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Virginia Rail Cars?


Quill Depot

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Does anyone know about Virginia Rail Cars? My dad used to ride the Hudson line and he said sometimes he got on a car that said Virginia Rail Express. He said they used to go really fast. He used to stand in the vestibule and read the news. Sometimes the doors wouldn't close fully. Does anyone know about these. Can you give me some more info.

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I think I know the cars you were talking about; they were built by Mafersa (a Brazilian company that I believe was at one time a Budd licensee) in the early 1990s and sold in 2004 to ConnDOT. The cars don't have automatic doors and weren't built to run in third rail territory (clearance issues prevent them from running over 25mph south and west of Pelham), so they're used for the most part in Shore Line East with maybe a few in Danbury/Waterbury branch service. I don't know how they could have wound up on the Hudson Line, though, given that they're owned by ConnDOT.

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I think I know the cars you were talking about; they were built by Mafersa (a Brazilian company that I believe was at one time a Budd licensee) in the early 1990s and sold in 2004 to ConnDOT. The cars don't have automatic doors and weren't built to run in third rail territory (clearance issues prevent them from running over 25mph south and west of Pelham), so they're used for the most part in Shore Line East with maybe a few in Danbury/Waterbury branch service. I don't know how they could have wound up on the Hudson Line, though, given that they're owned by ConnDOT.

 

These cars were pre Mafersa car times, there were demotored RDC cars from IIRC MBTA

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Those are converted RDCs. VRE and Caltrain used them till 1999 when they switched to all bi-level operation. Those car ended life on MNRR in 2004 when they were retierd. Only three of them survive to this day. They were rebuilt by Morrison-Knusen in 1988 out of all wrecked RDCs except for three who were ex-SEPTA cars.

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We use these and Bilevels down here in Fort Worth for the TRE commuter rail from Dallas to Fort Worth I think these use one engine per truck

 

No, TRE has ex VIA RDC's (still has their motors in them) and has them on lease to that new DCTA until their brand new DMU's come from Europe.

 

 

Those are converted RDCs. VRE and Caltrain used them till 1999 when they switched to all bi-level operation. Those car ended life on MNRR in 2004 when they were retierd. Only three of them survive to this day. They were rebuilt by Morrison-Knusen in 1988 out of all wrecked RDCs except for three who were ex-SEPTA cars.

 

Some of the ex VRE cars (not the ones MNCR had) made their way to a shortline in Canada (Ontario Southland Railway) for tourist service

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The VRE cars are owned by CDOT for SLE service. When they were aquired, they were sent to Kawasaki in Yonkers for some reason. probably refurbishment. Then they were taken to New Haven. Now you can see them on everyday SLE service.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Jimmy:

 

The cars that you are referring to were Rail Diesel Cars (RDC's) built by the Edward G Budd Company of Philadelphia .PA. in the 1950's. As built they were self-propelled railcars with diesel engines. Over the years as they got older many were converted to standard (unpowered) railroad coaches.

 

Ridership on the Metro-North Hudson Line grew dramatically in the 1990's and even with the deliveries of the Shoreliner I,II, and III orders they was still a need for more equipment. Pending the delivery of the Shoreliner IV's (the ones with the center doors)

The MTA contracted with the Virginia Railway Express to lease ten unpowered RDC's. (2 cabs and 8 trailers.) These ten cars arrived in late 1994 and the first time that I rode them was on November 17, 1994 . They remained on the property until the summer of 1997 though they may not have been used after June 1996 as this was when the Shoreliner IV's started to enter service.

 

As I'm sure you know there were several variants of the RDC's. The RDC-1 was had an all-coach configuration. The RDC-2 had a baggage compartment as well. The RDC-3 had a coach section, a baggage compartment, and an RPO section. Although all the Virginia Railway Express cars had been converted to an all-coach configuration you could still determine the kind by locating at the outside door framing.

 

The cab cars were:

V801 - RDC-2

V802 - RDC-2

 

The eight trailer cars were:

 

V302 - RDC-2

V303 - RDC-3

V307 - RDC-3

V310 - RDC-3

V312 - RDC-1

V313 - RDC-1

V315 - RDC-1

V316 - RDC-1

 

In late 1994 the MTA purchased outright two more de-powered RDC's from VRE the roster numbers were 1401 and 1405.

Sometime in 1996 or 97 two more were purchased and rostered as 1402 and 1416.

 

These latter four cars were intended for use on the Harlem Lines Brewster North - Dover Plains Shuttles.

 

 

I have a complete roster of all RDC's through 1990. I would appreciate it if any one could provide original numbers for the above cars so I can backtrack their histories. Also when were the four 1400 series cars withdrawn from service.

 

If I can give you anymore information please let me know.

 

Larry, RedbirdR33

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