• DL-703

  • Discussion of products from the American Locomotive Company. A web site with current Alco 251 information can be found here: Fairbanks-Morse/Alco 251.
Discussion of products from the American Locomotive Company. A web site with current Alco 251 information can be found here: Fairbanks-Morse/Alco 251.

Moderator: Alcoman

  by Flakeroni
The DL-703 came up some time ago in this forum, the poster saying it had a 1600hp 12-244 and being called the RS-14; I'm curious if there was anything else about it floating around.
  by Engineer Spike
This sounds strange because DL701 was the RS11, but wasn’t that the same specification number for the MLW RS18? I think that the RS36 used it too. These models were all 251 powered. What was the number for MLW RS10?
  by SSW921
This website has a listing of these smaller Alco/MLW road switchers.

http://alcoworld.railfan.net/ars15-20.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

DL-703 may have been a proposed unit that was never built.

Ed in Kentucky
  by Flakeroni
I was never built for certain, I'm just curious about what it would have really been seeing there's so little information on it out there. All of the units in the DL-700 RS brand seemed to have the 251 which makes the claim of a 244 confusing to me.
  by SSW921
Flakeroni wrote:I was never built for certain, I'm just curious about what it would have really been seeing there's so little information on it out there. All of the units in the DL-700 RS brand seemed to have the 251 which makes the claim of a 244 confusing to me.
I'm thinking it may have been something very similar to the MLW RS-10 which had the newer style body with the 12-244 engine. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MLW_RS-10" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; The RS-10 was built between December 1954 and February 1957. A 12-244G or 12-244H/250 engine would have been used. And that's all just speculation on my part.

Ed in Kentucky
  by Allen Hazen
Alco model and spec numbers are not entirely systematic...
But my impression is that 700-series spec numbers all had 12-cylinder engines, and the smaller units, with 6-251 engines, had spec numbers in the 500 series. So I would guess that this was some sort of variant of the RS-11 idea...
  by Allen Hazen
Sorry, old age memory loss: 500 series Dl numbers were used for export locomotives with either 6-cylinder (531, etc) OR with 12-cylinder engines: the first of the latter seems to have been the Dl-540, alias RS-16, a shortened and lightened version of the domestic Dl-702 (a.k.a. RSD-12), introduced in1956.

So the "Dl-703" would, most likely, have been a model designed for North American use. The number suggests it dates from close to the same time as the Dl-701, etc. The Spec number to Model number translation guide says it was the "RS-14," also suggestive of that period: it's between RS-11 and RS-16, both for 1956 models!

It's not the MLW RS-10 or RS-18: they seem to have had Spec numbers 700(*) and 718, respectively. (The RS-10 was introduced in 1954, the same year as the original, 16-244 engined, Dl-600. Alco seems to have decided to use new number series for the Spec numbers of its new, "high-hood," road numbers. Unless... One new "model" introduced in 1956 was the variant of the RS-10 with static excitation instead of amplidyne control. The change seems to have been made in the middle of a Canadian Pacific order, and Kirkland, at least, doesn't give a revised Spec number for it, and it is now (I don't know if this designation was used when it was introduced or made up later) known as the RS-10S, but maybe there was some thought to calling the RS-14/Dl-703.

There doesn't seem to be any mention of the Dl-703/RS-14 in either Kirkland's or Steinbrenner's Alco books.

One picture caption in Steinbrenner says Dl-710 for the RS-10, but I think this is probably an error: it's on the same page, 343, as the text giving Dl-700.
  by Allen Hazen
Apparently, when CN downrated some RS-18 to 1400hp and equipped them with A1A trucks for use on lightly built branch lines, they called them... RSC14. Since this was MUCH later (the first such rebuild was apparently in 1975), I'm inclined to think this is not relevant.

On the other hand... There was perhaps some idea, in the mid-1950s, that RS, RSC, and RSD roadswitcher model numbers should be in a single series. (Since, at east for RS and RSC, a unit could be converted from one to the other by simply swapping trucks, there was potential for confusion if the same number was used for different models in different series.)

