Author Topic: RDC Question  (Read 1239 times)

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garethashenden

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Re: RDC Question
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2021, 08:59:34 PM »
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Boston & Maine has so many of them, that they ran multiple sets. But I believe that the ones behind the powered one were "dummies".  Their drive train bits were removed, and they were simply coaches.



The B&M had some RDC-9s which were semi-dummies. They had one engine that did heating/cooling/lighting but not moving. For that they relied on the full units around them. I believe that the RDC-9 was a B&M only type, but someone else may have had them too. Of the 398 RDCs built, the B&M bought 109. By far the largest fleet.

brokemoto

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Re: RDC Question
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2021, 11:34:18 PM »
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AMTRAK ran NYNH7H's Roger Williams, which were dolled up RDCs.  They all were powered.

Boston and Maine had RDC-9s, which had no controls and only one diesel engine, hence only one wheelset powered.  Other than that, the RDC-9s looked like RDC-1s.  As I heard it, there was a really cold winter, even for Massachusetts some time in the mid 1970s that ruined the hydraulic transmissions of most of the already poorly maintained RDCs.  A number of them also sat for many years as the Busted and Mined discontinued the trains.  I do recall riding the Budd cars behind the GP-9s, -10s and F-10s.  The diesel engines actually functioned to provide hotel power.  Some of the cars did have the driveshafts still in place.  I seem to recall watching one such train pull away from the station after I had gotten off of it.  The diesel engine in the RDC seemed to accelerate with that in the locomotive.  MBTA did have to modify these things when it took over Boston commuter service.

Pulling anything with them voided the warranty.  As one poster has indicated, using one of these things to pull something did damage to their transmissions similar to what pulling something with a smaller car would do to its automatic transmission.   You would overheat the transmission.  The two big enemies of automatic transmissions are heat and dirt.  I do not know if adding additional cooling capacity would have helped.  The M&StL ended up selling its RDC-4s to the C&O.  A Louie nut told me that it was because the Louie kept towing cars with them and burning up the transmissions.  Budd replaced a few as a courtesy, but, from what he told me, they finally told the Louie no more, so, when they failed, M&StL. sold them.

Despite their not being compatible even with other EMDs in MU, I would suspect that someone could have built an adapter.  It took until 1958 for the builders and railroads to agree on the twenty seven pin MU plug.  Prior to that, the railroads did run locomotives of different manufacturers in MU, but they had to use adapters.  Baldwin even had an adapter so that its pneumatic throttled locomotives could operate with the others' electronic throttled power.  The only service photographs that I have seen of the Baldwin adapters in use were on Oliver Iron Mining Company trains.

I am guessing that Original Poster wants the B unit to keep the transmission in the RDC from burning up.  If someone could figure out how to make adapters for EMD, ALCo, FM and even Baldwin power, I have little doubt that someone could have figured out how to construct an adapter so that the engineer of an RDC could control an  EMD B-unit.  The question would be if AMTRAK were willing to spend the money in Original Poster's modelling era to do so for just one train.  The train might actually be profitable, as he is going to use an RDC-4, which implies the existence of a mail contract.  For the mail contract alone, AMTRAK might have been willing to spend the money.

The shame is that no one makes any of the railcars that the Piedmont roads used in Florida or that  had FM power.  Those things were diesel-electrics, so they could tow cars and often did. 

What Original Poster might want to do is paint a B-Mann gas electric in AMTRAK, add an old MP corrugated coach and either an old Arnold RPO (if he can find one that has not warped) or Atlas shorty standard RPO.  If AMTRAK ever operated a gas-electric, never have I seen a photograph of one.  Despite that, if this is going to be a fictitious train on a fictitious rail line, he might get away with using the gas-electric.  The gas-electric might have a problem climbing grades with that load in the mountains of Oregon, though.  He might need the B-unit to get up those hills.

