Rapido Newsletter Vol. 185

©2024 Rapido Trains Inc.

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Dear Rapido Customer,

May-day! We have 2½ brand new announcements that we think you're going to enjoy, as well as May and June order deadlines. We've got lots to dive into, so let's jump right to it... now!

In this 185th issue...

  • Highlights From Rapido's Big American Bus Trip
  • HO Scale Toronto's First Subway Update
  • Rapido and miniprints Figures
  • N Scale 5820 Hoppers are here! And they work!
  • May 15th Order Deadlines
  • June 15th Order Deadlines
  • New Product Announcements

Also other announcements...

  • New Videos
  • Upcoming Shows
  • Product Updates

If you are using a web-based email service such as Gmail, be sure to click on the link near the bottom of the email that says something like "[Message clipped] View entire message". That will ensure you don't miss any of this newsletter.

Please note that all renders and artwork are subject to change before the final product release.

Our epic Great American Bus Trip went down from March 17th to the 28th of this year. While most of you know now that there was no bus, we still chugged on to all the clubs, stores and museums we promised to visit... and it was a resounding success! We met with some great people along the way and of course, as usual, we got up to some hijinks...

Jason! The camera is this way!

At the Southwest Model Railroad Museum in Belen, NM

Thank you again to our gracious hosts and fans for welcoming us to their home states and who were willing to hear about our adventures and upcoming projects! You really made the long two-week journey back home worth it.

We had such a good turn out at every location

and are grateful to everyone who came out to chat!

This is Discount Model Trains in Dallas.

Even if some (Craig) of us started losing it partway through the trip...

At the Oklahoma Model Railroad Association and Museum.

We also managed to squeeze in some time to join What's Neat This Week, which you can check out here or by clicking on the photo above!

Kudos to the St. Charles Model Railroad Club for coming out in Rapido colors, while our team... is not.

So long and thanks for all the love!

Toronto's First Subway Update - All Systems Go!

Hello Torontonians, ex-Torontonians, future Torontontians and Toronto fans in general! Would you like some good news to offset your blue-colored sports team woes? Well look no further than our Toronto's First Subway project that had been in the conditional category. This project is now moving forward and tooling has begun. You did it! We're super excited to get this underway so we can see some physical samples in the near future.

NEW! Rapido and miniprints Crew Figures

Rapido Trains is excited to announce the next figure in our partnership with miniprints! Are you looking for remote control Beltpack operator figures to accurately hangout on your layout with your new Rapido GP9rm mother + slug set? Grab your foreman and a switchman two-person crew here at miniprints. The HO scale crew are scanned from actual prototypical 1:1 scale CN crew members George Taylor and Andre Chartrand.

Not sure how to include the foreman and switchman on your layout? Be sure to tune into a live RCO Operations Masterclass with Bernard Hellen from miniprints, George Taylor (yes, the one Bernard scanned as foreman from CN!), and our very own Jordan Smith on Wednesday, May 29th at 7:30PM ET. You can sign up for it and get notified by clicking here.

NOW AVAILABLE! N Scale Procor 5820 Covered Hopper

Hey N scalers, have you ordered your Procor 5820 Covered Hoppers yet? If you haven't the time is nigh as these will be arriving into your hobby shop or dealers as you read this. But wait just a sec! Check out our unboxing video above, with a special guest to learn more about these cars.

And let us tell you, these rollllllllllllllllll brilliantly!

Select your favorite scheme. Or buy them all...don't worry, we won't tell.

I'm with Andy on this one; these cars must have had buffers at some point. 🤔

Did we mention these will roll just by looking at them? But wait, there's more! These cars also feature etched metal walkways and coupler crossover platforms, separate cut levers, highly detailed end cages, body mounted knuckle couplers and three, yes you heard it right, three different styles of top loading hatches. We put the "N" into uNbelievable.

Don't miss out on the N Scale Procor 5820 Covered Hoppers, as your plastic pellet facilities will certainly need many of these cars. Available now!

                        Open the Catalog                            
Order the N Scale Procor 5820 Covered Hoppers
Rapido Dash 8

N Scale Dash 8-40CM Locomotive Update

Despite rigorous testing at the preproduction phase, some of our final production versions of the N scale Dash 8-40CM were assembled at the factory in such a way as to cause the ditch and/or rock lights to be dim. This affects only some of the assembled models in SKUs 540033–540050 & 540533–540550. Unfortunately, because this error does not affect all the models, we were unable to catch it in QC.

