Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Reader Service Request - Part V

Prince Rupert, February 1958. As brief reminder in case you have just joined the blog, as a young man living in Prince Rupert (1957-1959) I had written a number of letters to the various locomotive manufacturers, requesting information and photographs of their products.

So far I’d received some great materials from Fairbanks-Morse, Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton, and The Budd Company of Philadelphia.

Included in that big bag of goodies from Budd was this reprint of an advertisement that ran in the December 1, 1958 issue of Railway Age. That would be a half century ago this month.

This announcement promoted the “Budd Pioneer Suburbans” electric multiple unit passenger cars, which drew current from an overhead trolley.

“Budd Pioneer III Suburban
Coupled length: 85’
Width: 9’10⅜”
Height above running rail: 12’6⅜”
Track gauge: 4’8½”
Weight: 89,400 lbs (44.7 tons)
Weight (without traction equipment: 69,000 lbs (34.5 tons)
Seating capacity: 128 passengers
Acceleration: To 30 mph in 25 seconds
Deceleration (Emergency): 2.5 mphps (miles per hour per second)
Structure: Stainless Steel

Compared with the Pennsylvania’s present MU cars, these Budd-built stainless steel, air conditioned Pioneer Suburbans are twenty feet longer, provide 77% greater seating capacity (maximum, 128 passengers), are 52,000 pounds lighter, and have 25% faster acceleration with smaller, more compact motors.

Excluding tractive equipment, they weigh on 69,000 pounds. With a stainless steel center sill of 8 square inches cross sectional area, they have withstood 800,000 pounds of compression, and meet AAR
strength and safety standards in every respect.

Each car, before deliver, successfully passed four days of functional and operating tests identical with service requirements.”

Complex Original Engineering
Design and construction of these cars called for a large amount of engineering, both in the cars’ structure and items obtained from suppliers. For example, considerable engineering costs were involved in adapting cast steel trucks and traction equipment to the Pioneer III car body design. These solutions of engineering problems, which need not be repeated, will be reflected in lower costs on subsequent cars, such as the forty-four the Pennsylvania has on option. The cost of tractive equipment amounted to almost one-fourth of the total cost of these cars.”

Left Photo: Budd designed lightweight truck, with air suspension, externally mounted disc brakes and Rolokroron anti-wheel slide device. Three of the cars are equipped with these trucks, providing a saving of 4,000 pounds per car over the three equipped with more conventional trucks.

Right Photo: Floors, walls, ceiling – even the upholstery of the flip-over seats, are of plastic. Tinted glass windows need no shades.

‘Sleek, Smart, and Stainless Steel’
That is the apt title of an article describing these cars in the July-August issue of the Pennsylvania’s house-organ, “The Pennsy.” The article continues: They are designed not only to give passengers a swift comfortable ride, but also to cut operating and maintenance costs.”

Ample basis for this forecast is found in the cars’ stainless steel structure. It is on record that cars constructed of stainless steel have traveled four and a half million miles without a major overhaul. And, of course, the plastic interiors and seat upholstery are superior to paint and cloth in minimizing maintenance costs.

We are proud of these cars, and are confident they will exceed the hopes of the Pennsylvania.

Budd - The Budd Company - Philadelphia 15, Pa.

Sales Offices: 2450 Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia 32. Red Lion and Verree Roads, Philadelphia 15. 80E. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago 4. 230 Park Avenue, New York 17. 111 Sutter Street, San Francisco 4.”

In addition, there was included in the package, an invitation to “Inspect the Pennsylvania’s Pioneer Suburban Coach, On Display Today, at the foot of Stairway 5B at Pennsylvania Station … open for inspection from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.”

However, there is no mention of the date!

The Budd Company, after a long a variegated career, was sold off to Bombardier of Canada in 1987.

Yet another product not made in the U.S.A. What a shame.

To catch up, see:
+ Reader Service Request
+ Reader Service Request – Part II
+ Reader Service Request – Part III
+ Reader Service Request – Part IV

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