Budd Rail Diesel Car

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The Budd Rail Diesel Car or RDC or Buddliner is a type of rail car formerly produced by the Budd Company.


In 1949, Budd introduced the "Rail Diesel Car" (RDC), a stainless steel self-propelled "train in one car" which expanded rail service on lightly populated railway lines and provided an adaptable car for suburban commuter service. More than 300 RDCs were built, and some are still in service in Canada, the United States, Australia, Cuba and Saudi Arabia, with similar but shorter cars also being built under license by Mafersa in Brazil, which used the Budd Pioneer construction methods that the company designed and implemented in 1956 on some of the later commuter cars, such as the Milwaukee Road gallery cars that operated out of Chicago as well as electric multiple unit (EMU) high-speed cars that operated between Washington, D.C. and New York City. The final few RDC cars were built by Canadian Car and Foundry under licensed from the Budd Company.

Cars were produced at their Red Lion, Pennsylvania plant.


  • The RDC-1: an all-passenger coach, seating 90 passengers.
  • The RDC-2: a baggage and passenger coach configuration (combine), seating 70 passengers.
  • The RDC-3: a variant with a Railway Post Office, a baggage compartment and 48 passenger seats.
  • The RDC-4: a variant with only the Railway Post Office and baggage area.
  • The RDC-5: see note below.
  • The RDC-9: a passenger trailer seating 94, a single engine and no control cab.

Note: Several railroads used the designation "RDC-5": the Canadian Pacific Railway for RDC-2s converted to full-coach configuration and the Canadian National Railway for RDC-9s it purchased from the Boston and Maine Railroad.

In 1956, Budd introduced a new version of the RDC, with several improvements. The new cars had more powerful versions of the Detroit Diesel 6-110 engines, each of which produced 300 hp instead of 275 hp. They also featured higher capacity air conditioning and more comfortable seating. The appearance changed slightly as well: the side fluting continued around to the front of the car and the front-facing windows were smaller.

Additional reading