Nearby where Union Pacific #844 was displayed at the west end of Albina Yard, I spotted this RDC-3, lettered WURR #31. This is one of the three RDC's used for the Lewis & Clark Explorer Train from Portland to Astoria during the summers of 2003-2005. All three were purchased by the Wallowa Union Railroad for excursion service in eastern Oregon, but this one had yet to make the trip to join the other two. Apparently, it needed some work first.
RDCs are self-propelled passenger cars known as Rail Diesel Cars, and were introduced by the Budd Company in 1949 and built throughout the 1950s. Budd was a major builder of railcars at the time, specializing in stainless steel streamlined passenger cars. RDC's are self-propelled, powered by 2 Detroit Diesel Series 110 V-6 engines, each producing about 275 horsepower, giving each RDC about 550 horsepower. This is enough power for an RDC to move itself rather quickly, however an RDC does not have much power for pulling additional cars. As a result, each RDC in a consist must be operational. RDCs have a control cab at each end, and a single RDC can control all the other RDCs coupled to it. The hump in the roof at the center of an RDC contains the exhaust and cooling for the engines, freeing up space inside the cars for passengers.
This particular RDC is an RDC-3 model, featuring a section at one end of the car for baggage and mail. It was originally built by Budd in July 1956 for the Great Northern Railway as #2350, the Great Northern's only RDC. The RDC-3 #2350 became Burlington Northern #2350 in 1970 and later became Amtrak #43. The British Columbia Railway purchased the car in January 1976 to replace their original #BC-31, which was destroyed in a fire on November 26, 1973. This car, along with two others, was purchased by the state of Oregon's Department of Transportation from the British Columbia Railway, which had ended its passenger service in 2002, and became ORRX #31. Like the other two, it is still in BC Rail paint, with only the BC Rail heralds replaced by the Lewis & Clark Explorer heralds. When the Lewis & Clark Explorer ceased operation in October 2005, the three cars were put up for sale, and were eventually sold to the Wallowa Union Railroad.
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