Rolling Stock and Radio Control Cars

Radio control cars were used to allow the engineer in the lead locomotive to control mid-train helpers. This practice allowed the Southern to operate longer trains with fewer crews.  


This radio car was built in 1965 on the frame of a Fairbanks Morse road switcher--note the trucks. Photo courtesy Warren Calloway.

These radio cars were built in 1966 and numbered 5900-5949. The 90 prefix was added in later years. They had GSI-BX trucks with 33" wheels and an Ellcon hand brake. Photo courtesy Jim Six.

This broadside view provides excellent information on the spacing of the lettering and numerals. Photo courtesy Chris Howard.



The 90 prefix was added in the early 1970s before the mu connectors were moved to the lower location. Photo courtesy Warren Calloway.


Although not the best photograph, this shot clearly shows the spacing of the 4-digit numbers and the original location of the mu connector on the upper left side of the door. 

After the 1982 merger the radio cars eventually received the NS paint scheme. Photo courtesy Jim Six.


Here's a close-up of the right end of the car. Photo courtesy Chris Howard.


Once F-units were removed from use at mid-train slaves the mu connector was moved to a much lower position on the lower right side of the door. Note the conduit going down to it. Photo courtesy Jim Six.


The "A end" of the radio car was essentially identical to the B end but did not have the brake wheel and the ladder on the left side was shorter. Photo courtesy Chris Howard.


This is the "B end" of a radio car. Note the addition of the mu connector to the right of the door. Photo courtesy Chris Howard.

Here's a good closeup of the end details. Photo courtesy Chris Howard.


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Copyright Larry Puckett 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001.
Last revised:
July 13, 2001