And a few models were numbered this way. MLW's full-height hood variant of the RS-3 became the RS-10 (and also the Dl-700): I assume (in the absence of documentation showing otherwise) when it was introduced in 1954. The 251-engined successor to the RS-3 (introduced in 1956, but doubtless under design a good deal earlier) got the next available numbers in both the RS series and the Dl series: RS-11 and Dl-701. The (slightly longer and a good deal heavier) CC version became the RSD-12 and Dl-702: next in each series. Produced before them, but perhaps not designed or authorized for production until after they had been named, MLW gave CN the RSC-13. It was basically a minimally updated RS-1 on A1A trucks, so it didn't get a 700-series Spec number: it was the Dl-800. (CN later removed the centre axle from the trucks on at least some to produce a BB version: MLW offered to build new BB units, calling them RS-13, but nobody bought any.) So the next in both the RS series and the Dl 700 series would be our mystery model, the Dl-703 a.k.a. RS-14.

Its not the RS-18: Kirkland's book says that was originally called the RS-11M, before MLW (trying, I suppose, to look a bit more independent of its corporate parent Alco) gave it the (system-destroying!) numbers RS-18 and Dl-718.

So I'm left with two guesses. (1) A first sketch of an export model, abandoned in favor of the Dl-540/RS-16, or (2) the RS-10S or something like it: the major change in control system being, plausibly, enough to justify a new Spec and Model number. In scenario (2), perhaps MLW decided not to change the model designation because they made the change in the middle of a CP order, and didn't want to have to rewrite a contract that called the locomotives to be built RS-10.

If we are very, very, lucky, someone will find an archived document giving us another (and maybe more exciting!) answer.

(All based on a rereading of the relevant sections of Kirkand's book.)
  by Flakeroni
I remember the RSC-14 retaining the specification number of the RS-18, but the idea of the RS-14 possibly being a downrated RS-11 could be possible. Like you said, hopefully, someone will surface with information regarding this mystery locomotive.
  by Allen Hazen
In this case, I'd say "Trust your memory!" The Wikipedia article on th derated/retrucked RS-18 is entitled "RSC 14," and says
"The horsepower rating for the locomotives was lowered from 1,800 hp (1,340 kW) on the RS-18 to 1,400 hp (1,040 kW), thus the new designation "RSC-14"."
The article also comes flagged with a warning that it doesn't cite any sources. (Thank you, Wikipedia, for your helpful comments!)

It doesn't say where the designation comes from. The railroad class(es) for them were MR14b and MR14c, so I don't see why CN would have wanted to make up another name for them. (In case anyone is wondering why "b" and "c"... the preceding, 244-engined, RSC-24, which were retired at the same time and donated truck for some of the RS-18 conversions, were also MR14.(*)) The project was a CN one, with, I suspect, limited or no input from MLW, so I think it unlikely that MLW would have assigned the units a model number, let alone a Spec number. (Besides, RSC-14 and Dl-703 would both have been wildly out of sequence by the time the RS-18 were converted.) I suspect it's a designation made up be some railfan. (Note: "suspect.")

So I think the Dl-703/RS-14 was something else.
(*). I think I've mentioned it before, but I thought it was funny enough to repeat: "Trains" once had a spread of railroad photographs with joke captions, and one was of an RSC-24 in action... with a thought-balloon over the engineer's head saying "If I've told them once I've told them a thousand times: you was C628s with a MILD detergent in COLD water."
  by swissrailfan
The RS10 and the RS10S were DL700 only built in Canada The RS11 DL701 was built only in the USA there were several canadianized RS11's purchased for the Grand trunk RR and Central Vermont RR. CN owned the GT and CV and others. The RS24 was a special order locomotive for CN the use of the 12 cyl. 244G engine rated at 1400 HP. and A1A trucks. The light weight of the locomotive for grainger lines in canada. CN in the late 50's and 60's was in the process of abandoning many low density lines and consolidating the graineries.to make lines left higher density.Improvements to the other lines heavier rail installed. The RS24 was to light weight for the heavier grain cars in use. The RS18 with A1A trucks (they were retrucked to BB ) were also short lived with longer trains.The FA2 did not have the 244G. The first 244G engines were in FPA2, ME1600 FA ,DL 212A built for the L&N.and the PA2 DL304D built for the SP.
  by SSW921
swissrailfan wrote:The RS11 DL701 was built only in the USA.
Not quite, there were 76 RS-11s built by MLW that were exported to Mexico.