Rapido Telegraph 18

Rapido Telegraph #18 / May 25, 2009

Rapido Telegraph
The Irregular and Irreverent Bulletin from Rapido Trains Inc.

Dear Rapido Customer,

Here’s a quick edition of the Telegraph to let you know about some new products and what’s shipping. Bill is busy redesigning our web site so the first issue of Rapido Product News is still about a month away.

In this issue of the Telegraph:

  • The first N scale cars are here!
  • New N scale car style and paint schemes
  • New HO Scale Super Continental Line 6-4-6 Sleeper!
  • HO Scale Super Continental Line – new release information
  • New motor and gears development update
  • Web site woes

N scale passenger cars

Our First Panorama Line Arrivals!

The first Panorama Line N scale passenger cars are here!

Today is an exciting day for Rapido. We’ve just received the first delivery of N scale passenger cars. 20 months of development have finally come to fruition. Here is what we are shipping this week:

  • Canadian National (1954 Scheme) – Coaches
  • Canadian National (Wet Noodle) – E-Series Sleepers and Coaches
  • Southern Pacific – Duplex Sleepers and Coaches
  • Undecorated – Duplex Sleepers and Coaches

We are sold out of several car numbers in the first run of N scale passenger cars. If you are looking for specific car names or numbers, try ordering from your local dealer first. If they can’t get it for you, you might need to shop around.
Why you don’t want to be a model train manufacturer: The Canadian National (1954 Scheme) E-Series Sleepers also arrived, but Dan and I discovered that the name of each car has been mysteriously shifted about a quarter inch to the right. So we have to remake all ten car names. I think it may be time to retire and go into flower arranging.
We are not shipping out any of the incorrect CNR sleepers. They will be salvaged for parts. The newly-made cars should be here by mid-June.

N scale passenger car

MOPAC “Dayniter” Leg-Rest Coach (Production model will have 41-N-11 Trucks.)

New N scale car style

Speaking of N scale, I’m delighted to announce our third Panorama Line car style: the Dayniter Leg-Rest Coach.

Lightweight coaches usually came in one of two styles: a high-capacity coach for commuter or local runs and a roomier “Leg-Rest” coach for long (often overnight) journeys. In keeping with the Rapido tradition, our Leg-Rest coach follows the CN prototype and clever nomenclature: “Dayniter” explains exactly what this coach is and does. Though CN’s French name, “Superconfort,” is also pretty cool. As you probably guessed, it means “This seat is amazingly plush and ergonomic, don’t you think?”

The Dayniter features the same incredible level of detail as our Duplex Sleeper and Lightweight Coach, and of course comes supplied with our popular “Easy-Peasy” battery-powered interior lighting. We are working on two more car styles which I will announce towards the end of the year.

More Paint Schemes

In addition to the Dayniters, we’re also making more Coaches and Duplex Sleepers. Click on any paint scheme below to see the car numbers and product numbers. The order deadline for these cars is July 1st. Delivery will be late 2009/early 2010.

Please Note: I haven’t yet sent out the sales packs to dealers yet, so your dealer will not know about these cars unless they get the Telegraph. You might want to take this opportunity to suggest that they sign up!

Dealers will receive all the info on these cars later this week.


Algoma Central – Coaches


Canadian Pacific – Coaches


Central of Georgia – Dayniters


Chesapeake & Ohio – Dayniters and Duplex Sleepers


Delaware & Hudson – Coaches


Erie – Coaches and Duplex Sleepers


Grand Trunk Western – Coaches


Illinois Central – Dayniters and Duplex Sleepers


Lackawanna – Coaches and Duplex Sleepers


Louisville & Nashville – Dayniters and Duplex Sleepers


Milwaukee Road (1955 UP Scheme) – Dayniters and Duplex Sleepers


Missouri Pacific (Jenks Blue) – Dayniters and Duplex Sleepers


Norfolk & Western – Dayniters


Ontario Northland – Dayniters

The Super Continental Line

NC&StL Pine Sleeper

Our new Post-War 6-4-6 Sleeper
Note: Bill told me I can publicly make fun of him for getting the lettering wrong on this one.
So here I am, publicly making fun of him.
We’re actually waiting for the official lettering diagrams to arrive from NC&StL guru John Arnold, and we’ll redo the lettering once they get here.
The photo above gives you an idea of what it looks like, though.

New HO Scale Super Continental Line Post-War 6-4-6 Sleeper!

In Volume 16 of the Rapido Telegraph, I mentioned that we were working on a Buffet-Parlor and a Club Galley First Class Coach. I didn’t mention that we had a third new car in development.
Our new Post-War 6-4-6 Sleeper is based on Pullman plan 4183A delivered to the CNR in 1954 and named in the Green series. Each car was named after a Canadian landmark or town beginning with “Green.”

This car is almost identical to the popular Pine series cars (plan 4183) built for Louisville & Nashville, Chicago & Eastern Illinois, and Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis around the same time. The main differences are the electrical system and a bathroom window. For most people, it’s “close enough.”

