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Date: 02/12/03 16:40
SPV Question
Author: Viewliner_2300

I know about the Budd SPV\'s ("Seldom Powered Vehicles") of which very few were made, and didn\'t last too long until being retired/rebuilt/scapped or converted to "Constitution Coaches". But am curious as to how many SPVs ran on a typical consist, was it one? two? four? I\'m curious as to this, and would appreciate an answer. Thanks.

Date: 02/12/03 16:45
Re: SPV Question
Author: ellissimon

In Amtrak service, I saw them typically with 1-2 SPVs on the Springfield - New Haven run. On Metro North, I saw them with three or two cars.

Date: 02/12/03 16:58
Re: SPV Question
Author: Viewliner_2300

Thanks for your help, does anyone have any additional comments about the SPV\'s or their consists?

Date: 02/12/03 18:28
Re: SPV Question
Author: knotch10

The theory was that the SPVs would be towed by Amfleet trains between Washington and New Haven, then operate under their own power between New Haven and Springfield. This happened for a short time. I don\'t remember the exact details, but FRA disallowed the operation of the SPVs being towed with their drive shafts engaged, which precluded their being towed between Washington and New Haven. They then became shuttle trains between New Haven and Springfield, but were unreliable in that service, hence the nickname Seldom Powered Vehicles.

Date: 02/12/03 18:58
Re: SPV Question
Author: Amfleet

I beleive many of them operate on Shoreline East between New London and New Haven. However, they are de-motorized and are pulled by a locomotive.

Date: 02/12/03 19:17
Re: SPV Question
Author: railfan400

I remember ConnDOT car 50, which was in Amtrak colors but without Amtrak lettering, in service solo on Danbury-South Norwalk shuttle trains. Car 50 was intended for this line. Also remember occasional one or two car SPV trains on Waterbury branch. I was on a Springfield branch 2 car SPV when one car gave up the ghost, filling with diesel exhaust. We sat outside Meriden until the next scheduled train pushed us the rest of the way.

Date: 02/13/03 06:02
Re: SPV Question
Author: rresor

At the start of my railroad career, about a lifetime ago, I attended the "rollout" of the SPV-2000 at Washington Union Station. This was January 1978, during the Transportation Research Board annual meeting. Budd put on a nice show, with a beautiful buffet spread and open bar in the just-restored Presidential Waiting Room (the National Visitor Center conversion of US had just been completed).

The prototype SPV had a curious fiberglass shroud grafted onto one end, apparently to make it look streamlined and high speed. Budd was marketing it not just for commuter but also for intercity service (just like the original RDC!).

The only sales, IIRC, were the Constitution Liners for ConnDOT and Amtrak and a "Royal Train" for the Sultan of Morocco.

Date: 02/13/03 06:24
Re: SPV Roster complete
Author: jaap

actualy more than a few cars were built.
serial numbers were :

2000 Budd SPV demonstrator (cutup at red lion plant Pa.)

2001 part of royal Morocco train
2002 all 5 cars reported destroyed or buried
2003 \'\'\'\'\'\'\'
2004 \'\'\'\'\'\'\'
2005 \'\'\'\'\'\'\'
2006 \'\'\'\'\'\'\'

2007 FRA T-10 geometry test car , tobe or has been destryed at pueblo.

Conndot owned 13 cars, exept for #50 leased to Amtrk for springfield service later modified as Constitution liners for Shoreline east (CDOT)

2008 #999
2009 #50 stripped at Cedar Hill.
2010 #998
2011 #997
2012 #996
2013 #995
2014 #994
2015 #993
2016 #992
2017 #991
2018 #990
2019 #989
2020 #988

next 10 cars MTA (Metro North) stored at Croton East Yard owned by CDOT for conversion to Constitution liners , plan never carried out.

2021 #290
2022 #291
2023 #292
2024 #293 at museum in Williamantic Ct.
2025 #294
2026 #295
2027 #296
2028 #297
2029 #298
2030 #299

#2031 bought by MTA for parts , uncompleted shell at Croton East Yard.

Owned by Delaware Car Co , uncompleted shells at willminton Del shop.

ten more shells were built but never completed

Date: 02/13/03 11:43
SPV distinction
Author: 5711

Thanks jaap for the roster.

