HO Scale Absolute RDC-1, RDC-2, and RDC-3

HO Scale Absolute RDC-1, RDC-2 and RDC-3

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The RDC-2 and RDC-3 – Woo-hoo!

Rapido is proud to announce the second run of our acclaimed Absolute RDC model.

Budd offered its RDC in five major variations. The RDC-1 contained coach seating only. The RDC-2 was a combination coach-baggage. The RDC-3 was a combination baggage-mail-coach. The RDC-9 was a trailing coach unit with no cab and only one motor. And the RDC-4 was a shorty RPO/baggage only.

The first run of our RDC-1 was our best selling powered model ever and the second run will comprise the much requested RDC-2 and RDC-3 variants along with new roadnames on the RDC-1. All three will be available in either Phase I or Phase II variants appropriate to roadname.

RDC-2 with Baggage Section Bodged-together pre-production sample shown.
Note the baggage door stirrup step is missing from the sample. It will of course be installed on the production models.

The Budd RDC (Rail Diesel Car) was a hugely popular passenger car and locomotive in one, purchased in large quantities in the 1950s by railroads eager to reduce the losses from offering passenger services. Economical to purchase and operate, the RDC was a huge success. There are still RDCs in mainline service today.

The RDC-2 contained a 17-foot baggage section followed by a coach section with seating for 70 passengers. It contained a common toilet at the end of the passenger section. The baggage section had a 4-foot wide door on each side.

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RDC-3 with RPO and Baggage Sections.
Bodged-together pre-production sample shown.

The RDC-3 contained a 17-foot Railway Post Office (RPO) section followed by a 17-foot 9-inch baggage section followed by a coach section with seating for 48 passengers. It contained a common toilet at the end of the passenger section and a toilet in the RPO section.

A full history on the RDC can be found in our RDC Master Class, available by clicking here or on the image below.

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We can’t forget the RDC-1, which is being offered in new paint schemes in this production run. The RDC-1 was the most common RDC, with a massive seating capacity of 90 passengers. Rapido saved a real RDC-1 from the scrapper and is currently restoring it. You can read more about that by clicking here.

Our samples of the RDC-2 and RDC-3 were hand-painted in the office and don’t have our proper stainless steel finish on them. Below is a factory-painted RDC-1 with our unique stainless steel finish. You can really see the difference.

The ubiquitous Phase 1 RDC-1.

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You can see from the photos that this model is unlike any RDC model ever produced in any scale. The full interior is just stunning, as is the jam-packed underbody detail and end chains. If you thought your 60-year-old model with rubber-band drive or your 15-year-old model with moulded-on grab irons is “good enough,” you may want to think again…

This is the first RDC model ever produced with a full interior, including see-through armrests. There is no motor visible through the windows or tinted windows needed to hide what’s inside. Models will feature correct seat and wall colors along with unmatched underbody detail. No blobs here!

RDC-3 interior includes a fully-detailed Railway Post Office.
Hand-painted pre-production sample shown.

The second run includes many completely new RDC paint schemes and versions, including Alaska RR, Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe’s unique rebuilt RDC pair, BC Rail blue, Chesapeake & Ohio, Chicago & North Western, Great Northern, Lehigh Valley, New York Central (early scheme), Northern Pacific, Reading, Rock Island, VIA Rail Canada (blue stripe) and Western Pacific (Zephyrette). It also includes RDC-2s and RDC-3s to match our first-run RDCs owned by Boston & Maine, Long Island Railroad, New Haven and Reading.

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Our Canadian customers will notice a lack of Canadian paint schemes in this run. With so many Canadian products being delivered in 2018 (including our hugely popular SW1200RS), we did not want you to skip models that you want due to budgetary constraints. Please rest assured that the next run of RDCs will contain RDC-2s and RDC-3s in the other Canadian paint schemes.

We are pleased to announce the unique and unmistakable pair of Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Budd RDCs: DC-191 and DC-192. As they almost always ran together, this special pair is available in a limited-edition two-pack.

Santa Fe Rebuilt RDC DC-191. Photo courtesy Ed Saalig Collection.

Following a major derailment in 1956, both units received an extensive rebuild at AT&SF’s own Topeka shops. In mid-1957, the cars emerged like new, still retaining their striking Warbonnet paint scheme on opposing ends. DC-192, which was the leading car in the accident, was rebuilt with a substantial baggage section while DC-191 retained its full-coach interior. DC-191 is currently being restored at the Orange Empire Railway Museum.

Rapido’s DC-191 and DC-192 models are the first available in HO scale to accurately recreate their unique appearance. These two units have all the amazing features of our other RDCs, with the addition of:

  • All new tooling including baggage section in DC-192
  • Reinforced cab ends with striking Warbonnet paint
  • Correct cast trucks as applied during rebuild
  • Rebuilt pilot and stirrup steps
  • Operating ATSF door-mounted Gyralite

The MSRP for the set is $450 (DC/Silent) or $650 (DC/DCC/Sound).

For every direct order of this set, we will donate 5% of the retail price to the restoration of DC-191.


If you haven’t seen our RDC models in person, I recommend you ask your modelling buddies if they have one you can see. They need to be seen to believed.

Our HO Scale Model Features:

  • Designed from 3D scans of the real RDCs (Phase 1 and Phase 2)
  • Accurate Phase 1 and Phase 2 details and fluting
  • Correct Phase 1b, Phase 1c and Phase 2 roof blisters
  • Numerous American and Canadian paint schemes
  • Rapido’s acclaimed “stainless steel” finish
  • Full interior detail with constant lighting and no motor visible through the windows
  • Two five-pole, skew-wound motors hidden in the actual engine bays
  • Crazy amount of underbody detail
  • Separate underframe piping and conduit
  • Lit number boards and class lights
  • Working nose door Gyralite and ditch lights where appropriate
  • Fabricated or cast truck sideframes, as appropriate
  • Minimum Radius 18″
  • All wheels powered
  • Separate grab irons and front door chains
  • Etched-metal roof grills and fan covers
  • Wrap-around nose fluting, if appropriate
  • Separate diaphragms, if appropriate
  • Loads of roadname-specific details
  • DC Silent or DC/DCC/Sound
  • Models will have either Detroit or Cummins engine sounds as appropriate.
  • Models will have standard bell or E-bell as appropriate.
  • Rapido RDC Underframe with CRAZY underbody detail – a Rapido hallmark.

Despite rising production costs, the MSRP remains unchanged at $325 (DC/DCC/Sound) or $225 (DC/Silent).

Order deadline is February 9, 2018.
Delivery is later in 2018.

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You can order your new RDCs from your local dealer or directly from Rapido.

We are initially tooling up the RDC-1, RDC-2 and RDC-3, each in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 configurations. To answer the questions many of you might be thinking right now: If the RDC-1, RDC-2 and RDC-3 do well, we will produce the RDC-9. If the RDC-1, RDC-2 and RDC-3 do exceptionally well, we will produce the RDC-4. So please order your RDC models by the dozen!

Budd Company photograph, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania Collection

Budd Company photograph, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania Collection

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What About Previous Releases?
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