Rapido Trains is proud to announce the second release of our highly popular Bilevel Commuter Cars in HO Scale, featuring several new paint schemes and body variations! The current Bilevel design, although largely originating in Europe, found its way to North American rails in the 1970s and has since been put to use by dozens of commuter agencies all across Canada and the United States. Originally designed by Hawker Siddeley Canada, the cars have been manufactured over the years by Hawker Siddeley, Urban Transportation Development Corporation (UTDC), SNC-Lavalin, Bombardier and today, Alstom. The cars have always been built at the original Canadian Car & Foundry (CanCar) factory in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
In 1989, the first Bilevel cars were introduced to the United States by Tri-Rail in the Miami area. In 1992, Metrolink in the Los Angeles area introduced the design to the West Coast. This spurred further orders in California by Coaster of San Diego and Altamont Commuter Express (now Altamont Corridor Express) of San Jose. By the 2000s, more agencies across North America began using the Bilevel Commuter Cars for start-up commuter operations, such as Sound Transit (Sounder) in Seattle, FrontRunner in Salt Lake City, RailRunner in Albuquerque, and West Coast Express in Vancouver, just to name a few. As of 2023, 14 agencies across North America operate fleets totalling almost 1500 Bilevel Commuter Cars.
Our Bilevel model finally brings museum-quality details, improved operations, and prototypical accuracy to this long-loved and under-appreciated mode of (commuter) transportation.
The Rapido Bilevel Commuter Car features:
• Accurate body shell designs with or without rivet details
• Five windows or four windows on the lower level, as appropriate
• Free-rolling, highly-detailed inside-bearing trucks with roller-bearing axles and metal wheelsets
• Minimum 22” radius curves
• Full underbody and unrivaled interior detail
• Accurate painting and lettering, both inside and out
• Tinted windows
• Metal side grab irons
• Constant interior lighting in DC and DCC
• Controllable cab car lighting in both DC and DCC
• Cab cars pre-wired with a speaker and a 21-pin socket for full DCC/Sound functionality