The ALCO RSD-15 was a diesel-electric locomotive of the road switcher type built by ALCO (the American Locomotive Company) of Schenectady, New York between August 1956 and June 1960, during which time 75 locomotives were produced. The RSD-15 was powered by an ALCO 251 16-cylinder four-cycle V-type prime mover rated at 2,400 horsepower (1.79 MW); it superseded the almost identical ALCO 244-engined RSD-7, and was catalogued alongside the similar but smaller 1,800 hp (1.34 MW) RSD-12, powered by a 12-cylinder 251-model V-type diesel engine.
The locomotive rode on a pair of three-axle Trimount trucks, in an AAR C-C wheel arrangement, with all axles powered by General Electric model 752 traction motors. These trucks have an asymmetrical axle spacing because of the positioning of the traction motors. The six-motor design allowed higher tractive effort at lower speeds than an otherwise similar four-motor design.
A single example of the very similar model RSD-17 was built by the Montreal Locomotive Works in 1957. After demonstrating on the Canadian Pacific (as #7007), the Canadian National (as #3899), and the Pacific Great Eastern (as #624), the locomotive was purchased by the Canadian Pacific (as #8921). Nicknamed "The Empress of Agincourt", by Pete Fairfull, who was its primary operator for many years, (for its common presence around Toronto's Agincourt yard), the locomotive served the railway until 1995, when truck problems forced its retirement.
|Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway||50||800–849||Low nose|
|Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railroad||6||50–55||Later Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad 881-886|
|Pennsylvania Railroad||6||8611–8616||Later Penn Central 6811–6816.|
|Southern Pacific Railroad||3||250–252||Low nose|
|St. Louis Southwestern Railway||10||5150–5159||Low nose|
|Canadian Pacific Railway||1||8921||RSD-17|
Six RSD-15s survive in preservation; all are ex-Santa Fe units. Only two are in operating condition; the Austin and Texas Central #442, ex-ATSF 842, painted in a modified Southern Pacific "Black Widow" scheme, and Green Bay and Western Railroad RSD-15 #2407 (Ex-ATSF 841) at the Illinois Railway Museum. Others that are preserved are ex-ATSF 823, in former owner Utah Railway colors at the Utah Railroad Museum, the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento has one and the Arkansas Railroad Museum has ex-ATSF #843.
The RSD-15 has been produced in N scale by Mehano of Yugoslavia.
No RSD-17 has been produced in any scale other than as a handmade brass import.
- Marre, Louis A. (1995). Diesel Locomotives: The First 50 Years. Kalmbach Publishing Co., Waukesha, WI (USA). ISBN 0-89024-258-5.
- "ALCO RSD-15 Data Sheet". The Diesel Shop. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
- Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1973). The Second Diesel Spotter’s Guide. Milwaukee, WI: Kalmbach Publishing Company. ISBN 0-89024-026-4.
- "Elgin County Railway Museum...St. Thomas, Ontario...The Railway Capital of Canada". Retrieved 2009-04-14.
- "ALCO RSD-15 Roster". The Diesel Shop. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
- "Preserved ALCO Road-Switchers". The Diesel Shop. Archived from the original on 30 December 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
- "Alco Diesel 442". Austin Steam Train. Archived from the original on 2006-10-08. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
- Glischinski, Steve (1997). Santa Fe Railway. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-7603-0380-1.
- "ALCO RSD-15". Broadway Limited Imports. Archived from the original on 2006-11-20. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
- "ALCO RSD-15". Atlas O, LLC. Archived from the original on 2 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-08.
- Media related to ALCO RSD-15 locomotives at Wikimedia Commons