Another thought:

The C-C RDC shells will go onto the Kato power chassis.  Original Poster could cut down the passenger section of a C-C RDC-3 shell (if he can find one).  You can order the steps from Kato, so you could leave the stirrups on the mail end and add the steps on the passenger end.  Thus, you would have a mail and baggage section in addition to the passenger section.  I actually did this.  The first one came out acceptably, but I knew that I could do better.  I actually did do another one and did better.  I must simply add horns, an air conditioning unit on the roof, glazing and lettering.  The air conditioning unit on the roof is a necessity, as there was no room for one under the car, as the RDC-4 is shorter than the other four models.  It could be explained as a rebuilt-from-wreck, although I am not aware of any RDC-3s that ever were wrecked.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 11:42:21 PM by brokemoto »

ncbqguy

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Re: RDC Question
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2021, 12:17:57 AM »
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It was mentioned that some roads towed an RDC to a junction where it was cut off and continued independently on a branch.
The CB&Q did that with a gas electric that went Chicago-Aurora on a commuter train and then on to Rockford on its own.   
Gas electrics could pull trailers depending on the HP of the prime mover and electrical gear.  Many were converted to diesel after several bad wrecks involving gasoline fires and loss of life.
Charlie Vlk

nkalanaga

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Re: RDC Question
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2021, 01:49:53 AM »
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Do like the MILW did with their Little Joe electrics:  Add a diesel throttle, mechanically connected to the RDC throttle, and an MU cable/hoses to the following diesel.
N Kalanaga
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dem34

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Re: RDC Question
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2021, 08:24:29 AM »
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It was mentioned that some roads towed an RDC to a junction where it was cut off and continued independently on a branch.
The CB&Q did that with a gas electric that went Chicago-Aurora on a commuter train and then on to Rockford on its own.   
Gas electrics could pull trailers depending on the HP of the prime mover and electrical gear.  Many were converted to diesel after several bad wrecks involving gasoline fires and loss of life.
Charlie Vlk
Also the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Line which would run decent rakes of RDCs out of Philadelphia and just break off a car whenever they reached a junction with an island town.
-Al

randgust

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Re: RDC Question
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2021, 09:25:16 AM »
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Neat thing about RDC's is that they really still are out there.

Reading & Northern has a pair in excursion service along the Lehigh River, and they've done a nice job of rehabbing them. 

Western Maryland Scenic picked up a couple from Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and plan to run them 'part way' up the mountain, we'll see how that goes.  When there were testing them there was a video out there of them producing a smoke cloud that 1309 would be proud of.  They have the original engines.   

There are several other tourist railroads that use them in light service, but I particularly like the R&N as they made an attempt to upgrade the interiors beyond what was a very spartan 'school bus' kind of feel.    Interior photos at https://www.rbmnrr-passenger.com/our-trains
They even put in a lunch counter.

Winnipesaukee Scenic in New Hampshire has a lot of ex-MBTA RDC's used as coaches only.

I've always been puzzled on how well they could be towed with the driveshafts on with that kind of transmission, but it was regularly done.   So ferrying an RDC as part of a split service seems very logical.

I never quite got over MBTA running the purple and silver FP10's in the Boston area with trains of RDC coaches, one engine running to provide hotel power.   One of the odder looking commuter trains.
http://imagestorage.nerail.org/photos/2019/06/04/201906041753337352.jpg




nickelplate759

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Re: RDC Question
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2021, 11:30:18 AM »
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Near Portland, Oregon, Trimet's West Side Express has a pair of RDCs for protection service when their Colorado Railcar trains are down:

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davefoxx

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Re: RDC Question
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2021, 11:51:00 AM »
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Maybe @rapidotrains can chime in with their knowledge and experience, as Rapido Trains, Inc. has been working hard to restore former VIA RDC-1 No. 6133.

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brokemoto

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Re: RDC Question
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2021, 02:17:36 PM »
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There are several other tourist railroads that use them in light service, but I particularly like the R&N as they made an attempt to upgrade the interiors beyond what was a very spartan 'school bus' kind of feel.    Interior photos at https://www.rbmnrr-passenger.com/our-trains
They even put in a lunch counter.

