HO Scale Alco/MLW FA-2 & FPA-2

HO Scale Alco/MLW FA-2 & FPA-2



Rapido Trains Inc. is pleased to announce the definitive HO scale model of the Alco/MLW FA-2 and FPA-2.

The FA-2 was Alco’s response to the ubiquitous EMD F7 that was swiftly becoming the locomotive of choice for many freight and passenger railroads. The FA-2 was intended for freight service while the FPA-2 included a steam generator and obligatory large water tank for heating passenger cars. Our models will have the correct details for each version.

Pennsylvania RR FA-2 with vertical battery box louvers, coupler cover and trainphone antenna.

Delivered between October 1950 (Erie 736A) and June 1956 (L&N 211), a total of 283 FA-2 and FPA-2 locomotives were built by Alco-GE in Schenectady, New York for 12 different American railroads. A further 51 FA-2 and FPA-2 locomotives were built under licence by Montreal Locomotives Works for CP, CN and NdeM. Each 1600-HP locomotive had a 12-cylinder Alco 244 prime mover and GE air-cooled turbocharger. It took some time for Alco to design out the issues in this combo resulting in significant reputational damage to the Alco-GE partnership.

Even after the fitment of a new water-cooled turbocharger and upgraded engine components the FAs required more maintenance than the rival EMD machines, which accounts for why these locomotives rarely lasted past 1970 without being significantly rebuilt.



CPR FA-2 with Farr grilles, horizontal battery box louvers, winterisation hatches, and CP’s unique small fuel tank.

When it comes to FA-2 locomotives, one size definitely does not fit all. There were substantial variations from railroad to railroad, and we’re covering all of the major ones. Rapido’s model will include:

  • Correct water/fuel tank combination for the FPA-2
  • Dynamic Brakes
  • Vertical battery box louvers
  • Prototype-specific details
  • Underbody piping and conduit
  • Nose louvers for B&O
  • Trainphone Antenna for PRR

In all, we are actually tooling four different fuel and fuel/water tanks: two FA-2 fuel tanks (one for CP and one for everyone else) and two FPA-2 fuel/water tanks (one for CP/CN and one for everyone else).


Lehigh Valley FA-2 with steam generator (otherwise known as the FPA-2). Note the large combination fuel/water tank, see through wire grilles, steam generator panel on the roof, the ATS shoe on the lead truck and vertical battery box louvers.


The B&O FA-2 and FPA-2 both feature the distinctive nose louvers that were added in the early 1950s. Other spotting features include the Wabco E2 horns, dual-Pyle headlight (other roadnames also feature a single headlight if applicable). The production model will have an etched-metal nose herald and the proper “dotted” typeface in the number boards.


Most importantly, ours is the ONLY FA model ever produced that was scaled from a 3D scan of the prototype, FPA-4 #6765 in Exporail. The nose on our model is the only one guaranteed to be the correct shape, as it’s the only one designed from a 3D scan! It is quite different from the nose used on older models.

Our HO Scale Alco/MLW FA-2/FPA-2 features:

  • HO Scale DC or DC/DCC/SOUND
  • 5-pole, skew-wound motor with excellent slow-speed performance
  • Operating number boards, headlights and two-color class lights
  • Roadname-specific details
  • Dynamic brakes
  • Etched-metal grilles (Farr or chicken wire, as appropriate)
  • Full underbody piping and conduit
  • Correct, roadnames-specific FA-2 and FPA-2 fuel tanks
  • Separate grab irons and handrails installed at the factory
  • Heavy, die-cast chassis
  • Full cab interior
  • Accurate sounds recorded from a real Alco 244 prime mover
  • Factory-installed Macdonald-Cartier couplers mounted at the correct height

The MSRP is $225 (DC) and $325 (DC/DCC/Sound). The MSRP in Canada may increase slightly depending on the value of the Canadian dollar at time of delivery.

As usual, these engines will be made to order.

The order deadline has now closed. Please contact your dealer.
Delivery is expected in late summer 2017.

For a full listing of first run paint schemes click here.

Here's the roof of the CP version. Note the etched-metal fan cover and the super-detailed winterization hatches.

Here’s the roof of the CP version. Note the etched-metal fan cover and the super-detailed winterization hatches.

Photo courtesy John Sutherland

CPR FPA-2 units #4082 and #4083 bracket FA-1 #4407 as they pass Dorval with a “high and wide” service on 28 March 1969. Note the unique fuel/water tanks on the CP examples. Rapido’s model will of course replicate these. Photo courtesy John Sutherland

Click on the prototype images below for hi-res version.

Great Northern FPA-2 #278A. Photo by Walter E Frost, courtesy City of Vancouver Archives.

Great Northern FPA-2 #278A. Photo by Walter E Frost, courtesy City of Vancouver Archives.

Canadian National FA-2 #9442. Photo courtesy CNRHA.

Canadian National FA-2 #9442. Photo courtesy CNRHA.

Photo courtesy of William D. Volkmer.

Photo courtesy of William D. Volkmer.


Canadian Pacific Block FPA-2 #4094. Photo by Dave Love. Used with permission.

Canadian Pacific Block FPA-2 #4094. Photo by Dave Love. Used with permission.


Where Can I Purchase Your Products?
Rapido Trains Inc. products can be ordered from any hobby retailer or directly from us. All prices shown are MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price). Dealer may sell for less.

With the exception of some accessory items, all Rapido Trains Inc. products are produced strictly to reservations placed before the appropriate order deadlines. Avoid missing out by reserving in advance with your dealer. To make sure that you do not miss a deadline sign up for our newsletters.

What About Previous Releases?
Our web site lists currently available or upcoming products only. Rapido Trains Inc. has produced many other cars in the past that may still be on dealers shelves. For a complete Excel listing of all products, past and present, right-click here and "Save as..." to a location on your computer.

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