December 2, 2011

Our New RDC Goes For A Test Drive

The first of six refurbished RDCs (Rail Diesel Cars) has hit the tracks for its inaugural run! And in honour of this, we are hosting our inaugural video: footage taken of the road test. The new baggage car can be seen rolling up and down the rails in Moncton, giving its new lower-emission N-14 Cummins engine a whirl.

"We are really excited to have the first of these new cars out on the tracks. As was expected for the first trial, there have been a few minor issues... but these should be resolved quickly.  I really am looking forward to the day we have our first complete trainset in service, hopefully by mid-2012", exclaimed Daniel Nobert, Senior Manager, Equipment at VIA.

In its former life, the newly overhauled RDC was a CP baggage car. It was purchased by VIA, gutted and rebuilt for use as a baggage car to run in the train set betweenWhite River and Sudbury, in Ontario.

As a little backgrounder, RDCs are self-propelled. Each car has its own engine, transmission and brakes which is a more efficient way to run a short train. There are only 3 cars in each set, and they are used for day trips in Ontario, as mentioned above, as well as between Victoria and Courtenay, in British Columbia. The RDCs are also lighter than our other cars (such as the LRCs or HEP cars), so a 90 ton locomotive would really be “overkill” for such a short, light train. Having self-propelled cars is a simple and more fuel efficient way to run these trains.

Other improvements to the new baggage car include:

  • 4 new overhead heaters
  • new bike racks added to the baggage cars
  • new batteries
  • new air compressor
  • rebuilt brake valves
  • new self contained auxiliary power unit
  • video camera added, for recording operation on the track

Enjoy the video, read the next article "The RDC Fleet Rebuild: Work That Body" and check back for more articles, images and videos about VIA’s transformation.