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Info on Budd RDC cars?

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Info on Budd RDC cars?
Posted by scubaterry on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:02 PM
I have seen the reference to the "Budd" RDC car many times but never bothered to ask. Well now I am intrigued and would like some enlightenment on exactly what they were. Where they operated and would it be prototypical to have them run individually or would you have several together? I received some info from GMCRacing but would like to better understand what they were. What company makes a good HO model of the RDC? I see the P1K referenced often? Any info would be appreciated.
Terry[8D]
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Posted by David_Telesha on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:08 PM
Proto 1000 is the only real choice.

The Athearn one is junk and too short - I have one.

The RDC's were very popular for connecting service and off-peak locals.

THe New Haven had one of the largest fleets of RDC's, including the RDC-1 (all coach), RDC-2 (coach/baggage), RDC-3 (coach, RPO/Baggage), and RDC-4 (all baggage/RPO).

The reasoning was to use the RDC's to feed passengers from the dozens and dozens of New Haven branchlines to the mainlines for mainline full service train connections.

They were extremely reliable - New Haven RDC's lasted until the mid 1980's in Amtrak service in NE.

Even today there are several operational NHRR examples including some in ALASKA.

They were powered by two diesel engines underneath.

It is prototypical to run 1single unit all the way to 8 MUed units which I've seen in NHRR books.

I've ridden in a restored NH one and it was quite nice - seemed like a regular coach with a bit of engine drone noise.

One problem though was grade crossings - before FRA mandated cab cars and SPV's have the same crush strengths, the cab of an RDC was where you wouldn't want to be in a collision.

These moved along at normal passenger train speeds too.
David Telesha New Haven Railroad - www.NHRHTA.org
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Posted by railroadyoshi on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:12 PM
As said earlier, the Budds were self propelled cars that where used where the passenger load could not justify a full train. Many different versions were made (I've heard RDC1-RDC9). The Boston & Maine was the owner of the largest amount of these cars. In their later years, some were converted to coaches and strung together like a regular train.

P1k makes a pretty good model of the RDC. They are a bit weak however (albeit like the prototype) make more noise than forsay, a P2k, and obviously aren't quite friendly with sharp curves. Nowadays, a good price for them is about $40-45(In a shop, not the internet).

I believe years ago that athearn also produced RDC's.
Yoshi "Grammar? Whom Cares?" http://yfcorp.googlepages.com-Railfanning
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Posted by mlehman on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:13 PM
Lots of prototype info here:
http://www.budd-rdc.org/

Mike Lehman
Urbana, IL

Mike Lehman

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Posted by David_Telesha on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:15 PM
A few other points.

The New Haven had the ONLY named RDC - named FIRESTONE for an online shipper in MA.

An interesting thing the NHRR tried was converting some American Flyer coaches into RDC trailers - they were painted silver and coupled to an RDC. This ended when Budd threatened to void the warranty.

Also, on the NHRR, RDC's were occasionally locomotive hauled. It may seem odd, but the RDC's weren't very heavy and sometimes had trouble in snow and winter conditions - therefore a locomotive was placed on the front to haul the RDC's through the conditions.
David Telesha New Haven Railroad - www.NHRHTA.org
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Posted by scubaterry on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:27 PM
Thanks folks. Lots of info. Don't think my little pike could handle an 85ft car. My min mainline radius is 22in? Very interesting to see how things develope to keep up with changing times and technology.
Terry[8D]
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Posted by davekelly on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:28 PM
The book "Budd Car" by Crouse is an excellent reference.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:38 PM
The Jersey Central used RDC's on some of their less traveled branchline routes as well as mainline service during off peak hours. The Highlands branch used them exclusively as did the remains of the mainline from Cranford to Bayonne after the Aldene plan went into effect. My father has the Proto 1000 version. I think it is a great model, especially for HO modelers with smaller branchline layouts who would like to incorporate the occasional passenger train in operations.
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Posted by scubaterry on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 5:45 PM
What kind of min radius will the RDC run reliably on? I have a min radius of 22 in. everywhere but in my yards.
Terry[8D]
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Posted by modelmaker51 on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 6:03 PM
RDC = Rail Diesel Car

The P1K should be able to handle the 22" curves, but there will be a lot of overhang and it might not look to going around those sharp curves.

The Athearn version is a shorty (72' or '74 instead of 85') and was designed for a 18" min radius, but the drive is poor. There is a re-gearing kit that comes with a flywheel from Ernst Mfg. Inc.(see http://www.walthers.com/exec/search?manu=259&split=30). It does make a noticable improvement (it's still noisy though). You'd probably have to special order it through your LHS or directly from Terminal Hobby Shop.
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Posted by David_Telesha on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 6:06 PM
The P1k RDC will run fine on 22inch curves - a friend of mine does.
David Telesha New Haven Railroad - www.NHRHTA.org
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Posted by davekelly on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 6:13 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by David_Telesha

The P1k RDC will run fine on 22inch curves - a friend of mine does.


Your friend runs on 22 inch curves? [:D][:D][:D]

I'm sorry, it was just too good to pass up.
If you ain't having fun, you're not doing it right and if you are having fun, don't let anyone tell you you're doing it wrong.
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Posted by scubaterry on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 6:14 PM
Tks folks. Learned a bit more about the hobby tonight.
Terry[8D]
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 6:31 PM
Trainworld has RDC-2's and 3's for $19.95, for some strange reason their RDC-1's are $29.95. I've got a whole bunch of them as well as a dozen or so Athearn models.

