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Buda Inspection Cars on Union Pacific

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This file was last updated on December 20, 2015.

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(This is a work in progress; research continues.)

Overview

Buda inspection cars were known as Model 619, which Buda started building in 1928. It appears that these Buda inspection cars were used as a high-end speeders, used by managers and supervisors. They were considerably more comfortable than the average track maintenance handcar or motorized speeder. In later years, UP apparently used them with rail detection equipment before they converted OSL M-66 to track test car DC-2 in November 1951.

Buda Foundry & Manufacturing Company, located in Harvey, Illinois, built all manner of track maintenance equipment, including rail jacks and tools. They made small gasoline engines during the 1910s and 1920s. They made handcar trailers, and walking beam handcars, under the Harvey brand name.

Photos suggest that there were two body styles used on the Buda inspection cars. Both styles were Buda Model 619 cars. UP B-4 (photo below) is the earlier body, introduced in 1928, with just one door on each side and separate interior seats. The later body style, introduced in 1932, as shown on UP B-9 (photo below), was equipped with additional doors, and had bench seats. Both styles seated 11 persons, plus the driver.

Although none are known to have been in service on Union Pacific, a third body style was built by Buda, possibly in the mid 1930s. These cars had a fully enclosed "full length" body with a flat front, in three separate capacities seating 14, 23 and 27 passengers. Photos show that AT&SF and American Association of Railroads owned these fully-enclosed Buda cars.

Although various Google searches reveal information about the Buda company in general, nothing has yet been found about motorized Buda speeder cars, or these specialized Buda inspection cars owned by UP.

These Buda inspection cars are not shown in the UP Equipment Record ledger book.

UP Buda Cars

UP B-1 to B-19 (?)

(View a photo of UP B-4 by Otto Perry at Denver Public Library)

(View a photo of UP B-9 by Union Pacific at LaSalle, Colorado)

Mark Amfahr wrote about UP B-10 on May 28, 2014:

On a U.P. dispatcher's sheet Oct 19, 1956 it shows a piece of equipment identified as "B-10" operating from Green River to Ogden. The only notation is "fire inspector". It used a conductor-pilot but no engineer. It ran from Green River to Ogden in about 6 hours, about the same amount of time as a hot Forwarder train would take, so it was moving right along.

I would have expected to find critters like that on secondary mainlines, on branches, and in places like LaSalle. But it's amazing to me that cars like that were out running around on UP's high-speed, double track mainlines, especially on the busy Overland Route in the 1950s, mingling with the Streamliner fleets, etc. The dispatcher's sheet I reviewed shows car B-10 running from Green River to Ogden Oct 19, 1956, for example. The note says they were doing a "fire inspection", but I'm not sure if that would have been adjoining forest land, ROW ditches, ties, bridges, coal chutes? As I'd mentioned, those cars could run pretty fast, running GR to OG in 6 hours (including stops) just like the expedited freight trains did.

OSL Buda Cars

OSL B-20 to B-29 (?)

(View a photo of UP B-21 at East Los Angeles on January 1, 1956, painted yellow and gray; Trainorders.com, June 9, 2010; subscription required)

There is a photo of UP B-24 in S. Kip Farrington's Railroading From Coast to Coast, published in 1976, page 189. The photo shows Buda car B-24 sitting at the Ketchum (Sun Valley), Idaho, while being used to take the author from Pocatello to Sun Valley and return on November 15, 1947.

OWRR&N Buda Cars

OWRR&N B-30 to B-39 (?)

Gordon McCulloch wrote about B-30 in his A History of Union Pacific Steam, page xi:

First mention of Buda “B-Cars” was found in The Union Pacific Magazine, September 1930, with a short article and photo of OWRR&N B-30. At that time, OSL also had one and Union Pacific had two. The article states they had seating for nine, and had four speeds ahead and reverse.

Overland medallions stayed with most until the end. These were inspection cars and some were used to pull a rail detector trailer. Originally they were passenger car green but were repainted armour yellow (seen here) when it was adopted for passenger equipment.

Jim Ehernberger offers that “B” numbering below 20 was on UP, the 20s were on OSL, the 30s on OWRR&N and the 40s were on the LA&SL. The Budas were being retired circa mid 1960s.

LA&SL Buda Cars

LA&SL B-40 to B-49 (?)

(View a photo of UP B-41 on LA&SL in June 1943; Trainorders.com, January 9, 2008; subscription required) (Being used by the company photographer to document the newly installed CTC on LA&SL in 1943)

Sources

Archived Buda page at Reocities.com, archived from the former Geocities service, and was among the thousands of personal web sites that disappeared when Yahoo shut down Geocities in October 2009.

(Read more about Buda Cars at the recovered Reocities web site)

Multiple message threads on Trainorders.com

More Information

Buda Model 619 Catalog, dated July 1930 -- Compiled from images shared by Evan Werkema on Trainorders.com, on April 5, 2014 (PDF; 5 pages; 1.5MB).

(Link to the Buda Model 619 Catalog; Trainorders.com, April 5, 2014; subscription required)

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