New life breathed into old RDC's

Discussion about RDC's, "doodlebugs," gas-electrics, etc.
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:41 am
Location: Sterling, Massachusetts

New life breathed into old RDC's

Post by fl9m2026 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:12 am

Interesting article in this months TRAINS magazine about how Industrial Rail Services, a Canadian corporation, is currently re-manufacturing 6 VIA Rail Budd cars into modern, state of the art "green" DMU's. These aren't just general overhauls, but more like complete remanufacturing with completely new diesels, wiring/electrical gear, current tier emissions systems, HVAC, cab and control system with computerized displays, HC accessible restrooms. etc., in an overhauled/refreshed, carbody. They are being set up to run in two-car sets, RDC-1/RDC-2 with the RDC-2 being the protect power in VIA's more remote service areas.

There are some "in progress" photos in the article. Can't wait to see the finished product. The company has two-dozen derelict RDC 1's and 2's stored on the property awaiting possible future remanufacturing if the current cars undergoing rebuilding are successful. The cost to rebuild/modernize is half that of a "next generation" DMU. IMHO, It would be great to see RDC's arise again and compete against the "gee-whiz" self-propelled DMU's on the market today. For more info and photos: ... ation.aspx
"You're so ugly you could be a modern art masterpiece! Did your parents have any children that lived?" R. Lee Ermey

Posts: 516
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 9:26 pm
Location: Sapporo, Japan

Re: New life breathed into old RDC's

Post by kaitoku » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:49 am

Budd built bulletproof carbodies. I wouldn't be surprised to see these running for another fifty years.

Posts: 3312
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 10:57 am
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: New life breathed into old RDC's

Post by wigwagfan » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:53 pm

Not new...they've been around for quite a few years.

I'm pretty sure that a year or so ago they put up some of their RDC stock up on sale on various rail brokerage sites owing to the lack of customers for their rebuilt RDCs.

Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: New life breathed into old RDC's

Post by 3rdKeag » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:11 am

Canadian real estate developer Richard Carpenter's (2/2011 Trains) speculation in modernizing RDC's overlooks one key problem with them that he can't readily solve. Apparently because of their light weight, they cannot be counted upon to actuate grade crossing or track signal circuits in bad weather. The NYC, as an example, had employee timetable instructions to the effect that once an RDC was brought to a stop, it had to be moved a few inches forward to get off of any sand used on the rails. As another example, in heavy snow storms the NH would put an RS-3 on the nose of RDC consists such as ABS/Cab Signal territory New London to Boston No.508 (Normally two or three RDC's). Their use in the South or West or in dark territory with few or no grade crossings may be doable but... Just thinking of NH's No.508, which I often rode, and hanging an RS3 out front... Risking in heavy snow getting rear ended in a station stop on a downgrade curve (Sharon MA) by a couple of late running PA's coming down the hill with eight or ten cars tied on the draw bar at around 100 ...ETT track speed 90 mph... due to failure to actuate track circuits was unthinkable.

Return to “Self-Propelled Railcars”