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June 2001 - Page 21

Modeling Pennsy Century 630: s

A Second-Generation Brute
by Stuart R. Thayer
Model photos by the author
PRR 6322 is doing what the Pennsy C630s were known for best...pushing hard on the rear end of a heavy train, while the trains conductor watches the show.


tarting in 1965, the Pennsylvania Railroads motive-power purchasing policy s hifted to six-axle motive power. At that time, the dominance of EMD locomotives that had been established early on continued with 70% of the new locomotive purchases o f six-axle power going to EMD. These purchases included 40 SD35s (6000-6039) built between February and May 1965, 65 SD40s (6040-6104) built in February and March 1966, and a whopping 130 SD45s (6105-6234) built between October 1966 and January 1968. During this time, newcomer General Electric also got into the action and supplied new six-axle motive power to the Pennsy in the form of 20 U25Cs (6500-6519) built between April and December 1965, 15 U28Cs (6520-6534) built during September and October 1966, and five U30Cs (65356539) built in January 1967. Finally, the Pennsy turned to long-time locomotive supplier American Locomotive Company (ALCO) to supply examples of their new Century Series six-axle locomotives to be specific, the Century 628, C entury 630 and Century 636. Between March and December 1965 the Pennsy took delivery of 15 C628s (6300-6314) and 15 C630s (6315-6329) built between October and December 1966. Fifteen C636s were o rdered by the PRR, but were delivered during March and April 1968 after the Penn C entral merger. Consequently, they were delivered as PC units. It is the C630s that are the subject of this article.

On the Pennsylvania Railroad the ALCO C 630s carried a classification of AF-30. Translated, this alphanumeric code meant A LCO F reight unit rated at 3 0 00 horse power. They were built with builders numbers 3466-01 through 3466-15 and came with a gear ratio of 74:18, which gave them a top speed of 66 mph. All 15 units were put into service at Enola, PA, but were later assigned to Conway Yard for maintenance. Although they could be used system wide in freight service, they most often were used as pushers, or Snappers as the PRR referred to them, out of Altoona. Immediately after the Penn Central merger in February 1968, the 630s could still be found toiling away on the Mountain as before in the same numbers that the PRR assigned to them. However, motive power assignments soon became disrupted, and the big Centuries could be found wandering the entire Penn Central system pulling all types of freight. By the time of the Conrail merger in 1976, the C630s had migrated to Mingo Junction, OH, were their low-speed lugging abilities, so characteristic of ALCO Centuries, could be best put to use working on heavy mineral trains. When delivered to the PRR in 1966, all but one of the new C630s came painted in the then-standard PRR diesel paint scheme of Brunswick Green with stick-on Keystone heralds and large road numbers under the cab windows. One unit came delivered in time for Christmas 1966, and was painted in white with Christmas bells and holly painted

down the long hood on the engineers side. The front of the nose was decorated with a colorful wreath with both PRR and ALCO logos. Also stenciled down the engineers side of the long hood was special lettering that read: Christmas Special Schenectady, N .Y. to Enola, PA. 500th ALCO Century L ocomotive . Unfortunately, I could not find a reference as to which C630 this was. Should you be interested, there are two very nice photos of this special unit on page 70 of Pennsy Diesel Years Vol. 3 by Robert J. Yanosey from Morning Sun Books. A model of this distinctive unit would be a definite eye catcher. I have long had a strong interest in the PRRs big Centuries, and when Stewart Hobbies announced their HO model of the C630, I knew it wouldnt be long before I would have a model of the PRR version. I just love the big husky look of these locomotives, and the Stewart model does an excellent job of capturing that. Luckily for us Pennsy second-generation diesel fans, the first run of the Stewart Hobbies C630 came decorated in PRR without a road number. Some might not like the absence of the road number, but I found it a real plus, because I could then model whichever unit I chose. Upon close examination of the Stewart model and photos of PRR C630s it became apparent that a very nice model could be realized with the addition of appropriate details and decals. One thing that I wanted to do with this model was to save the Stewart-applied

JUNE 2001


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