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N Scale - Kato USA - 166-0209 - Rail Diesel Car, RDC-3 - Rock Island - 9003


One of these are for sale right now with a price of: $89.95


N Scale - Kato USA - 166-0209 - Rail Diesel Car, RDC-3 - Rock Island - 9003 Image courtesy of Kato USA Inc.


Brand Kato USA
Stock Number 166-0209
Original Retail Price $80.00
Manufacturer Kato
Image Credit Link
Body Style Kato Rail Diesel Cars
Road/Company Name Rock Island
Road/Reporting Number 9003
Paint Color(s) Silver
Print Color(s) Black
Body Construction Plastic
Coupler Type Kato Operating Knuckle
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
DCC Readiness Friendly
Release Date 2006-08-01
Item Category Light Rail
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype Railcar
Model Variety Budd RDC-3
Prototype Rail Diesel Car, RDC-3
Prototype Manufacturer Name Budd
Prototype Model Name Rail Diesel Car, RDC-3
Prototype Year(s) of Production 1949-1962
Region North America
Era/Epoch Era IV: 1958 - 1978


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Specific Item Information: The Rock Island's first RDCs were two RDC-3's which entered service in August of 1953, running between Oklahoma city and Little Rock. Each train made a daily run of 355 miles... an impressive distance for a single, self propelled unit. This run was even extended one year later to span from Amarillo TX, and Memphis TN, renaming the service to the Choctaw Rocket and earning the RDCs the name "Rockettes" (no, there was no connection to THE rockettes in New York City...). The twin RDC "train" ran over 762 miles... at the time the longest RDC run in the country.

Body Style Information: All models are motorized, have LED directional headlights, and KATO magnetic knuckle coupers. Interiors can be lighted with the optional #11-209 & #11-210 Interior Light Kit with White LED or #11-204 & #11-206 Interior Light Kit with bulb.
Click here for Kato RDC magazine ad

DCC Information: The RDC is DCC friendly for an installation of a Digitrax Digitrax DN143K2 Decoder. Not really drop-in, installation requires a lot of care.

Prototype Information: Commonly known as the "RDC," the motorized Rail Diesel Car generally operated in rural areas where ridership and mail/parcel transport were too low for regular passenger train service. When first introduced, the RDC was also proclaimed to be the savior of branch line and suburban service. It was heavily used as a commuter service workhorse (and still is currently in some locations!).
The Budd Company rolled out the first RDC in the fall of 1949, a single RDC-1 "Budd Demonstrator." Hundreds more would eventually follow for service to railroads throughout North America and around the world (including South America, Australia, Saudi Arabia and even Cuba!). Oddly enough, it was Budd's experience in the production of small yet powerful diesel engines for WWII tanks that eventually lead to the birth of the RDC.
The RDC utilized two compact motors mounted under the car's floor to drive one axle on each truck. Capable of being operated by a motorman from either end of the car, these units could be used independently or combined to create a two- or three-unit consist.
A review of the Budd roster reveals that many RDC cars were operated well into the 1970's and early 1980's, with a small number still in service today!

Four standardized designs were created to reduce the time and expense of custom production
- RDC-1 was strictly passenger-oriented, containing 90 coach seats.
- RDC-2 contained 71 seats and a separate baggage area.
- RDC-3 combined a Railway Post Office with a baggage compartment and 49 seats.
- RDC-4 was a self-contained RPO-Express car.

Read more on Wikipedia.

Road/Company Information:
The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (CRI&P RR) (reporting marks RI, ROCK) was a Class I railroad in the United States. It was also known as the Rock Island Line, or, in its final years, The Rock. At the end of 1970 it operated 7183 miles of road on 10669 miles of track; that year it reported 20557 million ton-miles of revenue freight and 118 million passenger-miles. (Those totals may or may not include the former Burlington-Rock Island Railroad.)

Its predecessor, the Rock Island and La Salle Railroad Company, was incorporated in Illinois on February 27, 1847, and an amended charter was approved on February 7, 1851, as the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad. Construction began October 1, 1851, in Chicago, and the first train was operated on October 10, 1852, between Chicago and Joliet. Construction continued on through La Salle, and Rock Island was reached on February 22, 1854, becoming the first railroad to connect Chicago with the Mississippi River.

In 1980 Rock Island was liquidated. The railroad's locomotives, rail cars, equipment, tracks, and real estate were sold to other railroads or to scrappers. William Gibbons (the trustee) was able to raise more than $500 million in the liquidation, paying off all the railroad's creditors, bondholders and all other debts in full at face value with interest. Henry Crown was ultimately proven correct, as both he and other bondholders who had purchased Rock Island debt for cents on the dollar during the low ebb in prices did especially well.

Read more on Wikipedia and Rock Island Technical Society.

Brand/Importer Information:
KATO U.S.A. was established in 1986, with the first U.S. locomotive model (the GP38-2, in N-Scale) released in 1987. Since that time, KATO has come to be known as one of the leading manufacturers of precision railroad products for the modeling community. KATO's parent company, Sekisui Kinzoku Co., Ltd., is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

In addition to producing ready-to-run HO and N scale models that are universally hailed for their high level of detail, craftsmanship and operation, KATO also manufactures UNITRACK. UNITRACK is the finest rail & roadbed modular track system available to modelers today. With the track and roadbed integrated into a single piece, UNITRACK features a nickel-silver rail and a realistic-looking roadbed. Patented UNIJOINERS allow sections to be snapped together quickly and securely, time after time if necessary.

The Kato U.S.A. office and warehouse facility is located in Schaumburg, Illinois, approximately 30 miles northwest of Chicago. All research & development of new North American products is performed here, in addition to the sales and distribution of merchandise to a vast network of wholesale representatives and retail dealers. Models requiring service sent in by hobbyists are usually attended to at this location as well. The manufacturing of all KATO products is performed in Japan.

Supporters of KATO should note that there is currently no showroom or operating exhibit of models at the Schaumburg facility. Furthermore, model parts are the only merchandise sold directly to consumers. (Please view the Parts Catalog of this website for more specific information.)


Item created by: AlanUS on 2017-08-13 13:45:41. Last edited by AlanUS on 2017-08-14 04:34:01

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