Rapido Newsletter Vol. 186

©2024 Rapido Trains Inc.

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Dear Rapido Customer,

Good day Rapido fans! We have a bunch of new items, updates, order deadlines and a new PM to introduce you to! So let's not delay the party and jump right in.

In this 186th issue...

  • June 15th Order Deadlines — Extended to 21st
  • July 15th Order Deadlines
  • New Product Announcements

Also other announcements...

  • New Videos
  • Upcoming Shows
  • Product Updates
  • Rapido goes to Miniatur Wunderland in Germany...via Scotland!
  • Sidura's New Book — A Message from Jason

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.

Hello friends! You may have noticed the 21st highlighted in red above. That's because the June Order Deadline has been extended to June 21st. We wanted to give everyone more time to place their orders since we're sending out this newsletter a bit later than normal. Now you have plenty of time to enjoy the summer weather AND order your favorite models!

  • CONDITIONAL: HO Scale Canadian National H-6-d/g Steam Locomotive
  • HO Scale New Look "Suburban" Bus
  • HO Scale New Look "Transit " Bus
  • N Scale ATSF RR-56 Reefer
Rapido Jason Sleep

The real reason this newsletter is late...

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

This is our final push for the HO Scale Canadian National H-6-d/g Steam Locomotive. We need to hit those numbers to make sure this locomotive becomes a reality. This project is a must for steam collectors! The models will be designed from original blueprints and field measurements. Features will include excellent detailing such as various configurations, working head, marker, and classification lights, as well as flickering firebox. You're just short of being covered in coal dust. Check out the fun video above, with a special assistant to help.

These locomotives were a staple of CN operations across Canada. Your layout will need one too!

Check out the catalogue and the website below.

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

HO Scale New Look "Suburban" Bus

HO Scale New Look "Suburban" Buses are arriving at their final stop: the June order deadline. OK, so that was corny, but you get the point! Make sure you have your orders onboard and ready to go by June 21st.

That way, once we have our real GO bus on the road, we can drop off your model bus from it!

These buses have done very well, but to guarantee your order reserve through your dealer or our website by the 21st.

         Click Here to Open Catalog        
Order the New Look "Suburban" Bus
Rapido New Look Bus

HO Scale New Look "Transit " Bus

In case you asked, yes, this is the same bus that's shown for exactly one second in the credits from Welcome Back, Kotter! If you want to be a true Sweathog, you too can own this jive bus model. The HO Scale New Look Transit Buses are a great addition to any layout, large or small.

Check out the other schemes from the Transit buses below. Reserve yours before the 21st.

     Click Here to Open Catalog      
Order the New Look "Transit" Bus

N Scale ATSF RR-56 Reefer

Behold, it's time to close out the N Scale ATSF RR-56 Reefer so we can finally start production. This month we also have a short video discussing all of the neat features of these cars. You can watch that above by clicking the photo. But before you do, don't forget that these N reefers are possibly the most detailed mechanical reefer ever, featuring separate etched roofwalks, Trane Diesel generator detail, full underbody detailing and much more. Be sure to take advantage of the four-packs of each scheme for more road numbers.

Check out the catalog PDF by clicking the blue box below.

  Click Here to Open Catalog 
Order the ATSF RR-56 Reefer
  • HO Scale PFE R-40-27 and -28 Reefer
  • HO Scale Enterprise Covered Hopper
  • HO Scale Procor GP-20 Tank Car

HO Scale PFE R-40-27 and -28 Reefer

Is there anything more American than a yellow-boxed reefer car? We didn't think so! The HO Scale PFE R-40-27 and -28 Reefers will close out on July 15th, so this is your advance warning. Next month we'll have a video to send them off to the order deadline.

These reefers have never been offered before in plastic and feature two door styles with the unique third inspection door.

Please note the roofwalk has been redesigned to be more prototypically correct. The updated samples did not arrive before we could photograph them for this newsletter. Stay tuned for updated sample photos.

Click Here to Open Catalog
    Order the PFE Reefers    
Rapido Enterprise Hopper

HO Scale Enterprise Covered Hopper

A few months ago we re-launched the HO Scale Enterprise Covered Hopper with improved wire grabs and a few new schemes. In one month's time, we will close out the ordering period for these neat cars. In fact, we just might have a new video to complement this section in July's newsletter!

Stay tuned, Bill and maybe Ted will be back soon with another exciting adventure with the Enterprise Hopper.

 Click Here to Open Catalog 
Order the Enterprise Hopper
Rapido GP20 Tank Car

Models are from initial run.

