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Budd Company

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:''For the fictional character Budd, from the 2003/2004 movie Kill Bill, see Budd (Kill Bill)'' The '''Budd Company''' (now '''ThyssenKrupp Budd''') is a metal fabricator and major supplier of body components to the automobile industry. The company is headquartered in Troy, Michigan. It was founded in 1912 by Edward G. Budd. Edward Budd's fame came from his invention of the 'shotweld' technique for joining pieces of stainless steel without damaging the anti-corrosion properties of the stainless steel.

A railroad legend
Image:BuddMichelineLafayette.jpeg thumb|300px|The first Budd passenger railcar, the '''Lafayette''', 1932 From the 1930s until 1989 The Budd Company was also a leading manufacturer of stainless steel streamliner streamlined passenger rolling stock for a number of railroads. After briefly dabbling with French Micheline rubber-tyred technology, they built the ''Pioneer Zephyr'' for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad in 1934, and hundreds of streamlined lightweight stainless steel passenger cars for new trains in the USA in the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1950s Budd built a set of two-story or high-level cars for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Santa Fe's El Capitan (passenger train) ''El Capitan'' and ''Super Chief'' passenger trains, which became the prototypes for the Amtrak Superliner (railcar) Superliner cars of the 1980s. Budd also built two-story ''gallery'' passenger cars for Chicago-area commuter service on the Milwaukee Road, Burlington Route, and Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Rock Island lines duing the 1960s and 1970s; most of these cars are still in service on today's Metra routes. Stainless steel Budd cars originally built for the Canadian Pacific Railway's 1955 train ''The Canadian'' are still in service with Via Rail Via Rail Canada.

Train in one car
In 1949, Budd introduced the Rail Diesel Car or RDC, a stainless steel self-propelled 'train in one car' which prolonged rail service on many lightly populated railway lines, but also provided a flexible, air conditioned car for suburban commuter service. More than 300 RDCs were built. Some RDCs are still in service in Canada, the USA and Australia. One example is OnTrack in Syracuse, New York. In the 1960's, Budd built the Pioneer III (railcar) Pioneer III electric m.u. coach for intercity travel. Six were built and were purchased by the former Pennsylvania Railroad, but in 1966, these Pioneer III cars, later called "Silverliner I" cars, were replaced with the "Silverliner II" cars, which used the Pioneer III body, but with much improvements, for Philadelphia-area commuter rail service on both the PRR and Reading Company lines. Budd was also contracted for building the original ''Metroliner'' m.u. coaches for Washington-New York City service on the Northeast Corridor, but has been replaced with more traditional locomotive-hauled systems. The Silverliner II cars, still in service (but is slated to be replaced with newer "Silverliner V" cars), has a top speed of 100 m.p.h., while the old Metroliner m.u. cars traveled at speeds of 125 m.p.h., although they were slated for 150 m.p.h. service--a feat now possible with the new ''Acela'' trainsets.

Almond Joys
In 1960. Budd manufactured the first stainless steel production subway cars for Philadelphia's Market-Frankford Line. 270 cars (nicknamed the ''Almond Joys'' for the 4 ventilators on top of the roof of each car) were jointly owned by the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Transportation Company (now SEPTA). 46 single units and 112 married pairs (the pairs were of "mixed" marriage because the odd-numbered car came with General Electric motors and equipment was permanently coupled to the even-numbered car, which had Westinghouse motors and equipment). These cars were replaced with more modern air-conditioned units, although some cars were retrucked (the Market-Frankford line is a broad-gauge line) and used on the Norristown High Speed Line (a standard railroad gague line) until they were replaced in the mid-1990's.

Automobile innovations
In 1966, Budd designed and manufactured a front disc brake system for Chrysler and Imperial automobiles, used for the 1967 and 1968 model years. Budd also built two series of "L" cars for the Chicago Transit Authority, the CTA 2200 series 2200s (19691970) and CTA 2600 series 2600s (19811987). The New York City Subway R32 (1964-1965), Long Island Rail Road/Metro-North Railroad M-1 (19681973/M2 (1973-1976)/M3 (1984-1986), NJ Transit Arrow III (1978), Baltimore Metro Subway and Miami Metrorail cars (1983) were also built by Budd. All of Amtrak's 492 Amfleet and 150 Amfleet II cars were built by Budd in 1977 and 1980/1981. The Amfleet body was recycled for usage in the ''SPV2000'', a modernized RDC which was very problematic, saw only three buyers (Amtrak, Metro-North, and Connecticut Department of Transportation ConnDOT), and saw very premature retirements. The fallout from the SPV2000 furthered the decline of the company. In the early 1980s, Budd reorganized its rail operations under the name '''Transit America''', this name appearing on the builderplates of the Baltimore/Miami cars and Chicago's later 2600s (but not the LIRR/Metro-North M3s). The new name did not save the company, as in 1987 Budd ended all railcar production and sold its rail designs to Bombardier.

External links

- Budd Company official site Category:Rolling stock manufacturers Category:1912 establishments {{US-rail-stub}}

   
 


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