Diesel rail cars.

f2shooter Jan 25, 2014

  1. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

    Evening all,

    I've mentioned once or twice that the HO version of my CBAM&J is about to grow in a big way. In the G scale version of this road I have aquired a Santa Fe diesel rail car that I've teamed up with a heavy weight passenger car. I doubt this combination was ever seen on any road anywhere but it still fascinates me. Is there such a contraption available in HO? Doesn't have to be SF and I've got more passenger cars than I'll ever use but a diesel rail car would be cool. I've seen some street car type units and have a place for one or two on a shelf layout but haven't seen a powered rail car.

    Rick H.
  2. mikelhh

    mikelhh TrainBoard Member

    Is this the sort of thing you mean?


    Lifelike used to make them This is a Lifelike Proto 1000. They are DC and only two axles are powered. Getting more and more costly to buy.

  3. Flashwave

    Flashwave TrainBoard Member

    Or do you mean something like this: [​IMG] Units like Mikelh posted date from the 50s. As a rule, there wasnt quite enough hp to dedicate to pulling unpowered trailers. Some flatlands did and could get away with it, but they usually used lightweight 50ton cars over the MUCH heavier 110ton cars. The older Doodlebugs like above frequently could pull an extra coach or a baggage car, sometimes too. More horsepower in them to do so. They date from the 20s or even a bit earlier and are actually gasoline powered, but are frequently lmped into the diesel railcar category none the less

    Spectrum (Bachmnn) has made them in HO forever it seems. The newest models ade very easy to add DCC and sound to as they have 8pin plugs on the boards
    Sent from my LG-LS970 using Tapatalk
  4. Geep_fan

    Geep_fan TrainBoard Member

    Athearn made RDC's and you can find them at trainshows/ebay pretty cheap. Lifelike/walthers also makes a bunch of RDC's. I haven't seen photos of the two Santa Fe RDC's with anything, but that dosen't mean it didn't happen in their later years as branch units in Kansas. The Budd RDC's had small GM Detroit Diesel 110 engines, which stopped at 6 cylinders and 170hp. Later models had turbos and peaked at around 350hp, so they were limited in the traction department.

    On the other hand, Doodlebugs, like Flashwave shows, have a much more diverse operational background. As built most had small gasoline based engines. In this configuration they could do maybe a trailer coach or single car at best. However the Santa Fe had several Doodlebugs in the later years that got MASSIVE diesels in them. I know of at least 3 that got EMD 567's for prime movers. Several got large Caterpillar based diesels. These doodlebugs from the outside still looked like their former selves, but they had a much larger capacity. I had photos in one of my books of a doodlebug returning to town with not only a coach trailer, but half a dozen 40' boxes full of grain trailing behind. These diesel repowered doodlebugs were some of the last doodlebugs to be retired solely because they could be used for true local service instead of just limited passenger service.
  5. montanan

    montanan TrainBoard Member

    RDC's are cool. That's the top of the line for passenger service on my short line railroad. Sure beats a doodle bug or drovers caboose.

  6. MarkInLA

    MarkInLA Permanently dispatched

    Rick , as you've seen now they are Rail Diesel Cars, not Diesel Rail Cars. Thus, they are RDCs. A side bar to this is, the way I got it is that all self-powered passenger and or passenger-combines are Doodlebugs, not just that one type Morgan is displaying ( though most of us do envision that one first ). A modern (1950-1960s) silver fluted-sided RDC is a Doodlebug too...
  7. trainman-ho

    trainman-ho TrainBoard Member

    The RDC's appear on eBay from time to time, as well as the older "doodle bugs".

    NWSL also produces a kit to get rid of the rubber band drive found on the RDC's too.

    Have a good day!

  8. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

    Thanks for all the information, I had no idea. I like the concept of a small 1-3 unit train running local service. And duly noted, the correct term is Rail Diesel Car. That's what happens when I don't pay close attention. I'll keep an eye out for some HO versions of these units.

    Rick H.

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