HO Scale Procor GP20 Tank Cars

Are you a fan of REO Speedwagon? Are you curious how this ties into the HO Scale Procor GP20 Tank Car? I am, as well. But now that I have your attention, I want to remind you that July 15th is the order deadline for this car. With that said, keep on loving ordering this tank!

These cars were constructed in the late 1960s through the early 1980s and were a common sight on the rails in Canada and the US, well into the 2010s. Order your GP20s by the tankful!

Click Here to Open Catalog
  Order the GP20 Tank Car  
Rapido New Announcements

NEW! HO Scale CP GP9u and Slug

CHOP! We teased this in April at Supertrain and now they're here and they are spectacular. Please welcome our debut of the HO Scale Canadian Pacific GP9u and Slug! This venerable locomotive was produced many decades ago in brass form, but never as a correct plastic model. And we can proudly say that the unique CP slugs are a first in brass or plastic!

OK, with that out of the way, let's take a quick dive through their rich history. But first, we want to show you some of the 3D CAD renders. Check them ooot below (Canadian, eh?)

Rapido GP9u

A mother and an ex-SW900 Slug.

An 8200-series GP9u with the pilot plow and lacking the Multimark. Below is the CANDO scheme.

The St. Lawrence & Hudson Railway was a short-lived spin off of CP's eastern operations in North America. While it didn't last long, the paint scheme did! Photo courtesy of Dave Minshall.

Following a handful of early GP9 diesels being modified with chopped noses in the 1970's, CP embarked on a full rebuild program of their GP9 fleet as part of their 10-Year Locomotive Program beginning in 1980. This would see these versatile units updated with low noses, new electronics and rebuilt 567C prime movers upgraded with 645 power assemblies along with other changes. Employed system wide, the rebuilt "GP9u" fleet would reliably serve in both yard and road-switcher applications until final withdrawal by CP in 2015. Many have since being sold off to secondary owners.

Please check out our GP9u Masterclass for a more detailed look into these neat locomotives. There's simply too much info to list here!

An ex SW1200RS slug, now masquerading as 1023. Note the grille-less front and missing stack. Photo courtesy of Dave Minshall.

Starting in 1993, CP converted various end-cab switchers to “daughter” units, or slugs, by decommissioning or removing the prime mover. This meant replacing it with ballast to return the unit to its operating weight, which aided in drawing power for the traction motors from the semi-permanently coupled GP9u “mother” units. All of the mother units were drawn from the 1500/1600 series, which retained their Multimarks due to being rebuilt prior to CP Rail dropping it from their branding in 1987.

Of course, we wanted to be bold and design the slugs to go with the mothers. Just like our recently delivered CN GP9rm Mother-Slug sets, these are fully motorized and feature traction motor sounds too! This is a win for everyone! We also want to note each slug is different from the other and is teamed with the correct mother GP9u. There's a mix of ex-SW8, -900 and -1200RS locomotives on this run. Which means all six are unique!

Check out more of the 3D CAD renders below.

These sure look sharp!

Let's check out those awesome HO Scale CP GP9u Locomotive features:

  • Heavy diecast frame with super detailed piping and traction cables
  • Detailed Blomberg trucks, with and without outside brake shoes
  • Traction motor details on gearbox
  • Working track lights, class lights, control stand lights and flashing belt pack lights on select mother-slug sets (Late sets)
  • Multiple battery box styles
  • Spark arrestors or open exhaust stacks as appropriate
  • Metal side handrails
  • Working ditch lights
  • Front and rear plows or curved plate pilots on appropriate road numbers
  • Footboard pilots on mother units
  • Detailed walkway tread

Check out the single locomotive schemes below.

Now for the HO Scale Slug features:

  • Fully powered! Motor tucked into frame and body
  • Heavy diecast frame with super detailed piping and traction cables
  • Detailed, road number specific AAR-style trucks or Flexicoil trucks
  • Traction motor details on gearbox
  • Metal side handrails
  • Footboard pilots or curved plate pilots on appropriate road numbers
  • Working head lights
  • Both models will have: DC/Silent (21-pin DCC Ready) or DCC/ESU LokSound

Plenty of features, eh? We aim to please! And we also want to please you with the schemes for this initial run. Below are the six schemes and variations for the Mother and Slug units.

Otter Valley Railroad is commissioning a special run of HO Scale Ontario Southland GP9u Locomotives. Two of these are painted in the incredibly attractive maroon and crème scheme, an ode to the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo. They will be offering three numbers in two variations: CP Multimark patchout (1591) and the corporate maroon scheme (1594/1620).

Don't miss out on these, as they won't last! Place your orders now through our friends at Otter Valley Railroad.

