• RDC's cut into regular consists

  • Discussion about RDC's, "doodlebugs," gas-electrics, etc.
Discussion about RDC's, "doodlebugs," gas-electrics, etc.
  by delvyrails
Here is a Canadian example of double hauled RDCs. one of which I rode on June 13, 1970. Canadian National train 122 out of Montreal Central Station cut off two RDC1s at Charny, Quebec. One car proceeded to Quebec City.

The other moved out of the station in the opposite direction and eventually terminated on branch trackage at Edmondston, New Brunswick late that evening. It included a snack bar. I rode the cab part way; and the engineer pointed out a short stretch where the line ran through Estcourt, Maine. Early the next day, I continued eastward from Edmondston to Halifax, Nova Scotia on a two-RDC train. These two RDC-equipped trains were remnants of a one-time through service.

On the New Haven Boston operation, I saw a train of aboutfive cars with RDC at the rear out of South Station which turned north at Needham Junction for Needham, while the trailed RDC cut off at the junction for an outlyling town, probably Millis.

Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines was famous for a double split (off at Tuckahoe for Ocean City and off at Wildwood Junction for Wildwood) but apparently never hauled RDCs behind regular trains.
  by glennk419
It's interesting that Budd frowned upon the railroads using RDC's to tow cars in revenue service but found it perfectly acceptable to do it for their own demostration purposes.

http://cgi.ebay.com/PRSL-Budd-RDC-Pione ... 7C294%3A50

Anyone else wonder where the railroads got the idea?
  by 3rdrail
Are there any other photos of Budd doing this after the original cars were distributed ? It seems reasonable that a prototype test car would require a section for it's crew, and as a prototype that another RDC might not have been available.
  by Tom6921
I've been wondering. Since Budd said that if a railroad used an RDC to pull regular equipment it would void the warranty. How about if there was a regular locomotive (say GP7) coupled to the front of the RDC which was "dead" and behind was a cut of cars. With the diesel on the point providing the power, would that be okay?
  by glennk419
I seriously doubt that towing a RDC, whether dead or just offline, would have voided the warranty. As documented above, it was common practice for some railroads to tack RDC's onto the end of a standard, locomotive hauled consist which could then be broken off as a separate section for a lightly used branch. Even if the RDC's engines were running for lighting and HVAC, the loco would be providing the tractive effort until the RDC was detached from the train.

The warranty issue came into play when the RDC's were used to pull non-powered cars due to the additonal strain placed on the transmissions and other drive components. RDC's were designed to carry their own weight only.
  by 3rdKeag
It would be interesting to know what railroad first tried to run RDC's pulling conventional equipment. I remember (Yes, I'm that old) when the NH first purchased their's they sandwiched one or two conventional commuter coaches between to RDC-1's as the Braintree shuttle (Shuttled between Boston and Braintree). According to my father (Later, Div Engr Boston Div), the Operating Dept was really proud of their innovation ....until a Budd company official visiting South Station saw it and about had a heart attack. That was the end of that.
  by Allen Hazen
There was a photo in "Trains," some time in the 1960s or 1970s, of a Saudi Arabian passenger train with a caption suggesting it would make a great museum train of American railroading: power was an F-9 (with rooftop sand filter), and one of the (no two alike) cars was an RDC.
  by ApproachMedium
The RDCs I believe budd said they could tow ONE car as long as it was a budd built car just for this purpose. If I recall the car they towed with the PRSL RDCs was a Pioneer III commuter coach demo car. The car was a lot lighter weight than most standard passenger cars so it was less strain on the drive. I dont think any railroads did this since the only Pioneer III cars that were sold were sold as MU cars for the PRR.

Its funny though how when you do things in scale, they dont always amount to the real thing. Like a GP40 in HO can only pull about 25-30 cars around at the most. RDCs are opposite. My P1K RDCs are good for hauling up to 50 freight cars with a pair of them. One doesn't have much issue at all drilling 20-30 car consists in the flat yard. All of this talk though about towing an RDC at the back of a passenger train has me curious if I can try to replicate this with the HO ones. I have "consisted" them with a baldwin S8 and towed them around to represent a shop move, but never tried putting them on the back of a passenger train.
  by EDM5970
Budd frowned upon an RDC pulling any sort of trailer, although it was done on the CNJ, NH and M&StL; there may have been others. While each car had 550 HP of so, the transmissions could overheat. Budd offered the RDC-9, an RDC-1 look-alike with only one engine and no controls, to be used as a 'trailer' of sorts. The three roads mentioned above used some of their lighter equipment as trailers, of course.

Cape May Seashore Lines uses their ex-PRSL M-407 and M-410 in a push-pull consist, along with a cafe car and a GP-9. The CMSL Budds can and often do run on their own, but with the use of a Kierstead cable, M-410 is used as a cab car in one direction. There is some video of last season's Santa Express on Youtube that demonstrates this; this year's Santa trains wrap up this Friday, 12/23/11.

EDIT- After posting last night, I found some CMSL video from this year on Youtube, showing former CNJ GP-7 1523 on the north end of the train, followed by the Budds and GP-9 7000. Since Conrail hadn't run anything down the Beesley's in months, there was concern with rusty rail and crossing circuits. So 1523 led north for a few days, using its weight to clear the rust, as alluded to in 3rdKeag's post in another thread on this forum.
Last edited by EDM5970 on Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by 3rdrail
Not only did they frown upon it, but they threatened to void the warranty on any RDC that was trained with a non-RDC car. I don't think that the New Haven ever mixed them up except in Mr. Keag's anecdote. The Penn Central did, but then again, there wasn't much contrary behavior that the PC didn't do, and besides, the warranties were more than likely expired on the cars by that time anyway.
  by edbear
Chicago & Eastern Illinois replaced its Meadowlark streamliner with an RDC in mid-1950s and for a time the RDC towed a lightweight coach.
  by CarterB
I often rode the C&EI "Meadowlark" after it was downgraded to the one and only RDC C&EI had. For years in the mid 50's to early 60's it hauled a lightweight coach daily, both ways RT, from Cypress to Chicago. IIRC either the RDC or the coach had a vending machine section also.