Production: 1957 & 1958
The Rail Diesel Car (RDC) is based upon the real-life Budd companies RDC's made for commuter service in the US during the 1950s. All Lionel RDC's have the Baltimore & Ohio roadname and are an excellent model of the real-life diesel.
Lionel's model is commonly referred to as the Budd Car. During the postwar era, Lionel produced four Budd cars -- two motorized and two non-powered units. Surprisingly, the non-powered units are much harder to locate than the powered version and the 2550 is the most difficult -- almost scarce -- to locate of the four postwar RDC cars.
Of the four RDC cars produced by Lionel, the 2550 model is the only model of a baggage / mail RDC car. The other three models are solely passenger versions. Consequently, the 2550 has become the most sough-after postwar RDC car and will command a significant premium over the other three cars.
Standard features of the 2550 RDC include: silver painted body with blue lettering, operating couplers at each end, interior illumination via three interior lights plus window silhouttes and an ornamental horn on each end.
During the postwar era, Lionel produced four RDC's. Each car had its own RDC numberboard on the side. The following is a list of the Lionel catalogue number and RDC number associated to the item:
- 400, powered unit: RDC-1
- 404, powered unit: RDC-4
- 2550, non-powered unit: RDC-4
- 2559, non-powered unit: RDC-9
Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
Only Known Variation - Shown in first photo above - All 2550 RDC's are painted silver with blue lettering.