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Diesel Locomotives by ALCO[Inhalt]
ALCO HH series
HH600, HH660, HH900 and HH1000
United States | 1932 | 177 produced
Milwaukee Road HH660 No. 983, which now stands in the Illinois Railway Museum
Milwaukee Road HH660 No. 983, which now stands in the Illinois Railway Museum
collection Taylor Rush

The HH series were the first diesel shunting locomotives that ALCO mass-produced in large numbers. They were also among the first land vehicles with a diesel-electric transmission. “HH” stood for “High Hood” while the number stood for the engine power in hp. The first HH600 demonstrator was sold to New Haven after testing in 1931. In 1934, industrial designer Otto Kuhler revised the shape of the locomotive body, giving it more rounded corners.

HH600 No. 913 of the New Haven on a 1938 ALCO advertising brochure
HH600 No. 913 of the New Haven on a 1938 ALCO advertising brochure
ALCO

The first variant had a McIntosh & Seymour 531 with six cylinders. It wasn't until 1937 that the HH900 followed with a turbocharged variant of this engine. In 1938 the HH660 followed with the slightly more powerful naturally aspirated engine of the 538 series and from 1939 finally the HH1000 with the turbocharged variant of the engine of the 538 series. A total of 177 locomotives were built, of which the HH600 was the most successful with 79 units due to its long production period. The individual railway companies operated a maximum of twelve of each model.

VariantHH600HH660HH900HH1000
General
Built1932-19391938-19401937-19391939-1940
ManufacturerALCO
Axle configB-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length43 ft 5 in45 ft 2 3/4 in
Wheelbase29 ft 8 in28 ft 2 in30 ft 3 in
Fixed wheelbase8 ft
Service weight206,120 lbs230,000 lbs
Adhesive weight206,120 lbs230,000 lbs
Axle load51,530 lbs57,500 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-electric
Top speed40 mph60 mph
Starting effort59,799 lbf69,016 lbf72,388 lbf
EngineMcIntosh & Seymour 531McIntosh & Seymour 538McIntosh & Seymour 531TMcIntosh & Seymour 538T
Engine type6-cyl. diesel
Fuel635 us gal (diesel)
Engine output600 hp (447 kW)660 hp (492 kW)900 hp (671 kW)1,000 hp (746 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
diesel locomotive
switcher
last changed: 03/2023
ALCO S-1 to S-6
United States | 1940 | 3,275 produced
Works photo of Louisville and Nashville No. 2225, an S-4
Works photo of Louisville and Nashville No. 2225, an S-4
ALCO
VariantS-1, S-3S-2, S-4S-5S-6
General
Built1940-1960
ManufacturerALCO, Montreal Locomotive Works
Axle configB-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length44 ft 5 in45 ft 5 in
Wheelbase30 ft
Fixed wheelbase8 ft
Service weight210,000 lbs229,700 lbs230,000 lbs
Adhesive weight210,000 lbs229,700 lbs230,000 lbs
Axle load52,500 lbs57,425 lbs57,500 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-electric
Top speed60 mph
Starting effort57,500 lbf69,000 lbf57,500 lbf61,500 lbf
EngineALCO 539 6LALCO 251A
Engine type6-cyl. diesel
Fuel635 us gal (diesel)
Engine output600 hp (447 kW)1,000 hp (746 kW)800 hp (597 kW)900 hp (671 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
diesel locomotive
freight
last changed: 09 2023
ALCO DL-103 to DL-110
United States | 1940 | 78 produced
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad DL-109 with Streamlined Train “The Rebel”, postcard by E.C. crop
Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad DL-109 with Streamlined Train “The Rebel”, postcard by E.C. crop

The DL-103 to DL-110 were the first diesel locomotives built by ALCO. The DL only stood for “Diesel Locomotive” and the individual models hardly differed from each other. The odd numbers stood for normal locomotives with cabs (so-called A-units), while the even numbers denoted the cab-less B-units or boosters. As with most American diesel locomotives of the time, the carbody was designed as a self-supporting construction with a streamlined front. The shape of the front with the three-piece windshield was designed by the German-American industrial designer Otto Kohler. All locomotives had an output of 2,000 hp, which came from two six-cylinder inline prime movers with turbochargers. Although four traction motors were sufficient to transmit the power, three-axle bogies, each with a carrying axle in the middle, were used, as in the EMD E series.

