SP-10 is a self-propelled Rail Diesel Car, model RDC-1, built in 1954 by the Budd Company. This single car was acquired by the Southern Pacific Railroad and placed into local service on money-losing local service routes between Sacramento and the Oakland Pier, replacing more expensive-to-operate locomotive-hauled trains.
In 1959, the car was reassigned to replace another traditional locomotive-hauled train, this time on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad’s “Redwood” service to Eureka, California. It operated on that route as Trains 3 and 4 until the advent of Amtrak in 1971, traversing the scenic, spectacular, and often treacherous Eel River Canyon.
One control cab was heavily damaged in a grade crossing collision while on the NWP, and that end was rebuilt using parts from a retired ex-St. Louis Southwestern Osgood-Bradley coach, by Sacramento General Shops. It remained in this altered configuration when retired by SP, and was placed into operation on the Oregon, Pacific & Eastern at Cottage Grove, Oregon. It was subsequently acquired by the Galveston Railroad Museum.
It has been significantly affected by floodwater immersion during Hurricane Ike, and does not currently run. But the car is complete, and restorable to non-operating display status. In the second half of 2016 a successful grassroots effort was mounted to purchase the car for scrap value from the Galveston Museum, and transport it back home to California for eventual cosmetic restoration, display, and historical interpretation. It is intended to serve as a centerpiece for the planned Southern Pacific Railroad History Center in Rocklin, California.