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Nostalgia & History > ALCO C-415 Roster shots


Date: 12/29/06 20:51
ALCO C-415 Roster shots
Author: SPGP9

Here are some photos of a unique locomotive that was used primarily at City of Industry Yard in Southern California. The hump yard there was constructed during the 1960's and I believe these units served there as well as on locals to Anaheim and other points South. An HO scale model of the C-415 was made available by Perfect Scale Models in the 1970's. Hope you all enjoy the pictures.








Date: 12/29/06 21:39
Re: ALCO C-415 Roster shots
Author: topper

SPGP9 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Here are some photos of a unique locomotive that
> was used primarily at City of Industry Yard in
> Southern California.

Oh oh. I bet Steamjockey's knee is already staring to throb.

> The hump yard there was
> constructed during the 1960's and I believe these
> units served there as well as on locals to Anaheim
> and other points South.

Right. All were assigned to CofI (although a few units often strayed a bit), with Taylor Roundhouse being their point of maintenance. They were typically used in two-unit sets, or one 415 and one SW1500, in the yard at CofI and on the Anaheim and Buena Park Haulers that operated out of there. The Anaheim Hauler is where I first made my acquaintance with them.

Most crews hated them, especially when compaired to the SW1500s. I tended to like them, but then again, I liked the U25Bs, too.

The best one of the bunch was the 2401, as its Duplex Controller (that took up nearly every inch of space in the cab) had been replaced by two separate control stands. I was told that Alco had made the change at its own expense, and hoped SP would pay to do the other nine, but they never did. Too bad; I think it would've made them more acceptable.



Date: 12/29/06 22:39
Re: ALCO C-415 Roster shots
Author: SPGP9

Topper, thanks your comments. I was a newcomer to the hobby when I took those photos and was not acute enough to learn about operations. Your information is a very welcome addition to my meagre efforts.



Date: 12/29/06 22:47
Re: ALCO C-415 Roster shots
Author: topper

SPGP9 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Topper, thanks your comments. I was a newcomer to
> the hobby when I took those photos and was not
> acute enough to learn about operations. Your
> information is a very welcome addition to my
> meagre efforts.

Tony Johnson has some transcriptions of some of my experiences with the 415s that he used in the SP Review. Maybe he'll come down outta his tree long enough to post 'em.



Date: 12/29/06 23:26
Re: ALCO C-415 Roster shots
Author: john1082

They also worked the Tustin branch when they were bright, shiny, and new.



Date: 12/30/06 00:35
Re: ALCO C-415 Roster shots
Author: mwbridgwater

With regard to HO scale models, I remember buying a plastic one in the late '70s... don't recall the manufacturer.

Mark



Date: 12/30/06 01:43
Re: ALCO C-415 Roster shots
Author: n6nvr

mwbridgwater Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> With regard to HO scale models, I remember buying
> a plastic one in the late '70s... don't recall the
> manufacturer.
>
> Mark

IHC/AHM, still makes them as I recall.



Date: 12/30/06 04:25
C-415 performance question
Author: eljay

generally, alcos were known as "pullers." were the c-415s good pullers, at least in their league? thank you for any info. eljay



Date: 12/30/06 08:22
Re: ALCO C-415 Roster shots
Author: WP-M2051

The Duplex Controller must have been that cheap ass set up with links and levers that stretched across the cab from the "real" control stand to another on the other side of the cab. The whole mechanism was covered by a huge box that took up all of the cab room, right? I ran some PRSL engines set up that way; real dual controls were much better. Never ran any C-415s but just about every EMD type from NW-2s to SW-1500s along with abortions such as CF-7s. I know that the railfans called them cruds but the SW-1500s were the best switch engines I ever ran, period. Worst? Anthrax "rebuilt" SW-1s from NYC or PRR - pure garbage.

Fred



Date: 12/31/06 06:49
Re: C-415 performance question
Author: topper

eljay Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> were
> the c-415s good pullers, at least in their league?

I don't remember them as being remarkable, one way or the other.

They did as well as pairs of SW1500s, in my recollection, getting up to track speed on the UP between Industry and Bartolo with pretty big trains - 75 to 100 cars, most of which were loads.



Date: 12/16/12 12:48
Re: C-415 performance question
Author: ssloansjca

Since we are on the subject:

SP Alco C415 2400 in Colton Yard, West Colton, California, USA, August 28, 1976

No April fool's joke! SP C415 2407 leads a set of SP Alco C415s at the City of Industry, California, on April 01, 1973.

~Steve Sloan






Date: 12/16/12 17:28
Re: C-415 performance question
Author: loopy7764

Interesting you pulled this up today, I happen to be working on a C415 drawing right now.
The C415 was an interesting model which Alco actually learned a lot from. It came about from a survey of switcher configurations that were sent to various railroads.
The design selected was inherently flawed. They happened to be rather slippery due to uneven weight distribution- prime mover in the front, air compressor and radiator system in the rear. Batteries were in the left-rear hood, air reservoirs on the right. If you're familiar with Alcos' tendency to shove or drag non-Alco power, this presents an obvious problem. The excitation system that GE was currently using was implemented, as such, the C415 was notorious for slow loading.
The in-cab experience wasn't great either. Alco developed a V8 in which the cylinders fired every 90°, not particularly smooth running. As I recall this required the use of counterbalance shafts, but these resulted in secondary vibrations. The engine-auxiliary shaft also ran underneath the cab floor. And then there was the duplex controller mentioned earlier... Alco's exhaust stack was designed to keep smoke away from the crew. However, it warmed the cab, and it wasn't unknown for the pegboard wall to catch fire. In later units, the vertical section was rotated lengthwise, but most roads simply straightened the stacks. Following many complaints, Alco switched to conventional stepwells and dual controls. If you compare a representative from each C415 order, notice they all look different. Alco was at work with this model until the very end; you can't blame them for trying.

Side note, I hear SP found their batch too tall for their intended assignment at the LA passenger terminal.



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