New Haven No. 140 Roger Williams at the Danbury Railway Museum.

(Mike Powell, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)


New Haven herald.


The Roger Williams was a streamlined, six car, lightweight, diesel multiple unit (DMU) passenger train, built by the Budd Company in 1956 for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. The train was based on Budd's successful RDC DMU cars. The end two cars were equipped with streamlined locomotive style cabs and noses, resembling those on the Fairbanks-Morse P-12-42 Diesel hydraulic locomotives. The four intermediate cars lacked operating controls and cabs.

For operation into Grand Central Terminal, the cars were each equipped with third-rail shoes, and small traction motors, allowing them to operate into the terminal under electric power, with their engines shut down.

After a short period of time in high-speed service, the train was split up, and the cars were used in service with the New Haven's other RDCs. They worked for the New Haven, Penn Central, and Amtrak, until the last cars were retired in the 1980s. In the 1970s, Amtrak used several ex-Roger Williams cars on the New Haven–Boston Bay State.

The two end cars, and one intermediate car, are preserved in operating condition, by a private owner, at the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire. They were moved west on August 17, 2023, to be forwarded to their new home at the Berkshire Scenic Railroad.


Roger Williams car No. 141 at the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire in August 2012. (Pi.1415926535, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Front view of Roger Williams car No. 141 at the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire in August 2012. (Pi.1415926535, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Roger Williams end car No. 141 at the Hobo Railroad, Railroad St, Lincoln, New Hampshire, October 11, 2013. (Robert Linsdell from St. Andrews, Canada, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Postcard of the northbound Bay State at Meriden station in January 1975. The train ran with two RDC cars, formerly part of the Roger Williams. (Robert A. LaMay, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

MARC RDCs at Greenbelt, Maryland on November 12, 1987. The second car is the last remaining center car from the Roger Williams trainset. (Photo by Roger Puta, Courtesy Marty Bernard, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


The Roger Williams in New Haven Yard in September 1976. (WES from same place, USA, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


Manufacturer: Budd Company
Constructed: 1956
Number built: 1 train set
Formation: 2 cab cars and 4 intermediate cars
Car body construction: Stainless Steel
Prime movers: GM 110, (2 per car)
Power output: 550 hp (410 kW) (per car)
Transmission: Hydraulic torque converter
Electric system: 600 V DC Third rail
Current collector: Contact shoe
AAR wheel arrangement, Diesel power: 1A-A1
AAR wheel arrangement, Electric power: A1-1A
Braking system: Air
Track gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge


See also:

Named Passenger Trains A-K

Named Passenger Trains L-Z