Alco C630

"Moving Railroads Forward With Innovation"

Trains Magazine photo (December 1965)

New: 1 January 2021
In the Fall of 1964, Railway Age magazine and Trains magazine ran an Alco advertisement touting the company's latest high horsepower locomotive. The headline read, "The Jones Already Have One;" the ad was referring to the Schenectady Builder's new Century 630 being used on the Atlantic Coat Line. More specifically, the six-axle freight hauler was the first alternator-rectifier diesel locomotive to be placed in revenue service on a major North American railroad. An AC transmission / traction system provides significant locomotive-operation improvement. First of which is approximately 100 per cent greater adhesion level, next comes lower maintenance costs, and lastly increased reliability. The engineering achievement was one more in Alco's long line of pioneering advances.

Arguably, there were four different C630 models, each slightly different than the other (depending on builder):

  • C630 - built by Alco in Schenectady, NY (77 units)
  • C630M - built by MLW in Montreal (56 in accordance with Alco C630 specifications)
  • C630 (upgraded C628) - modifiied by NdeM in Mexico (20 units? in-line with Alco specs.)
  • M630 - built by MLW after Alco exited the production field; an enhanced design

Total production reached 133 units sans NdeM's C628 upgrades, and MLW's M630. The 2019 Locomotive Annual magazine (and Greg McDonnell) provided an excellent overview of MLW's M-Line locomotives, including the M630. For that reason, MLW's 3000-hp model has been omitted from this profile. STATUS: Western New York & Pennsylvania 630 still active

C630: Original Owners

Chesapeake & Ohio #2100 at Grand Rapids, MI on 7 April 1971. (Photographer unknown / R. Craig collection)

Louisville & Nashville #1431 at Sharonville, Ohio on 19 April 1974. (Dan Dover photo / R. Craig collection)

National e Mexico #8319 at San Luis Potosi on 17 August 1979. (John C. Benson photo)

Norfolk & Western #1139 at Hagerstown, Maryland on 8 August 1970. (Bob Wilt photo)

Pennsylvania RR #6320 at West Detroit, Michigan on 14 August 1968. (R. Craig photo)- need better photo

Reading #5307 at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on 5 November 1967. (Bob Wilt photo)

Southern Pacific 3153 at Colton, California on 20 October 1973. (Tom Chenoweth photo / R. Craig collection)

Union Pacific #2906 at an unknown location in May 1969. (Photographer unknown / R. Craig collection)

C630M: Original Owners

Canadian National #2037 at Fort Erie, Ontario on 22 Sept. 1968. (R.W. Richards photo / R. Craig collection)

Canadian Pacific #4507 near London, Ontario in March 1969. (Denny Custer photo)

Pacific Great Eastern #702 at North Vancouver, BC on 6 June 1971. (Dougs Cummings photo / R. Craig collection)

Photo of FNM C630M #702 (ex-BCR 702) needed for Part 2 of this profile: second-hand ownership. It will appear in February, along with a Technical Data sheet


All Alco C630 / C630Ms built by Schenectady Plant (New York) are scrapped unless otherwise noted
Original Buyer Road No. 2nd Owner 3rd Owner Serial No. (date) Notes or Status
Atlantic Coast Line 2011 SCL 2211 L&N 8007(1433) 3408-01 (7/65) First domestically built locomotive with AC transmission
2012 & 2013 SCL 8008 & 8009 -- 3408-02 & 03 (12/65) --
Chesapeake & Ohio 2100-2103 Robe River (Australia) 9417-9420 -- 3486-01 to 04 (10/67) #9417 destroyed, others rebuilt; current status known
Louisville & Nashville 1425-1428 -- -- 3464-01 to 04 (6/66) --
1430-1434 -- -- 3456-01 to 05 (7/66) --
National de Mexico 8300-8309 -- -- 3475-1 to 10 (12/66-1/67) --
8310-8321 -- -- 3496-1 to 12 (2/68) --
8322-8331 -- -- 3495-1 to 10 (2-3/68) --
Built as C628s and 20 upgraded to Alco C630 specs by NdeM, including 8301, 8303, 8305, 8315, 8318, 8319, 8324 & 8326
Norfolk & Western 1130-1134 -- -- 3456-01 to 05 (5/66) High-Nose
1135 -- -- 3480-01 (9/67) High-Nose; now an exhibit at Virginia Museum of Transportation
1135-1439 -- -- 3480-01 to 05 (9/67) High-Nose
Pennsylvania 6315-6329 -- -- 3466-01 to 5 (10-12/66) --
Reading 5300-5306 -- -- 3442-01 to 07 (6/66) --
5307 & 5309-5311 -- -- 3487-01 & 03 to 05 (9-10/67) --
5308 -- -- 3487-02 (9/67) Owned by Reading Technical & Historical Society
Southern Pacific 7800-7814 -- -- 3439-01 to 15 (3-4/66 --
Union Pacific 2900-06 Duluth Missabe & Iron Range 2900-2906 Cartier 33, 38, 35-37 & 30-31 3440-01 to 10 (5-6/66) --
2907 DM&IR 907 Cartier 34 3440-08 (6/66) Now exhibited (privately owned) as UP 2907 at Arkansas Railroad Museum
2908 & 2909 DM&IR 908 & 909 Cartier 32 & 39 3440-01 to 10 (5-6/66) --
All MLW C630Ms built by Montreal Locomotive Works (Quebec) are scrapped unless otherwise noted
Canadian National 2000 & 2001 -- -- M3479-01 & 02 (8/67) --
2002 & 2043 -- -- M3491-01 & 42 (12/67-4/69) --
Canadian Pacific 4500 Arkansas & Missouri 70 Western New York & Pennsylvania 630 M6002-01 Remains in Service on WNY&P
4501-4507 -- -- M6002-02 to 08 (7-9/68) --
Pacific Great Eastern 701, 703 & 704 British Columbia Rail 701-704 -- M6029-01, 03 & 0404 (7/69) --
Pacific Great Eastern 702 British Columbia Rail 702 FNM 702 M6029-02 (7/69) --
Contributors: R. Craig and Ray Sabo

Original upload: 1 November 2020

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