Model Railroad News Product Reviews

Rapido Trains delivers all-new HO-scale SW1200

From packaging to product, Rapido Trains’ SW1200 diesel switcher is a stellar release. This Rio Grande example is from the first production that shipped in May 2021.

Rapido Trains delivers all-new HO-scale SW1200

HO ScaleRapido Trains has delivered its first production of Electro-Motive Division (EMD) SW1200 diesel locomotives. This popular switcher joins Rapido’s collection of high-quality HO-scale equipment with DCC-sound and standard DC versions. Among the first releases, you’ll find Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW) with three road numbers: 131, 134, and 138.

The Action Road’s SW1200s

D&RGW purchased 10 examples (130-139) under EMD order 4475 that delivered to the road around the beginning of 1965. The switchers saw use at the road’s major facilities in Denver, Salt Lake City, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and other locations on the system. The switchers worked long careers into the Southern Pacific era with retirement coming in the 1990s with the final two SW1200s remaining active for Union Pacific into mid-1998. Reference information from Don Strack’s Utah Rails (

ABOVE: D&RGW 133 is working in Utah and mated with neighbor Western Pacific U-Boats in this July 1969 view. -Jim Boyd photo, Kevin EuDaly collection

Rapido’s SW1200 is a first-time release for the company, which previous reproduced this four-axle switcher’s Canadian cousin, the General Motors Diesel SW1200RS. The assembled model comes with a parts bag featuring all-weather cab window with clear “glass” material, cab shades, spark arrestors, and additional details (molded in black or silver finish). Rapido Trains provides this model with road-specific details.

ABOVE: D&RGW 138 as it looks direct from the Rapido Trains’ box. This is well-detailed replica of EMD’s four-axle 1,200-hp switcher.

The model includes flush-fitting windows and interior for the lighted cab section. Accurate details include truck sideframe variations (this D&RGW model comes with Type A trucks). The other sideframes available are EMD’s Flexicoil version. LED lighting includes the mentioned cab interior, headlights, and number boards. Sound reproduction is provided by ESU’s LokSound system with accurate EMD 567 prime mover audio files.

ABOVE: Among the many highlights of this new HO-scale SW1200 release are see-through pilot steps and excellent detail along the sill and pilots.

Check with your hobby dealer or visit Rapido Trains for availability on this Rio Grande and other road names in this HO-scale SW1200 offering.

If these views of the model haven’t enticed you sufficiently… did we mention Rapido includes stickers with this release?!

If these views of the model haven’t enticed you sufficiently… did we mention Rapido includes stickers with this release?!



Check out Ron’s Trains N Things June 2021 edition of “Railroad (W)rap” for more on this and other recent products…

Rapido Trains



Watch for this model to be reviewed in Model Railroad News!



This article was posted on: June 1, 2021