Baldwin "AS-416" Locomotives

The AS416 was part of Baldwin's new Standard Line released in the early 1950s. This unit was meant to replace its earlier predecessor, the DRS-6-4-1500, and came equipped with slightly more horsepower.

Of the final four road switcher models Baldwin produced the AS416 sold the poorest, outshopping less than 30 units, all of which went to smaller roads located in the South, and one foreign line in Africa.

From the outset of the company's road switcher line, which debuted in 1946, used the same basic carbody design; a short high hood, offset cab, and trailing long hood.

Overall the style was actually quite pleasing with slight beveled edges and a flush roof line.

Today, two of these rare beasts are known to be preserved; Columbus & Greenville Railway #606 is at the Illinois Railway Museum while original Norfolk Southern #1616 can be found cosmetically restored at the North Carolina Transportation Museum.

A nice roster photo of Norfolk Southern AS416 #1617 at what appears to be Raleigh, North Carolina during the 1960s. Warren Calloway photo.

AS-416 History And Background

The AS416 began production in the December of 1950, around the same as the AS16 and AS616.

Compared to the company's early road switcher models the locomotive featured a much simpler classification system similar to models then in production by American Locomotive (Alco) and Electro-Motive (EMD).

At around the same time Baldwin became known as the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation (BLH), a merger that included the Lima-Hamilton Corporation; both locomotive manufacturers were then subsidiaries of Westinghouse Electric.

While easier to understand there was a more practical reason for BLH to update its classification system; in 1949 it had completely shutdown its steam locomotive line and began focusing solely on the development of diesels.  

Norfolk Southern AS416 #1614 wears the road's original livery of red with black and yellow pinstripes. It is seen here in Raleigh, North Carolina during the 1960s. Warren Calloway photo.

As such, the old Whyte notation that had carried over into Baldwin's early diesels was no longer needed. 

The new numbering system for the Standard Line was as follows for the AS416:

  • The letters referred to All Service road switcher

  • 4 powered axles 

  • 1,600 horsepower

Overall, the AS416 featured an A1A-A1A truck setup (meaning the two outside axles on each truck were powered while the center axle was unpowered).  Additionally, using Baldwin's latest 608A model prime mover. 

Norfolk Southern AS416 #1613 lays over at the engine terminal in Raleigh, North Carolina during the 1960s. Warren Calloway photo.

In the end, only three domestic railroads purchased 25 units (including four purchased by an Algerian railway):

  • Columbus & Greenville,

  • Norfolk Southern (original) who owned about every model type Baldwin built (NS also rostered the most AS416s)
  • Savannah & Atlanta

Had it not been for Norfolk Southern's order, Baldwin would have sold hardly any of the diesels. 

Norfolk Southern owned the largest fleet of AS416's, purchasing seventeen during the early 1950s from Baldwin. Here, #1617 is at Linden, North Carolina with a short freight in October of 1971. Warren Calloway photo.

In any event, it is interesting to speculate how successful Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton may have become as the 1950s gave way to the 1960s had Westinghouse allowed the builder to remain in the market. 

Baldwin AS-416 Data Sheet

Entered Production12/6/1950 (Savannah & Atlanta #108)
Years Produced12/6/1950 - 12/6/1955
Baldwin ClassDRS-6-4-1600/1 SC
Engine BuilderDe La Vergne
Carbody StylingBaldwin
Length (Between Coupler Pulling Faces)58'
Weight252,000 Lbs (Optional ballasting to 266,000 Lbs.)*
Height (Top Of Rail To Top Of Cab)14'
Width10' 2"
Truck TypeGSC Swing Bolster-Inside Frame Equalizers
Truck Wheelbase11' 6"
Wheel Size42"
Traction Motors370DL (4), Westinghouse
Traction Generator471B, Westinghouse
Auxiliary GeneratorYG42B, Westinghouse
Gear Ratio15:63
Tractive Effort Rating42,800 Lbs at 10.5 MPH
Top Speed65 MPH

* The A1A-A1A wheel arrangement thus offered 174,000 pounds on drivers.  If ballasting was chosen, this weight increased to 184,000 pounds.

Several design changes to the AS-416 were carried out with the final two units produced, Norfolk Southern #1616-1617.  At this time, Westinghouse electrical equipment was dropped in favor of General Electric. 

This included a GT590 main generator, GMG166 auxiliary-exciter generator, and GE752 traction motors (4).  In addition, the locomotive's length and weight was increased to the following:

  • 58' 6"
  • 258,000 pounds with 178,000 pounds on drivers

Lastly, the gearing was updated to 18:74 enabling 50,500 pounds of continuous tractive effort at 8.9 mph.

Baldwin AS-416 Production Roster

Owner Road Number Baldwin Serial Number Construction Number Completion Date
French Supply Council-Algeria040-DF-11750949/22/1951
French Supply Council-Algeria040-DF-22750959/22/1951
French Supply Council-Algeria040-DF-33750969/27/1951
French Supply Council-Algeria040-DF-44750979/27/1951
Savannah & Atlanta (Southern)10857511112/6/1950
Norfolk Southern16016752375/29/1951
Norfolk Southern16027752386/14/1951
Norfolk Southern16038752397/19/1951
Norfolk Southern16049752407/14/1951
Norfolk Southern160510752417/20/1951
Columbus & Greenville60611752737/20/1951
Savannah & Atlanta (Southern)10912756757/26/1952
Norfolk Southern160613756999/27/1952
Norfolk Southern160714757219/30/1952
Norfolk Southern160815757229/30/1952
Norfolk Southern1609167572310/9/1952
Norfolk Southern1610177572410/10/1952
Norfolk Southern161118759381/20/1954
Norfolk Southern161219759391/22/1954
Norfolk Southern161320759401/26/1954
Norfolk Southern161421760373/28/1955
Norfolk Southern161522760383/28/1955
Savannah & Atlanta11023761078/5/1955
Norfolk Southern1616247611212/6/1955
Norfolk Southern1617257611412/6/1955


  • Foster, Gerald. A Field Guide To Trains. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1996.

  • Kirkland, John F. Diesel Builders, The:  Volume Three, Baldwin Locomotive Works. Pasadena: Interurban Press, 1994.

  • Pinkepank, Jerry A. Diesel Spotter's Guide.  Milwaukee: Kalmbach Publishing Company, 1967.

  • Solomon, Brian.  Baldwin Locomotives.  Minneapolis:  Voyageur Press, 2009.

Norfolk Southern AS416 #1617 runs the little-used branch to Fayetteville, North Carolina just east of Senter in December of 1971. Warren Calloway photo.

The company's management in the early 1950s wanted to become a more serious and competitive diesel locomotive manufacturer but its parent believed it could not do so. 

As a result, one of the icons of locomotive manufacturing, dating back to the early 19th century, exited the business quietly in 1956. 

Lastly, for more information about the AS416s please refer to the chart above for a complete production roster of the model.

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