Canadian Pacific Railway
Rail Diesel Cars
The Rail Diesel Car (RDC) built by the Budd Company of
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was more evolutionary than revolutionary.
This modern, self-propelled stainless steel car was the end result of
half a century of trial and error by many companies that began on the
CPR with a single steam powered car converted from a standard wooden
coach. Later, a few gas-mechanical and battery-electric cars built new
were tried as well. It was not until the 1930's that successful gas-electric
cars were built new in larger numbers which continued in service into
Budd had a long history of building passenger equipment beginning in
the 1930's and its use of shot welding stainless steel perfected this
work. Its biggest single order (173 cars) was for equipping the famous
CPR train The Canadian. Around this time Budd developed the modern
self-propelled RDC with a diesel engine first used for army tanks and
a torque converter. The CPR eventually bought 55 RDC's, the second largest
fleet (after Boston & Maine) of these Budd Cars as CPR employees
called them. The Passenger Department marketed them as Dayliner.
These very successful RDC's saved many passenger trains both on main
and branchlines actually increasing ridership for a time. Fast acceleration
and deceleration allowed them to reduce schedules considerably including
replacing the famous 3000 Jubilee 4-4-4's. Operating costs were
reduced considerably over a conventional steam locomotive hauled train
with a standard five-man crew replaced by as little as a conductor and
engineer on a single car train. A few still remain in use by VIA.
about coming introduction of Dayliner service. Spanner
about display train of brand new Dayliners. Spanner December
RDC-3 9020 sits at Angliers, Quebec end of a 117 mile
long branch from Mattawa. CRO Collection
It was a six hour run from North Bay, Ont. daily except Sunday effective
Mon. Nov.1,1953 as trains 48-49 and 47-50.
North Bay- Mattawa mainline 45.5 miles, Mattawa-Timiskaming 41.5
miles and Angliers 116.9 miles.
The trains later (4/27/1958) ran from Chalk River (447-449, 448-450)
with connections to and from Ottawa. Service was changed and reduced
to tri-weekly and finally ended with the new time table effective Sunday,
October 30, 1960.
NOTE: This car was the part of the first order in 1953 for RDC's;
three RDC-1's (9050-9052) and one RDC-3 (9020).
These cars were received October 14, 1953 and put into service 10/19,
10/19, 10/27 and 10/27.
Two RDC's were for Toronto-Windsor-Detroit high speed mainline service
while one other was for Montreal-Mont-Laurier. It was this latter run
of 163.6 miles that the Budd Co. demonstrator 2960 operated on for three
weeks starting Feb.2/1953.
While the standard design of the Budd RDC-3 included an RPO section
all CPR cars had none with 30 foot baggage section.
RDC-3 9023 with two RDC-1's on northbound train. The
man in light coloured suit has just placed a large dog
in the baggage section aided by employee in long coat. Montreal West
Sunday, November 10,1957 Bob Krone
RDC-3 9024 provides part of E&N passenger service
Daily Exc. Sun.
Nanaimo, VI 3/01/1965 Bruce Chapman Collection
Note the Volkswagen Beetle.
Two views of one year old RDC-1 9053 (#5918 6/1953)
leaving Windsor Station as Number 451 departing at
7:00 a.m. for Mont Laurier. This was the only Dayliner service
out of Montreal at this early date.
Sunday, July 4,1954 John Dziobko
9060 leads three other RDC's more commonly called "Budd
Cars" in suburban (commuter) service from Vaudreuil.
Montreal West. June 5, 1959 Joseph Testagrose collection
Note the Shell service station in the background. This modern style
structure was a common sight in the 1950's.
RDC-2 9116 leads six other Budd Cars at Montreal West
6/26/1962 Peter Cox
RDC-4 Length: 73' 10" two 30 foot compartments.
9200 one-of-a-kind on the roster. RDC-4 mail-baggage
car. Brand new still without CPR illuminated number board.
Budd 6231 9/1955 Windsor Station. Steve Morris Collection
Brand new 9251 RDC-4 all baggage and express car with
an RDC-2 on Number 18 westbound at Port Arthur, Ont. on
Monday, August 13, 1956. Elmer Treloar/NMS&T Collection
A two car order for modified RDC-4 with a single 60
foot compartment originally to be 9201 and 9202.
9250, 9251 Budd 6306, 6307 7/1956)
NOTE: Numbers 17 and 18 operated as conventional equipped
trains daily between Montreal and Vancouver.
Saturday April 28, 1956 these trains were discontinued to be replaced
by various local segments including two
RDC runs one of which operated tri-weekly between Sudbury and Fort William.
Effective April 26, 1956
Train 17 and 18 operated Fort William to Sudbury departing Fort William
6:30 pm with next day arrival at Sudbury
at 1.45 pm. No 17 departs Sudbury at 5.00 pm with a next day arrival
at Fort William 11.59 am. three days a week.
September 30, 1956 service is No 17 Mon. Wed. Fri. ex
Sudbury departing 6.00 pm arriving Fort William
11.59 am and No 18 Departing Fort William Sun, Tues, Thursday. 9.30
pm with arrival at Sudbury 1.45 pm.
October 27, 1957 train is renumbered 417 and 418 Fort William-Sudbury.
No 417 same schedule but
418 operates departing Fort William Sun, Tue, Thur at 6.30 pm arriving
Sudbury 1.15 pm next day.
April 30 1961 trains 417 and 418 are reduced to Sudbury White
River only No 417 departing Sudbury
Mon, Wed, Fri 11.00 am and departing White River 0900 Tue, Thur and
More than half of a century later service is still operated tri-weekly
by VIA Rail Canada 400 miles
between Sudbury and White River through remote northern Ontario using
identical "Budd Cars".
VIA 6250 number 185 loading large number of passengers on RDC-1 VIA
Backing off the shop track a little earlier 6250 ex VIA/CN 6450 and
6105 ex VIA/CN 6105 remanufactured IRSI.
"Hockey Mask" visibility stripes with old
CPR Tuscan red side panels.
E&N No.1 9055 crossing Englishmans River near Parksville,
VI 7/29/1967 Bob Loat
A single RDC-3 was all that was needed at this low point
in traffic. 9023 passing shelter at Cowichan, VI
6/05/1968 Peter A. Cox
RDC-2 9114 leads two RDC-1's with 9058 trailing (see below)
This may well be the turn around point for this commuter
train (if #243) from Windsor Station (Montreal) five minutes later becoming
Number 254 due out at 12.30 p.m. Other commuter trains on this line
ran through to Rigaud.
Hudson, Quebec Thursday April 17,1969 Two views Jerry Appleman/Joseph
In an effort to improve visibility of approaching Budd
Cars which are quite quiet, this dazzle paint scheme was created.
The design was attributed to Frank Stelfox of CP's Public Relations
and Advertising Department,
responsible for graphics and photography. Railfans have called it "Hockey