The Rapido Trains HO Scale GMD F59PH diesels are based on popular passenger locomotives constructed in Canada for use on commuter railroads across the continent. In the mid-1980s, GO Transit was looking to replace its aging loco fleet with power designed to meet growing demand for Toronto area commuter service. The new diesels needed quick acceleration, while pulling up to 10 Hawker-Siddeley-UTDC bi-level coaches, and to save on fuel, a separate HEP generator. GMD developed the F59PH. It was equipped with a turbocharged 12-cylinder two-stroke diesel prime mover (12-710G3A), a full-width North American comfort cab and HEP provided by a smaller 600hp GM 8-cylinder diesel.
The first F59PHs were delivered in 1988, and over the next six years 33 more of the successful locomotives were delivered. The later units had a few design upgrades including larger fuel tanks and altered rear grilles. The final four units were delivered in 1994, but the Government of Ontario was in a financial crunch and quickly sold them to Trinity Rail Express in Dallas, Texas. Several surplus units were leased to West Coast Express in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Metrolink in Los Angeles. Metrolink was also a large purchaser of the F59PH units with 22 units delivered in 1992 and 1993, and the agency also leased three ex-GO units in 2018. Former GO units, available after GO began replacing them with new power in 2007, have been sold or leased to AMT Montreal, Metra, North Carolina DOT and RB Railway Group. A few are still in service on GO.
Features of the GMD F59PH include phase-specific details, directional headlights, metal grilles, lighted control stands, cab interior details and lighted numberboards and class lights. The smooth-running drive features a coreless motor, dual flywheels and the model comes equipped with Macdonald-Cartier knuckle couplers compatible with all magnetic knuckle couplers.
The GMD F59PH standard DC locomotive is DCC ready and equipped with a 21-pin decoder interface for easy conversion to DCC when you're ready.