Class: Budd RDC
Designer: Budd Company
Weight: 29 tons
Purpose: Passenger & Light Freight
Information: By the 1940ís American Railroads were looking to shed unprofitable passenger business sectors. In areas where lightly loaded, but profitable business remained, the Budd Company of Philadelphia provided a versatile solution, offering a self-contained train set that could be expanded as needed for multiple working.
Details: In 1949 Budd introduced the revolutionary Budd Rail Car (RDC) based on their successful stainless steel coach design that was gaining solid success through-out North America. Between 1949 and 1962, 398 units were produced using a self contained diesel hydraulic combination traction unit mounted to the front bogie. Air conditioning equipment was housed in the domed roof section.
The series comprised of five basic designs as follows:
RDC-1 - All-passenger coach seating for 90 passengers.
RDC-2 - Baggage and passenger coach combination seating 70 passengers.
RDC-3 - Railway Post Office with baggage compartment and seating for 49 passengers.
RDC-4 - Railway Post Office and baggage area only.
RDC-9 (also known as the RDC-5) - Passenger coach trailer with seating for 94, including a single traction engine but no cab.
The original design found success with numerous railway companies in both the United States and Canada. The units were capable of speeds up to 85-MPH. Many railways used the powered units in conjunction with older passenger stock and have been recorded as being used in light freight operations as well.
The basic design has proved successful beyond North America. After a trial run in Australia of three of the original RDC-1 cars, a further five were built under license by the Commonwealth Railway. Although primarily designed for short-line operations, the Australian units were used in long distance train providing services from Port Pirie to Kalgoorlie, a distance of 1,008-miles (1,613-KM).
Of the original 398-units produced; in addition to the three sent to Australia, others were exported to Cuba, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia.
Their stainless steel bodies ensured a long working life with minimal maintenance and as such after 60-years many are still in daily operation in suburban centers in parts of the US and Canada, whilst many others have been preserved for tourist railways, etc.