A recently refurbished RDC #701 arrives in Whittier. (July 2001)
Photo courtesy of Shane Durand

The Budd Co. constructed 404 Rail Diesel Cars (RDC) for 27 railroads and 4 foreign countries from 1949 to 1962. Five different models were offered: RDC1 (full coach), RDC2 (combination baggage-coach), RDC3 (Railway Post Office, baggage, coach), RDC4 (RPO-baggage), and RDC9 (full coach, but without operating controls). Each RDC is powered by two 275 h.p. General Motors diesel engines (except the RDC 9 which uses one) mounted under the floor. Currently, there are less than 50 RDCs in operation and they can be found in Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ontario and Alaska.

The Alaska Railroad has four RDCs numbered 701, 702, 711 and 712. Numbers 701 and 702 were rebuilt along the lines of the BCR units. They have 300hp Cummins, 6cyl.and Voith transmissions. Numbers 711 and 712 were re-engined with 300 hp Cummins, but retain the original Allison transmission. Numbers 701 and 702 were built as RDC4 converted to RDC2 by NH&H then reconverted from RDC2s and have larger baggage areas than the RDC3 711 and 712. (1/27/99)

Thanks to Frank Dewey for providing this information

end view
End view of 701


Added 10/18/08: "The Budd RDCs went to Fairbanks for their annual inspections and maintenance. It was determined their electrical problems were just too costly to be repaired economically so they are all going to be retired immediately. All four have made their last revenue trips and now will be put out for bid."

Added 5/13/09: RDC #701 is being modified so it can be drug around with the work trains unpowered as shoving platforms and tool sheds and warm up areas for the guys on the gangs.

Added 10/19/10: RDC #701was spotted at the Curry rock quarry by Pat Durand.

Added 3/2/15: Currently in storage in Birchwood yard (Frank Keller)