Rapido Telegraph

Rapido News Volume 33 Special Announcement - ©2011 Rapido Trains Inc.

To our loyal customers:

Welcome to a special edition of Rapido News. For the first time, we can honestly say we're making model railroad history.

FPA4 and FPB4 Locomotive

The MLW FPA4 and FPB4 Locomotives

The MLW FPA4 and FPB4 in HO Scale

Canada's worst-kept secret has finally been revealed: Rapido Trains Inc. is indeed producing the first-ever accurate models of the unique FPA4 and FPB4 locomotives. But wait... there's more!

You are cordially invited to the...

Scanning the FPA4

The FPA4 Party: A 3D Scan of The Real FPA4
November 7th, 2011 - Exporail, Montreal

In just two short weeks we will be making model railroad history. We will be performing the first-ever 3D scan of a real MLW/ALCO FA locomotive: FPA4 #6765 at Exporail, Canada's national railway museum in Montreal, Quebec. And YOU are invited to join us! I'll give you all the details below.

Many manufacturers have tried their hands at the Alco FA-series locomotives in the past, and after every release a common complaint is that they didn't get the nose or the roof contour right.

So we've decided to take the guesswork out of the design process and actually scan the real thing. We've learned from our experience redoing the FP9A nose four times!

This time there will be no approximations, no costly revisions, and no complaints of bad noses or roof contours. (Well, I am sure some people will still complain!) We will take the 1:1 model's contours and scale them down to HO. This way, our model won't be an interpretation - it will be an exact replica of the prototype's nose and roof contours.

FPA4 and FPB4 Locomotive

No, Dan. That was not what we had in mind.

Come join us on November 7th!

Rapido Trains Inc. and Exporail are teaming up to bring you this incredible piece of model railroad history. Exporail is home to the largest collection of heritage railway equipment in Canada, and many of their gems have been beautifully restored for display in the Angus Pavilion, Exporail's state-of-the-art exhibition hall.

Exclusive Access

On November 7th between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Exporail is opening up the Angus Pavilion EXCLUSIVELY for guests of Rapido Trains Inc. Modellers and railfans will be able to:

  • see the 3D scan of 6765 in progress
  • have a private tour of the Angus Pavilion and its large collection of preserved equipment
  • gain exclusive access inside heritage equipment normally closed to the public
  • chat with Jason, Bill and Dan from Rapido. Yes, Bill is coming too!
  • see samples of the latest Rapido products, including the FP9A and the Canadian
  • see a 15-minute preview of Stephen Low's Imax movie, Rocky Mountain Express
  • visit the Exporail model railway and meet with their experienced modelling team
And of course the folks from Creaform will be there, scanning the FPA4 with their state-of-the-art 3D laser scanners. (But we can't bug them while they are working - Bill is coming all this way so we can bug him instead. I'll get the feathers and you get the tar.)

FPA4 6765

6765 in all her glory at Exporail.

Give me the details!

The FPA4 Party will be between 11:00 and 14:00 on Monday 7 November at Exporail, just outside of Montreal, Quebec. You can drop in any time between those times. This allows Montreallers to avoid the traffic getting to and from the south shore, and because it's on a Monday those of you coming from out of town can come and enjoy Montreal for the weekend! If you work in the Montreal area, take an extended lunch and come on down!

Admission to our FPA4 Party is a $25 donation (per person) to Exporail, payable directly to them at the door. Exporail is being very generous in opening up their facilities so we modellers can have an accurate model of the FPA4, so we'd like to help them out in return.

Please RSVP before Friday 4 November by replying to this email, visiting the contact page on our web site, or calling 1-877-738-6445. This way we will have an idea of how many people will be coming and we can ensure there is enough staff and enough snacks. The gift shop will be open on the day with its excellent selection of Canadian railway literature and memorabilia for sale. (It's where I get my kids most of their train gear!) Please tell everyone you know - all are welcome!

Getting there...

Exporail is located at 110 Saint Pierre Street in St. Constant, on the south shore of Montreal. Full directions by car and public transit can be found here. We recommend the AMT Candiac line commuter train from Lucien L'Allier (Windsor) Station - the 09:30 departure arrives at St. Constant (around the corner from the museum) at 10:04. Go grab some coffee at Le Petit Coin du Bonbon internet cafe until the party starts... The return trip departs St. Constant at 13:28. The fare is $7.00 each way. Hotel and travel info can be found beneath the map below.


Map ©2011 Google Maps

If you are coming from out of town, we highly recommend the train, of course! VIA Rail Canada and Amtrak both serve Montreal's Central Station. VIA regularly has Express Deals of up to 75% off travel, and as of now (Monday 24 October) VIA is already showing discounted sleeper tickets for that weekend from eastern Canada. Deals from Ottawa, Quebec and Toronto will probably show up later this week, or you can book right now using VIA's already low Supersaver fares. Click here to visit VIA's Express Deals web site.

Budget car rental is located in Central Station. Use BCD offer code U133214 when making your reservation for savings of up to 20%. The Location Code for Budget Central Station is Y39. Click here to visit Budget's web site.

There are too many hotels in Montreal to list them all here, but we can list the best ones for train watching! Downtown, your best options are the Delta Centre Ville and the Hilton Bonaventure - both have unmatched views of the viaduct approaching Central Station for plenty of VIA, Amtrak and AMT action.

Staying in downtown can be pricey, so we also recommend two hotels just steps from VIA's Dorval Station (served by all trains from Ontario). The Best Western Dorval and the Fairfield Inn & Suites Montreal Airport. Both of these hotels have brilliant views of the parallel CN and CP mainlines, parking is free, and your rate includes breakfast. Ask for a view of the tracks when you check in. If arriving by train, there is a free shuttle to the Best Western, and the Fairfield is right across the street from the Best Western.

I have personally stayed in all four of these hotels with my family and I can vouch for the quality and the view.

We look forward to visiting with you at Exporail!

FPA4 Data Sheet

FPA4s and FPB4s in HO scale - it only took us 53 years!

But what about the models?

For info about our forthcoming FPA4 and FPB4 models, click here to visit our FPA4/FPB4 web page.

Well that was one of the shortest newsletters ever. I hope that means my parents actually read it to the end this time..... Who am I kidding?

Anyway - I hope to see you at Exporail in a couple of weeks!

All the best,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.

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