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CFA 040 DD 1-JPVL.jpg
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder ALCO
Model E-1661A, E-1661B, E-1661C
Total produced 91
 • AAR A1A-A1A
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in) (CP)
Wheel diameter 40 in (1,016 mm)
Length 53 ft 1 in (16.18 m)
Width 10 ft 0 in (3.05 m)
Height 14 ft 5 in (4.39 m)
Loco weight 242,500 lb (110,000 kg)
Fuel capacity 800 US gal (670 imp gal; 3,000 L)
Prime mover ALCO 244
Engine type V12 Four-stroke diesel
Generator DC generator
Traction motors 4 of DC traction motors
Cylinders 12
Transmission Electric
Performance figures
Maximum speed 65 mph (105 km/h)
Power output 1,500 hp (1,100 kW)
later models 1,600 hp (1,200 kW)
Tractive effort 40,425 lbf (179,820 N)

The ALCO RSC-2 was a diesel-electric locomotive of the road switcher type that rode on three-axle trucks, having an A1A-A1A wheel arrangement.

Used in much the same manner as its four-axle counterpart, the ALCO RS-2, though the wheel arrangement lowered the axle load for operation on light rail such as are found on branch lines.

The Milwaukee Road was the first railroad to take delivery of the RSC-2, initially assigning them to their Valley Division (headquartered near Wausau, Wisconsin) in November 1946. This was done in order to study the effects of an all-diesel roster (i.e. no steam locomotives available as protection power). The experiment was deemed a success, and soon all steam locomotives were gone from the Valley Division. RSC-2s would faithfully serve the Milwaukee Road for many years, until being replaced in turn by the EMD SDL39.

ALCO also exported these units to the state railway of Portugal, where Portuguese Railways (CP) designated them Série 1500. These locomotives were built for the Iberian track gauge of (1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in)). The last units in Portugal served in regular passenger service into the first decade of the 21st century. Of these, five are still running today, 60 years after their arrival (one is a museum locomotive, while the other four are owned by track maintenance companies). Five units were exported to the Algerian National Railways where they were used in passenger train service.

Original Buyers[edit]

Railroad Quantity Road Numbers Notes
ALCO (Demonstrator)
1190 to Union Pacific 1190 renumbered 1290
Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses (CP)
1501-1512 Designated Série 1500 by CP. Uprated from 1,500 horsepower (1,100 kW) to 2,000 horsepower (1,500 kW) in 1976. Top speed was then 120 kilometres per hour (75 mph), the track gauge 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 2132 in) .
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad
975–996 renumbered to 580-597, 490-493 series, not in order
Office des Chemins de Fer Algériens
Seaboard Air Line Railroad
1532 -1536 1,600 hp (1,200 kW)
Soo Line Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad
1180–1189 renumbered 1280-1289


  • Marre, Louis A. (1995). Diesel Locomotives: The First 50 Years. Kalmbach Publishing Co., Waukesha, WI (USA). ISBN 0-89024-258-5.