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N Scale Dash 8-40CM "Draper Taper"





Rapido Trains Inc. is very pleased to announce it’s fourth powered model in North American N Scale, the iconic General Electric Dash 8-40CM, popularly known by the nickname “Draper Taper” after the cut-out behind the cab. The announcement of the “Prime Movers by Rapido” Dash 8 in HO Scale in 2015 saw many N scalers contact us pleading for us to make this locomotive in the smaller scale. We’re happy to oblige, and as an added bonus we’re making it our most highly detailed N powered model yet!


Powered by a V16 FDL 4000-horsepower prime mover, the main features of this distinctive design are the four-window North American cab, the cowl-style body and the famous ‘Draper Taper’ cutout behind the cabs (designed by CN’s Assistant Chief of Motive Power, William L. Draper to provide better reverse visibility on full-width cowl units). These great-looking locomotives always turn railfan heads in trains! The Dash 8-40CM (also known as the C40-8M) was introduced in 1990 with an order of 30 units for Canadian National (2400-2429), classified EF-640a. This was followed by a further 25 units (2430-2454) in 1992, classified EF-640b.

The four major liveries of the Dash 8, not including later repaints and tweaks.


BC Rail received 22 units (4601-4622) in 1990, followed by four more (4623-26) in 1993. These were transferred to CN following the de facto purchase of BCR in 2004. The final units were for QNSL, which acquired three locomotives (401-403) in March 1994. Amazingly, all 81 CN and BC Rail Dash 8s are still in service. Most are still in their original paint schemes but several have been repainted into the newer CN.CA livery.


The "Draper Tapers" make regular visits to Chicago via CN’s Grand Trunk Western route through Michigan and Indiana in the mid-1990s and sometimes further afield as run-through power. However, it was CN’s purchase of the Illinois Central in 1998 that really expanded their range of use and it became common to see Dash 8-40CMs as far south as the Gulf Coast and all points inbetween, on and off CN/IC track. CN’s units were joined on their foreign adventures by BC Rail’s units from 2004.


Union Pacific #8666 & #4814 lead Dash 8-40CM CN 2421 through St Paul, Minnesota in September 2011.

Union Pacific #8666 & #4814 lead Dash 8-40CM CN 2421 through St Paul, Minnesota in September 2011. Photo courtesy Gareth Bayer.


The Rapido Dash 8-40CM sets new standards for Canadian specific N scale locomotives, and features numerous separate parts and road specific details to accurately represent all variations of this classic design. The model comes with working headlights and accurate single or double rear lights, as well as factory installed operational ditch lights (and rock lights on the British Columbia units).


Our N Scale Dash 8-40CM model features:

  • Accurately scaled from prototype blueprints - completely designed from new
  • Roadname-specific details including bell position, single or double rear headlights, with or without battery boxes behind cab, horns, tall or short sand fillers, CN or BCOL style ditch lights and more!
  • An insane level of underbody detail with air filters, many separate pipes and moulded traction motor cabling and air/control pipe runs.
  • Heavy, die-cast chassis with a powerful coreless motor and dual flywheels
  • Operational headlights and real lights with operational factory-installed ditch lights (plus rock lights on BCOL locomotives)
  • Separate grab irons and handrails installed at the factory
  • DC/Silent (Next18 DCC Ready) or DC/DCC/Sound (ESU LokSound) options
  • Accurate sounds recorded from a real General Electric Dash 8-40CM
  • Factory-installed couplers mounted at the correct height


The famed “Draper Taper”. The Rapido N Scale Dash 8-40CM accurately replicates the differences between the CN and BCR locomotives in this area.




The MSRP is $169.95 (DC/Silent) and $289.95 (DC/DCC/Sound) in Canada. The US MSRP $149.95 (DC/Silent) and $259.95 (DC/DCC/Sound). As usual, these engines will be made to order.