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Rapido N scale New Haven 8600-series coach

Read this review from the April 2019 Model Railroader
Rapido N scale New Haven 8600-series coach
Price: $59.99
Rapido Trains Inc.
500 Alden Rd., Unit 21
Markham, Ont. L3R 5H5
Era: 1947 to 1988, depending on paint scheme

Road names: New York, New Haven & Hartford (delivery with skirts, McGinnis with skirts, McGinnis without skirts); Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) without skirts; Penn Central without skirts; painted with stainless-steel finish but unlettered

Comments: With the same attention to detail and accuracy as its HO scale model that I reviewed in the July 2017 Model Railroader, Rapido Trains has released an N scale version of its New York, New Haven & Hartford RR Pullman-Bradley 8600-series coaches for N scale.

Like the HO cars, the N scale 8600s measure within scale inches of drawings in The Official Pullman-Standard Library, Vol. 10, by W. David Randall (1991, Railway Production Classics). The silver paint replicates the prototype’s distinctive stainless-steel finish. All of the lettering was sharp and opaque.

The compressor wheel spokes that impressed me on the HO model are visible in N scale, as well. Other details include separately applied wire handrails and photo-etched metal end gates. Although some of the underbody piping is molded in place, there’s plenty of separately applied plastic detail to be found there, too. The silver-painted window sashes on the flush-fit plastic glazing are a nice touch.

Getting inside the car to install the included 1.5V button batteries for the lighting was a snap. I pried open the car sides with my thumbnails, then pulled on a truck and eased the floor and interior out of the body. Inside are plastic seats in the proper configuration.

Illumination comes from downward-facing surface-mount light-emitting diodes on a printed-circuit board. A magnetic wand turns the interior lights on and off. The cars weigh 1.5 ounces, matching National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) Recommended Practice 20.1. Coupler height and wheel gauge also matched NMRA standards.

During testing the cars tracked perfectly through no. 6 turnouts and 13"-radius curves. The only hiccup was tunnel portals that contacted the handrails on the curves. I can report that the handrails are sturdily attached.

Whether you’re modeling NH, PC, or MBTA – or you just like handsome passenger cars – these models will make a sharp addition to an N scale layout.

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How to get started in HO or N scale.

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