A Visit to the West Coast Railway Heritage Park - What You Will See


Budd Rail Diesel Cars (PGE BC-33 / BCR BC-21)

In the 1950s, there was a need for an economical yet modern approach to passenger service, in places where a full long passenger train just wasn't needed. The Budd Company of Philadelphia responded to this need, and the Rail Diesel Car (RDC) was born. A modern passenger car in every way, these units were self propelled and could operate on their own or coupled together into trains. The engineer operated the RDC (or an entire train of RDC's) from a small cabin at the front of the unit. Two diesel engines were mounted under the floor with hydraulic transmissions to the wheel sets, and the radiators and cooling systems were mounted in the bulge you see on the roof. These cars were able to accelerate and brake much faster than a conventional train making them great for commuters and curving lines.

The Pacific Great Eastern Railway saw the merits of this new vehicle and they started service between North Vancouver and points north in 1956, continuing in daily service until the BC Rail passenger services were ended in October 2002. They were able to make the trip four hours faster than a conventional train.

PGE BC-33 is a model RDC-3, which has a baggage section, a kitchen and 42 seats. It was built in 1956 for the PGE and operated there for its entire career until 2002 when it was purchased by a benefactor and donated for preservation by the WCRA. It has been restored to its 1956 PGE appearance.

BC Rail BC-21 is a model RDC-1, which has 68 seats and a small serving galley. This is one of the very last RDC's built, being constructed for the Reading Railroad in 1962. It was purchased by BC Rail in the 1980's and remains painted in its BC Rail colors. In 2002, a benefactor also purchased this car and donated it to the WCRA.


Budd Rail Diesel Cars

 

WCRA retains both units in working order, and a two car RDC set of RDC-3 / RDC-1 was a typical operation between North Vancouver and Prince Goorge for many years.

 

 


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next: Operating Diesel Electric Locomotives

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The West Coast Railway Association is a charitable organization
committed to preserving British Columbia's railway heritage.


West Coast Railway Association
PO Box 2790 Stn. Term.
Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3X2
Canada

Charitable business number: 119292480 RR0001