Different Road Number Shown.
In the 1990s, Amtrak began a rebuild program to convert F40PH locomotives into Non-Powered Control Units (NPCUs). These NPCUs allow “push-pull” service and eliminate the need to turn a train at terminals. The locomotive engineer controls the locomotive from the cab in the NPCU.
During the conversion the prime mover and traction motors were removed and a large roll-up baggage door was added to the sides. This gave the NPCUs the nickname “Cabbages,” for cab-baggage car.
NPCUs are in service today on numerous routes in California, the northwest, the midwest and the northeast.
The Rapido Amtrak NPCU is not just our F40 model with a few bells and whistles added. We have tooled up a completely new body based on a common Phase 1 NPCU design. It features operating ditch lights, accurate enlarged marker lights, supplementary air reservoirs, K5LA horn, and other accurate NPCU details.
Unlike the real Cabbage, our NPCU is fully powered. You need all the power you can get to pull your “Amsleds”, and the Rapido NPCU will give your train the extra oomph! necessary to meet your layout’s demanding passenger timetables.
Please note that Rapido doesn’t make unpowered engines. They cost us exactly $6 less than a powered engine (the cost of the motor), so there is no major cost savings to having an unpowered model NPCU.