• Budd SPV

  • Discussion about RDC's, "doodlebugs," gas-electrics, etc.
Discussion about RDC's, "doodlebugs," gas-electrics, etc.
  by kevikens
I was in SF, California this week and at the Station at Fourth and King there was parked in the yard a single self propelled car. Though the station is Caltrain, Amtrak runs the SF-San Jose Commute service so I am guessing that this car was for Amtak's use. It looked like the old Budd SPV car with cabs at either end and the hump similar to the Budd Metroliner car but no pantograph. It had a blue strip down the side and was labelled for the Dept of Transportation. Anybody know about this car and what its use might be ? Thanks

  by Dick H
Here's a pic of the car you mentioned. It's an inspection car used by the FRA. I think they have bought at least two new units built especially for inspection work, so it's days may be numbered. Dick


  by DutchRailnut
Correct Caltrain bought former FRA Geometry car T-10.
It sat un-used in Pueblo for about 2 years.
The T-10 is the 8 th car out of series of 31 SPV cars built by former Budd Red Lions rd plant in Philladelphia.
1 demonstrator
6 cars for king of Morocco
1 for FRA
13 for Conn DOT (in Amtrak color)
10 for MTA (Metro North)

  by SimplySam
You can still ride in an RDC in North America.... but not in its replacement.

Well we know how the Amtrak & Metro North units performed :(

Anybody here know if the King was pleased with his purchase?

  by DutchRailnut
There are no Amtrak units as you can see in my previous post, Amtrak never owned any.

  by Irish Chieftain
Correct; but the CDOT units numbered in the 990-series were originally painted as Amtrak and used on Amtrak services.

  by TomNelligan
SimplySam wrote:You can still ride in an RDC in North America.... but not its replacement.
Not running under their own power, of course, but you can still ride some of the CDOT cars any weekday in Shore Line East service, where they roll on as demotored Amfleet-like commuter coaches, now refitted with 3-2 seating.

The SPV was indeed a huge disappointment and contributed to killing off the the Budd Company as a passenger car manufacturer.
  by jp1822
Amtrak would likely benefit from a reliable DMU (successor to the SPV 2000, RDC) on some corridor runs (standardized). But Amtrak or states should buy a couple and ensure they are proven to hold up in Amtrak service. They could be used on at least the following routes:

1) Springfield Shuttle Service
2) Hiawatha Service

I am against the DMU project that Vermont is going to explore. The DMUs would be more appropriate for short haul runs, but have the space to hold carry-on baggage etc. The Vermont DMU's will have this, but at the expense of window size. Could a better solution be found? And I am curious as to what food service will be offered on the DMUs.

Colorado Rail Car has som really fancy DMU's with wrap around windows and all. These would have been really nice for the Vermonter route. Have some sort of storage under the seat or in the front or back of the DMU - for the wrap around windows. I am sure Colorado rail car would accept modifications.

  by DutchRailnut
CCC and their wannabee RDC is another story and covered in many other treads, so far the industry is not inpressed.
  by wigwagfan
DutchRailnut wrote:CCC and their wannabee RDC is another story and covered in many other treads, so far the industry is not inpressed.
Agreed. This topic is for discussion of the SPV-2000, not general discussion of diesel multiple unit vehicles (such as the RDC, AeroDMU, etc.)

  by jp1822
Noted. Of the SPV 2000 cars, how many are currently in operation and where? One other question - what are teh 2-3 seating like? Are these similiar to what one would find in a NJT comet coach with 3-2 seating?

I used to see the SPV 2000 cars in the Croton Harmon yards (Metro North) - or nearby side tracks. I guess there are no hope in seeing these cars in some sort of service?

Nice that ConnDOT are still using the SPV's even tough they are not operating under their own power. When ConnDOT was getting short on coaches for its Shore Line East Service did they ever think about the SPV Metro North coaches? Something tells me the Metro North coaches likely got more wear and tear!

  by DutchRailnut
The only servicable cars are the T-10 and the car at CERM in Willimantic Ct (MNCR 294?) non are running at present time.

MNCR has 6 SPV's sitting in Bridgeport presumably heading to scrapper they are in very bad mechanical disrepair.

The ConnDOT SPV's were convered to Constitution liner cars for SLE and one cars was sitting stripped in Cedar Hill , never having been converted due to wreck (#50)

The Marocco cars are unknown what has happened to them but last picture I saw was from a German tourist 18 years ago
Two MNCR cars are at west springfield fire safety train in Mass.

The SPC demonstrator was cut up onsite in Philadelphia when factory was being demolished.

As for seating the MNCR cars came with 3-2 commuter seating same as M1/M3/bombardiers ( currently SLE cars have same seating)

The ConnDOT cars came with Amfleet type seating, but as raunchy as they got they were removed when SLE rebuilt the cars into coaches.

The T-10 had very limited seating 90% of car had computers and measuring equipment and a small sleeping area.

The demonstrator was built with 50% amfleet seats and other 50% of car had commuter seats.

  by Otto Vondrak
[moved to Self Propelled Railcars Forum - omv]

  by dreese_us
Ozark Mountain Railcar has 2 Metro North SPV's for 10,000 each or best offer. They are not in operating condition and come complete with artwork from the local graffiti artist. They really don't look that bad for the money.

Here's the link with pics.

  by ex Budd man
I worked on the SPV-2000 cars throughout their entire build time. Like the Metroliners of the sixties the concept was sound, however, the execution was rushed to completion before all the quirks were worked out. All the tecnology was proven, it simply wasn't adaquaitly developed. Sad to hear what happened to them. Unlike the RDC cars the SPVs had all axles powered. Metro-North crews said this made them locomotives which would require a full crew. Work came down to the shop floor to remove the outboard powered axle on each truck and replace it with one that had no drive gears but retained the case. this resulted in burned up bearings due to the project engineer insisting the original oil level would be sufficient. As I remember, he wouldn't show his face on the shop floor for weeks.
The demonstrator used a Perkins diesel to drive the APU but production cars had Detroit Diesel driven APUs. And unlike the RDCs the SPVs had a two speed transmision to improve aceleration.