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I recently acquired the VIA Rail Turbo Train in N Scale from Rapido Trains to run on my layout, The Trenton Subdivision. The workmanship and detail in this iconic train set is incredible!
First impression on opening the box was the crisp details on the two engines and three coaches. Skeptical rivet counters will have hours of fun, and be very satisfied when they are done.
Rapido Trains Turbo comes with two Engines and three cars, The VIA model has the iconic yellow and blue colours.
This is the first train set I have purchased that came with an eighteen page owner’s manual. Despite the strong desire to get the train running, I highly suggest you read the manual first, so you don't throw this model "against the wall." Anyone who has the Turbo train will understand this quote; let’s just say the folks at Rapido have a great sense of humour!
VIA Rail Turbo receives a little care in the VIA Maintenance Shop prior to the days operations on The Trenton Subdivision.
The manual contains quite a few recommendations on how to operate the Turbo. Especially with the Function buttons. There is a staggering nineteen functions. These include the standard bell, horn and headlights. Also included is an incredible sounding Doppler effect for horn and a front and rear gyro light, white on the lead engine and red on the trailing engine. The lights reverse with the train direction.
Other functions include, station, departure and arrival announcements for communities along the Toronto - Quebec Corridor. These are also bilingual with English first, followed by a very poor Anglophone speaking French following. This was very typical of the time period. Other functions include door opening/closing warnings and all aboard.
With the Turbo's iconic yellow and blue glistening, the train leaves the VIA Shops, ready for the first run of the day.
The F17 Function will change the announcements for American stations, including New York, Boston, New Haven and Providence.
The sound quality is clear and easily heard, even with background noise in the room.
Starting the Turbo is a treat in itself. F8 must be pushed to start the powerful gas turbines in the engines and until the engines have run up, the train will not move. To move the train to the platform, Switching Mode can be activated lighting both engines headlights on dim. Once the engine stops at the platform the turbines run down to idle.
Now the announcement functions come into play, train ready to board, doors opening/closing and "All Aboard." As the Turbo is given some throttle the gas turbine once again run up to operating speed. Sound the horn, turn on the bell and gyro light. The forward engine has a white gyro, while the rear engines gyro is red, and the Turbo begins her run to the next city.
The VIA Rail Turbo rounds the Nautical and Naughty section on the Trenton Subdivision. Being a sailor and an author of several books on Canadian Naval History is incorporated into the bend on my layout with a sign for the St. Lawrence Seaway (Highway H2O) and a billboard for one of my books. The passengers on the Turbo Train are about to get a surprise as they speed past the couple becoming one with nature (and each other) on what they thought was an secluded lane.
The folks at Rapido Trains have ensured that every wheel is a contact point, allowing the entire train to make contact with power. Amazingly the Turbo ran on my Code 80 track extremely smoothly. This includes running through the passenger yard with a series of multiple #4 and #6 turnouts. There was no stalling, not even a hint of hesitation!
The single wheel axles between the coaches are true to the prototype and I suspected would be an issue, as most single axle trucks are. Was I WRONG! The single axles glide over the track, staying upright and in position at all speeds.
Following a busy day on the Toronto - Quebec Corridor, The VIA Rail Turbo is "put to bed" for the night.
This historic and iconic Turbo Train produced by Rapido Trains is by far the best train I have purchased. I am still in awe each time I run it. I highly recommend this train as a must have to all N Scalers. HO Modelers, don't fret, this incredible Turbo Train is also produced in your scale.
This article first appeared on model-railroad-hobbyist.com
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