Alright, enough discussion. Check out the GP9u catalogue, in PDF form, below. The button below that is the link to the website so you can get busy ordering these awesome models. In the near future, we also expect to have early samples, so keep these on your radar.

                Click Here to Open Catalogue              
Order the HO Scale GP9u and Slug Locomotive
Rapido X-3 Tank Car

The 10,000 gallon insulated version of the X-3 tank car. Photo courtesy of the Richard Hendrickson collection.

NEW RUN! HO Scale X-3 Tank Car

One of our most unique tank cars is back for an encore! Please welcome back the HO Scale X-3 Tank Car, with a twist of new body styles and paint schemes!

The X-3 cars were built in various capacities and configurations, including 6,500-gallon, 8,000-gallon, 10,000-gallon and 12,000-gallon capacity tanks. They were also built with single, double and triple domes. In this new release, our X-3 tank car replicates the 8,000 (new tooling), 10,000 and "Breadbox" 10,000-gallon designs. From the 1920s onwards Union Tank Car (UTLX) fielded the largest fleet of tank cars in North America. The basic X-3 was used to haul fuel oil, gasoline, vegetable oils — essentially any liquid that did not require special handling features and went almost everywhere.


Union Tank Car also modified a group of X-3s through the addition of heater coils outside of the tanks with wagon-style insulation and jacketing. These highly distinctive and interesting cars were primarily for the transport of transformer oil, used to insulate and cool transformers. These cars, never before offered in styrene, could be seen anywhere in the US from the 20s into the 60s. These were EVERYWHERE!

Rapido X-3 Tank Car

The unique "breadbox" style X-3 tank car. Photo by Col. Chet McCoid, courtesy of Bob's Photo.

Rapido X-3 Tank Car

Here's the 8,000 gallon "Skellysolve" scheme. We should note that most of these cars were painted black...except this one. Photo by Col. Chet McCoid, courtesy of Bob's Photo.

We are offering distinct versions for K-brake equipped cars, good before 1953, and AB-brake equipped cars good from the 1940s onwards. In addition to brake equipment, our models will feature correct handbrake and coupler cut bar arrangements, which differed depending on the brake equipment installed.

Rapido X-3 Tank Car

It's in the details! Here's the difference between the AB-brakes and the older K-brakes. Note the differences. Cars are from the initial release.

The new run of HO Scale X-3 Tank Cars feature:

  • Design from original blueprints
  • Correct tank bolster pads
  • Correct diameter domes and dome fittings
  • Correct UTLX-style warning placard holders
  • Andrews or “Bettendorf” cast steel trucks
  • Full underbody detailing with two distinct brake systems offered
  • Correct end platforms
  • Correct coupler cut bars and hand brake mountings
  • Semi-scale couplers and coupler boxes
  • Free-rolling turned metal wheels

Now, here are the schemes of each car.

Ready to check out the X-3 Tank car sales pack? Open it up by clicking the button below. You can order these cars by clicking the second button, which will take you to our website.

Click Here to Open Catalog
    Order the X-3 Tank Car    

UPDATES AND ADDITIONS! HO Scale Superior Stainless Budd Coach

Ready for an exciting update to the HO Scale Superior Stainless Budd Coaches? Jordan certainly is! But don't tell him the cars aren't SP, they're actually VIA Budd Coaches. The ex-SP cars were acquired around 1996, by VIA Rail and heavily rebuilt for all types of services. The major spotting difference between these cars is the window arrangement. Our original Budd Coach has five or six picture windows with a mixture of two or three smaller windows. The ex-SP cars feature 13 smaller windows seated further away from the doors.

Check out some of the prototype photos below.

The ex-SP Budd coach. Photo courtesy of Jordan Smith.

Rapido Budd Coach

The original ex-CP Budd coach. Photo courtesy of Jordan Smith.

A bit on our original Budd Coaches...

30 Budd Coaches were delivered to Canadian Pacific in 1954 and 1955 and were initially numbered in the 100-series. All but one of the original coaches were transferred to VIA Rail Canada in 1978 and, save for those damaged in derailments, are all still in use today. They form the backbone of most of VIA Rail Canada’s services to this day, found primarily on long distance services such as the Canadian and also often seen on the busy Quebec City-Windsor corridor.

Beginning in the late 1980s, VIA Rail upgraded its entire ex-CPR Budd stainless steel fleet with Head End Power (HEP), which allowed newer locomotives to be able to heat and cool the trains without the need for aging steam generator cars. These cars are called “HEP1 cars” and are typically found on long distance trains today.

