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ALCO RS-11 Diesel-Electric Locomotive
The ALCO RS-11 is a diesel-electric locomotive of the road switcher type rated at 1,800 hp (1.34 MW), that rode on two-axle trucks, having a B-B wheel arrangement.

The first three RS-11s were produced by ALCO in February 1956 as a demonstrator set. This locomotive, classified by ALCO as model DL-701, was their first high-horsepower road switcher, intended to be a replacement for the very popular RS-3 road switcher. Featuring a V-12, 1,800 hp (1,300 kW) 251B diesel engine, the RS-11 was ALCO's answer to EMD's very successful GP9. The turbocharged RS-11 accelerated faster, had a higher tractive effort rating and typically used less fuel than the competition. It was also quite versatile and could be found in heavy haul freight as well as passenger service. It was produced in high-nose and low-nose versions. Montreal Locomotive Works built identical units.

While the RS-11 benefited from the increased power and reliability offered with ALCO's new 251B engine, and was arguably a more advanced product than the GP9, its market acceptance was disappointing against the reputation EMD's locomotives had made for superior reliability.

Original Owners


Quantity:  3
Road number(s):  701, 701A, 701B
Notes:  first RS11s built, sold to Southern Pacific, 701B steam generator.

Carolina and Northwestern Railway

Quantity:  1
Road number(s):  11

Delaware and Hudson

Quantity:  15
Road number(s):  5000-5011
Notes:  5000-5005 built as New York Central 8009-8014, 5006-5011 low nose.

Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific

Quantity:  15
Road number(s):  3600-3614

Erie Mining

Quantity:  15
Road number(s):  300-314

Ferrocarril del Pacifico

Quantity:  1
Road number(s):  1501
Notes:  built by Montreal Locomotive Works, steam generator.

Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México

Quantity:  94
Road number(s):  7200-7293
Notes:  7205-7217 steam generator, 7218-7293 built by Montreal Locomotive Works, low nose, last built.

Green Bay and Western

Quantity:  1
Road number(s):  309

Lehigh Valley

Quantity:  4
Road number(s):  400-403
Notes:  low nose.

Maine Central

Quantity:  1
Road number(s):  801

Ministry of Communication and Transportation (Mexico)

Quantity:  4
Road number(s):  7123-1 - 7123-4
Notes:  7123-4 steam generator.

Missouri Pacific

Quantity:  12
Road number(s):  4601-4612

Monongahela Connecting Railroad

Quantity:  1
Road number(s):  700

New York, New Haven and Hartford

Quantity:  15
Road number(s):  1400-1414
Notes:  steam generators.

New York Central

Quantity:  9
Road number(s):  8000-8008

New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad

Quantity:  35
Road number(s):  558-577, 850-864

Norfolk and Western

Quantity:  99
Road number(s):  308-406

Northern Pacific

Quantity:  18
Road number(s):  900-917


Quantity:  38
Road number(s):  8617-8654

Portland Terminal (Maine)

Quantity:  1
Road number(s):  1082
Notes:  to Maine Central 802.

Seaboard Air Line

Quantity:  10
Road number(s):  100-109
Notes:  to SCL 1202-1211, all retired by late 1980.

Southern Peru Copper Corp.

Quantity:  5
Road number(s):  3-6, 8

Southern Pacific Railroad

Quantity:  34
Road number(s):  5723-5729, 5845-5871
Notes:  5866-5871 low nose, purchased Alco Demonstrators to SP 5720-5722.

Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway

Quantity:  3
Road number(s):  400-402
Notes:  401 rebuilt by Alco with low nose after a wreck.

ALCO RS-11 Overview
Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: ALCO, MLW
Model: RS-11
Build date: February 1956 to June 1961 (Alco) / April 1964 (MLW)
Total produced: 425
​ • AAR B-B
Gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Trucks: AAR type B
Wheel diameter: 40 in (1,016 mm)
Minimum curve: 21° (274.37 ft or 83.63 m)
Wheelbase: 39 ft 4 in (11.99 m)
Length: 56 ft 6 in (17.22 m)
Width: 10 ft 1 5⁄8 in (3.089 m)
Height: 14 ft 5 1⁄8 in (4.397 m)
Locomotive weight: 257,300 lb (116,700 kg)
Fuel capacity: 2,000 US gal (7,600 L; 1,700 imp gal)
Prime mover: ALCO 251B
RPM range: 1,000 rpm max.
Engine type: V12 Four stroke diesel
Aspiration: Turbocharger
Generator: GE GT 581
Traction motors: (4) GE 752
Cylinders: 12
Cylinder size: 9 in × 10.5 in (229 mm × 267 mm)
Performance figures
Power output: 1,800 hp (1,300 kW)
Tractive effort: 64,325 lb (29,177 kg)
Locale: North America, South America

See also:

Alco Diesel-Electric Locomotives

American Locomotive Company

Diesel-Electric Locomotives


Classic Streamliners - TRAIN​CYCLOPEDIA

TPW 400, an RS-11 on display at Illinois Railway Museum, July 16, 2005.

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TPW 400, an RS-11 on display at Illinois Railway Museum, July 16, 2005.
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