JASON SHRON and SIDURA LUDWIG founded Rapido Trains Inc. in 2003 and incorporated the company in November 2004. Jason is very well known in the Canadian model railroad community and author of the book TurboTrain: A Journey. Jason is the owner of the popular CanModelTrains internet discussion group. Jason is also “The Guy with the Train in his Basement” (click here for more info) and he is slowly recreating a handsome chunk of CN’s Kingston Subdivision between Toronto and Brockville in the next room. You can follow the progress at the KingstonSub Facebook Page.
Sidura divides her time between Rapido and fiction writing. At Rapido she is responsible for strategic and financial planning, copy editing and keeping Jason from buying a Concorde. Her first novel, Holding My Breath, was published in 2007 and she is currently working on a collection of short stories. Please Click Here to visit Sidura’s web site. Jason and Sidura have three gorgeous children: Boaz, Dalya and Isaac. With three kids to raise and a company to run, Jason and Sidura last went on a date in 2006. (Hair comment: Sidura has wonderful hair. Jason on the other hand hides his under a hat … a lot)
BILL SCHNEIDER is our product development guru. Bill has been involved in the retail, wholesale and manufacturing aspects of model railroading since 1982 and was responsible for product development at Branchline Trains since forever. Bill’s former New York, Ontario and Western double-deck layout has been featured in oodles of magazines and books and now he spends most of his modelling time working on Teesbury, his British Great Western branchline terminus. We gave up trying to convince Bill to buy a full-size passenger car so we bought one ourselves! (Hair comment: The photo at right dates from when Bill had hair, so we’re talking early 1980s…)
DAN GARCIA just started turning up at the Rapido office one day and after a while we decided to adopt him. Now fully grown he has become our full-time specialist in dealer service, sample testing, things that light up, DCC, sound, communications – heck, he does just about everything. Dan responds well to bribery provided that it is related to modern Canadian commuter operations and traction. He is secretly a bus foamer but has not admitted it yet, and we are concerned this may cause him to one day paint himself head-to-toe in the TTC’s CLRV scheme and go postal at the office. (Hair comment: We really need a new photo of Dan too. We haven’t seen his head so full of hair since 2007.)
GARETH BAYER is the product development point man for the British diesel & electric era models that we produce for a bunch of clients, including Revolution Trains and Realtrack Models, as well as an eclectic selection of our North American locomotives and rolling stock. His first products for Rapido are already double award winners in the UK and he is currently working on the first powered model for the British market that will be released entirely under the Rapido name. It’s so secret he hasn’t even told Jason he’s working on it! Before joining Rapido, Gareth was Assistant Editor/Editor at RAIL EXPRESS magazine for nine years. More recently he spent three years in Japan teaching and developing a huge interest in Japanese railways. (Hair comment: Gareth isn’t actually losing his hair. But it’s certainly gotten a lot more grey since he started working here.)
DAN DARNELL is a popular figure in the Canadian model railroading scene. He worked at George’s Trains in Toronto and Markham for 20 years (manager for 15), so much so that everyone thought that his name was George. Dan is extremely knowledgeable about Canadian and American railroads. His slide collection makes other slide collections jealous. He is an accomplished custom painter. We would link to his custom painting web site but we don’t want him to be working on anyone else’s crap. Just ours. His main brief is product development but he also handles our growing Proto-Paint range. (Hair comment: Dan has no hair at all.)
JOSH ANDERCHEK was a TTC driver for nine years, and before that he was a professional cartographer. Josh brings an encyclopedic knowledge of transit and train operations, extensive graphic design and copywriting skills, and a strong commitment to our hobby and our customers. He has quickly become an invaluable member of our team and has already learned how to be patient with Jason. He’s so good that he’s now a project manager, but as we only hired him to buy the milk we’re getting a good deal. $10 goes far these days, and that’s what he earns a week. If you see the Rapido Bus on a weekend excursion around Toronto, chances are it’s Josh behind the wheel. (Hair comment: Josh styles his hair so carefully we don’t actually know if it is his.)