A total of 74 A units and four B units were built between 1939 and 1945. By far the largest proportion of these were the 60 A units ordered by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. All other customers received a maximum of four units, which were often used in front of prestigious passenger trains. The Second World War had made procurement difficult, since the production of purely passenger locomotives was prohibited and locomotives that were equally suitable for freight and passenger trains were also difficult to obtain. Finally, the New Haven only used their locomotives to haul passenger trains during the day, while hauling freight trains at night. Between 1949 and 1951 they were modernized and, among other things, the side windows in the engine room were removed, which were only used for decorative purposes. Despite this, the locomotives' service life was not very long, as they were soon replaced by more modern locomotives. Some were still visually matched to their EMD competitors, but most fell victim to the scrap press in the 1950s.

General
Built1940-1945
ManufacturerALCO
Axle configA1A-A1A 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length75 ft 6 in
Wheelbase58 ft 4 in
Service weight337,000 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-electric
Top speed120 mph
Starting effort53,000 lbf
EngineALCO 539T
Engine type2x 6-cyl. diese1
Fuel1,200 us gal (diesel)
Engine output2,000 hp (1,491 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
diesel locomotive
passenger
last changed: 02/2022
ALCO RS-1, RS-2 and RS-3
United States | 1941 | 2,270 produced
Milwaukee Road RS-1 No. 1678 before being drafted into the US Army in 1943
Milwaukee Road RS-1 No. 1678 before being drafted into the US Army in 1943
collection Taylor Rush

In 1940, Rock Island approached ALCO and ordered a new type of diesel locomotive that would be equally suitable for switching and road service. Instead of the cab units that were widespread at the time, a locomotive with a load-bearing frame and narrower hoods was developed, also known as the “hood unit”. The resulting design was characterized by the fact that there was an unobstructed field of vision when driving in both directions. This meant that it could be used without restrictions for switching, but also in road service without any cutbacks. It was usually running with the long hood ahead, even if this meant a poorer overview. Thus the new breed of road switchers was created, which was soon adopted by all North American manufacturers.

A total of 466 examples of the RS-1 were completed at ALCO and three more at the Montreal Locomotive Works by 1960. This is the longest production run of any diesel locomotive for the North American market to date, and also meant that they continued in production for several years after their successors were discontinued. The first locomotives, which were actually intended for Rock Island, were delivered to the US Army due to the USA entering the war.

Although a steam generator was available as an option, the RS-1 was rarely used in front of passenger trains. In freight service, with its 1,000 hp, it was primarily used on branch lines. The large six-cylinder ALCO 539T proved to be very durable, with many examples still being used in the 21st century. The RSD-1 and RSC-1 were developed as six-axle developments for lighter rails, with the latter only four axles being driven.

Southern Railway RS-3 No. 2027, together with a combined passenger and baggage car and an EMD FTB converted to a heating car, formed a commuter train in October 1967 in Warrenville, South Carolina
Southern Railway RS-3 No. 2027, together with a combined passenger and baggage car and an EMD FTB converted to a heating car, formed a commuter train in October 1967 in Warrenville, South Carolina
Roger Puta

The RS-2 was built between 1946 and 1950, with 368 examples being built at ALCO and nine in Montreal. It differed from the RS-1 mainly in the new 244 series V12 engine with 1,500 hp and a slightly more rounded body. The new prime mover did not prove to be as reliable in use as the old one. 64 pieces were delivered to Mexico and 46 to Brazil. The locomotives for Brazil had a gauge of 1,600 mm.

The RS-3 achieved the highest number of units, of which 1,272 were built between 1950 and 1956, with 146 units coming from Montreal. It was created at a time when Fairbanks-Morse and Baldwin were also bringing their road switchers from 1,500 to 1,600 hp to keep up with competitor EMD. 98 engines went to Canadian customers and 46 to Brazil. Here, too, a six-axle variant with four powered axles was developed as the RSC-3.

To overcome the reliability problems of the 244 series prime mover, 98 RS-3s were rebuilt between 1972 and 1978 with EMD 567 engines. The engines, including the fan system, came from decommissioned EMD E8s. These were named RS-3m to distinguish them. A few of these are still in use in 2022, although some RS-3s that have not been converted have survived into the 21st century.

