ALCO Century 636

ALCO Century 636

Infobox Locomotive
name=ALCO Century 636

caption=RPRX 78, now NYSW 3660 is on the point of SU-100 at Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, September 2005. (Photo by John Eric Durant)
builder=ALCO, A. E. Goodwin (licensee)
buildmodel=Century 636
primemover = Alco 251E
cylindercount = 16
The ALCO Century 636 was the most powerful single-engine diesel locomotive constructed by ALCO. The locomotive had a C-C wheel arrangement and convert|3600|hp. The locomotive rested on a pair of trucks of all-new design, known as the Hi-Ad, standing for 'high adhesion'. Visually, it is similar to the Century 630, but can be distinguished by the intercooler box. The C630 has two grilles here, one above the other. The C636 only has the upper grille.


The production of only 34 Alco C636s, built in 1967 and 1968 reflected Alco's dwindling locomotive market share. Despite many new and innovative features, the C636 couldn't hold its own. Three demonstrators were built using about $5.5 million 2006 of Alco's own money. 636-2, ironically the only ex-Demo operating, was a factor in repelling potential customers. During evaluation on the Santa Fe Railway, the same traction motor blower on 636-2 failed (which causes engine shutdown) and was replaced on three of four runs, and had other unsatisfactory results while testing on the Southern Pacific Railroad.

A.E. Goodwin in Australia built 29 C636s between May 1968 and October 1970 for the Pilbara Iron Ore railroads. Hamersley Iron purchased 12 units in 5 separate orders. Bechtel purchased 5 C636s to aid in the construction of the Mt. Newman Mining facilities. The latter company ordered 12 C636s of their own a year later and bought Bechtel's locomotives.

Montreal Locomotive Works produced a M636 variant of the C636 on Dofasco trucks for Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway.

Original Buyers

Current usage

As of 2006, the Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad (DL) and the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway (NYSW) own ALCO C636s. The Delaware-Lackawanna C636, number 3642, is formerly Conrail 6792. The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway owns 2 ALCO C636s assigned numbers 3660 and 3662. The 3660 is former Quebec Cartier Mining number 78 and had been temporarily numbered RPRX 78. NYSW 3662 is former Quebec Cartier Mining number 77. The 3662 has yet to be renumbered and has been out of service due to freeze damage as of 2005. Both the Delaware-Lackawanna and the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway also own MLW M636s built by the Montreal Locomotive Works in Montreal, Canada.Fact|date=February 2007

The NYSW C636s and M636s are now owned by Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad/Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad.


* Sarberenyi, Robert. " [ Alco C636 Original Owners] ".

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