Rapido Trains

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Rapido Trains Inc. is a high-end manufacturer of model trains and accessories in HO, OO and N (North American 1:160 and British 1:148) scales. The company was founded in 2003.

They are not related to Arnold Rapido N scale products.


Rapido started with resin kits for passenger coaches. Later they would introduce ready to run, highly detailed CN prototype coaches and expand from there. Mostly Canadian prototypes, they are renowned for the attention to detail and accuracy, right down to the undercarriage detail.

Their first DCC equipped locomotive was the CPR's GMD built FP9A sold with "The Canadian" passenger train set. The decoder used was a custom SoundTraxx Tsunami.

Later they would offer a power chassis to convert the dummy FP9B included with "The Canadian" to a powered unit, with a LokSound decoder. Later locomotives would feature ESU LokSound decoders. The sound files are often recorded from surviving examples for an authentic sound.

Rapido does sell decoders with speaker included for a number of locomotives, many are rare or unusual examples.

The also offer the Railcrew Remote Uncoupler, Switch Machine, and switch stands

Warning Regarding DCC Equipped Rapido Trains Locomotives

While this warning is from Rapido Trains regarding possible damage tot he decoder, it would be best to heed it for all manufacturers. If the manufacturer warns of use of a non-decoder equipped locomotive on DCC, heed that warning as well to avoid damage.

MRC 1300 Series Power Supplies

Warning from Rapido concerning MRC DC power supplies/throttles:

Do NOT use MRC 1300-series DC controllers with Rapido’s locomotives. The 1300-series controllers have voltage spikes which will destroy the circuitry in our locomotives. We will try to help you if we have the parts, but we are not responsible for locomotive damage due to voltage spikes in your power supply. As well, we will not repair any locomotive damaged by an MRC 1300-series controller unless you have retired the controller. Otherwise the damage will soon reoccur.

Homebrew DCC Systems and Power Supplies

It is possible for homemade analog supplies or DCC Boosters to damage decoders. Analog DC supplies may introduce voltage spikes which can damage a decoder. Improperly designed or constructed DIY DCC Boosters can introduce a DC voltage to the track that can damage a DCC Decoder.

It is best to only use DCC systems which meet the NMRA DCC Standards to operate locomotives with DCC decoders installed, to avoid damage.


Since Rapido uses customized OEM decoders, the required decoder definitions may not be present in the DecoderPro database. Always use the most recent version of DecoderPro to insure you have the correct definitions for a Rapido Locomotive.

Also see ESU 54615 SW1200RS for details on programming an ESU decoder to work like the one installed in the SW1200RS. Not all features will be available.

Another article with useful information: Programming ESU Decoders with CVs over 255.

Technical Issues

Rapido RS-18 Motor Issues

Rapido has identified an issue with their RS-18 models. They have published a solution which requires changing a few CVs. The CVs are on the LokSound page. A LokProgrammer can be used to make these changes permanent.


See the Rapido website for more information: Rapidotains.com

Video demo

Jason, Mohan and Jordan discuss the problem with some RS-18 motors on DCC and the needed CV changes to prevent motor failures. Those CVs are CV51 = 20; CV52 = 5; CV54 = 25. The guys also discuss improvements we're making with factory communication to improve overall QC of Rapido locomotives.