ILW rsx51 #315; an rsx51-e627f for GO Transit

The Iberville Locomotive Works are a spinoff of the TdM’s St-Jean-sur-Richelieu shops; they were formed in the late 1960s after the TdM shops remanufactured a handful of old 244-equipped Alcos into more modern machines with 251s inside – when that batch of work was done the shops wanted to do more, were challenged to do it, did it, and then had their manufacturing group were spun off into it’s own company.

From an early start of about 20 locomotives a year, business has improved to between 150-250 locomotives a year, split 80/20 between freight and passenger/commuter machines.

After the D&H merger, ILW did locomotive assembly and bodywork (for the Buy American Act) in the D&H’s Colonie shops for about 10 years, then moved into part of the old Alco Schenectady works after the D&H took Colonie back as a backshop for the motors on the D&H south electrification.

In 1999, the first of their new ECO series went into testing; these units are manufactured with Caterpillar (pre-2011) and Cummins (post-2011) prime movers.

There are four & a half generations of ILW products:

Generation 1

First-generation Alco rebuilds, typically with Alco 251 prime movers. These were moderately successful until the railroad-killing recession in the 1970s.

Model number wheel arrangement HP prime mover notes
SW-51 B-B 1000 251C-6 from Alco & MLW switchers that previously had 549s & 244s
RS-151 B-B 1200 251D-6 from RS-1s
RS-251 B-B 1800 251B-12 … RS-2s
RS-351 B-B 1800 251B-12 … RS-3s
RS-1251 B-B 1800 251B-12 … as well as a few BLW roadswitchers
LRS-1251 B-B 1200 251D-6 … one of the last two Lima A-3174 roadswitchers (Otter Creek 8399)
FP451 C-C varies varies and a FP45 (ILW’s prime mover test engine)
Generation 2

Remanufactured/new with 251 prime movers. These models started to be produced in the late 1970s, but started to become somewhat – if you squinted and looked really hard at the sales figures – popular after MLW joined the choir invisible in 1985.

Model number wheel arrangement HP prime mover notes
RSX51/630 C-C 3000 251C-16 first 10 units were remanufactured from EMD SDP45s
RSX51/637F C-C 3700 251F-16 passenger engines with HEP power (first two remanufactured from E-8s, subsequent units manufactured from scratch)
RSX51/428 B-B 2800 251E-16 first AC units.
RSX51/424F B-B 2400 251D-16 cowled version of the RSX51/428
SWX51/412 B-B 1200 251D-6 switchers
RSX51/415 B-B 1500 251F-8 and light road switchers.
Generation 3

Global warming strikes!

When the (USA) EPA started issuing their locomotive emissions rulings, ILW took one look at the not even close to meeting any of them 251, and bailed on that prime mover, instead cataloging a bunch of new units with Caterpillar (and then in 2011, Cummins) prime movers

These are the point where ILW became actually successful; the Cat replacement for the streamlined RSX51s was gratifyingly popular and started a strong business selling alternatives to the streamlined units EMD, Adtrans/Bombardier, and Siemens were producing.

Model number wheel arrangement HP prime mover notes
eco-e414 B-B 1400 Cat 3512 First Cat-powered unit; the prototype was built on an EMD MP15 frame.
eco-633 C-C 3300 Cummins QSK78 Replacement model for the RSX51/630; first 5 were remanufactured from EMD SDP45s.
eco-g637 C-C 3700 Cat 3512(x2) multiple prime movers; the only unit (alas) was built on the frame from a E60C/DC.
eco-440fe B-B 4050 Cat C175-20 electro-diesels built for Amtrak’s Adirondack (3), VIA (1 – this was the demonstrator unit)
eco-640f C-C 4050 Cat C175-20 built for GO Transit & Caltrans
eco-640fe C-C 4000 Cat 3512(x2) electro-diesels; built for AMT, NJ Transit, CV, D&H
eco-642 C-C 4050 Cat C175-20 Colonie built freight hood units
Generation 4

Labour difficulties & their consequences.

In 2011, Progress Rail (EMD’s new owner) abruptly shut down GMD’s London works when the workers threatened to strike. This did not go over well with ILW’s militantly union staff, nor with ILW’s owners, which resulted in an immediate flip to Cummins prime movers (Cummins isn’t in the least a paragon of labor rights, but they didn’t kill GMD!) and issue a new catalog.

Model number wheel arrangement HP prime mover notes
eco-425 B-B 2500 Cummins QSK50 replacement for the eco-e414; built with Portland D4R radial trucks
eco-425rs B-B 2500 Cummins QSK50 longer version of the eco-425
eco-444/88p B-B 4400 Cummins QSK95 4-axle passenger electro-diesels for VIA, Amtrak, SEPTA, NJ Transit, Metro-North, Caltrans
eco-435/50 B-B 3300 Cummins QSK78 4-axle freight electro-diesel
eco-435/50fe B-B 3300 Cummins QSK78 streamlined version of the eco-435/50
eco-436/60p B-B 3600 Cummins QSK78 passenger electro-diesels with third rail shoes for Amtrak, the MTA, and Metro-North
eco-e110p B-B 11000 electric only high speed electric locomotives for the Northeast Corridor.
eco-644 C-C 4400 Cummins QSK95 the (even more successful) replacement for the eco-642
eco-644/56 C-C 4400 Cummins QSK95 electro-diesel hood units.
eco-644/88p C-C 4400 Cummins QSK95 six-axle passenger electro-diesels
eco-654fe C-C 5400 2x Cummins QSK60 genset electro-diesels for the P&W
Generation 4.5

Officially part of Generation 4, but these remanufactured units use ILW’s initial model numbers (with one notable exception; see below); the original model number suffixed with numeric part of Cummins’s model numbers. This model scheme was made as part of an advertising campaign to encourage Alco-loving shortlines & tourist railroads to replace the hideously polluting Alco prime movers in their locomotives with the corresponding Tier 4F Cummins engine.

Model number wheel arrangement HP prime mover notes
rs-250,rs-350 B-B 2130 Cummins QSK50 remanufactured Alco/MLW RS-2s & RS-3s
SD950 C-C 2130 Cummins QSK50 remanufactured EMD SD7s & SD9s
rs-29 B-B 2700 Cummins QSK60 remanufactured Alco RS-11 & MLW RS-18s
C-644,M-644 C-C 4400 Cummins QSK95 remanufactured Alco C-628s, C-630s, and C-644s, as well as MLW M-636s
LRS-1238 B-B 1350 Cummins QSK38 The other surviving Lima A-3174; Otter Creek #6398
  • Copyright © 2024 by Jessica L. Parsons ( unless otherwise noted
    Wed Nov 10 18:33:34 PST 2021