Reading Railroad ALCO C424 5202 at Rutherford Yard in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1970.

(Roger Puta, courtesy Marty Bernard, railfan 44, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)



The Century 424 was a four-axle, 2,400 hp (1,790 kW) diesel-electric locomotive. 190 were built between April 1963 and May 1967. Cataloged as a part of Alco's Century line of locomotives, the C424 was intended to replace the earlier RS-27 model and offered as a lower-priced alternative to the C425. Montreal Locomotive Works also built this locomotive as MLW Century 424.


Original owners

Locomotives built by Alco

Owner Quantity Numbers Notes
Belt Railway of Chicago 6 600–605 At least one (No. 603) now Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad
Erie Lackawanna Railway 15 2401–2415
Erie Mining Company 1 500
Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México 45 8100-8144
Green Bay and Western Railroad 4 311–314
Pennsylvania Railroad 1 2415 rebuilt from RS27 demonstrator 640-1
Reading Company 10 5201–5210
Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway 7 300–306 To Burlington Northern 4240–4246.
Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway 2 800–801 Later sold to the Morristown & Erie Railway as Nos. 18 and 19. No. 19 preserved by Tri-State Railway Historical Society. No. 18 preserved by the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL.
Wabash Railroad 7 B900-B906 Originally supposed to be NDM 8100–8106, but the order was canceled and the units were sold to Wabash. They were prohibited from being used as lead units due to the controls being labelled in Spanish.
Total 98

CVSR 4241 - an MLW Built C424 identical to the ALCO built models - at the CVSR yard in Brecksville.

(Chesapeake at en.wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Locomotives built by MLW

Owner Quantity Numbers Notes
Canadian National Railway 41 3200–3240
Canadian Pacific Railway 51 8300, 4201–4250 8300 renumbered 4200. 4241 to Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway
Total 92


  • Toledo, Peoria and Western 801 is preserved as Morristown & Erie 19 by the Tri-State Railway Historical Society and in storage in Boonton, NJ
  • Toledo, Peoria and Western 800 is preserved as Morristown & Erie 18 at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL
  • Canadian Pacific 4237 is preserved at the Canadian Railway Museum in Saint-Constant, QC.
  • Reading 5204 is preserved by the Reading Company Technical & Historical Society
  • Canadian Pacific 4230 is preserved as West Chester Railroad 4230 in West Chester, PA
  • Canadian Pacific 4213 is preserved as West Chester Railroad 4213 in West Chester, PA



Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Builder: Alco Products; Montreal Locomotive Works
Model: Century 424
Build date: April 1963 – May 1967
Total produced: 190
​• AAR B-B
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Prime mover: Alco 16-251B
Performance figures
Power output: 2,400 hp (1,790 kW)
Locale: North America