Quick Facts

NameSpeedliner/BUDD Car
Manufacture Date1956
Railroad Of RecordB&O, CSX


Huge improvements were made to the passenger rail experience in the 10 to 15 years proceeding World War II. In 1949, the BUDD company unveiled the Rail Diesel Car, or “RDC” – a self-propelled, streamlined passenger car capable of moving independently, and without aid from a locomotive. These cars made it possible for railroad companies to provide passenger services without assembling new trains. With two GM V-6 engines originally designed for military tanks, the lightweight RDC could run up to 85 miles per hour – considerably faster than other self-propelled units of the time.  

The B&O No. 1961 was one of two RDC diner/coach combination cars purchased in 1956 for the “Daylight Speedliner” service connecting Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The car can carry up to 48 passengers: 24 in the rear coach section, and 24 in the front dining room. Fresh-cooked meals were prepared in the full-stocked kitchen next to the dining space. Of all the RDCs made by the BUDD company, only two – the No. 1961 and its sibling, the No. 1960 – were built with this configuration.   

Despite the speed and comfort offered by the Daylight Speedliner, the long-distance service was discontinued in 1963. The B&O simply could not compete with the growing automobile and airline industries. As a result, all B&O Speedliners were transferred, first to a local commuter service in Washington, DC, and then to a local service in Pittsburgh. In 1970, the B&O No. 1961 was renumbered as the B&O No. 9941.  

10 years later, CSX was formed, and all B&O rolling stock – including the No. 9941 – became CSX property. The RDC was eventually retired from service and donated to the B&O Railroad Museum in 1984. At some point between 1970 and 1984, the car was modified for increased carrying capacity. Today, visitors will see that the car once again bears its original No. 1961 number – the number worn throughout its career with the B&O Daylight Speedliner.


Monthly Tours

Go inside the No. 908

April 10, 13 & 14

Climb aboard the PEPCO No. 43

May 8, 11 & 12

Climb aboard the No. 1961!

June 12, 15 & 16

Go inside the B&O C-1775 Wooden Bobber Caboose

July 10, 13 & 14

Purchase a B&O Membership

for the ultimate ticket to explore every hidden gem in the series!

Did You Know?

The first passenger train ticket in the United States was sold on our historic site in 1830.

Anaheim, CA

The roundhouse was my favorite part, because it gives a true feel for what goes on in a roundhouse—the cars are stationary, but seeing the actual tracks is eye-opening.

Close Search