Facebook Page
Old Time Trains

Canadian Pacific Railway

Rail Diesel Cars


Budd 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 the 1950's.

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.


RDC Articles Spanner November, December 1953.
North Bay-Mattawa_Angliers Spanner July 1954


Public display Dayliners North Toronto before introduction.

CPR London Division passenger service RDC


Closeup look at Detroit Diesel


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 (49 seats) 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 9113 (71 seats) White River Junction, Vermont. 1964 Paul McGrane Collection

Note: Built with 71 seats. Modified xxxx 52 reclining seats.

RDC-2 9116 leads six other Budd Cars at Montreal West 6/26/1962 Peter Cox

9116 acq. 5/1958 (ex LV 41) Budd 5416 6/1951

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 Sat.

Doug Phillips

"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 Testagrose Collection

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 Mask".

CP Rail Era



Old Time Trains © 2012 2014 2015 2018 2020 2022