The original ex-CP Budd coach, now serving life for VIA Rail.

Additionally, VIA Rail began purchasing second-hand Budd Coaches throughout 1990s from Amtrak and other owners to supplement its fleet and allow for expansion. These cars would be completely rebuilt as either first class “VIA 1” Cars or Coaches and were called “HEP2 cars”.

Our models are based on the original, steam-heated Canadian Pacific cars. However, we have tooled new HEP2 car sides, as well as both HEP1 and HEP2 car ends.

Incredible underframe detailing!

Each Rapido Superior Stainless Budd Coach includes:

  • Realistic stainless-steel finish
  • HEP 2 cars feature an all-new side window arrangements and underbody arrangements
  • HEP 1 and HEP 2 cars feature all-new end tooling with HEP receptacles and cables
  • Revised track-powered interior lighting compatible with DC and DCC layouts 
  • Full underbody detail including separate air, steam and electrical lines 
  • Separate metal grab irons and end gates 
  • Accurate D22 brake equipment and piping 
  • Super-detailed 41-NDO-11 trucks with end frames
  • Full, multi-color interior detail 
  • 3D CP beaver shields on CP models
  • Sprung diaphragms 

The new ex-SP cars are at the bottom, below all of the original Budd coach schemes. Check them out!

Check out that truly Canadian catalogue below and the order button is just below that. Keep a lookout for possible American schemes to hit these cars in the near future! 😉

            Click Here to Open Catalogue            
Order the Superior Stainless Budd Coaches

Photo courtesy of Jordan Smith.

UPDATE! HO Scale Canadian Pacific Dome Lounge Car "Selkirk"

We have an exciting update to bring to you regarding the Dome Lounge Car: smooth sides for Canadian Pacific's Selkirk executive car! We will now be tooling the correct smooth sides as seen in the proto photos above and below. And let's not forget, that this car is currently out on the road touring with CP 2816 on their "Final Spike Tour."

Photo courtesy of Craig Walker.

The Selkirk Dome Lounge Car generally runs on most CP executive specials along with Duplex Sleeper (H.B. Bowen).

Rapido Dome Lounge

Check out the catalogue below and the ordering button is just below that. We want to remind you that the order deadline will be August 15, 2024 for the CP Dome Lounge. Next month we'll be back with a more in-depth look at this car as well as the SP versions. We also should have samples to show off! So mark your calendars to reserve this very neat car today.

               Open the Catalogue               
Click Here to Order the Dome Lounge

NEW PAINT SCHEME! HO Scale C36-7 Locomotive

Thanks to your feedback, we're super excited to add the Union Pacific 9000 series GE C36-7 in HO Scale! Following an upgrade in 1988, Union Pacific decided to re-letter all of their former Missouri Pacific C36-7s with standard Union Pacific lettering on the long hood. The neat part about these was that they kept their Little Rock numerical font on the cab. Another neat fact is that they made it all across the UP system, so they could have shown up anywhere on the rails in the 90s.

 Click Here to Open Catalog 
Order the C36-7 Locomotive

NEW PAINT SCHEME! HO Scale Magor 53' DODX Flatcar

The DODX Flatcars have been a popular hit so far, but we've received MANY inquiries for the Amtrak MOW versions. To the research machine we went and scrounged up enough photos to draw out the art and data. Voila! Here we are, Amtrak ex-DOD MOW flat cars!

The Amtrak versions.

The DODX Flatcars will also feature a Turret and M1 Tank load. However, we are still ironing out all of the details on these. So, here are the silhouettes, which we are hoping to turn into 3D CAD renders next month!

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



Due to the long duration of our MoPower capacitors, that are built into each locomotive's motherboard, we have found a software conflict between a still-powered-up ESU decoder and the ESU LokProgrammer (or ECoS system) where they fight for control, resulting in a failed programming attempt. We expect a fix to be coming soon from ESU, but until then, please follow the suggestions below to successfully program using ESU programming systems.


To successfully program your locomotive using an ESU LokProgrammer or an ESU ECoS DCC system, our onboard Rapido MoPower capacitors must be fully discharged. Until a software patch and/or a hardware fix is available, please allow your ESU-equipped loco to discharge a full five minutes before using an ESU programming track, or allow to discharge one minute before using the ESU Ops Mode (on-the-main programming). If it doesn't work, wait a little longer and try again.


NOTE: This does not apply to any other DCC system or controller, just ESU.

HO Scale Budd Slumbercoach

Time to get excited for those Budd Slumbercoaches! They'll be chilling out at your local hobby shop or dealer by the time you read this. And, if you haven't seen the unboxing video we posted, check it out above. We must admit, those lights are super hypnotizing!

