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Date: 10/19/21 16:13
Rapido Ski Train
Author: TomG

Well the Rapido Ski Train F40PHs are out and boy do they look great. These babies have great detail and the paint job on my 3 units are exquisite. Probably one of my favorite parts is the fine see through screens on the radiators. all and all these are really nice units and they will look great with the ski train cars, or in my case they will all sit in the same box happily until I start the new railroad for them to sit on. This is the finest F40PH ever made in my opinion, I just love staring at them. In the photos I have seen of the previous run of F40s, these are a notch up and even nicer.

Ok enough of the molasses, now for the sulfur. The documentation says these are accurate representatives of Phase 2a, 2b an 3 units but will be referred to as latter phase units. Ok fine and dandy. Rapido made a mistake and provided a place on their web page for the F40PH master class. In this very informative and lots of great information, but points out the problem. It perfectly describes #283 and #289 as phase 2b's built in 1978 in the series #280-328 and modernized with ditch lights rounded cab door windows and such. Phase 2a's were built in 1977 in the series #230-279. The spotting feature between these Phases is the stiffening ribs on the side of the units. 2a had 3 and 3 on the long hood and the Phase 2b's had 3 and 4. Rapidos #242 is a Phase 2b and not a 2a and has the 1979 upgrade to the rounded corner cab door.

Now most people wont care and will love these just the way they are, but the cab door is what bugs me the most as the #242 was almost always the leader and the square window is very obvious. The number of stiffening ribs is irritating but easier to live with.  ( Also Jordan, the AMTK cab lettering was only at first until Anschutz owned them outright and they carried SKTX until going to the Agawa place) The trucks are not correct for these units either. Maybe Rapido should look into casting bodies without doors like highliners so they could sub then in or out per Phase. Rapido can fix the truck issue but I will have to live with the Phase issue. Last thing is the class lights. It seems you only get red. Also in the parts bag which is pretty empty compaired to the RDCs, it would have been nice to include a couple square yellow square patches for the nose of the 283.

Again, Don't get me wrong, These are wonderful units and a great contribution to model railroading, I was just hoping for the first time someone was going to make the perfect set and not make the one box fits all.
Those who are still rolling your eyes, yes I can feel you, go back to Bachman trains, these high detailed quality engines are not for you, above you, on a pedestal, out of reach. Well unless you have money, and I'm not talking rake a 2 acre yard for 2 bits kinda money. If your rolling your eyes, you know how much 2 bits is.
 

Tom
Northern, CA



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/21 16:23 by TomG.






Date: 10/19/21 17:06
Re: Rapido Ski Train
Author: GP30M

You could file the window opening square and back it with a custom cut piece of clear plastic. You could also make the rectangular nose plates out of thin brass stock. You would, of course, need to match that orange paint.

Submit a warranty claim through Rapido's website to get your name on a list for replacement sideframes.

All of that said, these are the best F40PH's yet offered. Hopefully they will correctly retool the recessed radiator fan area on future releases of post-1980 units as well.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/21 17:12 by GP30M.



Date: 10/19/21 17:54
Re: Rapido Ski Train
Author: TCnR

Great review, but how do they run?

I'm thinking of the great looking sw1200's from a few weeks ago, oh almost but...

My concern about Rapido is great details but there's always something that doesn't quite work out. Takes the shine off that two bits real fast. But what they build is still very unique and great to have. Had they cut back on some of the drama we'd be in great shape.

Do they still call them Loonies in Canada or has that passed?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/21 17:57 by TCnR.



Date: 10/19/21 18:08
Re: Rapido Ski Train
Author: WAF

Still have loonies and toonies, I think



Date: 10/19/21 18:30
Re: Rapido Ski Train
Author: TomG

TCnR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great review, but how do they run?
>
> I'm thinking of the great looking sw1200's from a
> few weeks ago, oh almost but...
>
> My concern about Rapido is great details but
> there's always something that doesn't quite work
> out. Takes the shine off that two bits real fast.
> But what they build is still very unique and great
> to have. Had they cut back on some of the drama
> we'd be in great shape.
>
> Do they still call them Loonies in Canada or has
> that passed?

Oh ya forgot that part. As I can not really test run them its hard to say. In one of my psychotic episodes of though, I came to the conclusion that my life would be easier if I settled on one type of sound decoder to keep everything similar and easier on me and future operators. So I ordered mine without sound as I had planned on adding Tsunami2s in them. THEN, after I received them it dawned on me that loc sound would have been just fine in these as I would never MU or run them any other way than as a unit with the Ski Train cars. Huge mistake, they would have fine right out of the box with everything working. But I did have one Tsunami2 PNP 21 pin decoder so I did plug that in to test the 242 on my 3 foot test track. It did run just fine and with the sound muted and as Sean Connery said in The Hunt for Red October, "Engage the silent drive", it zipped smoothly and extremely quiet back and forth.

I guess I need to contact Jason and see they sell the preprogrammed decoder which is what I should had done to start with. It would have been cheaper in the long run than it will be now.

.

Tom
Northern, CA



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/21 18:36 by TomG.



Date: 10/19/21 18:35
Re: Rapido Ski Train
Author: RRBMail

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Still have loonies and toonies, I think

Accept in French Canada where a loon (the bird depicted on the coin) goes by a different name, hence there the slang "loonie" is meaningless! 



Date: 10/19/21 18:41
Re: Rapido Ski Train
Author: TCnR

I'm finding a couple of $20 no sound decoders have been handy for checking things out.



Date: 10/19/21 19:56
Re: Rapido Ski Train
Author: 4489

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Still have loonies and toonies, I think

For the folks that still use cash the answer is yes!

Of course Canada has a banking system that works, LOL.
 



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