VariantRS-1RS-2RS-3
General
Built1941-19601946-19501950-1956
ManufacturerALCO, Montreal Locomotive Works
Axle configB-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length55 ft 5 3/4 in56 ft56 ft 6 in
Wheelbase40 ft 4 in
Fixed wheelbase9 ft 4 in
Service weight247,500 lbs249,600 lbs247,100 lbs
Adhesive weight247,500 lbs249,600 lbs247,100 lbs
Axle load61,825 lbs62,400 lbs61,775 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-electric
Top speed65 mph
Starting effort40,425 lbf62,500 lbf61,775 lbf
EngineALCO 539TALCO 244BALCO 244D
Engine type6-cyl. dieselV12 diesel
Fuel1,300 us gal (diesel)667 us gal (diesel)1,200 us gal (diesel)
Engine output1,000 hp (746 kW)1,500 hp (1,119 kW)1,600 hp (1,193 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
diesel locomotive
freight
last changed: 09/2022
ALCO RSD-1, RSD-4 and RSD-5
United States | 1942 | 403 produced
Jersey Central No. 1606, an RSD-4, in July 1970 at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Jersey Central No. 1606, an RSD-4, in July 1970 at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Roger Puta

During the Second World War, the Soviet Union ordered high-traction diesel locomotives from the USA via the Lend-Lease Act. These should be used primarily in the southern parts of the country, where only little water was available for the operation of steam locomotives. In response, ALCO equipped the RS-1 with two additional powered axles. Despite the same engine power, a higher starting tractive effort was now available, but a decreasing power with increasing speed.

70 RSD-1s were sent to the Soviet Union via the Trans-Iranian Railway, with 12 engines already falling victim to submarines at sea. There they were given the designation ДA20 (DA20), which stood for “Diesel, ALCO, 20 tonnes axle load”. They served there as a basis for the ТЭ1 and its successors. Another 87 locomotives went to the US Army and six to the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México.

36 RSD-4 were built in 1951 and 1952, based on the RS-3. They had the new 244 series engine with 1,600 hp and were all delivered to US customers. Since the generator was considered too weak, the RSD-5 was built with a new generator from 1952. A total of 167 RSD-5s were built for US customers and 37 for Mexico.

VariantRSD-1RSD-4, RSD-5
General
Built1942-19561951-1956
ManufacturerALCO
Axle configC-C 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length55 ft 5 in56 ft 6 in
Wheelbase43 ft 6 in
Fixed wheelbase10 ft 6 in
Service weight247,580 lbs287,040 lbs
Adhesive weight247,580 lbs287,040 lbs
Axle load41,225 lbs47,840 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-electric
Top speed60 mph65 mph
Starting effort51,000 lbf71,700 lbf
EngineALCO 539T-6LALCO 244
Engine type6-cyl. dieselV12 diesel
Fuel1,200 us gal (diesel)1,300 us gal (diesel)
Engine output1,000 hp (746 kW)1,600 hp (1,193 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
diesel locomotive
freight
last changed: 03/2023
ALCO FA
United States | 1945 | 1,401 produced
Western Maryland FA-2 in May 1970 at Hagerstown, Maryland
Western Maryland FA-2 in May 1970 at Hagerstown, Maryland
Roger Puta
VariantFA-1/FB-1, FA-2/FB-2, FPA-2/FPB-2FCA-3FPA-4/FPB-4
General
Built1945-19551953-19561958-1959
ManufacturerALCO, Montreal Locomotive Works, General Electric
Axle configB-B A1A-A1A B-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length51 ft 6 in53 ft 1 in
Wheelbase38 ft 6 in
Fixed wheelbase9 ft 4 in
Service weight255,075 lbs240,083 lbs255,075 lbs
Adhesive weight255,075 lbs160,496 lbs255,075 lbs
Axle load63,714 lbs40,124 lbs63,714 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-electric
Top speed75 mph
Starting effort60,900 lbf63,800 lbf
EngineALCO 244ALCO 251
Engine typeV12 diesel
Fuel1,200 us gal (diesel)
Engine output1,600 hp (1,193 kW)1,800 hp (1,342 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
diesel locomotive
freight
last changed: 09 2023
ALCO PA and PB
United States | 1946 | 297 produced
New Haven PA-1 as class DER-3a No. 0779 and 0775 in June 1950 in Tremont, Massachusetts
New Haven PA-1 as class DER-3a No. 0779 and 0775 in June 1950 in Tremont, Massachusetts
Ralph H. Payne / collection Taylor Rush

With the development of the new Type 244 engine, ALCO introduced the PA passenger locomotive in addition to the FA freight locomotive in 1946. Not only did the propulsion electrics come from General Electric, the streamlined and modern design of the car body also came from Ray Patten, head of GE's design department. The PA got the more powerful sixteen-cylinder engine and stood on two bogies with the A1A wheel arrangement. What all PA and FA have in common is that black smoke came out when accelerating due to the lack of air in the turbo lag.

