• ALCO orders in 1969 that were canceled.

  • Discussion of products from the American Locomotive Company. A web site with current Alco 251 information can be found here: Fairbanks-Morse/Alco 251.
Discussion of products from the American Locomotive Company. A web site with current Alco 251 information can be found here: Fairbanks-Morse/Alco 251.

Moderator: Alcoman

  by Alcochaser
Allright... I am curious now. In a previous thread it was stated that ALCo had 75 locomotives orders on the books that were simply canceled in 1969. I know that SP&S had orders for 2 more C415 and more C636. But thats no where near 75. Who else ordered ALCos that year?

  by Alcoman
Here is a partial answer for some of the ones I have heard about: I am not sure of exact numbers however. Perhaps someone else can add those,
1) Penn Central 10 Locos- C430's , 10+ C636's
2) Rock Island for more C415's 10?
3) Export of 60 plus locos
4) GB&W 5 or more C430's
5) New Haven 10 C415's

These are the one I recall reading about.I am not sure of exact numbers.
Some of the information came from production information
  by NYC21295

I meant to post on this subject awhile ago, but since it has come up, I thought to post my current thoughts. According to the ALCO production information that I have, the only domestic order that was on the books and was cancelled were 15 C430s to be built for PC. They were to carry construction numbers 6019-01 to 15 and road numbers 2060 to 2074. I do not know what the Sales Order number was.

As for the other domestic orders that are sometimes listed as cancelled, aside from the fact that they do not seem to have ever been given construction or production numbers, I suspect that they were proposals by ALCO to sell those units to the railriads, and over time, they morphed from proposals to orders. A look at some of these orders in context, and availiable evidence, helps make the case that they never were.

SP&S orders for C636s and C415s. This is plausable in that SP&S was a strong supporter of ALCO, but consider this from Burlington Northern and its Heritage by Steve Glischinski: "Late in the year, four more C636s arrived, along with two unusual C415 1,500hp center-cab swithchers. They would be the last ALCOs received by SP&S. In 1969, with ALCO soon to close its doors, SP&S ordered six 2,000hp GP38s from EMD." Even though ALCO stopped production in early 1969, the decision to order locomotives takes some time, so the decision to purchase the EMDs was proably made while ALCO was still in the business. It is also intertesting that SP&S did not by GE locomotives, since they would have been much more familiar with GE equipment.

GB&W C430s. When I researched my artile on the C430 in the mid 1990s, the only additional order for C430s that was cancelled that I could confirm was S.O. 21278 for 10 units to the Rock Island, construction numbers 3470-01 to 10. As for the GB&W, the numbers do not make sense, as they had never purchased more than 2 or 3 diesels at a time, and all of the Century Series units they purchased were single unit orders. A check thru Green Bay and Western by Stan Mailer shows no mention of additional C430 orders, but does have this regarding the roads lone C430: " Boxy and ungainly looking, the 315s distinctive profile was a regular on the long, single train daily that constituted GB&Ws 1970's way of life." So why would there be a need for that many C430s?

Additional C415s fro the Rock Island. Other than the lack of Sales Order and Construction numbers, I do not have any direct proof that RI did not have C415s on order. However I have talked to people who have related that RI was interested in additional C415s at one time, but it aparently never went anywhere.

New Haven C415s. With the last of the 10 C425s that the NH ordered arrivning in early 1965, it seems odd that they would go back to ALCO almost 4 years later, knowing the condition ALCO was in. Also, with the NH entering PC on 1-1-69, I find it hard to believe that PC would have approved the purchase of 10 new units at that time.

As for exports, the only cancelation at the time of the shut down I can find listed is 2 assigned construction numbers 6020-01 - ? and 6021 - 01 - ? for West Pakistan. The interesting part of this order is that listed as the llocation of construction is a D, rather than an A for ALCO or an M for MLW.

Hope this helps, and if anyone has any other hard evidence, I would be most interested in seeing it.