The Constitution Liners had the distinction of being part of the last passenger train to operate through the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, CT. It was an excursion for the Yale-Harvard Regatta (reprinted from an old post below).

All passenger trains are still embargoed from running through the base and security personnel ride NR-2 (the weekday freight). All Providence & Worcester excursions out of Plainfield turn back at Red Top (one mile north of the base).

The Regatta Train is now run on the west bank of the Thames and uses Vermont Railway and Green Mountain excursion equipment on the New England Central. The next one will be on Saturday, June 7th, 2003.

-PRR 5711

Discussion thread at:


REGATTA TRAIN: Capsule History as of 3 JUN, 2001

On 3JUN01 an historic event returned to the Thames River Valley. The Yale-Harvard Regatta had an observation train as part of the race between the two collegiate rivals. Shore Line East provided the train consisting of two GP40PH-2s (6696 and 6699) painted New Haven "McGinnis" colors and six de-engined SPV2000 coaches plus one club car version. The Sierra Club provided onboard staff and Amtrak, Shore Line East and the Providence & Worcester Railroads provided crews.

The route began in New Haven, boarding the Yale faithful and headed east to Old Saybrook. I boarded there to be part of the staff and the train left form New London to pick up the rival Harvard folks who had come in from Boston. From there it was up the east bank of the Thames to Norwich. The P&W runs occasional excursions on this and other of it\'s lines. The last Regatta Train was before 1971 (the inception of Amtrak) and a failed attempt to resurrect it occurred around 1980. The Valley Railroad had been here with the Chinese steamer in 1995.

The Yale-Harvard competition has run 136 times since 1852 (114 on the Thames) and is America\'s oldest Intercollegiate athletic event. Trains once ran up both banks of the Thames and crowds lined the right of ways of the New Haven and Central Vermont. The trains had over 16 flat cars each fitted with bleachers and a canopy. In 1925, spectators numbered over 100,000. Today; three races, three round trips from "Red Top" (the Haavad yaad at Gales Ferry) past the Submarine Base to Groton and a trainload of 250 passengers an Amtrak conductor would take a day off to serve.

Postscript: Beginning 11SEP01, the P&W Norwich Line through the Sub Base
was embargoed to passenger trains. Unless the New England Central will host the
2002 Regatta Train (on the west bank of the Thames) an era will have truly ended.

Date: 02/14/03 15:00
Re: SPV Roster complete
Author: allblack

So only one SPV ran in Amtrak service?
Or did I miss something regarding the roster.

It\'s a shame these cars didn\'t work out. The RDC\'s amd SPV\'s were great concepts. They can really add traffic from feeder lines.

In Denmark they have modern, fast and comfortable diesel cars. I enjoyed them very much but don\'t know if they have reliability problems. The first class section was 1-2 seating with beverage service. The engineer sat in the center of the large control compartment in a space-age-looking cockpit. I believe the control ends can be MU\'ed but not pass-through for passengers. As I recall they had "Star-Trek" sliding doors (glass) between the passenger sections and between the first class section and the engineer\'s compartment (solid).

Should Amtrak or the commuter agencies ever wish to revisit RDC\'s they might do well to look to Denmark or Europe for equipment.

Date: 02/14/03 17:17
Re: SPV Roster complete
Author: railfan400

SPV cars 988-999 were in Amtrak service. The thirteenth ConnDOT car, #50, was for New Haven Line Danbury branch service. Amtrak and VIA did demonstrate a pair of three car Danish-built IC3 Flexliner diesel sets ca.1996-1998. The control areas do fold aside to allow passage between sets when MUed. The two sets tested belonged to Israel\'s railway.

Date: 02/14/03 18:07
Re: SPV Roster complete
Author: RDG484

Colorado Railcar Co. is currently marketing a DMU that is currently on tour. See the most recent issue of Trains magazine for a photo.

Date: 02/15/03 07:25
Re: SPV Roster complete
Author: Viewliner_2300

From what I hear, from someone who worked the FFT and now works for Amtrak, the builder of the DMU doesn\'t make very good quality cars.

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