BRMX 6126

Built by the Budd Company, Red Lion Plant, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 1955

Model: RDC-1, Phase 1c

Serial Number: 6121

Weight: 113,120lbs

BRMX 6126 is a 90-seat, self-propelled passenger car that does not require a traditional locomotive. The Rail Diesel Car (RDC) concept was pioneered by the Edward G. Budd manufacturing company of Philadelphia. The Budd Company specialized in the fabrication of stainless steel components for the automotive business among other industries. It was extraordinarily successful in applying its unique and durable "shot-weld" process to railcar building. During the post-WWII era, railroads faced severe competion for passenger traffic from automobiles and airlines. Looking for a modern and efficent rail car to attract riders, the self-propelled, air-conditioned passenger car concept was a revolution during the 1950's and kept rail passenger service alive in many areas of the country, including the densely settled northeast. In the Berkshires, all three railroads serving the region operated the RDC. The New York Central ran RDC's to North Adams, Springfield, Pittsfield and Albany; the New Haven between Danbury, CT and Pittsfield and the Boston & Maine to North Adams from Boston's North Station. 

 

In addition to Budd's durable, stainless steel body, the Detroit Diesel Division of General Motors was the second reason the RDC concept was a success. Developed during WWII for application in tanks, GM designed a propulsion system that consisted of a 6-cylinder diesel engine paired with a hydraulic transmission. For rail application, the power team was mated to a Dana-Spicer drive gear driven by a drive shaft. The RDC is equipped with two GM Detroit Diesel Model 6-110 engines and Allison "Hydra-Matic" Transmissions. With progressive concepts such as redundant propulsion & heating systems, florescent lighting and air-conditioning, the RDC was a tremendous success and popular with both passengers and railroad management alike. 

The Boston & Maine Railroad had the largest fleet of RDC's and 6126 was part of the largest single order for RDC's placed by a railroad and traveled all over New England. In 1976, the car was transferred to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and worked in the Boston commuter pool until it was retired in 1989 after an impressive 34 years of continuous service. 6126 was sold to the Cape Cod Railroad, beginning a new career in tourist passenger service and later sold to the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad in Unity, Maine. In 2014, the BSRM acquired 6126 and has since mechanically restored the "Buddliner" to full, operational condition. Presently, 6126 is operating on BSRM's Hoosac Valley line - restoring New York Central's "Beeliner Service" on one of the first routes in the country to receive RDC's in revenue service in June of 1951. BSRM's mechanical forces continue to improve 6126 as time and resources permit, eventually returning the unit to original or inspired Boston & Maine livery. 

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