ALCO built a total of 131 Century 420 locomotives between 1963 and 1969, when the builder ceased all new locomotive production.
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. This run of Atlas C420 Locomotives feature Phase 2 versions, featuring both Low & High Nose models. Early phase 2 locomotives feature phase 1-style walkways/sills with stanchions mounted into the top walkway deck (referred to as “Phase 2a” models). Later phase 2 locomotives feature a revised configuration where the stanchions are mounted to the sides of the sill (referred to as “Phase 2b” models). Phase 2a production ran from December 1964 through September 1965. Phase 2b units were produced from December 1965 through the end of C420 locomotive production in August 1968.
DCC OPERATION FEATURES (GOLD LOCOMOTIVES ONLY)
• Supports all DCC-programming modes
• DCC includes RailCom and RailComPlus, with 14, 28 or 128 speed steps and with
2-digit and 4-digit addressing.
• Flexible mapping of function keys F0 to F28.
• A total of 6 DCC function outputs are available, and all can be function mapped
(disable, brightness, light effects) individually
• Follows all NMRA DCC standards and recommended practices.
ESU LOKSOUND FEATURES (GOLD LOCOMOTIVES ONLY):
• Over 20 sound effects are available, including engine start-up and shutdown,
prime mover sounds through all eight notches, bell, air horn, air compressor,
dynamic brakes and more.
• There are up to 16 user-selectable horns, 2 user-selectable bells, and 2 user-
selectable synchronized brake squeals.
• Manual and Automatic Notching modes with the ability to change modes "on the
fly" are provided for true realism.
• Equipped with ESU’s Exclusive "Full Throttle" features for ultimate realism.
• Flat or "step" pilots used where appropriate
• Long hood with or without dynamic brake used where appropriate
• 3,100 or 2,400 gallon fuel tank used when appropriate per road name
• Separately-applied coupler cut levers
• Painted safety rails
• Dual flywheels
• Directional lighting
• Blackened metal wheels
• Scale Speed™ motor
• Factory installed AccuMate® magnetic couplers