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TOM'S RAILFAN PAGES
RIDING ON BUDD CARS













Home | TROLLEY SQUARE | SAVING CTA CAR 28 | CAB RIDE AT THE EAST TROY RAILROAD | MODULAR LAYOUT PROJECT | RIDING ON BUDD CARS | THE 14 YEAR OLD CONDUCTOR | THE ELECTROLINER STORY | MY UNCLE THE MOTORMAN | SOME PHOTOS | IN SEARCH OF CIRCUS WAGONS | IRM IN 1966 | MY BIO PAGE AND AFFILIATIONS





My encounter and ride on the Blackhawk, with Budd RDC units.

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Amtrak Blackhawk with Budd RDC units #15, 30, and 31
fly through Elmhurst Illinois in May 1974. Story below.
















I always have been fascinated with the Budd Rail Diesel Car or RDC for short. Known to many railroads as the Budd Cars they served on commuter and short haul lines for most of the railroads from the 1950's to the present. Up until 1975 I never had a chance to ride one until I spotted the Blackhawk fly past my cousin's home in Lombard Ill. The Blackhawk was an Amtrak run from Chicago to Dubuque Iowa. I finally got a chance to ride the Blackhawk in 1975 when my Dad and I took the train to Chicago and caught a Greyhound Bus to Rockford Ill. On the way up the Bus driver was questioning why would we want to ride this train when his bus goes to the same cities. I explained my dream to ride the Budd Cars and how they I heard they are fun to ride. Another reason is the trip is more scenic by rail than by the interstate. After arriving in Rockford, we took a cab to the train station and waited for the headlights to show up in the distance. The RDC's rumbled in and we got on the middle car. I immediately went to the front car which was closed off due to no air conditioning and introduce myself and Dad to the engineer. He seemed delighted to have some company and let me stand in the doorway to watch out front and see how he runs the controls. Needless to say I stood up the entire way with the engineer and fireman as we passed through towns and farmland on our way to Chicago. Our fastest speed recorded was about 93 on a downhill grade and the 90 mile trip went too quickly. Soon we were next to the expressway in Chicagoland and ready to make the big turn to the main terminal in Chicago. After the ride I bought some movie film and over the next week I was able to film the Blackhawk in action at many locations.

The RDC is still used but by only a few railroads now, many are over 50 years old but are still performing the duties they were intended. New versions of RDC's are coming out and can be a solution to economical transportation for tomorrow's passengers. One example is the Talent from Canada and Japan has tilting units that are capable of high speed.

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Still running after 50 years, several short lines in the US still use the Budd RDC .

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The Talent DMU on the "O" Train line in Ottawa, Canada.

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WATCH THIS TRAIN, COLORADO RAILCAR'S DMU

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COLORAD RAILCAR IS THE ONLY AMERICAN COMPANY WITH MULTIPLE MODELS OF DMU'S READY FOR AMERICA'S RAIL

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Above, the high speed tilting DMU in Japan and below, a more conventional Japanese DMU in electric territory.

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Proto 1000 RDC type 2 cars #121 and #120 pose on the modular layout in my basement. The New Haven had a large fleet of RDC's.

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Another view on the layout, I'm hoping Lifelike makes more styles of the RDC in HO scale, so I'll have all of the types. They also run great and are very quiet on the layout.