|ALCo built a total of 131 Century 420
locomotives between 1963 and 1969, when the builder ceased all new
Powered by a 12-cylinder, turbocharged, 2,000-hp 251-series
prime mover, the C420?s direct competitor in 1963 was the EMD GP18.
In fact, EMD did not offer a 12-cylinder, 2,000-hp prime mover
until the GP39 model was produced in 1969. The shorter 12-cylinder
engine block allowed the C420 to have its distinctive set-back cab
and extended short hood.
The first road to purchase the C420 was the Lehigh & Hudson
River, with its first two units built in 1963. The largest fleet
was purchased by the Long Island Railroad, with 30 units built
between 1963 and 1968. All were equipped with a high short hood
which housed a steam generator for passenger service. Over time,
the largest fleet of C420s was amassed by the Louisville &
Nashville. While only 26 units were purchased new, their total
fleet grew to well over 60 units through mergers and acquisitions.
The C420 can still be found in daily service today in the US.
Currently the largest fleet of C420s is operated by the Arkansas
& Missouri Railroad.
Atlas? first release of the C420 is a low-nose ?phase 1? model.
The combination of stanchions mounted into the top of the walkway
deck and a high-mounted engine air intake (located ahead of the
radiator area) identifies this C420 variant. Phase 1 models were
produced between June 1963 and October 1964 and this first
production run covers all original owners of the low nose