We want to ensure that you have the best possible version of your model when running it on your layout, so we have discussed how best to rectify this issue. Both we here at Rapido and our colleagues in our factory have decided that those models affected should be sent back to the factory for reassembly or replacement. This process would include some complex work that we do not think we can accomplish in our own Warranty department.

Do you own a model of the 2024 run of the N scale Dash 8-40CM and are affected by the dimming ditch and rock light issues and would like to have your model repaired or replaced? Please contact our Warranty department, and send your models in by June 28th, 2024, to take advantage of this repair. We will ship all the returned models to the factory for reworking. As the repair is more complicated than we’d expected, we hope that you can appreciate that this process may take a few months to complete.

We will ship the updated models back to you once they arrive, and we will include a complimentary freight car model to thank you for your patience. Please note that this is a one-time offer. We cannot do single locomotives after the return deadline has passed.

If you are interested in having your loco reworked, please click here to complete our warranty form.

HO Scale GP38 Fan Design Change

You may have seen in our last newsletter and on social media we were really excited to announce the licensed Cannon & Co fans being included on the GP40 to improve our model even more. We had also added that this was causing a delay in the redesign for our GP38s to see if we could make it happen. Unfortunately, due to production timelines, we could not ensure these licensed fans are incorporated into the design, however we did improve them greatly — the biggest difference being that we could only get down to a 0.3mm phalange thickness rather than 0.2mm. We still believe these are an incredibly improved design and can't wait for you to get your hands on the real thing!

HO Scale F-M H16-44 Locomotive

Hooray! Yes, the HO Scale H16-44 Locomotives FINALLY have reached their order deadline and head off to the production phase. We're ready to get this F-M party started, only 61 years after the last F-M loco rolled off the line, but who's counting? In the meantime, check out the new video above and more photos of the samples below.

These are the best preproduction samples we've ever had to date. Most of us are practically salivating to see these beauties come out in their final finished form.

We're so excited over these last two roof photos of the H16-44 Locomotives that we're showing them again. The detail is exquisite and just needs to be seen in person. Please order yours today!

   Click Here to Open Catalog   
Order the H16-44 Locomotives

HO Scale FL9 Locomotive

The HO Scale FL9 Locomotives were a staple of the New York City commuter scene. Not only were they long lasting, but they were quite possibly the best looking and sounding locomotives operating into and out of the city. Now, let's send these locos off to the factory with a bang. Check out the new video above for a more detailed look into this classic covered wagon.

And in case you were curious...on this run of FL9 Locomotives, we are offering the M-K rebuilds for Connecticut Department of Transportation. How do they differ from the Chrome Crankshaft rebuilds? Glad you asked!

The M-K rebuilds feature a single 48" HEP exhaust fan and internal exhaust mufflers (distinguishable by the vent and cap sticking out of the roof). The rear features a more flush look (as compared to the Chrome Crankshaft rebuilds, which kept the original ribbed appearance) and also have dual red marker lights bracketing the single beam headlight just above the rear door. Notably, the rear Hancock Air Whistle slots were retained, but the piping was removed.

There were six total M-K rebuilds: 2011, 2014, 2016, 2024, 2026 and 2027. Each had unique horns, such as a Leslie RS5T, RS2M or K5LA. We are including the correct horns.

Rapido FL9
Click Here to Open Catalog
Order the FL9 Locomotives

HO Scale PC&F 5241 "Berlin Mills" Boxcar

The Pacific Car & Foundry 5241 Boxcar is the best car Rapido has ever made...wait! Can I express my opinions here, Jason?

Jason: Is it a Hawker-Siddeley Tempo Coach?

Bobby: Um, no.

Jason: Then no. Take off.

Bobby: No you take off! (I'm running now so he can't fire me...)

Hey everyone! Let's prove this is the best car we've ever made by hammering in those orders for the 15th. Oh, and don't forget to check out the video above; you won't be disappointed

 Click Here to Open Catalog  
Order the Berlin Mills Boxcar

HO Scale PRR G22 46' Steel Gondola

1920s to 1970s modelers, this is your time! Our HO scale PRR G22 Gondolas are a must for all PRR, Penn Central and even Conrail modelers! (Yes, they lasted that long!) We're happy to accompany this order deadline post with a new video featuring the history and details of this car. Take a few minutes to watch it above. It's a beauty.

