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Canadian Pacific originally purchased their 72–strong fleet of RS–18s back in
1957 and 1958 over two batches, numbered 8729-8748 and 8749-8800. After over 20
years of reliable service, the CPR sought to extend the lives of their venerable
251B–powered locomotives, as a means to provide a reliable, efficient
roadswitcher for branchline and regional services through the 1980s and 1990s.
The RS–18 – already a fairly reliable first–generation model – was chosen to
fulfill this important role
Starting in 1980, twenty two CPR RS–18s were extensively rebuilt in Angus Shops,
Montreal to extend their useful lifespan another 10–15 years. Over the following
8 years CPR eventually rebuilt all 69 of its remaining RS–18s, being numbered
1800–1868. In the rebuilding, the units were substantially transformed in both
appearance and performance.
They emerged with numerous changes, the most notable being the new chopped short
hoods to improve visibility, the addition of full tri–colour class lights 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, windows, cab insulation and
control stands. The dynamic brake and 251B engine rated at 1,800 h.p. remained
the same after the overhaul.
Of the rebuilt units, five of the RS–18u’s, 1800–1804, had U.S. duty paid on
them, allowing them to run on U.S. branch lines with no restrictions. Other
units were limited as to how long they may spend in the U.S. After purchasing
the Delaware & Hudson, CPR assigned several additional RS–18u’s to the D&H for
use in yard and local service, and were a staple on the Newport to St. Johnsbury
wayfreight, among other services.
After CP, many units would go on and continue to earn their keep in shortline
and regional service in both Canada and the US, proving that even after over 50
years of total service time, and a top–to–bottom rebuild courtesy of the men and
women at CP’s Angus Shops, these MLW–built workhorses are able to continue
earning their keep.
The Rapido Trains RS–18u locomotive features include:
Accurately designed using our 3D scan of a real RS–18 and measurements from an
Completely redesigned chassis and shell for easier access and disassembly
Operating headlights, rear lights, factory–installed ditch lights and
illuminated cab control stand
Fully–operating tri–colour class lights on both front and rear
Rapido’s innovative dead straight metal side handrails with plastic
stanchions, installed at the factory
Unparalleled underframe detail including traction motor cables and other
piping, re–railer and a ridiculous number of separately–applied parts
Roadnumber–specific details including correct battery box louvers
Highly detailed cab interior with detailed control stand, operators seats and
back wall panels
All-new, improved drive system for 100% reliable running in DC and DCC
DC(Silent) (21–pin DCC Ready) or DC/DCC/Sound (ESU LokSound) options
Accurate sounds recorded from a real Alco 251B prime mover