ALCO Century 636

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ALCO Century 636
Rprx78rpnj.jpg
RPRX 78, now NYSW 3660 is on the point of SU-100 at Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, September 2005.
Specifications
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder ALCO, AE Goodwin (licensee)
Model Century 636
Build date 1967–1968
Total produced 63
AAR wheel arr. C-C
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Prime mover Alco 251E
Cylinders V16
Power output 3,600 hp (2.7 MW)
Career

The ALCO Century 636 was the most powerful single-engine diesel-electric locomotive constructed by ALCO. The locomotive had a C-C wheel arrangement and 3,600 horsepower (2,700 kW). The locomotive rested on a pair of trucks of all-new design, known as the Hi-Ad, standing for 'high adhesion'. Visually, it is similar to the Century 630, but can be distinguished by the intercooler box. The C630 has two grilles here, one above the other. The C636 only has the upper grille.

Production[edit]

The production of only 34 Alco C636s, built in 1967 and 1968, reflected Alco's dwindling locomotive market share. Despite many new and innovative features, the C636 could not hold its own. Three demonstrators were built costing Alco about $5.5 million. 636-2, the only former demonstrator operating, was a factor in dissuading potential customers from purchasing these locomotives. During an evaluation on the Santa Fe Railway, the same traction motor blower on 636-2 failed (which causes engine shutdown) and was replaced on three of four runs, and had other unsatisfactory results while being tested on the Southern Pacific Railroad.

AE Goodwin in Australia built 29 C636s between May 1968 and October 1970 for the Pilbara Iron Ore railroads. Hamersley Iron purchased 12 units in 5 separate orders. Bechtel purchased 5 C636s for use in the construction of the Mount Newman Mining facilities. The latter company ordered 12 C636s a year later and bought Bechtel's locomotives. Hamersley Iron had their fleet rebuilt in the 1980s by Comeng, Bassendean with General Electric engines.[1]

Montreal Locomotive Works produced a M636 variant of the C636 on Dofasco trucks for Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway. This was also built in Australia for Hamersley Iron, Mount Newman Mining and Robe River Mining.[1]

Original owners[edit]


Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
Alco Products (demonstrators)
3
636-1–636-3
To Québec Cartier Mining Company 77-79[2]
Illinois Central Railroad
6
1100–1105
Penn Central
15
6330–6344
Ordered by PRR before PC merger; to Conrail as 6780-6794[3]
Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway
10
330–335, 340–343
To Burlington Northern 4360-4369[4]
Hamersley Iron
12
3006–3017
Built by AE Goodwin
Mount Newman Mining
17
5452–5468
Built by AE Goodwin
Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México
20
8600-8619
Total 83

Current usage[edit]

As of 2006, the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad (DL) and the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway (NYSW) own ALCO C636s. The Delaware-Lackawanna C636, number 3642, is formerly Conrail 6792. The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway owns 2 ALCO C636s assigned numbers 3660 and 3662. The 3660 is former Québec Cartier Mining Company number 78 and had been temporarily numbered RPRX 78. NYSW 3662 is former Quebec Cartier Mining number 77. The 3662 has yet to be renumbered and has been out of service due to freeze damage as of 2005. Both the Delaware-Lackawanna and the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway also own MLW M636s built by the Montreal Locomotive Works in Montreal, Canada.[citation needed]

The NYSW C636s and M636s are now owned by Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad/Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Clark, Peter (2012). An Australian Locomotive Guide. Kenthurst: Rosenberg Publishing. pp. 109–119. ISBN 9781921719554. 
  2. ^ Komanesky, John. "Quebec Cartier Mining Railway Past & Present Power". The Diesel Shop. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Waller, Robert S. "Loco Rosters: April 1, 1976". Conrail Cyclopedia. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Ambrose, Brian. "Spokane, Portland & Seattle Section". Burlington Northern Tribute. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 

External links[edit]