Railway Museum of Madrid – 1615 Diesel Locomotive

Railway Museum of Madrid – 1615 Diesel Locomotive

1615 Diesel Locomotive

(American Locomotive Company, USA, 1955)

This train engine, deserves special attention for several reasons. First, it was the first diesel locomotive that circulated in Spain, because until then, the diesel locomotives that existed, were intended for shunting rail operations. Second, because it was a prototype acquired to the U.S. company ALCO, to start a process for the replacement in Spain of steam traction by diesel. And thirdly, it became part of an economic agreements made with the U.S., for an aid that planned the arrival of abundant railway materials.

We could add a fourth reason, as an anecdote, that in railway jargon of the time, this engine was called the “Marilyn” in tribute to the movie star, that was so famous in those times.

It is therefore a prototype that came to Spain for testing in 1955. Initially this machine had a 1,600 hp diesel engine, and electric transmission.  This was, implying that an electrical generator coupled to the crankshaft would give energy to the six electric motors, that were located in the respective axes. Later on, they were reinstated with new motors of 1,800 hp diesel engines, identical as the ones that powered locomotives of the 1800 and 2100 series, also by ALCO.

Locomotora diesel 318-001 (1801)

16 locomotives of this type, arrived later, and they would incorporate a second driving cab.

This locomotive, that was later given the model number of 1615, landed in the port of Bilbao, from the United States, to be allocated to the line of Andalusia.  More specifically to the place called Despeñaperros, between Linares-Baeza (Jaén) station, and Santa Cruz de Mudela (Ciudad Real).

In 1966, RENFE electrified this section, so these engines were taken to service the line between Cordoba, Seville and Cadiz. They continue as Andalusian lines, until, they were taken out of service from the active motor park, they became part of the collection of the Railroad Museum.

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