N Turbo

N Scale UAC TurboTrain

N Scale CN Turbo. Hand-painted 3D-printed sample.

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It’s a train – It’s a plane – It’s THE TURBO!

The United Aircraft TurboTrain is an important part of our railroad heritage. The Turbo was a high-speed passenger train that operated in Canada and the United States from the 1960s to the 1980s. To this day, it is the fastest production train in North American history. It achieved the American speed record of 170.8 MPH in 1967 and the Canadian speed record of 140.6 MPH in 1976, both of which still stand today.

Amtrak Turbo in the classic Phase I paint on the Northeast Corridor  in July 1974.
Photo courtesy Rick Abramson.

The TurboTrain was designed and marketed by United Aircraft Corporate Systems Center (later Sikorsky Aircraft) as a gas turbine-powered, high-speed intercity train. Each train was powered by four or five Pratt & Whitney ST-6 gas turbine engines, with an additional gas turbine providing auxiliary power. The Turbo featured a unique pendular suspension over articulated single-axle trucks, which allowed the train to tilt in curves. That feature, combined with the short Intermediate Car length, meant that the Turbo could travel much faster than regular trains on conventional track. It was a high-speed train without the need to invest in high-speed train infrastructure.

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IC-31 TurboBuffeteria Interior. Hand-painted 3D-printed sample.

The American TurboTrain operated first for Penn Central and then toured the United States in 1971 to introduce the nation to Amtrak. The Amtrak Turbo operated mainly between New York and Boston until 1976. In Canada, the Turbo operated first for CN and later for VIA Rail Canada. Operating between Montreal and Toronto (and, for a time, Ottawa), the Turbo became one of the most reliable trains in the country. Sadly, the Turbo era came to an end in 1982. Each and every Turbo was scrapped.

The Rapido Trains Inc. N scale TurboTrain is your chance to recreate this important piece of our railroad history on your own model railroad.

The Rapido Trains Inc. TurboTrain features:

  • Accurate dimensions scaled from original blueprints
  • Two powered Power Dome Cars with smooth, reliable drive systems
  • Articulated single-axle trucks with needlepoint axles
  • Full interior detail with interior lighting
  • Different Canadian and American versions with accurate details
  • All wheels pick up power for electrical reliability
  • Working headlights, tail lights, and Gyralites
  • Prototypically-tinted windows
  • CN and VIA customers can add a four-pack of Intermediate Cars to complete their trains
  • Sound-equipped models feature a sound decoder and sugar cube speaker in each Power Dome Car
  • Sounds are accurate Turbo sounds sourced from original Betamax video recordings
  • Sound decoders are custom ESU LokSound with amazing sound quality

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to own a piece of history!
Reserve your Turbo today!

Reservations placed by September 15, 2017, qualify for an early-bird discount of 5%.
Final order deadline is Monday, February 9th, 2018.

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Although we have received many, many, MANY requests for the N scale TurboTrain, we’re not actually sure of the demand. Maybe there are just 100 guys who really, really want one and keep asking for it over and over again. The HO Turbo was a hugely popular model despite running like a one-legged rhino with gout. (We really had no clue what we were doing back then.) We hope the N scale Turbo will prove as popular, and we actually have enough experience now to make sure it will work!

We have fully designed the Turbo and we are ready to press “GO” on the tooling. If on September 15th we have 12 trains ordered, we will take the money earmarked for Turbo tooling and invest it in an alpaca farm.




Where Can I Purchase Your Products?
Rapido Trains Inc. products can be ordered from any hobby retailer or directly from us. All prices shown are MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price). Dealer may sell for less.

With the exception of some accessory items, all Rapido Trains Inc. products are produced strictly to reservations placed before the appropriate order deadlines. Avoid missing out by reserving in advance with your dealer. To make sure that you do not miss a deadline sign up for our newsletters.

What About Previous Releases?
Our web site lists currently available or upcoming products only. Rapido Trains Inc. has produced many other cars in the past that may still be on dealers shelves. For a complete Excel listing of all products, past and present, right-click here and "Save as..." to a location on your computer.