Friday, 29 June 2018

The Great Rapido Excursion - Third Annual Dealer Open House

The Rapido bus is on display plus ready to take us out for a tour.
Story by Peter Mumby
Photos and Captions by George Dutka

Monday June 25 was the date of the most recent Rapido dealer open house - the day had been circled on our calendars for at least the six previous weeks.  As usual, we packed a lunch, as a full day had been planned.  We decided in advance that, on the eastward trip, we would avoid the multi-lane highways as much as possible.  Accordingly, we followed county roads from Ingersoll to Hamilton, then from Hamilton to Mississauga.  The final leg to Markham would take us over the 407 toll route.

As normal, our day would involve a three-pronged program - railfanning, hobby shop visits, and the open house itself.  The day dawned with a cloudless sky, so we were optimistic about the railfan photography component.  Unfortunately, the trains proved to be almost as scarce as the clouds.  However, we both enjoy photographing rolling stock, so this was our saving grace at Ingersoll and Beachville.  We were reduced to shooting vehicles at Paris, and our time at Copetown was devoted exclusively to eating lunch.  Our best location turned out to be Hamilton's Stuart St. yard.  Here we caught a CN mainline freight and a Southern Ontario transfer job.  We were glad to see SOR in action, as this yard work is scheduled to be taken back by CN in 2019.

Ties being unloaded at Beachville on the OSR. Peter and I took a close look at the covered hoppers which we found interesting.
We visited two hobby shops en route.  Paris Hobbies featured a sale table with a few items which ultimately proved irresistible.  We were able to resist temptation at Credit Valley, but while we were there the large TV screen featured a live Jason Schron podcast from Rapido Trains, so we were apprised of the new product announcements before we arrived in Markham.  An N-scale CN Dash 8 unit and an HO RS-11 were introduced.  A group of CN and CP RS-18s would feature the rebuilt Tempo train units.  The real surprise was that the Tempo passenger cars were to be produced to accompany the locomotives.

As usual, we were made to feel comfortable by the pleasant and knowledgeable Rapido staff at the open house.  Questions were answered, stock was perused, and an excellent barbecue supper was enjoyed.  The highlight for George and myself was that the ex-TTC GM fishbowl Rapido bus was on site, with short rides available.  What a flashback to the 1970s!

The trip home was quick and pleasantly uneventful.  We are already considering plans for next June.

A CN Toronto bound train passes the Hamilton GO station.
The local in Hamilton yard is doubling up two tracks of trash cars.
Peter checking out one of the displays.

There was a good crowd at the open house. That is Pierre Oliver (Elgin Car Shops) in the black ball cap. Pierre tagged along with Jeff Grove from St. Thomas.
Jeff Grove is once again put to work cooking hamburgs and sausages.
Dash 8's in N scale on display.
The only New England RS-11's being offered appears to be NH. Wondering if MEC and CV will follow.
RS on display.

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