ALCO S-2 and S-4
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|ALCO S-2 and S-4|
The ALCO S2 and S4 were 1,000 horsepower (746 kW) diesel electric switchers produced by ALCO and Canadian licensee Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW). These two locomotive models differed only in that the earlier S-2 had ALCo#Blunt bogie trucks and the later S-4 had EMD#AARA bogie trucks. Both were powered by ALCO 539 turbocharged, 6-cylinder diesels. The S-2 was built between August 1940 and June 1950, with a total of 1502 completed, while the S-4 was constructed between June 1949 and August 1957 (MLW until 1957) with total sales of 797. Canadian production of the S-4 started more than a year before U S production of the S-4. ALCO did not start building the S-4 until August 1950. A modified version, the S-7, was built by MLW only; 29 were built between June and August 1957.
The S-2 and S-4 are distinguishable externally from the very similar S-1 and S-3 660 hp (492 kW) switchers in that they have a larger exhaust stack with an oblong base and a larger radiator shutter area on the nose sides. The S-1/S-3 radiator shutter area is taller than it is wide, while the S-2/S-4 radiator area is wider. The larger stack is due to turbocharging. The carbody and cab of late S-2s are nearly indistinguishable from those of S-4s. Hence, a truck swap can cause many to misidentify a unit.
A few S-4s are still in service on shortline railroads around the United States. Several more are preserved in US and Canadian railroad museums.
An S-2, of D&RGW heritage, survives on the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, as number 102. It was purchased in February 1964 for the Kentucky and Tennessee Railway, and is in operable condition in Stearns, Kentucky. This was one of the diesels that replaced Southern 2-8-2 #4501 on the K&T.
Fore River Transportation has at least one S-4 in a derelict state being used for parts.
The Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad operates a pair of restored ex-Canadian National units S-4 #3051 (formally CN #8181) and S-7 #3052 (formally CN #8223). In 2017, they had acquired the former Concord and Claremont Railroad ALCO S-4 units S-4 #102 (formally D&H #3050) and S-4 #104 (formally D&H #3036). As of 2020, all but #104 were operational on the tourist passenger and maintenance of way services between Milford and Cooperstown, NY. S-7 #3052 is currently thought to be the last S-7 built that is still in operation.
Muskogee, Oklahoma at the Three Rivers Museum a S-2 #63-138 sits outside in the back of the Midland Valley Station.
The Houston Railroad Museum in Houston, Texas have two S-2's; Ex Santa Fe, #2350 and Ex Houston Belt and Terminal, #14.
Conrad Yelvington Distributors, an aggregate supplier in Orlando, Florida, owns a former Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) S-2, now numbered 224. Though not used as often as their EMD SW9 number 2112, the unit is operational.
The Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish owns ex-Conrad Yelvington ALCO S-2 #251, which is used as a backup engine on their weekend train rides.
Louisville & Nashville rebuilt many of their Alco switchers with 12-567 EMD prime movers in an effort to standardize their switching fleet. One of these, S-4 (or S-4m as rebuilt) #2326 survives at Gerdau Ameristeel in Cartersville, GA. Ameristeel recently donated the locomotive to the Southeastern Railway Museum at Duluth, GA.
The Virginia & Truckee Railroad acquired an S-4 from PPL Montana in 2010. The locomotive is in operable condition & slowly being repainted to the railroad's diesel colors.
Class III railroad Toledo, Lake Erie, and Western owns four ALCO S-2 and S-4s. TLEW 62, a S-2 purchased in 2012, ex. Delray Cement 62, TLEW 112, a S-2 that was part of the original TLEW roster, now reduced to a parts unit as of 2010, TLEW 5109, a S-4, and the only operating ALCO on the line currently. 5109 recently was repainted into its original Chesapeake and Ohio colors in September 2013. TLEW 5109's horn was stolen during the repainting process. TLEW 9752, a S-4 of Penn Central and Pittsburgh & Lake Erie heritage, was not used much, and was eventually scrapped for parts in October 2010.
Heritage Cooperative in Mechanicsburg, Ohio, is the latest in a string of owners for the former Baltimore & Ohio 9040, an operating S-2 that retains her second B&O number. She was built as B&O 496 in 1945.
The North Alabama Railroad Museum in Huntsville, Alabama runs an S-2 in regular tourist excursions, Mercury and Chase #213. It also owns another S-2, Mercury & Chase #484, which was temporarily out of service due to cylinder repair, but returned to service with #213 in 2018. They also have ex-Santa Fe #1534, which is an S-4.
San Francisco Bay Railroad, the short-line railroad for the Port of San Francisco, operates the #23 and #25 Alco S-2's from the San Francisco Belt Line Railroad.
The Beech Mountain Railroad at Alexander, in North Central West Virginia Rosters an S-2, numbered 113 and an S-4, numbered 115 for their 8 mile long coal hauling line. Both were built new for Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company.
Currently the MD&W short line railroad in northern Minnesota uses S-2s to help former Boise Cascade now just Boise paper mill set out goods to the former Burlington Northern main line railroad now Canadian National, within the last 10 years MD&W has purchased an EMD SW10 to help in switching duties.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 May 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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Between 1959 and 1968 the W&OD leased various C&O Alco S-2 1000 hp switchers, specifically C&O Nos. 5000 (9160), 5006 (9162), 5009, 5011, 5012, 5015, and 5102.In Appendix K of Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority - Pre-filed Direct Testimony of Mr. Hafner, Mr. Mcray and Mr. Simmons, November 30, 2005 (Part 5), Case No. PUE-2005-00018, Virginia State Corporation Commission. Obtained in "Case Docket Search". Virginia State Corporation Commission. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
(2) k41361 (24 February 2010). "Columbia & Reading S2.AVI". Archived from the original (video) on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016. Video of CORY 2-26 crossing Route 262 in Columbia, Pennsylvania.
(3) Walker, Craig (27 September 2013). "Columbia & Reading ALCO S2 CORY 2-26". RailPictures.Net. Columbia, Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on 4 June 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
Tucked away in a scrap yard in Columbia, Pennsylvania, is Columbia & Reading S2 2-26. This 1946-built Alco has put in the miles for a number of railroads, starting with the Chesapeake & Ohio (#5015, then #9165) followed by stints as GEX 106, FCIN 106, PVRR 27, CCCR 27 and JCNX 27.
(4) Painter, Kevin (13 February 2019). "CORY 2-26(S2)". Pictures of CORY 2-26. Columbia, Pennsylvania: RR Pictures Archive.Net. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- Exhibits Pilbara Railway Historical Society
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- Toppan, Andrew et al. Alco/MLW S-2 Roster. Retrieved on December 29, 2005.
- Toppan, Andrew et al. Alco/MLW S-4 Roster. Retrieved on December 29, 2005.
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