The Rapido Turbo Train is unique but has some low speed issues.
by Josh Shedaker
Please note there is also a review of this locomotive in the new issue of Model Railroader. Apparently MR did not cover the break-in to improve low speed running.
After this review was posted we were contacted by Rapido who indicated that these locomotives required a 30 minute “break in period”. After running the loco for about 30 minutes the slow speed performance did improve substantially but was still not perfect. We are currently in contact with Rapido trying to work out a solution to this problem. We will post the results as we gather them.
Today we received the new HO scale Rapido Turbo train. The set, which includes two locomotives and one center car (add on cars are available separately) is aesthetically nice. It includes a dual mode sound and motor control decoder for use with DC or DCC. DC users will use the included sound remote for function control.
The locomotive also comes equipped with directional lighting and a user controlled gyra light. The sound is prototypically correct though it lacks overall power. There is a function toggle which allows you to switch between American and Canadian station announcements (the Canadian version speaks to you in French and English).
The first thing that we noticed was the coupling assembly is extremely bizarre and difficult to connect correctly, we see this as a potential flaw in the future since the assembly is cast entirely in plastic. The locomotive ran poorly at low speeds straight out of the box it wouldn’t move at all until we reached speed step 16, once it started to move it jerked and lurched and generally ran erratically. At speed the loco performed acceptably reaching a staggering 156 scale miles per hour. Adjusting the start voltage did make the loco respond at lower speed steps but it still jerks, as yet we have not been able fix this problem.