Budd Rail Diesel Car or RDC is a self-propelled diesel-hydraulic rail
passenger car. In the period 1949–1962, 398 RDCs were built
by the Budd Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These cars were
primarily adopted for passenger service in rural areas with low traffic
density or in short-haul commuter service, like the Pennsylvania-Reading
Seashore Line, and were less expensive to operate in this context
than a traditional locomotive-drawn train. The cars could be used
singly or several coupled together in train sets and controlled from
the cab of the front unit. The RDC was the one of the few versions
of the DMU-type train diesel multiple unit to achieve commercial success
in North America.
The basic car was adapted from a standard 85 ft (26 m) coach. They
were powered by two Detroit Diesel (then a division of General Motors)
Series 110 diesel engines, each of which drives an axle through a
hydraulic torque converter, a technology adapted from military tanks
of World War II. RDC trains were an early example of self-contained
diesel multiple units, an arrangement now in common use by railways
all over the world.
cars are still riding the rails on the Cape May Seashore Line.