Rapido G22 Gondola

In all seriousness, we made a mistake by announcing so many transition era PRR cars in such a short time. Rest assured, they will not all arrive at once. You can order as many H21 gons, X23 and R7 reefers, and the G22 gons as you need for your layout. You won't have to cash all your unused Liberty Bonds to pay for them!

Only the cool people at Shady Pines own Rapido PRR freight cars! Order yours today!

Click Here to Open Catalog
   Order the G22 Gondolas  
Rapido H-6

HO Scale Canadian National H-6-d/g Steam Locomotive

Woowoo, it's time to send out the pre-emptive order deadline warning for the HO Scale Canadian National H-6-d/g Steam Locomotive. Mark your calendars for Monday, June 17th. We're bursting with excitement that this project can finally advance to the next stage: tooling. But we want to remind you, that's up to you to make this awesome project happen!

As long as the H6 is a hit, who knows what other steam locomotives we might have in store for you. Here are a bunch of almost identical models. You need to order them all!

Rapido H-6

A large image, but this is ALL of the HO Scale Canadian National H-6-d/g Steam Locomotives we have to offer. There's plenty for everyone!

We are currently at about halfway to where we need to be to make this project happen. Jason mistakenly thought the order deadline was last month and announced to the whole team that the project was "to be killed." We informed him the order deadline hadn't actually come yet. So the H-6 is Not Dead Yet!

Rapido H-6: "I think I'll go for a walk!" 

Bobby: No, you'll be stone dead in a minute... if people don't order you!

         Click Here to Open Catalogue         
Order the CN H-6-d/g Steam Locomotive

HO Scale New Look Suburban "Fishbowl" Bus

Bus-a-palooza! I don't know why we said that either, but I do know the HO Scale New Look "Suburban" Buses are nearing their order deadline on June 17th. Buckle up for a quick look at these. Did we mention Jason loves buses? We had to go deep into the archives to find that photo above, but we figured despite it having not a lot to do with this run of buses we just had to share again.

Rapido New Look Bus

Check out those lights! And that's a model of our own bus, 1029, below.

Have you ordered your GO 1029 yet, the new Rapido Bus? You'll soon be able to ride on the actual 1029 when we bring it home later this year.

Rapido New Look Bus
                Open the Catalog                 
Order the New Look "Suburban" Bus
Rapido New Look Bus

HO Scale New Look Transit "Fishbowl" Bus

MORE buses? Yes that's correct! June features not one, but two New Look Bus order deadlines. This one is the Transit Style, which also features one of the iconic NYC MTA buses featured in the TV Show: "Welcome Back, Kotter." Just in case you might be too young or never watched it, that's OK, neither did I. (oops)

Jason: Now, you're fired for real.

Bobby: After this newsletter. I'm busy.

Now, we want to let you know, keep an eye out for the order deadline video covering both New Look Bus versions. We're sure it'll be a real doozy!

Rapido New Look Bus

Who remembers the 1970s and those funky hair styles?

Were 3D renders even possible back then?

Rapido New Look Bus

What screams 1970s more than afros, brown, orange, avocado and harvest gold on everything, and GM New Looks? Check out those ads on the bus above and all of the excellent schemes below.

Jason: Did you know my favourite colour is brown? And all my pants are bell bottoms? And I used to have the biggest Jew-fro in Toronto?

Bobby: Really? I never would have guessed.

Rapido New Look Bus

Order your awesome retro bus fleet today!

              Open the Catalog              
Order the New Look "Transit" Bus
Rapido N Scale RR-56 Reefer

N Scale ATSF RR-56 Reefer

We'll keep this one short and sweet, since we just relaunched the N Scale ATSF RR-56 Reefer in April. Lots of new schemes to pick from now. We'll be back next month with a new video and more info to discuss on these neat cars. N scalers, we didn't forget you!

          Open the Catalog          
Order the ATSF RR-56 Reefer
Rapido New Announcements

NEW! HO Scale C36-7 Locomotive

Rapido is excited to announce the follow up to our C30-7 model, the long-awaited GE C36-7 in HO Scale!

The C36-7 was General Electric’s higher-horsepower six-axle Dash-7 offering, with a 16-cylinder 3,600 horsepower diesel engine (compared to the C30-7's 3,000 hp.) Built between July 1979 and February 1989, over 599 total units were produced. Of those, 129 were domestic orders for Conrail, Missouri Pacific, Norfolk & Western, and Norfolk Southern. Another 40 were made for Ferrocarril del Pacifico and National de Mexico.

Another awesome 3D render by Jeremy. Below two MP C36-7s patrol North Platte, NE.

