Rapido’s HO Scale RS-18u and RSC-14 Locomotives Arrive

The RS-18 was MLW’s version of the American RS-11 and could be found in service all across Canada into the 2000s. Now, Rapido has released an HO scale version of the iconic unit. 

Rapido’s HO Scale RS-18u and RSC-14 Locomotives Arrive

HO Scale (1:87)Now at your favorite dealers are Rapido’s latest offering for fans of MLW-built locomotives.

The MLW RS-18 was the Canadian-built equivalent to Alco’s RS-11 road switcher.  Introduced in September 1956 and produced until August 1968, 351 RS-18s were constructed by the Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW) –  Alco’s Canadian subsidiary. These 1,800 horsepower multipurpose freight locomotives served a variety of roles working mainline freights, locals, switching, yard service and even passenger service on occasion — a true ‘Jack of all Trades,’ with a stalwart handful still in service today on short lines in the U.S. and Canada.

With a total of 225 units, the Canadian National Railway operated the largest fleet of RS-18s. However on prairie branchlines that used light-duty rail and bridges, the weight per axle of the RS-18s exceeded the limits for safe navigation over these lines, so ancient ailing six-axle RSC-13s continued to soldier on here until CN retired them in favor of a program to retruck RS-18s with the six-axle trucks taken from retired RSC-13s.  A total of 28 RS-18s were converted to become ‘RSC-14s’, with their Alco 251B prime mover derated to 1,400 horsepower feeding four traction motors.

The Canadian Pacific Railway also rostered RS-18s, 69 of which were delivered between 1957 and 1958.  After 20-plus years of service, the CPR sought to extend the lives of their venerable 251B–powered locomotives so that these units would continue to be reliable, efficient locomotives for branchline and local operations for another 10-15 years.

From 1980 through 1988, all of CPR 69 RS-18s were extensively rebuilt in Angus Shops, Montreal. In the rebuilding, the units received a lowered short hood for improved visibility, the addition of new class light arrays on both ends and new front number boards, and an improved uncoupling lever design. Under the hood, the newly–designated RS–18u featured overhauled engines and trucks, improved heating systems, new wiring, new windows, cab insulation and control stands.

Rapido Trains is now offering highly detailed HO scale replicas of both CN’s RSC-14 and CPR’s RS-18us in several liveries.  Paint schemes for the RSC-14 include CN ‘noodle’, CN ‘Stripes’  and, Acinox (Cuba).  Liveries for the CPR RS-18us include CP (Multimark), CP (no multimark), and subsequent owners – Ontario Southern, Minnesota Commercial, New Brunswick East Coast, Ottawa Central, and Western, New York & Pennsylvania.  Undecorated, unpainted models are also offered for both the RSC-14 and RS-18u.  Multiple road numbers available where appropriate.

DC/DCC-ready silent engines are $225 MSRP, while DC+DCC+Sound locomotives equipped with ESU Loksound 5 decoders carry a $335 MSRP.

Watch for an in-depth product review to come in the pages of Railroad Model Craftsman on these HO locomotives in an upcoming issue!

Rapido Trains, 500 Alden Road, Unit 21 Markham, Ontario L3R 5H5, Canada;1-855-572-6917; www.rapidotrains.com


This article was posted on: December 11, 2023