The self-propelled rail motor car was nearly extinct by the time the Budd Company's Red Lion plant near Philadelphia, rolled out a new rail concept during September 1949. The firm announced to the railroad world that it had something that might save the day for branch line, suburban, and commuter rail service. The newcomer, dressed in stainless steel, and looking like a streamlined vista-domed coach, was Rail Diesel Car No. 2960. Budd called this speedy self-propelled train, bristling with the latest rail innovations, simply RDC.
RDC: The Budd Rail Diesel Car is the complete story of this unique railcar, from its conception to current status. This book discusses how the cars were built, their controls, and the various railroads that purchased them. There is a section about stainless steel and the shot welding' process, and a biography of the late Edward G. Budd.
The SPV-2000, a state of the art self-propelled vehicle is described as a troubled 'advancement' in RDC design. The large appendix section includes a description of each railroad that ran RDCs, how they were utilized, a complete roster, and a map showing the route of the RDCs. At the end of the book is a complete roster of RDCs by builders number. With more than 375 illustrations (8 pages. in color), maps, drawings, extensive appendix, bibliography and index.
Introduction, pp. 8-10;
Branch Lines are Formed, pp. 11-14;
Search for a Self-Propelled Railcar, pp. 15-34;
Budd Company Enters Railcar Market, pp. 35-42;
Budd Rail Diesel Car Prototype, pp. 43-48;
The RDC Car is Born, pp. 49-106;
SPV-2000, pp. 107-112;
End of the Line, pp. 113-114;
Railroad by Railroad Operations of the RDC, pp. 115-238;
RDC's Around the World, pp. 239-250;
RDC Company Roster, pp. 251-270;
Bibliography, pp. 271-273;
Golden West Books, hardcover with jacket, 279 pages, 8.5 x 11 x 1 in., B&W photographs, 8 pages in color, rosters, data.