Rail Diesel Cars

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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Rail Diesel Cars

Post by Retroboy »

When was the last budd RDC car used on the LIRR? my other question is are there any LIRR RDC cars left?


Post by JoeLIRR »

NONE of the Origional LIRR rdc's are left that i know of.

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Post by RRChef »

The LIRR owned 2 Budd RDC's, # 3101, a RDC-1 and 3121, a RDC-2 both purchased in 1955. They were used together mostly on the east end of LI. I am not sure of the exact date but I believe they were gone before 1964.
I am not sure if they still exist. There was a picture of them in Scala's Diesels of the Sunrise Trail on the present owner's property(at that time) but I don't have my copy of the book in front of me. Project 39, the predecessor of the RMLI owned 1 RDC which I believe was ex CNJ but it was sold off in the early 90's and never actually ran on LI.
Don't strain your brain, paint a train.....

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Scala's Diesels of the Sunrise Trail

Post by N340SG »


Glad you brought up Diesels of the Sunrise Trail.
I had stumbled onto that book at the local library. Alas, it was in the reference section. I tracked down the publisher, and purchased a copy for my dad, who had turned into a rail buff. Great pictures in that book!
I wonder if it's still available?


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Post by Alcoman »

I talk with John Scala on a regular basis and the subject of the book came up. He hopes to do a updated reprinting sometime soon. He does a wonderful job with those full color calenders every year and that eats up alot of his time.

Dave Keller
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Post by Dave Keller »

Here’s the scoop on the LIRR Budd RDCs:

RDC1, #3101, was built by Budd in 8/55 and given LIRR modernization #49.

RDC2, #3121 (with baggage compartment), was built by Budd in 3/55 and given LIRR modernization #1

When they first arrived on the LIRR, they had the logo “East Ender” painted in script on their orange end doors.

The LIRR voided their warranty with the Budd Company as a result of the practice of coupling a “ping-pong” car to the RDC.

The “Budd Cars,” as most people called them, were usually seen coupled together in later years in Patchogue-Babylon “Scoot” service.

They were also used in Greenport service. It was during one of those trips that #3101 was destroyed in a grade crossing accident on 10/18/67 while headed eastbound along the Main Line. It hit a LIZZA sand truck at the Blue Point Road grade crossing just east of the Holtsville station. The truck was being used in the construction of the LIE in that stretch between Holbrook and Calverton.

Engineer Patsy Molese was killed. He was about 72 years of age and just about ready to retire.

#3101 was taken out of service as the entire front end was crushed in. #3121 was salvaged and stored.

#3101 was sold in 12/71 to Sarnelli Brothers and scrapped at the LIRR’s Corona Yard.

#3121 was traded to the B&O for their closed-end observation car “Napannee” in 7/68.

Dave Keller

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Post by DutchRailnut »

3121 builders no 6015 RDC-2 built 3/55 for LIRR as 3121 traded to B&O 8/68 R#1976 R#9921:1, R#9931, 2/70.
Sold to MdDOT ca 1976 r#9821 3-2 seating by 8-80
rehab GE Hornell 3/81 Wrk Camden Station. ca 1982 off roster by 1987 stored unservicable 12/89 (from Chuck Crouses roster)
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

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Post by Richard Glueck »

One unfulfilled plan for the damaged Budd car was to alter it by attaching the platform end of the observation car "Jamaica" to it. At the time "Jamaica" was stored out of service next to the damaged Budd. The resulting vehicle would have been a track inspection car, and quite frankly, I think it would have been a great idea. The "Jamaica" had a happier fate, going on display at a museum, while the Budd became razor blades.
"We no take-a gasoline. We no take-a airplane. We take-a steamship! And that friends, is how we fly to America! - Chico Marx


Post by krapug »

In the mid-60's the LIRR ALMOST purchased 20 used Budd Cars from the Boston & Maine RR. The B & M had applied to the ICC to discontinue ALL of it's passenger operations, and the sale was contingent upon ICC approval of the discontinuance plan. At the 11th hour a plan was reached to save the Boston North Station area commuter operations and the sale was halted (B & M was allowed to drop all it's "non-commuter" runs).

Frankly rebuilt Budd cars would be a easy way for the LIRR to secure MUCH needed Diesel Equipment to FINALLY offer full service EAST of Ronkonkoma. In Dallas DART uses rebuilt Budds for some of it's commuter trains, and in remote Canada the Quebec, North Shore and Labrador bought and rebuilt used Budd Cars for it's year round passenger service in VERY remote far eastern Quebec. If rebuilt Budd Cars can handle the unforgiving climate of remote Canada, they can easily handle
the rigors of the East End.

The tourist hauling Cape May Seashore Lines has about a dozen Budd Cars in storage, in addition to the rebuilt cars used in their service.
Gee, do you think any of the brains at the Jamaica HQ can figure out that this might be a plan??



Post by lirrmike »

Don't think they'd be good around here anymore. In the winter, they always derail at grade crossing being too light to break the ice between the rails and the road. Plus you're asking people in Jamaica to think!


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Post by jayrmli »

The main reason the RDCs were discontinued after the accident is the union considered them dangerous (as the engineer was killed in the accident) and refused to operate them.

If they were to be brought back, I'm sure it would bring up the same argument as well.


Dave Keller
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Post by Dave Keller »

Which, to me, would make no sense as an argument, because the position of the engineer (motorman) on the current electric cars really isn't too much different.

The control position was the same on the old MU cars, too, and accidents were infrequent with them, when one considers the amount of cars in service at the time and number of trains run, passing over many, many grade crossings.

Dave Keller

P.S. This was, as far as I know, the ONLY accident that involved the Budd Cars, over a period of 12 years of service. It was extremely unfortunate that it had to be a fatal one. DK


Post by Retroboy »

could have the M-1's been modeled after the RDC's except for the power sorces. they seem to be alot alike even down to the fact that they were both made by budd

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Post by Nasadowsk »

The Budd RDCs and M-1s have NOTHING in common.

Accidents infrequent with the '54s? Aren't we forgetting our post WWII - 1955 or so LIRR history?

They were good for bumping into things before the war, too. And crushing very very nicely - one 15 - 20 mph bump with a DD-1 at Port Washington basically obliterated the front 1/2 of the first car...

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Cross Bucks

Post by de402 »

Did the accident at Holtzville happen before the RR installed crossing gates? My dad told me that accidents were frequent when he was a kid out east until the crossing gates went in. Anybody have any ideas? Also, the company has placed 'jersey' barriers along the row in Cutchogue, Peconic, Jamesport, and Riverhead. I think RDC's would do fine.


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