CNW C628's from N&W - Ore Power

Discussion relating to The Chicago & North Western, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road), including mergers, acquisitions, and abandonments.

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CNW C628's from N&W - Ore Power

Post by Tadman » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:25 am

Lately, there's been quite a few pics of the C628's originally built for N&W but bought by CNW for ore service up north. I was always a big fan of these units after reading about them in Trains Illustrated as a kid. Take a look if you like big Alcos.
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Re: CNW C628's from N&W - Ore Power

Post by Komachi » Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:51 pm

Mmmmmmmmmmm. C&NW C628 goodness. ** Homer Simpson drooling FX **

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Re: CNW C628's from N&W - Ore Power

Post by wjstix » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:04 am

I was lucky enough to get to photograph a couple of them in service in Upper Michigan. I've never been an "Alco-haulic" but I really like them!!

BTW when first bought, they worked the Duluth-Superior/Twin Cities/Omaha line for CNW, on fairly fast mainline freights connecting the Great Lakes ports with (I believe) the UP connection for things like early container traffic and such going from the Atlantic to the Pacific and vice-versa.

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Re: CNW C628's from N&W - Ore Power

Post by Engineer Spike » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:18 pm

Did these units ever wonder elsewhere, such as when ore graffic was slow?

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Re: CNW C628's from N&W - Ore Power

Post by SlowFreight » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:53 pm

Not really. They would wander into Proviso for wheel work periodically, but with Escanaba being the Alco maintenance base, they stayed captive to points north of Green Bay, and when ore traffic slowed the units would just get parked.

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Re: CNW C628's from N&W - Ore Power

Post by Desertdweller » Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:03 pm

These 628's were used on the Huron Line out of Winona Mn in the early 1980's. Huron, with its 17-stall roundhouse, was used as a maintenance base for surviving ALCO power on the C&NW.

I was living in Winona at the time, and working in St. Charles. These units were very impressive on account of their size. The design of their carbody, with the cab moved close to the end of the frame, coupled with a high short hood, made them look huge. Much bigger-looking than an SD-45 of similar size.

The C&NW engine terminal at Winona was a regular zoo of ALCOs. C420's, RS-32's (ex-SP, some in red and gray, some in Chrome Crankshart red), smaller RS and RSD units, RS slugs.

I think the idea was to concentrate the minority builders' units geographically to rationalize the stocking of repair parts. I know the Milwaukee Road did this for that reason (FM's concentrated east of LaCrosse; Baldwins concentrated between LaCrosse and St. Paul; ALCOs based out of LaCrosse).


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Re: CNW C628's from N&W - Ore Power

Post by FMFan » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:55 am

Not to pick a nit, but I don't think they 628s were ever used on a regular basis out of Winona or to Huron. I think when first purchased (early 70s) they were used on manifest service to Minneapolis from Chicago/Milw, but then migrated to the ore lines as replacement for the H-16-66s (circa 1974-1976) then pretty much stayed there for their duration on CNW. Not an impossibility that one ever wandered to the Huron line, but doubtful. The earlier ALCOs (241 powered and smaller 251s) were the prime power on Huron line. Eventually, the remaining 251 powered versions were re-assigned to GB and the ore line area, joining the 628s. Ah, I miss those days

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Re: CNW C628's from N&W - Ore Power

Post by SlowFreight » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:21 pm

Not that it was impossible to happen once or twice, but the 628's were never assigned to Huron as they were track mashers weighing in at a whopping 402k each. When the daily Green Bay turn out of Escanaba had local switching, a repowered Baldwin would get tucked in behind the 2 628's just to down into the spurs.

IIRC, the road bought the units in '73, mucked around with them in the Twin Cities pool, and by '75 had sent them up to Escanaba to kill the FM's and stay forever. The Huron shops saw their last Alco around '81, after which the 424's were transferred up to Escanaba and their slugs scrapped. When the 1980 recession took hold, the 244 power went away and the surviving Alcos (ex-CR RS32, bought-new C424, and ex-N&W C628) were rounded up together.

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