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Rapido LRC Bombardier Demonstrator


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I've just been looking at the pictures of the Rapido HO model of the LRC, particularly the demo version. Does anybody know whether this is a true model of the demonstrator? My memories are that there were some quite signiticant external differences between the demonstrator and the production units, particularly the nose of the demonstrator which looked quite a bit more streamlined than the production series. Have Rapido decided to offer the standard model in demo colours as a cheap way of offering a model that'd be very expensive to model correctly, or was the demo modified to match the production units, or will Rapido model the demo correctly? Any advice and info would be very useful, I've always wanted a model of the LRC demo but wanted the original look with the stream lined flush nose, thanks,

 

John

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Thanks for the replies, yes that is the demo as I remember it, the nose looks very different from the production series. I've pre-ordered anyway as I've wanted a model of the LRC demo for so long I'll accept a compromise by painting the production series loco in the demo colours if that is what Rapido have done. I'll try e-mailing Rapido, regards,

 

John

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I e-mailed Rapido and had a nice reply from Jason Shron within an hour confirming it is a compromise and that the costs of tooling a true LRC demonstrator would not be viable, he said they anticipate only 50-100 sales for the demo version. I respect his honesty and am still buying the demo, not perfect by any means but it'll be better than nothing. His advice was to hope for a resin kit as the most realistic way of ever seeing the demo modeled correctly. Oh well, the VIA versions will make up for the compromise in the demo scheme, they look superb.

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If i'd seen this over the Thanksgiving Weekend here i could have confirmed as well (though as noted, Jason is a fantastic guy and very happy to speak to his customers). When i last spoke with Jason he had been unsure about doing the Demonstrator because of the differences to the production LRC, but as with many projects, the difference between profit and loss can be selling some foobies which are close, but not truly accurate, like many of the Super Continental passenger cars in US lines, they never used CC&F Passenger cars, but they are close, and they sell, which can push a project into profitability. In this case, i think Rapido got enough requests for the Demonstrator Scheme that even if they don't sell a lot as Jason indicated, it's more sales on a project where i know they have spent the money on tooling and to date didn't have the sales to cover that cost.

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I think the LRC shows why I'd be a hopeless model company proprietor, as I'd have thought the LRC would be a sure fire seller and rush into making it. I was seriously amazed that Rapido had found limited take up given that the LRC is such a significant part of modern North American passenger train history and such a good looking train (IMO), it is one of those things I've wondered for years why there wasn't a model. I really hope this sells better than the initial pre-order figures indicate as Rapido deserve success for taking this on. I can live with the compromise demonstrator as what else is there by way of models of this wonderful locomotive? I'm planning to get a couple of VIA locomotives with cars but an undecided on the Amtrak...I may get one just in case I don't and then regret it later. I was very impressed with Jason Shron's response to a customer inquiry, especially one which wouldn't solicit the most positive answer.

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I think the LRC shows why I'd be a hopeless model company proprietor, as I'd have thought the LRC would be a sure fire seller and rush into making it. I was seriously amazed that Rapido had found limited take up given that the LRC is such a significant part of modern North American passenger train history and such a good looking train (IMO), it is one of those things I've wondered for years why there wasn't a model. I really hope this sells better than the initial pre-order figures indicate as Rapido deserve success for taking this on.

 

I think what you are expressing is a difference between the UK world and the NA one when it comes to modelling. North American modellers model what they model, and they don't tend to be collectors (there are exceptions to every rule of course, speaking in broad strokes) who have large collections of display items. For a long list of reasons, as with 1:1 preservation, the modelling communities on either side of the Atlantic are very different beyond just our sense of proportion on 16.5mm rails :P

 

It's hard to convince people that they need an LRC when it ran in such a limited area of North America. The Amtrak units only lasted a handful of years before they bailed and VIA bought them. The number of people who model VIA Rail/CN Operations in the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor between 1982 and 2002 when the LRC locomotives ran is a relatively small group. That said, the LRC Coaches first run apparently sold very well, so why people weren't lining up to buy locomotives isn't initially obvious, though from what I've heard, i think there was some reluctance in the marketplace to buy a locomotive from a company which had never released one. The arrival earlier this year of the first FP9's in VIA and with the first two Canadians may have assuaged some fears in the marketplace on Rapido's ability to make a good locomotive and from the sounds of it, may help LRC sales (that along with a commitment to have them made in 2013, as we all know, the situation in China unless you are Bachmann (Sanda Kan) is tough to get stuff made on time).

 

I know i have my LRC 6917 on order, and am looking forward to paring it up with my three LRC coaches from the first run, so who knows (says one hopeless modeller/collector who models the 1950's but collects British outline models and modern VIA Rail equipment!!)

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I guess a few modellers are, like me, modelling the current scene in Canada. In that case we need LRC cars but - thankfully - not the locomotives. I can't say I ever thought they were good-looking - just very square and ugly. I was pleasantly surprised that the ride quality in the cars is quite good, given their age, but they seem low down even by UK standards.

CHRIS LEIGH

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My love for the LRC pre-dates my recent interest in Canadian trains and goes back 30 years, it is one of those trains that I've always had a real affection for quite independently of any real interest in its operator, era or home country. Similar to having a real love of the Austrian 1044 despite not being especially interested in any other aspects of Austrian trains. I've wanted a model of it for years, especially the demonstrator but also the VIA production series. The coaches still look remarkably modern even after 30 years. One thing that always seemed a little incongruous was that such an advanced train retained the old Alco 251 engine. And the fact that the 251 was made to fit in an LRC body shell begs the question of what all the space is for on the other locomotives powered by that engine! :scratchhead: :no:

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One thing that always seemed a little incongruous was that such an advanced train retained the old Alco 251 engine. And the fact that the 251 was made to fit in an LRC body shell begs the question of what all the space is for on the other locomotives powered by that engine!

 

Having been in the engine bay of an LRC that had already lost its 251 while we were stripping it for spare parts, i would guess the space on other locomotives is to actually be able to get at the 251 with ease for maintenance!!! As even without the 251 in place, the LRC engine bay was a tight space

 

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-Stephen

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That's a sad picture, always sad to see a loco dying like that. Maintainability is something many designers don't really pay that much attention too, although for some reason their sales and marketing people always claim their products are easy to service. Not just in terms of installation, but the engines themselves. One of the aspects of EMD prime movers that always used to be good was that whatever other faults they may have had they were very easy to maintain. The opposite extreme are engines like the very highly rated MTU engines which are a pig to service and not especially long lived. A lot of manufacturers use the "you remove the engine to a workshop to do maintenance" card, which whilst viable for major overhauls is hardly the case for every little problem or minor service.

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