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ALCO HH series
Portland Terminal Company HH600 #1002, photographed at Portland, Maine on August 16, 1937.
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder ALCO
Total production HH600: 79;
HH660: 43 ;
HH900: 21;
HH1000: 34
AAR wheel arr. B-B
Gauge 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
Wheel diameter 40 in (1.016 m)
Length 45 ft 2¾ in (13.79 m)
Prime mover HH600/900: McIntosh and Seymour 531;
HH660/1000: McIntosh and Seymour 538
Engine type Four-stroke diesel
Aspiration HH600/660: Naturally aspirated;
HH900/1000: Turbocharged
Displacement 9,572 cu in (156.86 L)
Cylinders Inline-6
Cylinder size 12.5 in × 13 in (318 mm × 330 mm)
Power output 600 hp (447 kW),
660 hp (492 kW),
900 hp (671 kW), or
1,000 hp (746 kW)

The ALCO HH series were an early series of switcher diesel-electric locomotives built by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) of Schenectady, New York between 1931 and 1940, when they were replaced by the S series; the 660 hp (490 kW) S-1 and 1,000 hp (750 kW) S-2. They were ALCO's first diesel switchers to enter true series production, and among the very first land vehicles anywhere to utilise the revolutionary diesel-electric power transmission.

The "HH" name stood for "High Hood", a name ALCO came eventually to use in an official context, but originally an unofficial name. Model designations such as HH600 are only semi-official. Original ALCO designations were either descriptive or based on the internal order/design number.

A total of 177 of the HH series were produced; this comprised one prototype and four production models of varying power outputs.

Contents

ALCO 600 (New Haven #0900)

New Haven #0900, from an ALCO print advertisement that appeared in the May 28, 1932 edition of Railway Age magazine.

The first HH series locomotive, ALCO demonstrator #600 was mechanically almost identical to the others, but the appearance differed. The sides of the locomotive's hood sloped outward from top to bottom, and brake equipment was exposed beneath the cab. After a period of demonstration on a number of railroads, the unit was sold to the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad who numbered it as 0900, this number often being used to describe the locomotive, although the classification on the builder's data card was "404-OE-200". It rode on a unique pattern of trucks. This first unit was built in July 1931.

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Diesel-electric power transmission

The locomotive was equipped with a four-stroke McIntosh and Seymour Model 531 straight-6 diesel engine, powering a General Electric GT551A1 main generator. Four nose-suspended GE-287-D traction motors in the trucks were geared at a ratio of 4.25:1 to the wheels; the motors were cooled by electrically driven traction motor blowers. [1]

HH600

New York Central #677 works the yard at Buffalo, New York on August 7, 1939.

The HH600 was nearly identical to the previous #0900 of the New Haven internally and mechanically, but it was clad in new bodywork, with a straight-sided hood and cab sides that came all the way to the frame. The HH600 was powered by a 6-cylinder McIntosh and Seymour 531 engine of 600 hp (450 kW), and was built from July 1932 through May 1939; in all, 78 HH600s were constructed. The first-built units had sharp-edged front hood corners, but in 1934 ALCO employed industrial designer Otto Kuhler to clean up the appearance; he curved the corners and recessed the headlight, and all subsequent HH series units were of this style until another restyling in 1938 where the nose was further rounded. Late versions of this locomotive used the 6-cylinder 538 engine.

Original buyers

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
American Locomotive Company (prototype)
1
600 (1st)
to New Haven 0900
American Locomotive Company (demonstrators)
5
1, 600 (2nd)
601
to Lehigh Valley Railroad 105
602
to Boston and Maine 1102
603
to Delaware, Lackawanna and Western 401
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
2
2301–2302
Belt Railway of Chicago
2
302–303
Boston and Maine Railroad
1
1101
Central Railroad of New Jersey
4
1020–1023
Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad
1
102
Chicago and Illinois Western Railroad
1
1
Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad
1
1
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad
7
402–408
405–406 to Erie Lackawanna
Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway
1
209
Hoboken Manufacturers Railroad
1
601
Illinois Central Railroad
8
9006–9013
Scrapped 1951
Massena Terminal Railroad
1
7
Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company
2
101–102
New York Central Railroad
6
614–619
Renumbered 800–805
New York Central (Boston and Albany Railroad)
5
680–684
Renumbered 806–810
New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
10
0911–0920
Patapsco and Back Rivers Railroad
7
54–60
Peoria and Pekin Union Railway
1
100
Portland Terminal Company [Maine]
4
1001–1004
South Buffalo Railway
6
54–59
Steelton and Highspire Railroad
1
31
Universal Atlas Cement
1
4
Total 79

HH900

The HH900 was a 900 hp (670 kW) version of the HH series using a turbocharged version of the McIntosh and Seymour 531 engine. Both turbocharged models (HH900 and HH1000) needed a greater cooling capacity, and this was reflected in the larger bodyside radiator space of both models, which distinguishes them from the lower-powered HH600 and HH660. The 21 HH900 units were produced between March 1937 and January 1939, after which it was replaced by the McIntosh & Seymour 538T-engined HH1000. Several HH900s were built with the 538T engine.