Stephen McMillan

  by Alcoman
I have found some additional information regarding my earlier post.
I don't have dates, but construction numbers:

5 C420's for DT&I C/N 2409
? ? 3453
10 C415 Rock Island C/N 3470
10 C430 Rock Island 3471
1 C430 GBW 3493
15 C430 PC 6019
23 DL515 Pak western 6020
42 DL543 Pak Western 6021
? unknown Qty India 6026

Without including India count which was not filled in, the total is 106 Canceled orders according to these "official records" from ALCO.

  by NYC21295

Are you counting all of the canceled orders, since I am sure that both the DT&I and RI orders were cancelled before Schenectady shut down. As I stated above, as far as I can tell the only domestic order that was cancelled at shut down was the PC order for 15 C430s.

A few corrections to your list:

The DT&I C420s were coverd by ALCO Sales Order number 21231, with Construction numbers 3409-01 to 05

Sales Order number 21263 covered 3 C628s assigned Construction numbers 3453-01 to 03, for the LV. This order was cancelled.

Sales Order number 21278 covers Construction numbers 3470-01 to 10. This is the cancelled order from the RI for C430s, not C415s.

Construction numbers 3471-01 and 02 were assigned to 2 DL500B units, road numbers 963 and 964 that were built for the South Australian Railways.

On my list Construction number 3493 is only listed as order cancelled.

GB&W C430 315 was built under Sales Order 21294 and carries Construction number 3498-01

Hope this helps.


  by Alcoman
The list is a typed form with hand written entries. There are no dates in most cases so I am not sure when the orders were canceled.
I am sure that Alco mangement knew of the shutdown at least a few months ahead so I am guessing that orders were canceled at radom to clear the shop floor except for orders that were small or already started.
As you know some orders were sent to MLW and in one case, the order for DL535's (WP&Y) were started but later sent to MLW.
There is no entries regarding the cause of cancelation so it purely speculation to why some orders were canceled.
In the order for 20 units for the RI for instance, it could have been caused by a financal issue since we know the RI was not healthy.
I don't think we will ever know what was behind all the cancelations.

  by N. Todd
Order 6026 was transferred to Varanasi in India early on and released 60 units beginning in Nov 68. Subsequently over 500 locos with the I6025 prefix have been built there.

Is it safe to assume that 6019, 6020, and 6021 were covered under S.O. 21310-21312? If so what was 21213 be? I think 21314 was for the WP&Y units.

I have 21285/3481 for a C-415 as being canceled.

It also appears that some orders were transferred a different set of numbers, e.g. 3446; 84822-84893; and possibly 84894-84898.

  by N. Todd
On the original forum someone said that the NH was "interested" in C-415s.
  by krobar
What about the Monon? I remember reading somewhere that they wanted more C420s but couldn't get them. That's how they ended up with the U23Bs. So were they on order before the shut down, or was this a proposal for purchase?

  by N. Todd
On my list Construction number 3493 is only listed as order cancelled.
Now who would this be for?

Canceled orders for RS-27s:
These may have been for Reading.

  by mp15ac
N. Todd wrote:
On my list Construction number 3493 is only listed as order cancelled.
Now who would this be for?

Canceled orders for RS-27s:
These may have been for Reading.
These wouldn't have been canceled in 1969, as Alco has replaced the RS-27 with the C-424 years earlier. Perhaps Reading was considering RS-27's , but canceled and instead went with the C-424's, which they did buy.


  by N. Todd
I forgot to mention awhile back... this further adds specualtion to the "cancelled" SP&S orders in 1969:
SP&S purchases were set up (and financed?) by the controlling GN and NP railroads. They thought they should purchase some Alcos because of the Elkins act; of course they no longer wanted them on their own lines, so they went to SP&S. It is possible that SP&S people anticipated or submitted an order to NP or GN... they who sensed Alcos demise could have just rejected it and go thier own way.

I wouldn't be surprised if Monon wanted more C420s. It's interesting that DT&I placed an order for C420s in the first place. Had they been built...

It doesn't make sense that New Haven was considering C415s, given that the two big initial orders had established the C415's slipperiness.