DMUs as Cabcars?

Discussion about RDC's, "doodlebugs," gas-electrics, etc.

DMUs as Cabcars?

Postby Redshirt214 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:58 pm

Are DMUs capable of being used as cab cars? If so, what railroads use them as such?
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Re: DMUs as Cabcars?

Postby EDM5970 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:28 pm

Are you asking about modern DMUs? Or can we include Budd RDCs here? I'm sure that for the right money, any of the current builders could equip their offerings to be used as DMUs or locomotive pushed cab cars. That is, assuming that they are built to the current FRA standards, for use with conventional equipment.

In the past, Budd RDCs were used as cab cars on the old Boston and Maine lines now operated by MBTA. Starting with some bad order cars that operated as locomotive hauled coaches sans driveshafts, transmissions and other vital parts, MBTA eventually had many Budds rebuilt as conventional coaches and cab cars. The early conversions used a special 12 to 27 pin MU adaptor cable, allowing the use of the original Budd control stand.
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Re: DMUs as Cabcars?

Postby nomis » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:52 pm

RDC controlling a GP9 while using a special MU adapter cable ... (pic credited)
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Re: DMUs as Cabcars?

Postby Redshirt214 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:02 pm

I mean both Modern & RDC Dmu's. I have been investigating a commuter rail corridor, and was wondering if they could be used with conventional rolling stock during the week, and then run separate to sub for conventional trains during weekends.
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Re: DMUs as Cabcars?

Postby DutchRailnut » Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:27 pm

Could -- maybe, depends if the ontrols and MU are set up standard way, namely the 27 point american MU system
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Re: DMUs as Cabcars?

Postby goodnightjohnwayne » Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:22 pm

GO Transit tried it back in the 1960s. A single DMU would suffice for off-peak passenger traffic and served as a cab car during rush hour. It didn't really work, although that might have had far more to do with the design of the DMU itself rather than the concept. Oddly enough, the DMUs survived as de-powered cab cars.
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Re: DMUs as Cabcars?

Postby masscoastalfan » Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:44 pm

Alaska Railraod uses their double decker DMU as a cab car in the summer months. Rode it this past summer.
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Re: DMUs as Cabcars?

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:11 pm

Redshirt214 wrote:I mean both Modern & RDC Dmu's. I have been investigating a commuter rail corridor, and was wondering if they could be used with conventional rolling stock during the week, and then run separate to sub for conventional trains during weekends.


Welcome to the thread! I don't know how feasible it is to pull them on and off sets, but to me, I think DMU's are something that could be used in this day and age, especially on LRT. Kind of what is old is new again.

There are a lot of hurdles to overcome, and Dutch here is very knowledgable about it. I know there are lines that use 3-car loco hauled sets that are a complete waste; one would be enough.
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