...psst, Jordan has three already!

Ted and Harvey enjoy a nice drink. That's Harvey on Ted's shoulder, not the other way around.

Meet Ted — Our Newest Project Manager

Ted began his hobby journey when he received a train set for Christmas when he was four. It featured an AHM 0-6-0T that could travel at just under the speed of sound. A few years later, he was introduced to scale aircraft modeling, and he was off to the races. His journey back to model railroading was ignited when he purchased a Westerfield box car kit from the hobby shop owned by none other than Bill Schneider. As has happened with many at Rapido, Bill's thin hair disease was spread to Ted in an acute form. Ted succumbed and embraced baldness early, shaving his head weekly for the past two decades.

A renowned modeler, Ted's primary interest is Transition Era freight cars, and he has written and/or published numerous books and articles including the widely acclaimed RMC series Essential Freight Cars. He also produces a line of resin freight car kits and books under the Speedwitch Media banner. Before you inquire, he does have a favorite Star Trek episode and it's The Paradise Syndrome.

We’re excited to have Ted on board and look forward to including his expertise into our growing line of products.

Upcoming Shows

Bay Area Prototype Modelers Meet

Come check out the Bay Area Prototype Modelers Meet on Saturday, June 15, 2024. We'll have lots of samples, some material to handout and you can have ALL of your questions answered! Well, most of your questions answered. If it's something like: "Can I drive the bus?" The answer is no. But your questions are welcomed!

St. Louis Railroad Prototype Modelers Meet

On July 19th and the 20th, we'll be attending the St. Louis RPM, held annually in Collinsville, Illinois. We're looking forward to this even as we'll have our latest samples on display and be able to answer your questions. See you in the gateway City in July!

Tooling, Shipping and Arrival Updates

LOTS of new items are arriving soon!

Now we see the awesome CN 5304 Combo Boxcars. They sure look nice, especially the underframe!

Above is the as-delivered scheme and below we have the repainted version.

Here's the Expo 86 5304 boxcar. Sure looks spiffy!

The best looking Dash 8s: BC Rail!

Two later CN schemes: North America and the website versions.

The original CN scheme and the scheme we shall never discuss below.

Check out the BART A and B cars in production. We can't wait for them to arrive!

The H1 Hudson tenders are looking good. And likewise, the Bombardier Bilevels look superb in Coaster teal and blue.

Rapido Jason

Rapido goes to Miniatur Wunderland in Germany...via Scotland!

Last week our very own Jason went on a wild journey to get to Miniatur Wunderland via Fort William, Scotland. Read all about his travels by clicking here. Spoiler: Lots of train travel was involved!

And now this month let's take a look at Sidura's new book: Rising, with Jason. Take it away!

Thanks, Bobby.

This is what is technically termed a "shameless plug." I hope you'll humour/humor me for a minute.

My wife, Sidura Ludwig, splits her time between Rapido and her writing career. I am delighted to share with you that her first picture book was published in the USA, Canada and the UK just a few weeks ago. It's a lovely book aimed at 4-8 year olds but can be enjoyed by younger and older readers as well.

According to the publisher, Candlewick Press, Rising is "A quiet, joyful story celebrating a Jewish mother’s tradition of making challah with her child merges a lyrical text with stunning illustrations — and includes the author’s favorite recipe." The book is beautifully illustrated by Sophia Vincent Guy. Sidura has a way of connecting with children. She wrote Rising while she was doing her MFA in writing for children and young adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. 

So if you are looking for a nice gift for your children or grandchildren, please consider getting this book. It's available from all good bookshops, but to make it even easier:


Click here for Barnes & Noble

Click here for Amazon.com


Click here for Indigo

Click here for Amazon.ca


Click here for Waterstones

Click here for Amazon.co.uk

I'm extremely proud to be married to such a brilliant writer. She has a middle grade novel coming out in the fall and two more picture books coming from Candlewick in the next couple of years. OK, shameless plug is over. If 50% of the people who read to the end of our newsletters buy Rising, that's another seven books sold! 

Here's a recent photo of Sidura and me. I wear a bowler now. Bowlers are cool.

Bobby: Thanks, Jason! As there are no trains in Sidura's book, my wallet is safe!

Jason: You really don't show any respect to the guy who signs your paycheques, do you?

Bobby: And you wouldn't have it any other way!

That's all for this month. See you all next time!

Bobby Allard

Chief Newsletter Officer

(Running for cover...)

USA: PO Box 796, Higganum, CT 06441

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

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