By Railroad Model Craftsman Staff
Rapido Trains Inc. announced last week that it would release a model of General Electric’s groundbreaking U25B locomotive in both the high-hood and low-nose versions. With the first examples built in 1959, the U25B represented General Electric’s first formal entry into the diesel-electric locomotive market in North America. Although U25Bs have been produced in HO scale before, this will be the first time the high-hood version will be available in plastic.
A rendering of the high-hood U25B.
GE built 478 U25B locomotives between April 1959 and February 1966. With 2500 horsepower on tap powering four GE 752 traction motors, these locomotives served in all corners of the United States well into the 1970s and early 1980s. Rapido plans on offering the models with road-specific details, LED lighting, and high-quality sound. For this inaugural release, Rapido’s U25B will be offered in nine different paint schemes, including Erie Lackawanna (gray/yellow/maroon), Great Northern (Empire Builder), New Haven (black), Penn Central(black), Santa Fe (blue/yellow striped), Frisco (high nosed red/white), Union Pacific (high nosed yellow/gray), and General Electric demonstrator (two schemes).
As part of their research, Rapido journeyed to the Southern California Railway Museum in Perris, Calif., to measure and scan Southern Pacific U25BE 3100, as well as measuring and documenting surviving U25Bs preserved at other locations. This first production of Rapido U25Bs will focus on the locomotives in their early years, before any significant modifications were made.
The model will be available painted for eight different roadnames.