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HO Scale ALCO RS-11

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New Haven RS-11 #1409 at Old Colony in 1956.

Photo by T. J. McNamara, courtesy NHRHTA Collection.



Orders for the RS-11 are now closed. Some numbers still available for order! Click here to browse products

Rapido Trains Inc. is very excited to announce its latest museum quality HO scale locomotive, the American Locomotive Company's iconic 1950s road switcher, the RS-11. Introduced in early 1956, Alco’s RS-11 locomotive (catalogued as the DL-701), was powered by an 1,800-horsepower turbocharged V-12 version of Alco’s 251B prime mover. The RS-11 rode on B-B trucks of similar design to those used under the earlier RS-3 and FA series locomotives. Its hood style carbody featured notched corners that included the corner number boards and, on most units, sand filler hatches as well. These notched corners distinguished them from their Canadian RS-18 cousins and made the RS-11 an instant design classic.

Southern Pacific #5729, from the first batch of RS-11s purchased by the railroad, not including the three demonstrator units. Photo courtesy White River Productions collection.

[/caption] Many roads purchased RS-11s with a total of around 462 units produced. The largest customer was the Norfolk & Western with 99 units. However, the Pennsylvania RR signed on for 38 units, while the Nickel Plate took 35 and SP took 34. Other customers included the Delaware & Hudson, Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific, Lehigh Valley, Missouri Pacific, New Haven, Northern Pacific and the Seaboard Air Line. One of the most reliable of Alco locomotives, examples survived in Class 1 usage well into the late 1970s, while several are still in use on short lines today.



Our new HO scale RS-11 - this is the PRR version with Trainphone antenna. First test casting shown with some parts 3D printed.

This tooling is far from finished - these really are the first test shots out of the molds and need a lot of tweaking!


Our new HO scale RS-11 - this is the PRR version without Trainphone antenna. Very rough test castings shown,

including blobby white 3D-printed pilots (the actual tooling wasn't ready yet). But you get the idea...

[/caption] RS-11 Variations The RS-11 could be set up for either freight or passenger service, with passenger units having a steam generator fitted into the short hood and a larger fuel/water tank beneath the frames. RS-11 units could be designated for either long hood or short hood forward operation. Some units, like the N&W’s, were provided with dual control stands and could be operated with either end forward. Over the course of RS-11 production there were many noticeable changes made to the design. These included variations in carbody filter quantities and sizes, fuel tank designs, cab window size and placement and many other small details.

Note: Canvas sunshades, N&W rebuilt louvers, N&W toolbox and N&W steps.

Many roads also customized their units. Examples of this include the Pennsy adding induction “Trainphone” equipment and cab signal boxes to many of their units, the New Haven installing cab signal equipment and Hancock air whistles, the SP tacking on additional lights and the N&W re-building the carbody vents and adding tool boxes alongside the fuel tanks.

Note: SP light package, correct SP horn and SP roof mounted water tank.



The model Rapido’s Alco road switcher is the first truly accurate plastic model of the RS-11 in its many variations. Our first releases included a mind boggling selection of different road-specific details including the PRR induction Trainphone antennas, N&W battery boxes and "built out" filters, SP lighting packages and New Haven whistles & cab signal boxes. Additionally, many optional parts are included with the model which the user can install to replicate changes in the units over time.

Note: Steam generator, NH Hancock whistle, NH cab signal box, correct fuel tanks,

etched metal drop steps and NH style stanchions.

The Rapido RS-11 is available in 13 different paint schemes covering delivery schemes and later repaints, with five different undecorated versions being listed for those that wish to build their own.


The Rapido HO Scale RS-11 model features:

  • Correct hood and roof profiles 3D scanned from the prototype
  • Operating number boards, headlights and green and white class lights and cab control stand lighting
  • Rapido’s innovative dead straight metal side handrails with plastic stanchions
  • Roadname-specific details including steps, lights, equipment boxes, handrails, fuel tanks, air intake louvers and more!
  • Full underbody piping, conduits and steam lines, where appropriate
  • Correct roadname-specific corner steps
  • Separate grab irons and wire handrails installed at the factory
  • Heavy, die-cast chassis and full, multi-colour/color interior
  • Rapido’s proven 5-pole skew-wound motor with dual flywheels and silky-smooth drive
  • DC/Silent (21-pin DCC Ready) or DC/DCC/Sound (ESU LokSound)
  • Accurate sounds recorded from a real Alco 251B prime mover
  • Factory-installed Macdonald-Cartier couplers mounted at the correct height

The MSRP is $249.95 (DC/Silent) and $359.95 (DC/DCC/Sound) in Canada. The US MSRP $225 (DC/Silent) and $335 (DC/DCC/Sound). As usual, these engines will be made to order.