CRIP 415 (Alco C415) location unknown, probably Chicago, June 1972.

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


Alco logo.


The ALCO Century C415 was a diesel-electric locomotive of B-B wheel arrangement produced by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) as part of their Century Series of locomotives.


Southern Pacific Alco C415 2404 at Los Angeles, California, May, 1974. Photographer unknown.

(Craig Garver, Public domain,



The C415 was a large switcher or small road switcher equipped with a raised cab mounted slightly off-center, with a lower, narrower hood on either side. The longer one contained the diesel engine, a 1,500 hp (1.1 MW) eight-cylinder turbocharged Alco 251-F, while the shorter contained auxiliaries. The C415 could be ordered with three different cab heights; a low one for minimum clearances, a regular height one, and an extra-height one for maximum visibility.

Trucks fitted were either Type B road trucks or ALCO Hi-Ad (high adhesion).


Southern Pacific Alco C415 2401 at Los Angeles, California, November 2, 1968. Photographer Leo Caloia.

(Craig Garver, Public domain,


Service history

The locomotive was not very popular; 26 were built between 1966 and 1968 for seven different owners. The locomotive is still in use today. According to the November 2011 issue of Railfan & Railroad magazine, the Burlington Junction Railway now owns three C415s numbered 21, 701 and 702.


Rock Island Alco C415 422, location and date unknown, probably at Chicago, Illinois. Photographer: Jim Claflin.

(Craig Garver, Public domain,


Original owners

  • Hamersley Iron in Western Australia bought the prototype in May 1968, formerly lettered as ALCO 415. The locomotive was equipped with a medium height cab and AAR Type B trucks.
  • Chehalis Western Railroad bought a single high cab unit with Hi-Ad trucks.
  • Columbia and Cowlitz Railway bought a single high cab unit with Hi-Ad trucks. (Both the Columbia and Cowlitz and the Chehalis Western are Weyerhaeuser properties)
  • Monongahela Connecting Railroad bought a single low cab unit with Hi-Ad trucks.
  • Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad bought ten medium cab units with AAR Type B trucks.
  • Southern Pacific Railroad bought ten high cab units with Type B road trucks.
  • Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway bought two medium cab units with Hi-Ad trucks; these were passed to the Burlington Northern Railroad, 4010-4011 after a merger between the two railroads. More units were on order when Alco ended locomotive production in 1969.


Burlington Northern (former SP&S) Alco C415 4010 at Pasco, Washington, June 30, 1971. Ed Kanak photo.

(Craig Garver, Public domain,



Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Model: Century 415
Build date: 1966–1968
Total produced: 26
​• AAR B-B
Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Prime mover: Alco 251-F
Engine type: Turbocharged four-stroke diesel
Cylinders: 8
Performance figures
Power output: 1,500 hp (1,100 kW)


Burlington Northern Alco C415 4011 at Klamath Falls, Oregon, May 29, 1977. Photographer: unknown.

(Craig Garver, Public domain,