R23000 Rapido HO Alco PA and PB Locomotive Sets (DCC Sound & DC Silent Available)

R23000 Rapido HO Alco PA and PB Locomotive Sets (DCC Sound & DC Silent Available)

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Pre-Order your Alco PA/PBs with us today before the May 25, 2020 deadline and get FREE domestic shipping. No payment is due (not even a penny!) until these are ready to ship from our supplier. ETA Fall 2020.


PA Unit Only
SRP:$225 (DC/DCC Ready-Silent), $335 (DCC-Sound)
LSC Price:$179.99/ea (DC/DCC Ready-Silent), $269.99/ea (DCC-Sound)
PA/PB Sets
SRP:$425 (DC/DCC Ready-Silent), $625 (DCC-Sound)
LSC Price:$339.99/ea (DC/DCC Ready-Silent), $499.99/ea (DCC-Sound)
Approximately 20% Off Retail - We Won't Be Undersold!

New! Museum-Quality Alco PA and PB Series in HO Scale!

We are delighted to announce an all-new locomotive series in HO scale - The Alco PA and PB! To many people, this iconic locomotive represents the apex of the streamline era, its unique cowl and curves known around the world and forever associated with the golden age of railroad travel. It's also just plain gorgeous.
This is the first time the Alco PA and PB have been given the museum-quality treatment, and to ensure we get the looks of the PA bang on 100% accurate, we are doing a 3D scan of the real thing! 
Builder's photo of the New Haven PA-1
Prototype History
The PA and PB locomotives were built by a partnership of American Locomotive and General Electric between 1946 and 1953. Alco's first PA/PB offering was the PA-1 and PB-1, introduced in 1946. These were each powered by Alco's 16-cylinder 244 diesel engine generating 2,000 HP. In 1950 Alco upgraded the prime mover to 2,250 HP and introduced the PA-2.
Tom Acheson Photo courtesy SP 9010 Collection
Alco offered a few options on the PA, the addition of dynamic brakes and second headlights for warning use chief among them. However, as the units ran in service most railroads made numerous small changes that made their units unique. Changes to number boards, MU equipment, side grilles and numerous small appliances making nearly every railroad's units distinctive.
The PA locomotives were designed to compete with General Motors’ EMD E-units in the passenger locomotive market. While one could argue the Alcos won in style, they did not win in reliability. Their 244 prime movers could not unseat the EMD 567, and the PAs were demoted to secondary service on many lines. Most were retired as passenger service declined in the 1960s and nearly all were scrapped.
Doyle McCormack's preserved PA-1 at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center
Happily for Alco PA railfans, four retired Santa Fe units were bought by the Delaware and Hudson in 1974 and sent to Morrison-Knudsen for rebuilding and upgrading with Alco 251 V-12 engines. These four units were used on Amtrak’s “Adirondack” for several years and also saw service on Boston area commuter trains under an MBTA lease. All four units eventually ended up in Mexico.
Two of the ex-D&H units have since been brought back to the US, one residing at the Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco, Texas. The other unit is privately owned by Doyle McCormack and is being restored to operating condition painted as Nickel Plate #190.
The American Freedom Train in 1947.
The American Freedom Train
In 1947 the American Heritage Society put together the American Freedom Train. This train toured all 48 states and carried numerous historic artifacts including the Declaration of Independence. A PA-1 locomotive was chosen to pull the train and was painted in a patriotic red, white and blue scheme and numbered 1776. Between 1947 and 1949 the train ran over 40,000 miles on 52 different railroads. #1776 may well be the only locomotive to operate in all 48 states then in the Union! We are offering unit #1776 as a conditional release, i.e. if we get enough orders we'll make it!
Now read on to find out more about the model!
Santa Fe models feature lit number boards on the sides!

The Rapido Model

The two most important ways that our HO scale Alco PA and PB models differ from ALL the others are:
  • Traced from a 3D scan of the prototype!
  • Prototype-specific details including all sorts of number boards!
That should be enough to convince you. But in case you need more convincing, please look at some of these preliminary images that our PA/PB project manager, Bill Schneider, whipped together. Full features below:
The full features of the Rapido Alco PA/PB Models:
  • Correct nose and roof profiles 3D-scanned from the prototype
  • Loads of roadname-specific details
  • A units and A-B sets available
  • Dynamic or non-dynamic brake versions, where appropriate
  • Underbody piping and conduit
  • Separate grab irons and handrails installed at the factory
  • Etched-metal grilles, where appropriate
  • Lit number boards, headlights and green and white class lights
  • Lit control stands and full cab interior
  • Operating Gyralite or red Mars light, where appropriate
  • Rapido’s proven drive system adapted from the FA-2
  • DC/Silent (21-pin DCC Ready) or DC/DCC/Sound options
The HO Scale PA and PB Series Paint Schemes* include:
  • Santa Fe (Late Pass Version) - PA-1/PB-1 set and PA-1
  • Delaware and Hudson - PA-1
  • Denver & Rio Grande Western - PA-1/PB-1 set and PA-1
  • Lehigh Valley - PA-1
  • New Haven - PA-1
  • New York Central - PA-1/PB-1 set and PA-1
  • Nickel Plate Road - PA-1
  • Pennsylvania Railroad - PA-1/PB-1 set and PA-1
  • Southern Pacific (Daylight) - PA-2/PB-2 set and PA-2
  • Southern Pacific (Bloody Nose) - PA-2/PB-2 set and PA-2
Available in Unpainted Versions:
  • Undecorated w/Dynamic Brakes - PA-1/PB-1 set and PA-1
  • Undecorated w/Non-Dynamic Brakes - PA-1/PB-1 set and PA-1
Many road names* have as many as five different configurations.
The PB-1 and PB-2 are only available in A-B sets. However, dealers, clubs, and even model railroaders can order a six-pack of unnumbered B units (all B-Unit sets must be in the same paint scheme). They need to be ordered direct from Rapido rather than through a distributor, i.e. your dealer.
*Some road numbers are subject to change.
Train Control Systems (TCS) DCC Sound (Stock#s noted w/(S) suffix)
The Alco PA and PB will feature all-new exclusive TCS sound decoders featuring Rapido's own Alco 244 recordings. These decoders are being customized for Rapido to be fully compatible with our proven range of ESU LokSound decoders, and they feature phenomenal motor and slow speed control.
ESU fans have no fear! We are continuing to use ESU LokSound decoders in many of our sound-equipped locomotives.
The order deadline is February 10, 2020. The tooling will begin on or around March 1st. If the tooling is not ready by May 22nd, Rapido will extend the order deadline until it is ready.
We're very excited about this project and we hope you are too. This is just the first run. Rapido plans to have more roadnames in the near future!
More information at our Facebook page, click here.