With a 2,000 hp engine, 169 PA1 and 39 PB1 without a cab were built. From 1950 onwards, 81 PA2 and eight PB2 were built with 2,250 hp. Three PA-2s went to Brazil with a gauge of 5 ft 3 in. Some railroads also used their PA and PB in freight traffic, but the number of units remained behind EMD's E series due to lower reliability. The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority used its locomotives until the late 1970s and then sold them to the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México, which continued to use them until 1981.

VariantPA1PA2
General
Built1946-19501950-1953
ManufacturerALCO, General Electric
Axle configA1A-A1A 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge), 5 ft 3 in (Irish broad gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length65 ft 8 in
Wheelbase49 ft 6 in
Fixed wheelbase15 ft 4 in
Service weight300,700 lbs306,000 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-electric
Top speed117 mph
Starting effort51,000 lbf
EngineALCO 244
Engine typeV16 diesel
Fuel1,000 us gal (diesel)
Engine output2,000 hp (1,491 kW)2,250 hp (1,678 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
diesel locomotive
passenger
last changed: 05/2023
ALCO RS-11
United States | 1956 | 431 produced
RS-11 No. 2301 of Ferrocarril Sonora-Baja California in September 2017 at Benjamín Hill
RS-11 No. 2301 of Ferrocarril Sonora-Baja California in September 2017 at Benjamín Hill
LIMO 5
General
Built1956-1964
ManufacturerALCO, Montreal Locomotive Works
Axle configB-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length56 ft 6 in
Wheelbase49 ft 8 in
Fixed wheelbase9 ft 4 in
Service weight257,300 lbs
Adhesive weight257,300 lbs
Axle load64,325 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-electric
Top speed70 mph
Starting effort64,325 lbf
EngineALCO 251B
Engine typeV12 diesel
Fuel2,000 us gal (diesel)
Engine output1,800 hp (1,342 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
diesel locomotive
freight
last changed: 09 2023
ALCO RS-27, -32 and -36
United States | 1959 | 102 produced
Delaware & Hudson RS-36 No. 5020 in August 1971
Delaware & Hudson RS-36 No. 5020 in August 1971
Roger Puta
VariantRS-27RS-32RS-36
General
Built1959-19621961-19621962-1963
ManufacturerALCO
Axle configB-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length58 ft 10 in57 ft 2 in
Wheelbase40 ft 4 in
Fixed wheelbase9 ft 4 in
Service weight265,000 lbs256,800 lbs247,100 lbs
Adhesive weight265,000 lbs256,800 lbs247,100 lbs
Axle load66,250 lbs64,200 lbs61,775 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-electric
Top speed70 mph80 mph
Starting effort62,000 lbf66,000 lbf
EngineALCO 251B/CALCO 251CALCO 251B
Engine typeV12 diesel
Fuel2,400 us gal (diesel)1,200 us gal (diesel)
Engine output2,400 hp (1,790 kW)2,000 hp (1,491 kW)1,800 hp (1,342 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
diesel locomotive
freight
last changed: 09 2023
ALCO Century 420, 424, 425 and 430
United States | 1963 | 428 produced
Canadian Pacific C424 No. 4201 in March 1970 at Col Ste. Luc, Montreal
Canadian Pacific C424 No. 4201 in March 1970 at Col Ste. Luc, Montreal
Roger Puta
Variant420424425430
General
Built1963-1968
ManufacturerALCO, Montreal Locomotive Works
Axle configB-B 
Gauge4 ft 8 1/2 in (Standard gauge)
Dimensions and Weights
Length58 ft 10 in59 ft 4 in63 ft 1 in
Wheelbase43 ft 9 in41 ft 10 in46 ft 5 in
Fixed wheelbase9 ft 4 in
Service weight250,000 lbs260,000 lbs272,000 lbs
Adhesive weight250,000 lbs260,000 lbs272,000 lbs
Axle load62,500 lbs65,000 lbs68,000 lbs
Power
Power sourcediesel-electric
Top speed70 mph80 mph70 mph
EngineALCO 251BALCO 251CALCO 251E
Engine typeV12 dieselV16 diesel
Fuel1,660 us gal (diesel)2,000 us gal (diesel)3,000 us gal (diesel)
Engine output2,000 hp (1,491 kW)2,400 hp (1,790 kW)2,500 hp (1,864 kW)3,000 hp (2,237 kW)
Power Plant
Boiler
Calculated Values
diesel locomotive
freight
last changed: 09 2023
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