JORDAN SMITH has been an HO modeler since age 7 and also worked for over a decade at George’s Trains in Toronto. He joined Rapido in early 2016 and has evolved into our warehouse manager, ensuring shipments get out the door in a timely manner. In addition he helps at train shows and works on the restoration of our Pullman Standard sleeper Edmundston and our Budd RDC 6133. For some reason however he never seems to have anything to do. He also won’t stop asking Jason to make an Amtrak RTL Turboliner. (Hair comment: Jordan has a racoon on his head.)
JANET GOLFMAN is Rapido’s controller, i.e. CFO. She makes sure we pay our bills and, even more importantly, she makes sure that our customers pay theirs. If you are one of our customers and you have an accounting question, she is the person for you. If you are one of our customers and you owes us lots of money, she knows where you live and she has 12 trained rottweilers. In addition to that, she can be found trying to keep Jason’s feet on the ground, wringing Jordan’s neck, sticking her nose in everyone’s business and wondering why Jason had to have a love of trains and not women’s shoes. (Hair comment: Janet’s hair is actually very nice.)
MICHAEL LOYST does warranty repairs and customer service, that is when he’s not sitting in time out because he keeps asking Jason to make a GEVO. Michael was working as a Framing Carpenter prior to being hired by Rapido in July of 2017. In addition to Warranty repairs, Mike is also developing a new website & dealer portal for Rapido. He also thinks he knows everything, and frequently gives long-winded explanations about stuff nobody cares about. This has earned him the nickname “Cliff Claven”. Taking our cue from the Cheers episode, “How to Win Friends and Electrocute People,” we will be wiring Mike up for shock therapy every time he opens his mouth. (Hair comment: If Mike would take off that stupid YMCA hat we could make a comment about his hair.)
MOHAN GEORGE does warranty repairs. He has an engineering background and has a 35+ year passion for trains – that’s longer than Mike has been alive. Unlike just about everyone else, Mohan actually loves fixing model trains all day. In his words, “I thoroughly enjoy resolving technical issues our customers’ products may have.” We’re having him sent for counselling. (Hair comment: His hair is actually surprisingly intact for a man in his early 200s.)
ROSLYN BREX is an experienced receptionist and newcomer to the model railroad community. She has not yet been broken by the repetitive phone calls asking us to make an RDC-4, but she will be soon enough. In her spare time she enjoys constructing dioramas. Roslyn has a beautiful baby boy who, like his mum, is a Ravenclaw – despite having the name Griffin. No, we can’t figure it out either. (Hair comment: Roslyn’s hair is AWESOME and what Jason aspired to when he was 16.)
RICHARD LONGPRE (For those of you outside of Canada, that’s pronounced Long-PRAY). Richard is known as Monsieur l’Expert. He has forgotten more about Canadian passenger cars than any of us will ever know. He’s owned 84 different real passenger cars at various times in the last 20 years. Richard provides all of our French translation, and puts up with Jason asking for things to be translated by “last Tuesday.” (Hair comment: Richard wears a hat and as far as we know he’s never taken it off.)
CHRIS FOX is our mechanic, carman, locomotive engineer, and general, all-round hosehead. When he’s not rebuilding sleeping cars or RDCs, he can be found driving GO trains or building a full-size wheelset sculpture on his driveway. We actually think he’s secretly building a 1:1 RSC-24 in his shed. This guy does not understand the concept of “rest.” Without Chris, we would have no full-size trains to speak of. In fact, without Chris we would all be mangoes. (Hair comment: See Richard.)
MIKE McGRATTAN, the well-known N scale modeller from Peterborough, Ontario, was a key member of the Rapido team until he sadly passed away in May 2016. Mike’s N scale Puddington Valley layout is a fictional Canadian Pacific subdivision set in the BC interior in 1973 and was featured in N Scale Magazine and Canadian Railway Modeller. Mike was into N scale for almost 30 years and to commemorate his contribution to our great hobby and to help his family out, we manufactured an N Scale Mike McGrattan Memorial Gondola decorated in the CP-inspired paint scheme of the Puddington Valley Lines.