One of a Kind
A visit to Canadian Pacific’s Toronto Yard in Agincourt, Ontario brought my only encounter with the one and only MLW M640. This 4000-horsepower monster, by 1971 standards, which was equipped with an 18-cylinder engine, was the embodiment of a design developed at Alco before its 1969 shutdown.
This unit also has the distinction of being North America’s first DC-AC conversion in the mid-1980’s, predating the programmatic conversions of this type by decades. The 1000-horsepower AC traction motors used obviated the need for six powered axles, so the converted locomotive had an A1A-A1A configuration.
This view from the rear, necessitated due to it being nose-coupled in an engine terminal, shows the radiator section, which has an uncanny similarity to the radiator section of many modern GE locomotives. Today, the unit is preserved at Exporail.