Original buyers

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
American Locomotive Company (demonstrator unit)
1
101
Birmingham Southern Railroad
8
81–88
Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway
1
402
Kansas City Terminal Railway
1
50
Minnesota Transfer Railway
3
90–92
Philadelphia, Bethlehem and New England Railroad
1
207
to South Buffalo Railway 70
Reading Company
2
40–41
Warrior River Terminal Company
2
50–51
Youngstown and Northern Railroad
2
211–212
Total 21

HH660

The HH660 started production in ALCO's lineup in October 1938; 43 examples were built until April 1940. It utilized a naturally aspirated version of the 6-cylinder McIntosh and Seymour 538 engine, producing 660 hp (490 kW). Externally, HH660s are indistinguishable from late HH600s.

Original buyers

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
American Locomotive Company (plant switcher)
1
4
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
1
1900
Boston and Maine Railroad
1
1162
Buffalo Creek Railroad
1
43
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (“Milwaukee Road”)
4
1600–1603
Renumbered 980–983
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad
3
409–411
409–410 to Erie-Lackawanna Railway 324–325
Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway
3
210–212
Erie Railroad
4
302–305
Green Bay and Western Railroad
1
101
Inland Steel
1
50
Louisville and Nashville Railroad
1
10
Maine Central Railroad
2
951–952
Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway
1
D539
New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad
10
0921–0930
Northern Pacific Railway
3
125–127
125–126 to Walla Walla Valley Railway 770, 775; 127 renumbered 602
Southern Pacific Company
3
1001–1003
Tennessee Central Railway
1
50
Wabash Railroad
2
100, 150
Total 43

HH1000

The HH1000 replaced the HH900, replacing the 531 engine with the new McIntosh and Seymour 538T engine, turbocharged to produce 1000 hp (750 kW), a 100 hp (75 kW) increase on the previous model. It was produced during May 1939 and December 1940; 34 were built. M&STL D539 was the only HH1000 built with the 531T engine.

AT&SF #2316 sits idle at Waynoka, Oklahoma on August 6, 1940.
AT&SF #2315 photographed at Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 7, 1940.


Original buyers

Railroad Quantity Road numbers Notes
American Locomotive Company (demonstrator unit)
1
1000
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
12
2310–2321
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
1
600
Birmingham Southern Railroad
1
89
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (“Milwaukee Road”)
1
1671
Manufacturers Railway
3
202–203
Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company
4
103–106
Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway
1
D-539
Renumbered 92; to Chicago and North Western Railway
Missouri Pacific Railroad
1
9102
Newburgh and South Shore Railway
2
1–2
Oliver Iron Mining Company
7
900–906
Total 34

Specifications

Overall length 45 ft 2.75 in 13.79 m
Between bolster centers: 21 ft 3 in 6.48 m
Truck wheelbase: 8 ft 0 in 2.44 m
Width over grabirons: 9 ft 10 in 3.00 m
Height above rails: 14 ft 3 in 4.34 m
Wheel diameter: 40 in 1.02 m
Fuel capacity:
Engine (HH600): McIntosh & Seymour 531
Power (HH600): 600 hp 450 kW
Engine (HH900): McIntosh & Seymour 531T (turbocharged)
Power (HH900): 900 hp 670 kW
Engine (HH660): McIntosh & Seymour 538
Power (HH660): 660 hp 500 kW
Engine (HH1000): McIntosh & Seymour 538T (turbocharged)
Power (HH1000): 1000 hp 750 kW
Main generator:
Traction motors:
Standard gearing:
Weight:

Surviving units

A few HH series switchers still survive in revenue service, and more are in museums. Working HH locomotives include an HH660 at Gopher Scrap in Mankato, Minnesota, two more owned by RELCO, and one owned by Behr Iron and Steel of Portage, Indiana. Preserved locomotives include an HH600, four HH660s, an HH900 and an HH1000.

Notes

  1. ^ "ALCO 600 build sheet". http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/alco600a.jpg.  

References

  • Pinkepank, Jerry A. (1973). The Second Diesel Spotter's Guide. Kalmbach Publishing Co., Milwaukee, WI. ISBN 0-89024-026-4.  
  • Sweetland, David. (2004) Santa Fe's Alco Switcher Fleet. Diesel Era Vol. 15 No. 6, November/December 2004, pp. 10–31. Withers Publishing, Halifax, Pennsylvania.
  • Laundry, Mark. Alco High Hood Models. Retrieved March 29, 2005.
  • Komaneski, John. ALCO HH600 Roster. Retrieved March 27, 2005. States information originally from Extra 2200 South.
  • Komaneski, John. ALCO HH660 Roster. Retrieved March 27, 2005. States information originally from Extra 2200 South.
  • Komaneski, John. ALCO HH900 and HH1000 Roster. Retrieved March 27, 2005. States information originally from Extra 2200 South.
  • Steinbrenner, Richard (2003) The American Locomotive Company A Centennial Remembrance. Chapter VI subchapter "ALCO's First Production Diesels".

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