The New Haven RR in 1959

Gone But Not Forgotten

Budd Company Rail Diesel Cars (RDC)

In 1952 the New Haven Railroad began purchasing RDC's to provide passenger service on rail lines with consistent but low ridership in an effort to provide service while reducing costs.  With the exception of the Boston & Maine, the New Haven owned the largest fleet of RDC's.

RDC-1 Between 1952 and '53 the New Haven acquired RDC-1 road numbers 20-48.  While all RDC's were equipped with the same two 275hp diesel engines underneath the carbody, each version of RDC had a different configuration.  The RDC-1 was a straight coach layout with 89-seat capacity.

Life Like Proto 1000 (LLP1K) has produced three versions of Budd RDC.  Unit 22 is straight out of the box and required only the addition of Hancock air whistles on the roof.

 

RDC-2 In 1952 the New Haven also aquired RDC-2 numbers 120-121.  These cars were configured with a 70-seat capacity coach section and a baggage section.

LLP1K 121 out of the box equipped with Hancock air whistles.

 

RDC-3 Also in 1952 the New Haven purchased six RDC-3's numbered 125-130.  The arrangement of these cars was a 49-seat capacity passenger section, a baggage section and an RPO (Railway Post Office) section.

LLP1K 130 is also straight out of the box with Hancock air whistles installed.

 

RDC-4  The New Haven rounded out their assortment of RDC types purchased in 1952 with three RDC-4 units numbered 135-137.  These cars were express and RPO cars, carrying no passengers.

Here's a rare treat! Athearn produced a metal RDC-4 many years ago.  Although Athearn's other RDC offerings were shorter than prototype length, their version of the RDC-4 was almost spot on!  Athearn discontinued the RDC-4 when they transistioned to injection molded plastic carbodies.  These can still be found occasionally at on-line auction sites.  Because of their construction and age they may be an inexpensive purchase unless bidding against a collector.

Here's the same unit with some detailing in addition to the Hancock air whistle.  Accu cals makes HO scale RDC decals for the New Haven Railroad.  I also added pilots to each end to conceal the "cowcatchers" of the orignial unit (they're still there!).  The pilots were kitbashed from later-era Athearn plastic shells and joined with ACC to the metal=bodied RDC-4.  It will still need re-powering, but it does run...the Pitmann motor pre-dates the Athearn rubber band drive, but is still outdated by today's standards.