Photo courtesy of Craig Walker.

Possibly the most unique C36-7s ordered were the batch that Missouri Pacific received, which also happened to be the largest at 60 units. These never wore the iconic MoPac Jenks blue, but instead were painted in UP yellow with Missouri Pacific "North Little Rock” shop lettering. These engines had the boxy dynamic brake housing, and added a higher capacity fuel tank that filled the entire space between the trucks, had 3,750 hp, and had other distinct features.

Note all of the specific details on the MP versions. One of the most notable is the lack of rear number boards.

Our C36-7 Locomotive will feature a host of different options and phases. Most notably with or without the unique boxy dynamic brake housing just behind the cab. As I write this, I recall fond memories of seeing the NS versions come into Little Ferry, NJ on NYS&W stack trains; or racing across Indiana on the old NKP, hauling coke trains towards the Indiana Harbor. The photo below shows an N&W version without the box.

Doing what they did best: haul coal on the N&W. Photo by Douglas G. Walker, courtesy of the Craig Walker collection.

Another popular C36-7 scheme is, of course, Conrail. These were nearly identical to earlier C30-7 and -7As, but could be seen throughout the system. They had the CR-style marker lights, Leslie RS3L horns and the large anticlimbers. We certainly know of a layout featuring Conrail in Central New York State that will need a bunch!

But maybe he'll need the FNM versions too?

A solid looking Conrail C36-7. Photo by Warren Calloway.

The Rapido HO Scale C36-7 Locomotive features:

  • Operating headlights, class lights, marker lights or ditch lights where applicable
  • Operating step lights and numberboards
  • Correct Rockwell or Adirondack trucks, as appropriate
  • Full traction motor casing details
  • Four window, four window (modified) or two window cab
  • 4-grille, 7-grille, or late 7 grille hood
  • Dynamic brake “hump” (MP, UP, NS)
  • Early rear (flush numberboards) or later rear phases (raised numberboards)
  • Early or late (silenced) exhaust 
  • Road specific battery box doors on both sides
  • Close clearance stepwells (NS)
  • Four-step stepwells (CR)
  • Low-height drop steps (NW)
  • Road-specific horns and cab details
  • Metal brake chain on engineer’s side
  • Detailed underbody piping and conduit
  • Separate grab irons
  • Rapido’s innovative dead straight metal side handrails with plastic stanchions
  • Detailed cab interior
  • Lighted control stand
  • Heavy, die-cast weight for heavy hauling
  • 5-pole skew-wound motor with dual flywheels
  • MoPower capacitor system
  • Sound-equipped units feature ESU LokSound V5 decoders

Now ready to check out the initial run paint schemes? Scroll down to see the variety!

Excited to order? We sure are! We need the C36-7 Locomotives just as much as you do! To help determine which locos you need (all of them) check out the catalog below then race on over to the website to start ordering. These are arriving at least six months after the C30-7s, so you can budget for both!

Tooling has just started on these and we expect the first samples this summer with an order deadline in the fall. Stay tuned!

 Click Here to Open Catalog 
Order the C36-7 Locomotive

NEW! HO Scale Magor 53' DODX Flatcar

Introducing the all-new, Rapido HO Scale Magor 54' Department of Defense (DODX) Flatcars!

At the height of the Korean War, the US army required a new fleet of rolling stock to transport military hardware across the nation on any railroad. Notably, a large order for 650 cars was placed with the Magor Car Corporation to handle the heavier and larger tanks and other military equipment of the era. Delivered between April and July 1953, the Magor fleet came in at 54’ and weighed in at around 36 tons with a 100-ton load carrying capacity. Features included a wood deck and heavy steel frame construction along with 6-wheel buckeye trucks.

Wire grabs, buckeye trucks, simulated wood deck - this early pre-production flatcar has it all!

The DODX Flatcars quickly proved invaluable in service and would go on to enjoy very long careers on the rails. Delivered with the USAX reporting marks and numbered 38016-38665, these cars would find work transporting all sorts of equipment including the latest tanks, APCs, navy gun turrets and even locomotives such as the Army’s own GE 80 tonners.  

Over time there were several changes to the Magor fleet. Starting around 1961, the fleet began receiving new DODX reporting marks, though this was a long conversion and there were USAX lettered cars in service as late as 1974. Also, in the mid-60s many would begin conversion to roller bearings in the 6-wheel Buckeye trucks. In addition, several cars in the fleet were also assigned to the Navy and painted silver to signify this assignment. 