Baltimore and Ohio had either four or three RDC-2s; I forget, now and am too lazy to look up the thing.  Two of them had regular baggage compartments and were used for that, while there was still some mail and express business on the routes where B&O used them.  The other two (or three) actually had tables and a lunch counter.  This is because the railroad had ordered them for the Daylight Speedliners which ran Baltimore-Washington-Pittsburgh.  The trains consisted of two RDC-1s and one RDC-2.  There were either three or two sets, I forget, now.  There were a few other modifications to the RDC-2 to accommodate the food services.  The trains actually had a black ink bottom line almost up to discontinuation.  When B&O discontinued the trains, the cars went to commuter service.  I do remember riding in one from time to time just before and after the advent of AMTRAK.  The counter was gone, but two tables were still there.

sirenwerks

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Re: RDC Question
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2021, 07:28:56 PM »
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Near Portland, Oregon, Trimet's West Side Express has a pair of RDCs for protection service when their Colorado Railcar trains are down:




I'm no stranger to RDCs, having grown up along the B&Q mainline outside of Baltimore during the start-up of the MARC system.  The RDCs in the pic are only a few blocks from the Beaverton Transit Center, crossing TV Highway about two miles east of where I live now.  If that line replicated the OE service more, and extended to Salem with more regular service, it would be much more popular.  Surprisingly, the P&W is running 2 to 4 trains through Tigard and Beaverton during daytime hours lately, limiting DMU service.  The pictured intersection and the nearby curved crossing that both P&W freights and TriMet use are major headaches on TV Highway, especially as Washington County density/population increases and TV Highway becomes a major throughway to west Portland and the I5.


I am hoping that, once the new SW Corridor light rail line is complete, TriMet will terminate the DMU service at Tigard, where the southern light rail terminus will then be.  This would make much more sense, since most riders take that line to jobs in Portland, and the jaunt to Beaverton means they are left further west than they need to be, and they have to travel 'back' into PDX on the light rail. And it will ease rush hour congestion on both TV Highway and the western-most light rail line to Hillsboro, since DMU riders won't use Beaverton TC.

Of course, WES ridership is too low and is costing TriMet more then $100/passenger right now, so something tells me it's time is limited.  With the PDX population explosion, the better bet would have been to spend the money and extend light rail towards Salem, if not all of the way.  Five trains at the start/end of the workday limits ridership too much.  Density along TriMet routes is insane and would have expedited infill housing development between PDX and Salem.

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« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 08:13:53 PM by GaryHinshaw »
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NYNE

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Re: RDC Question
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2021, 07:52:39 AM »
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I road RDC's in and out of Boston in the late 1970s. They rocked like ships at sea because of the poor track quality on the former New Haven lines.

When the New Haven was absorbed by Penn Central, the New Haven RDC's lost their orange noses and got the black and white zebra stripes more typical of the NY Central. There were always two red stripes. While photos don't bear our my memory in many cases, I remember the roofs were usually filthy, almost black with soot. So a good dose of weathering wouldn't hurt. After the Penn Central/MBTA took over the New Haven name was still visible both on the RDCs and regular passenger cars. So a typical car could have a mix of logos and be prototypical.

Usually they would run in multiple units, especially on mid-day runs. I took the train to and from a school in Boston in 1979. On Fridays I would leave early to go to work. The train always had two RDCs. One Friday night when I was working in the gas station my father showed up and said: Why weren't you in school today? Like a typical 1970s teen I tried to lie my way out of it. ``I was on the 1:20.'' He replied that he was on the 1:20. I must have been in the other car, I said.

``It only had one car today,'' he replied.

I fessed up and told him that I skipped school so I could work a longer shift at the gas station. He liked that and let me off with fairly light punishment.

As their engines wore out the MBTA began using them as straight passenger cars. They were repainted in MBTA colors and stripped of their engines. This meant they lost their distinctive bulge on the roof.

Brian

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