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ALCO RSC-2 Diesel Electric Locomotive
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 5-21⁄32 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

ALCO (Demonstrator)
Quantity:  1
Road Number:  1190

Notes:  to Union Pacific 1190, renumbered 1290.

Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses (CP)

Quantity:  12
Road Numbers:  1501-1512
Notes:  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 km per hour (75 mph), the track gauge 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 21⁄32 in) .

Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad
Quantity:  22
Road Numbers:  975–996

Notes:  renumbered to 580-597, 490-493 series, not in order.

Office des Chemins de Fer Algériens
Quantity:  5
Road Numbers:  040DD1–040DD5

Seaboard Air Line Railroad
Quantity:  32
Road Numbers:  1500–1531

Seaboard Air Line Railroad
Quantity:  5
Road Numbers:  1532 -1536

Notes:  1,600 hp (1,200 kW)

Soo Line Railroad
Quantity:  4
Road Numbers:  368–371

Union Pacific Railroad
Quantity:  10
Road Numbers:  1180–1189

Notes:  renumbered 1280-1289

ALCO RSC-2 Overview
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 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Gauge: 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 21⁄32 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)
Locomotive 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 x DC traction motors
Cylinders: 12
Transmission: Electric
Performance figures
Maximum speed: 65 mph (105 km/h)
Power output: 1,500 hp (1,100 kW)
Power output later models: 1,600 hp (1,200 kW)
Tractive effort: 40,425 lbf (179,820 N)

See also:

Alco Diesel-Electric Locomotives

Diesel-Electric Locomotives


American Locomotive Company

ALCo Diesel locomotive CFA 040 DD 1, Algeria.

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ALCo Diesel locomotive CFA 040 DD 1, Algeria.

By Unknown - old CFA image; collection Jean-Pierre Vergez-Larrouy, CC BY-SA 3.0,