We’ve had help from the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Historical Society, the Nashville, Chattanooga & St Louis Railway Preservation Society, and the CN Lines Special Interest Groupwith this project. You can visit a real Pine Sleeper at the Historic Rail Park and Train Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This group of dedicated railfans and historians is doing a beautiful job restoring Towering Pine, and have also been of great help to us. Unfortunately, there are no CN Green sleepers in preservation.

Because we don’t want to burst your bank account with too many cars coming out at once, we’re releasing the C&EI and NC&StL cars in the first run, and we’ll do the L&N car names in the second run.

CN Green Sleeper

The Other Side: CN’s Green Sleeper

This is the first time that a post-war 6-4-6 sleeper has ever been produced in plastic. Our model features:

  • Brand-new underbody with all steam, air and electrical lines
  • Full, multi-color interior detail
  • Operating diaphragms with etched brass end gates
  • Separate marker lamps
  • Battery-operated “Easy-Peasy” interior lighting
  • 41-N-11 or 41-BNO-11 trucks as appropriate, molded on all four sides
  • Skirts or fixed steps, as appropriate
  • Separate interior hand rails
  • Macdonald-Cartier metal knuckle couplers
  • Many car names/numbers per paint scheme

Read on for full details about the first run of our Post-War 6-4-6 Sleeper, Buffet-Parlor and Club Galley, or click on the name of each car style for more info.

CNR Lake Parlour-Buffet

CNR’s Lake Series Buffet-Parlor (That’s Parlour for our Canuck readers)

HO Scale Super Continental Line – new release information

As we’re almost finished development of our three new car styles, it’s time to open the order desk. The order deadline for the Post-War 6-4-6 Sleeper, Buffet-Parlor and Club Galley is September 1st. Delivery will be winter 2010. Please contact your local dealer to order these cars. We don’t sell them direct.

We’ll have samples for you to see at the National Train Show, July 10-12 in Hartford.

Amtrak Passenger Cars

Amtrak Phase 1
Buffet-Parlor (4 numbers)
6-4-6 Sleeper (5 numbers)

CNR Passenger Cars

Canadian National (1954 Scheme)
Lake Buffet-Parlour (all 9 numbers)
Club Galley (5 numbers)
Rivet Counter Warning: The “Club” series cars were not rebuilt until the “wet noodle” era.

CN Passenger Cars

Canadian National (Wet Noodle)
Green Sleeper (8 numbers plus unnumbered)

C&EI Passenger Cars

Chicago & Eastern Illinois
Pine Sleeper (4 numbers)

C&NW Passenger Cars

Chicago & North Western
Buffet-Parlor (4 numbers)
6-4-6 Sleeper (5 numbers)

ERIE Passenger Cars

Buffet-Parlor (2 numbers)
6-4-6 Sleeper (4 numbers)

GTW Passenger Cars

Grand Trunk Western
Buffet-Parlor (2 numbers)

GN Passenger Cars

Great Northern
Buffet-Parlor (4 numbers)
6-4-6 Sleeper (5 numbers)

GM&O Passenger Cars

Gulf, Mobile & Ohio – NEW PAINT SCHEME
Buffet-Parlor (4 numbers)

MILW Passenger Cars

Milwaukee Road
Buffet-Parlor (4 numbers)
6-4-6 Sleeper (5 numbers)

MOPAC Passenger Cars

Missouri Pacific (Jenks Blue)
Buffet-Parlor (4 numbers)
6-4-6 Sleeper (4 numbers)

NCStL Passenger Cars

Nashville, Chattanooga & St Louis
Pine Sleeper (3 numbers)

NYC Passenger Cars

New York Central
Buffet-Parlor (4 numbers)
6-4-6 Sleeper (6 numbers)

NP Passenger Cars

Northern Pacific
Buffet-Parlor (4 numbers)
6-4-6 Sleeper (5 numbers)

VIA Passenger Cars

VIA Rail Canada
Club Galley (5 numbers plus unnumbered)
Green Sleeper (8 numbers plus unnumbered)

UNDEC Passenger Cars

Club Galley
6-4-6 Sleeper

New Motor and Gears Development Update

Even though it’s only been a couple of weeks since our last Telegraph, we’ve already made progress on the development of a new motor, gear and drive train design that will improve slow speed performance for all of our future powered models.
We will be offering a complete set of motor, gears and drive train for the TurboTrain, at cost, for those of you who wish to upgrade your Turbo to the new system. I will give you full information about that in a future issue of the Telegraph later this year.

Click on the image below to watch a really pretentious video showing the progress of our new motor and gear designs.

Pretentious Video

Rapido Web Site Woes

Well, I guess it happens to most web site owners eventually. Our web site was hacked last month by an automated hacker program and nasty code was added to some of the pages on our site. This caused some visitors to the site to get a virus warning. We’ve cleaned up the site but it has been quite a nightmare, especially as the hacker got in just before I sent the last Telegraph.

We’ve removed all of the javascript from the site that would allow the hackers to get in again (that’s why the funky banner ads and the search feature are gone). As Bill redesigns the site, he’s installing safeguards to ensure that the site is hack-proof in future. Thanks everyone for your patience and I apologize for any inconvenience caused.

That’s all for now. As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to send us an email. Dan and I try to reply to all emails by the next business day.

Talk to you soon,


Jason Shron
Rapido Trains Inc.