Rapido Trains

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Manufacturer: Rapido Trains

Summary: Rapido Trains Inc. is a Canadian company which began selling kits for passenger cars. The company then began manufacturing and assembling Canadian prototype passenger cars, following that with a complete Canadian Pacific train set, "The Canadian", including GMD FP9 locomotives designed in-house. Rapido would expand into motive power and rolling stock, including steam locomotives. The company expanded into the UK, offering UK prototypes. Rapido offers a full line of models for North American railroads, as well as accessories such as turnout motors. The founder, and most of the staff, are model railroaders.

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Rapido Trains Logo.png
General information
Phone 1-855-LRC-6917 / 905-474-3314URIs of the form "1-855-LRC-6917 / 905-474-3314" are not allowed.
Main URL Main URL
URL to manuals Product Manuals
Address 500 Alden Road, Unit 21

Markham Ontario L3R 5H5 Canada

Date Opened 2003
Date Closed
Device Types Other

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. They are not related to Arnold Rapido N scale products.


See the Video.


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 for "The Canadian" passenger train set. The multifunction 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. Sound files are often recorded from surviving examples for an authentic sound.

Rapido does sell multifunction 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 to the locomotive's decoder, it would be best to heed it for all manufacturers. If the manufacturer warns regarding use of a non-decoder equipped locomotive on DCC, heed that warning as well to avoid damage.

The following analog power packs are not recommended:

  • MRC RailPower 1300/1370
  • Bachman Spectrum Magnum
  • Atlas 313 Universal Power Pack

MRC 1300/1370 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.


Since Rapido uses customized OEM multifunction decoders, the required definitions may not be present in the DecoderPro database. Always use the most recent version of DecoderPro to ensure you have the correct definitions for a Rapido Locomotive. If using a LokProgrammer always read the decoder before doing anything.

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 details in the video below.


See the Rapido website for more information: Rapidotains.com

Rapido FP9 CV Chart (Soundtraxx)

Related Videos

Video: Changing CVs in a Rapido RS-18

This video deals with changing CVs in an ESU decoder to improve the running characteristics of a Rapido RS-18.

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.

See Also

References to this Manufacturer

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Rapido Trains FAQs

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