Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Budd Rail Diesel Car
- For other meanings of RDC, see RDC (disambiguation).
The Budd Rail Diesel Car or RDC is a self-propelled rail passenger car. During the period 1949-1956 398 RDCs were built by the Budd Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These cars were primarily adopted for passenger service in rural areas with low traffic density or in short-haul commuter service, and were less expensive to operate in this context than a traditional locomotive-drawn train. The cars could be coupled together in tandem trainsets and controlled from the cab of the front unit. These units were especially popular with Canadian railways such as the Canadian Pacific Railway (where they were known as Dayliners), the Canadian National Railway, and the former BC Rail; VIA Rail still uses RDCs for scheduled services on Vancouver Island, and the planned Blue22 service connecting Toronto to its airport will use refurbished RDCs as well. Since 1994 three RDCs are being used for the OnTrack commuter rail line in Syracuse, New York.
Budd manufactured five basic variants of the RDC:
- The RDC-1 - an 85' (26 m) all-passenger coach seating 88 passengers.
- The RDC-2 - an 85' (26 m) Railway Post Office and passenger coach configuration seating 71 passengers.
- The RDC-3 - an 85' (26 m) variant with a Railway Post Office, a baggage compartment and 44 passenger seats.
- The RDC-4 - a 65' (20 m) variant with only the Railway Post Office and baggage area.
- The RDC-5 (also known as the RDC-9) - an 85' (26 m) passenger coach seating 82, with no independent control cab.
In an experiment toward high speed rail, the New York Central (NYC) fitted a pair of jet engines atop one of their RDCs and added a shovelnose front to its cab. This RDC, which NYC had numbered M497, set the United States speed record in 1966 when it traveled at just short of 184 miles per hour (296 km/h) between Butler, Indiana, and Stryker, Ohio.
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