Alco Centuries                      

Click on the image for a larger view.  Listed by road name and number.  For production details, see my Century Roster.

Chicago & Northwestern (ex N&W) C628 6723 at Escanaba, MI on 9/8/76. These 30 units were the only high nose C628's.   The C628 can be distinguished from later C-C Centuries by the lack of a bulge on the roof behind the cab.

Louisville and Nashville C628 1400 in the yard at Atlanta, GA on 6/29/73.  This C628 was the first example purchased by the L&N, which sports a rain shield over the air intake on the long hood, a spotting feature of early C628's.  L&N also received most of the SCL's Alcos (including C628's) as they headed toward the formation of Seaboard System and eventually CSX.

Southern Pacific C415 2402 at the City of Industry, CA yard in 11/71.  An engine not easily confused with anything else, the C415 sports a centered cab and Alco type numberboard notches on both hoods.  This unit is equipped with the High Cab option, one of 3 cab heights produced.

SP C628 7100 in storage at Houston, TX on 6/25/73.  See the Alco Demo paint peeking through?  Originally Alco Demonstrator 628-1, the gold and black Alco demo paint was only slowly painted over (in stages) with SP grey and red, since they were pressed immediately into service as helpers over Tehachapi pass.  The presence of the louvered opening low on the long hood just behind the cab (left side only) indicates that this unit is dynamic brake equipped.

SP C630 7808 in storage at Houston, TX on 6/25/73.  Note the large oil intercooler bulge on the roof behind the cab.  The C636 also has a bulge here (although it looks different), and also has larger radiator intakes which are covered with screen material instead of the C628/C630's louvers.  The small opening low on the long hood behind the cab indicates that this unit is dynamic brake equipped.

SP DH643 9802 at the Roseville, CA yards in 10/71 (in service!).  Alco's "can do" spirit was never more obvious in the diesel-hydraulic locomotives developed for SP.  Alco was the only US builder to bid on SP's request for hydraulics to supercede the original turret-cab locomotives of 1961.  Thus if the experiment was a success, Alco was poised to capture a large part of a new market.  Unfortunately, the experiment ended with these 3 locomotives, but SP continued to purchase Alcos in the form of C630's

Spokane, Portland, & Seattle (BN) C424 4244 at Klamath Falls, OR in 7/72.  The B-B Centuries can be distinguished by the appearance of the area over the radiator intakes at the back of the long hood.  The C420 has a completely smooth area here which is the same width as the long hood.  The C424, however, has a boxy projection along the roof here, due to a wider radiator on the roof.  The C425 also has this boxy projection, as well as a wider hood area down from the roof to the radiator intake (like all C-C Centuries), to allow for a larger radiator fan.  (The C430 has the roof bulge behind the cab like the C630.)  Thus, the presence of the overhanging radiator along the roof over the radiator intakes, and the fact that the area between the radiators on the roof and radiator intakes below is the same width as the long hood identifies SP&S (BN) 4244 as a C424.  The 3 small openings at the top middle of the long hood indicate that this unit is dynamic brake equipped.

Union Pacific C630 2902 at Salt Lake City, UT in 6/73.  Centuries were quite rare on the UP, with only 10 C630's and 3 C855's being ordered.  These C630's later went to DM&IR, and then on to Quebec Cartier Mining.

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