Alco C630

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Alco C630
Posted by IA and eastern on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 3:04 PM

Union Pacific got Alco C630s and said they were bad locomotives. Then the locomotives were sold to an iron railroad that said the locomotives were good and got more. What did i miss? Gary

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Posted by SD70Dude on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 3:23 PM

The 10 UP units went to DMIR, where they only lasted a few years before moving on to northern Quebec's Cartier Railway.  All but one were scrapped in 1990, with the former UP 2907 eventually going to the Arkansas Railroad Museum, where it has been restored to its original colours.

To put it simply, ALCOs seemed to do better on railroads with shop forces that were used to them and would take the time to maintain them properly.  They are more fuel efficient than EMDs of the same era and have tougher GE traction motors, but seem to need more and somewhat different maintenance.  The 10 C630s would have been the odd ones out on Union Pacific, whereas Cartier was well known for their predominantly ALCO/MLW locomotive fleet and continued to run big 6-axle M-Liners into the 21st century.

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 8:29 PM

Even on the Cartier, they just seemed to sit before the fleet was cut up back about 1990.

I wonder if the survivor that was retained and rebuilt as a reserve unit performed a bit more satisfactory afterwards. 

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Posted by mandealco on Thursday, February 24, 2022 1:25 PM

Alco's in general are tough locos that thrive on low speed lugging thanks to their GE electricals.  They were ideal for mineral service which is hard on locos.  Look at the iron ore railroads of Western Aussie, then there was the LS&I, C&NW and Cartier etc.  Even Conrail put its big Alco's into mineral service out of Mingo Jct OH.  

When C&NW quit the big C-628s, their replacement EMDs struggled to do the same work.   As said previously, they required different and some would argue more maintenance, but they were tough and lasted long after most of their opposition considering the small numbers built.



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