hope that they get some help for it and learn to love their lives. 
If you like our approach to marketing and communication, have no fear. We have no plans to change. In fact, this one message from Howard Gillespie on our Facebook page puts everything into perspective. He wrote:
Do not ever quit the humor and satire aspect of your model presentations or in your promotional efforts. It lifts people through tough days. Case in point this past January as my father lay dying in his hospital room the RDC Owners Manual gave some great laughs in an otherwise sullen situation as the end was near. Rapido rocks! Live, laugh, and love...
That says it all. Bringing joy to Howard and his dad is worth more than 10,000 of the angry haters.
Well that's it for another newsletter. It was shorter than usual. If you're reading this in the bathroom and you still have some time to kill, why not click here to watch one of our YouTube videos?

Please remember the September 15th order deadline. We would hate for you to miss out on a new model.

I'll be in touch later this autumn when the model train season is in full swing. But I've had it with product announcements. I've barely worked on my layout in the last three months!

If you need me I'll be in my basement.

Or driving the bus.

All the best,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.

P.S. I just wanted to show you the new family decals I made for my car. They are all New Look buses - two Birmingham New Looks and three North American New Looks! The guys can't believe I'm still married. Sidura never reads this far down in the newsletter so don't tell her about these. It should take a few weeks for her to notice....
Jason Shron Bus
New family car decals! 
Rapido Trains Inc. | 1-855-LRC-6917 | www.rapidotrains.com