Those Buckeye trucks are not only super detailed but they roll freely as well. In fact, they rolled right off the table as soon as this photo was taken.

After higher capacity equipment entered service in the 1980s, these burly cars were largely withdrawn from service around 1990 with the last of the fleet being decommissioned at the end of the Gulf War in 1991. Due to their sturdy construction, many have been preserved in museums and continue to run today!

But wait, there's more! Looking for loads for your DODX flatcars? We will soon have that market covered, too! Check out the silhouette below.

This is an artist's concept of the whale from Spongebob and what we think is a tank.

Jason: The loads aren't ready yet because the factory designed the tank with more details than a typical Rapido locomotive. As much as we LOVED it, we did not think asking people to pay big bucks for a single tank load was a good idea. We're simplifying the designs a bit...

If enough people want the super-detailed version, maybe we can do that in the future. But most military modelers want 1/72 and not 1/87 tanks so we don't think we can sell enough crazy-detail tanks in HO scale. I just wanted to let you guys know some behind-the-scenes info.

Bobby: Thanks, Jason. And thanks for not mentioning "brown" or "bell bottoms."

Check out the HO Scale Magor 54' DODX Flatcar features:

  • Drawn from original blueprints, measurements and 3D scans
  • Fully-detailed underframe including piping and equipment 
  • Correct Buckeye 3-axle trucks with incredible detail 
  • Trucks have friction bearings or retrofitted roller bearings as appropriate
  • Metal knuckle couplers
  • Simulated wood deck design
  • Loads coming soon

Now let's look at the different schemes being offered below.

Ready to make an impact? See what I did there...

Anyways, check out the catalog below or head over to the website to fire off those orders. Be prepared for an incoming DODX load announcement in the next few weeks!

   Click Here to Open Catalog   
Order the Magor DODX Flatcar
Rapido N Caboose

N Scale Angus Vans/Wide Vision Caboose Update


It has come to our attention that our N Scale Wide Vision Cabooses or Angus Vans have a delayed issue we had not caught in early QC. The issue does not affect the running of the Wide Vision Caboose, but it does affect the lighting. After investigating the issue further, our Warranty team discovered that the batteries installed in the models will fully drain within 72 hours.  

We believe that the best way to resolve this minor issue is to replace the circuit boards. This process would include us shipping in replacement boards from China and, once they arrive, we will either send them out to you to replace in your models or you can choose to send your models to our Warranty department and we'll do the job for you.

If you own a model of the N scale Wide Vision Caboose and would like to have your model’s circuit board replaced, please contact our Warranty department. They will reach out to you once the boards arrive to determine whether you’d like to send your model in or replace it yourself. At this time, we hope you can remain patient until those replacement boards arrive at our Warranty department. Please do be sure to submit a Warranty claim as soon as possible, as this helps with our replacement number estimates. 

Please click here to complete our warranty form.

Upcoming Shows

Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society Convention

May 10th to the 11th

PRRT&HS members are welcome to come join Bill during the convention and check out some of the new PRR and non-PRR samples he'll have out and on display. You can even discuss the NYO&W with him — unless that's a faux pas! We'll see you this weekend, Altoona!

Northeast Railroad Prototype Modelers Meet - May 31st-June 1st

Come on out to the annual NERPM meet and see Bill again! And he'll have neat stuff to show!

We hope to see you there!

Tooling, Shipping and Arrival Updates

LOTS of new items are arriving soon!

Those Budd Slumbercoaches sure look nice, especially if the power goes out in your layout room!

Rapido Trailers

Almost time for the Canadian Flatcars. And don't forget the Trailers are in stores now!

Rapido FA-1

Did someone say New Haven FA-1s in orange? Howabout Ferromex Well Cars?

And what we're all excited for: Ballast Hoppers!

Not only do these hoppers feature high detail but also ballast loads!

Here's a teaser of these cars on the assembly line.

The HO Scale CN 5304 boxcars look great as do the beginnings of the CP Reefers.

And we'll close out on a high — piles of the HO Scale Dash 8-40CM ready for the trip across the high seas!

Hey, you've made it through another monstrosity of a newsletter. But this was fun and we'll see you next month to celebrate the start of summer.

Thanks to the eleven people still reading!

See you next time!

Bobby Banana

Rapido Trains Inc.

USA: PO Box 796, Higganum, CT 06441

Canada: 500 Alden Road, Unit 21, Markham, ON L3R 5H5

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