Baldwin RS-4-TC

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Baldwin RS-4-TC
Northwest Railway Museum-2.jpg
A preserved RS-4-TC at the Northwest Railway Museum
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderBaldwin Locomotive Works
Build dateJuly 1953 – January 1955
Total produced74
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Length38 ft 11 in (11.86 m)
Height12 ft 6.5 in (3.82 m)
Loco weight60 short tons (54 long tons; 54 t)
Prime moverCaterpillar D397
Engine typeFour-stroke diesel
GeneratorDC generator
Traction motorsDC traction motors
Cylinder size5 34 in × 8 in (146.1 mm × 203.2 mm)
Loco brakeStraight air
Train brakesAir
Performance figures
Power output400 hp (300 kW)
LocaleNorth America

The Baldwin RS-4-TC is a diesel-electric locomotive (switcher) built by Baldwin Locomotive Works between July 1953 and January 1955. The RS-4-TCs were powered by a supercharged twelve-cylinder diesel engine rated at 400 horsepower (298 kW), and rode on a pair of two-axle trucks in a B-B wheel arrangement. 74 of these models were built mainly for the Army while a few of them went to the Air Force.


Operator's manual for the locomotive.

The RS-4-TCs were originally built with Caterpillar D397 diesel engines. The Caterpillar D397s were chosen for their high speed and small bore and stroke for quick startup and shutdowns. There are two number systems for the RS-4-TCs, the 1200 series or the 4000 series. The locomotives in both series were the same, except the 1200s were built for domestic service and had fixed axle, standard gauge trucks while the 4000s were built for foreign service and had adjustable-gauge trucks for use on foreign narrow and wide gauge tracks. Even though the 4000s were built for foreign service, very few were actually deployed overseas, the vast majority served in the United States.

At the end of the Korean War, most RS-4-TCs were placed into storage while their World War II counterparts were sold as surplus. Today, the majority of RS-4-TCs have been sold as surplus and are currently serving tourist and shortline railroads with a few still in military service.

Technical details[edit]

The diesel engine is an twelve-cylinder, turbocharged, water-cooled, four-cycle, V-type engine used to provide power. It is directly connected to the main generator. The traction motors are axle hung and supported on the truck transoms by spring-loaded suspension. One motor is geared to each axle through a single set of gears with a ratio of 14:72. The radiator keeps engine at proper operating temperature between 100 and 1980F (37.7 and 92.2°C). Two externally mounted battery boxes, one on each side of the locomotive, provide ventilated compartments to house the eight batteries. Two main reservoir tanks, one on each side of the locomotive, provide a means of storing air for the air system. The main generator furnishes direct-current power over a wide range of voltage at various speeds up to 1200 rpm. It is separately excited by the exciter generator mounted on the generator frame. The generator also acts as a starting motor when the start button is pushed and the battery switch is closed. The fuel tank can hold 500 gallons (1892 liters) of diesel fuel for engine operation. Two fill pipes and two sight glasses, one on each side of the locomotive, provide a means of filling the tank and monitoring the level of fuel. The blower provides forced ventilation for the traction motors which require adequate cooling. It is belt driven from the main generator shaft. [1]

The master controller contains the throttle, reverser, brake controls, and other controls and indicators used by operator to operate and monitor the locomotive and is located in the cab of the locomotive. The equipment cabinet contains the automatic switching relays and contactors and is located in the cab of the locomotive. Both high and low voltage are present in the electrical equipment cabinet when the locomotive is in operation. [1]

Name Designation[edit]

RS - Road Switching Service
4 - 4th military type
TC - Transportation Corps (as in Army Transportation Corps)

Original buyers[edit]

Railroad Quantity Road Numbers Notes
U.S. Army
1247-1273, 4001-4039
U.S. Air Force
1274-1276, 4040-4044
Totals 74



  1. ^ a b HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENTS OF THE ARMY AND THE AIR FORCE (January 8, 1987). TECHNICAL MANUAL, INTERMEDIATE DIRECT SUPPORT AND INTERMEDIATE GENERAL SUPPORT, MAINTENANCE MANUAL, LOCOMOTIVE, DIESEL-ELECTRIC, 56-1/2-INCH GAGE, 60 TON, 500 HP, 0-4-4-0 WHEEL, MODEL RS-4-TC-1A, NSN 2210-01-158-2978 (Technical report). citing public domain text from the US Army. TM 55-2210-223-34. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

External links[edit]