my ESPEE MODELERS ARCHIVE
California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996
Southern Pacific RDC-1
Only 1 unit ever, #10
delivered March 1954 - last run April 30th 1971
Another image courtesy the ABPR Archive at Railfan.net: 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.
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