California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996

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Model Train Help EBook

Southern Pacific RDC-1

Only 1 unit ever, #10

delivered March 1954 - last run April 30th 1971

from the Bob Dengler collection, photographer, date and location unknown from the Yardclerk collection, photographer, date and location unknown
from the Bob Dengler collection, likely at the 'new' Willits depot - photographer and date unknown from the Yardclerk collection
via Rob Jacox
from the Gene Deimling collection, Willits, Ca. 1967 (C) Gene McKinley - ex SP #10 on the OPE
from the Gene Deimling collection, Willits, Ca. 1967 (C) Gene McKinley - ex SP #10 on the Oregon, Pacific, & Eastern.
two photos courtesy Cliff West when on the Oregon, Pacific, & Eastern.

Another image courtesy the ABPR Archive at RDC #10 at Eureka

And another from the Sunny Fortuna website: RDC #10

Southern Pacific only ever rostered one Budd RDC, numbered #10, it was advertised as a "Pocket Streamliner". Built in June 1953 with Builders #5917 it was delivered/in service in March 1954 for the Sacramento-Oakland Pier trains 226-241, in response to a denial by the California Public Utilities Commission and later the United States Supreme Court to discontinue these trains, SP was ordered? to upgrade? the service with an RDC?...

Other than later SP appliance additions, this was an off-the-shelf RDC1 with seating for 90. It was initially unpainted stainless steel with a 9" red letterboard with the words "Chair" at each end, an SP Sunset medallion on the center of the end doors, and red and orange stripes under the cab windows.

Prior to entering service SP added pilots and train number indicators at each end. Later the single blat horns were replaced with the SP standard Nathan P-3 at both ends.

#10 entered service on Trains 229 - 246 the Governor, the Sacramento-Oakland Pier run, later this was changed to Trains 226 - 241. As 241 the Sierra, #10 towed a heavyweight mail storage car to Davis to be setout for the Portland train #20 the Klamath.

On the expiration of these runs on March 30th 1959, it was leased to the Northwestern Pacific for the Redwood service, trains #3 and #4. Prior to leasing the unit, SP rebuilt one end to take mail and express parcels reducing the seating to 68 from the original 90. The rebuilding involved adding a partition, removing the seats and putting bars over the windows.

On October 7th 1960, #10 was involved in a grade crossing accident with a lumber truck at Fort Seward damaging the mail/express end; Norwood Hutchins who regularly worked out of Willits and Fort Seward, was the engineer at the time. It was rebuilt with only one control compartment, the mail/express area being extended into the vestibule and former control cab. #10 then became a single-ended unit, and had to be turned after every run.

At some point in time, perhaps during the rebuilding after the grade crossing accident, the entire driving cab end was painted red, certainly by May 1970, as the image above shows.

After Amtrak took over passenger service in 1971, #10 was sold to a short line called the Oregon, Pacific, & Eastern. It served there until 1978, when it was sold to the Moody Foundation of Galveston, TX. and may still be on display at the Center for Transportation and Commerce (CT&C) in Galveston, Texas.

From the SP Mailing List, comes the info, that RDC #10's activities are covered in some detail in the book The Northwestern Pacific Railroad - Volume 2. by Fred Stindt.

Also if you are a member of the SP Historical and Technical Society., then issue 48 of the Trainline, had an article on RDC #10.

SP References:

  • Southern Pacific Historic Diesels, Volume 2, Diesel-Hydraulic Locomotives - by Joe Strapac. Has one b/w photo of RDC #10 in as new condition on page 13.

  • The Northwestern Pacific Railroad Volume 2. by Fred A. Stindt chapter 5 - The life of Budd Car No.10

  • SPH&TS Trainline #48 page 11 - The Pocket Streamliner by Donald M. Munger

  • The 1996 McMillan SP Calendar, has a color photo of #10 for the month of May.

  • Doodlebug Country by Edmund Keilty has a black/white photo of #10 on page 163, photo dated July 1954, shows original paint, and before the baggage compartment was added. - but chasing this book for one photo is a but unrealistic, try at your local library for a copy of the book.

RDC Model Info page

Miscellaneous Index

Additional Information on this Page contributed by:

  • Bruce Conklin,
  • Rich Coleman,
  • Nancy Gray (Norwood Hutchins granddaughter),
  • John Mero,
  • Joel Lovitch,
  • LocoNotes mailing list,
  • William Renteria.

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Monday, 31 January 2005