The Russian RSD1 copies

ALCo assembled of its WWII model RSD1 not more than 150 units. Seventy units were sent under a wartime lend-lease agreement to the Soviet Union in 1944/45. The units were planned to be used in arid regions in central Asia but were also used around Moscow. Between 1947 and 49 the Khar'kov locomotive works erected quite a number of direct copies of the RSD1 which were called TE1 20. On the basis of the ALCo RSD1/TE1 20, basically making use of the same engine and generator design, a twin-unit version was devolped which was called the TE2 (Bo-Bo + Bo-Bo).

Towards the end of the 1950s the design of the RSD1 was used to develop a Co-Co unit which should enforce dieselisation. The 539T engine was now called Penza 2D50. Later came the TEM2 which had a Penza PD1 engine (4-stroke, 6 cyls.), producing 883 kW at 750 rpm. Most of the series TEM were built at the Bryansk works, but Lugansk/Woroshilowgrad built at least 127 units of the TEM2 for the Polish PKP between 1976 and 1988. Under the Red Star perhaps over 4000 "ALCo-engined" units were built from 1959 on!

At the moment I don't know if the Penza PD1 is a uprated 2D50 / 539T. And what about the PD2? This still needs to be sorted out. Any info on the Soviet engine development concerning the ALCo 539T design is most welcome.

The 1:1 copy of the ALCo RSD1 was the TE1 20. These plagiates were built at Khar'kov from 1947 to 49. Here TE1 20-124 is seen in Turkmenistan (Karakum desert) in the late 1940s or early 50s.

Photo taken from "Fahrt Frei" no. 27, 1953
TEM1-1055 leaves the Leningrad roundhouse on August 16th, 1991.

L.J. Kenward photo

Technical Data of the TEM1:

Wheel arrangement: Co'Co'
Weight, total: 123 tons
Max. speed: 90 km/h
Length, overall: 16970 mm
Rating: 1000 HP
Prime mover: 2D50 (resembles McIntosh&Seymour 6-539T)

Factory shot of SZD TEM2-660.

Photo: Jane's World Railways 1973/74


Mongolian TEM's M1244 and 1228 near Ulan Bator.
Larry G. Russell collection


In following countries the TEM class can be found:
Bulgaria, Cuba, Czech Republic, Guinea, Mongolia, North Corea, Poland, Russia, Syria, the Baltic states and possibly further countries of the former Soviet Union.

A TGM4a is shunting near Moscow. This class is a B-B derivative of the diesel-hydraulic TGM class. It's mainly in industrial use in Russia. This unit might not have an "ALCo" engine.

Ed Bowers photo

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Last update 31.10.03