Bob Boudreau
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Posted by tatans on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 6:48 PM
I believe there were lots of these RDC's in use in Canada, they used to rocket between Calgary and Edmonton playing bumper cars about once a week with the local farm trucks. Talk about the perfect vehicle for short distance commutes, I would think these cars would still be viable today, hmmmm everything old is new again. I think they were used extensively in the maritimes also. Does anyone know exactly how many of these were actually made???
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Posted by mlehman on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 7:39 PM
The website I cited:
http://www.budd-rdc.org
indicates a total production of 398 units in all the variations.
Mike Lehman
Urbana, IL

Mike Lehman

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 7:45 PM
Interesting site. And it even explains why the 'recovered' Reading unit now owned by the Reading Company Technical and Historical Society only has 1 motor in it - it had been on the MBTA and they stripped out the transmissions and one of the motor but left the other to provide lights and air condition in the unit without retrofitting for HEP.

--Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by wrumbel on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 8:19 PM
I have 3 of the p1k units. They will go around a 18" curve but not as multiple units, too much overhang. P1k has started another run of these units, $85 LHS, so maybe you'll be able to find them now.

Wayne
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 8:24 PM
I too have several PROTO 1000 RDC's. Good price at trainworld. I run on 22 inch curves. One RDC did make terrible noise on curve. It is now at Walthers for warranty work. There is some overhang, but I like the looks of the cars. Model Railroader I believe had a article on them and Trains has pictures of them from time to time. There are some at the railroad museum in Chattanooga, Tenn but I don't remember the types. Phil
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Posted by csmith9474 on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 9:55 AM
Scroll down and click on the RDC links. There are some great pics there.

http://www.trainweb.org/passengercars/

Smitty
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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 10:32 AM
I have a New Haven P1K RDC. Heavy as a brick and a sweet runner. Handles 22" radius with no problem.

The prototypes were were powered with 8 cylinder Detroit Diesel engines, one over each truck. A modified version of the same engine used in GMC transit buses.  It be a heck of a challenge to get a sound decoder for one of these!

Trinity Rail Express in Texas runs rebuilt RDCs.

Here's something interesting. Back in the late 70s early 80s Budd designed the "SPV 2000" as a replacement for the 30 year old RDCs. They basically took a Metroliner/Amfleet shell and powered it. They looked attractive but winded up being expensive maintenance headaches for Amtrak. Top it off, they were much noisier than the RDCs. Amazing that the older product was better! (no surprises, of course).

Good news is that a good number of prototype RDCs survive today, with quite a few in service. The Seminole Gulf Railroad has a few on their property, though no longer self propelled. 

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by jrbernier on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 10:45 AM
The Budd RDC had a pair of Detroit Diesel engines hung under the carbody, A sort of transmission/torque converter was on the end of the diesel, and a shaft ran to the inboard axle on each truck. The outer axles were not powered. IIRC, the RDC-9 was a cabless mid-train coach that only had a single underfloor engine. Besides commuter operations, the RDC's replaced a lot of older gas-electric 'doodlebugs' in the 50's until these 'train in a car' runs were terminated. The NP had a small fleet of them operatiing in Minnesota and North Dakota. The CN had a 3 car train of them operating through Minnesota until the mid to late 70's on a Thunder Bay to Winnipeg train.

Jim Bernier

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Posted by BR60103 on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 10:04 PM
Railroad and Railfan had a couple of articles on RDCs still operating in canada (issues late last year).
RDC still has a long run in Northern Ontario, and they handle the Vancouver Island service. They handled main line passenger service from Montreal to Sarnia.
They were also used in loco-hauled trains, being uncoupled and sent off as a separate section.
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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 10:33 PM
This was mentioned on another thread.

The P1K RDC is a scale 85 feet long, which is correct.

However, for our friends who model Australian railroads. The prototype RDC's used "Down Under" are 60 or 65 footers. So in this case the 72 foot Athearn "shorty" would look more realistic on an "Aussie" themed model railroad (though some body detailing would still be needed).

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by Budliner on Thursday, February 02, 2006 12:57 AM
I have one
its a lemon
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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Thursday, February 02, 2006 12:43 PM
Budliner, I'm sorry to read that you have a defective unit.

Don't feel bad though as this happens with all manufacturers. Even Atlas units slip through with a defect every now and then.

Overall LifeLike has done a great job in producing these RDCs. They're a tremendous improvement over Athearn's version, which is all we had back in the day. Rubberband drive? Good Riddance!

Peace.

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, February 04, 2006 11:12 AM
I believe the difference in price at Trainworld for RDC1 vs RDC2 and 3 would be that the RDC1 are from a more recent release.
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Posted by Bill H. on Saturday, February 04, 2006 11:53 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by David_Telesha


THe New Haven had one of the largest fleets of RDC's, including the RDC-1 (all coach), RDC-2 (coach/baggage), RDC-3 (coach, RPO/Baggage), and RDC-4 (all baggage/RPO).




NH also had THIS: (Halloween? Mask?) [V]



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Posted by railroadyoshi on Saturday, February 04, 2006 2:06 PM
These RDCs will even take nasty 15 in curves, though they won't like poor trackage, and this will only work after a while of breaking in.
Yoshi "Grammar? Whom Cares?" http://yfcorp.googlepages.com-Railfanning
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Posted by David_Telesha on Saturday, February 04, 2006 6:47 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Bill H.

QUOTE: Originally posted by David_Telesha


THe New Haven had one of the largest fleets of RDC's, including the RDC-1 (all coach), RDC-2 (coach/baggage), RDC-3 (coach, RPO/Baggage), and RDC-4 (all baggage/RPO).




NH also had THIS: (Halloween? Mask?) [V]






Yes, that beauty is the Roger Williams, built by Budd in 1956. Was a part of the high-speed "Trains of the Future" program. It was a set with two cab units and several intermediate cars - it also could run off third rail. It lasted in service until Amtrak. Now its restored and operational.
David Telesha New Haven Railroad - www.NHRHTA.org

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