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ALCO Super 630
Chessie
No.243-03 1975 and 1976
No.250-03 1977-1979

D&H Super 630

ALCO Super 630
Delaware & Hudson
No.243-D
1974-75
No.243-04
1975-76 and 1976
No.250-04
1981

Golden Eagle Super 630

ALCO Super 630
Golden Eagle
No.250-51
1980

TYCO's Early Super630 Illinois Central Gulf

ALCO Super 630
Illinois Central Gulf
No.243-A 1974-75
 
One of only four paint schemes found on TYCO's original Super630, according to product catalog pictures, is this ICG offering, the others are Chessie, D&H and Santa Fe.  It should be noted that TYCO used the Illnois Central example found at the bottom of this page in the 1973-74 catalog.  It would likely have been stock number 243A, had it been produced.  The above Super630 in ICG dress is considered the first version to be actually produced and sold by TYCO for this roadname.

ICG Super 630

ALCO Super 630
Illinois Central Gulf
No.243-14 1975-76
No.250-14
1979-1981

ICG Super 630 -Late Version

ALCO Super 630
Illinois Central Gulf
No.243-14 1975-76
No.250-14
1979-1981
 
 
The ICG Super 630 has various paint and lettering variations. The model with larger lettering and more white than orange along its long hood and no handrails is from 1981 and replaces the earlier version from the late '70s, which is also pictured here.  Still other early examples of the ICG Super 630 feature a much darker orange color with lettering similar to the model with smaller lettering down its long hood.  This early Super 630 in ICG dress is seen at the top of this page with the early D&H and Santa Fe models.  Notes that this early ICG Super 630 also has a much smaller "1102" cab number than other examples.

ALCO Super 630
Santa Fe
No.243-B
1974-75

Santa Fe Alco Super 630

ALCO Super 630
Santa Fe
No.243-21 1975-76 and 1976
No.250-21
1977-1992

ALCO Super 630
Super Spirit of '76
No.246
1975-76 and 1976
No.250-35
1977 and 1978
 
Don't look for a Brown Box necessarily when hunting for a TYCO Super Spirit of '76 model.  As you can see, TYCO used the standard mid-'70s box design for this piece switching though to patriotic colors from the standard brown and orange.  This model is know to only exist using the Super630 shell with four slots down each side to snap in the PowerTorque trucks, while the fuel tank screws into two posts inside the shell middle.  Oddly, TYCO initially sets this Super630 apart from the rest with a 246 stock number for years 1975 and 1976.  In those years, the Super630 models carried the 243 stock number.  When the Super630 models jump to the 250 stock number, the Super Spirit of '76 joins them and is supplied with the -35 suffix to its number to denote the Bicentennial scheme.

TYCO's Alco Super 630 Diesel Locomotive

Original Super 630s

Introduced in the 1972-73 TYCO catalog, this was the first new locomotive to arrive after the Tyler family sold the TYCO line to Consolidated Foods.

The unit was originally shown with prototypical trucks dressed in ILLINOIS CENTRAL orange-and-white paint in the 1972-73 product catalog. The drive-motor on this original version differs greatly from the later regular production PowerTorque offerings. The original drive favors a design similar to that found on AHM-Rivarossi units of this same period, the U25C an example.

RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN reported in its review of this unit that only the first run offered the correct trucks and better motor. Legend has it that SEARS received the bulk of these unique Super 630s. The general production runs offered TYCO's PowerTorque drive and a very odd looking non-prototypical truck sideframe design.  This odd looking truck was also supplied for TYCO's E-7A, GG1, and certain SD-24 models.  The truck occasionally gets labeled TYCO's "vampire" truck, due to the appearance of what looks like a pair of fangs hovering over the center axle of the sideframe. 

The Alco Super 630 seems to suffer from some identity issues. Notice the variations in stock numbers used by TYCO over the life of this model. It was originally the "243" and then changed to "250" in the mid-'70s.  And further confusing the situation is the original number of "246" provided for the Super 630 in Spirit of '76 paint, but later moved into the "250" with the rest of the Super630s. 

Non-Powered examples of the Alco Super 630 appear from time to time, however TYCO did not officially note nor display "dummy" Super 630 models in any catalogs.  Many times TYCO's drive would give up and a model would be gutted and made into a dummy by a disgruntled owner, however I do have an example of a Chessie Super 630 that truly does give appearance of being produced as a non-powered model.  To date, this non-powered or dummy Alco Super 630 can not be confirmed and remains only speculation.

It should be noted, the original version with prototypical trucks was displayed in Chessie System, Delaware & Hudson, IC and ICG, Santa Fe in 1973-74 and 1974-75 catalogs.

The October 1974 edition of RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN magazine reviews TYCO's Super630.  The review may be found beginning on page 65 of that issue with two black-and-white photos of the D&H Super630 displayed on page 64.

The prototype for TYCO's C630 is most closely related to the small fleet of high short hood models built for the Norfolk & Western. The majority of the actual 133 production ALCO Century 630 units were of the low short hood variety. Built by ALCO between July 1965 and October of 1967, the C630s found themselves on the rosters of Seaboard Coast Line(later L&N/Family Lines); Pennsylvania and Reading (ultimately landing on the Conrail roster and retired); Union Pacific(later sold to Canada); C&O(later sold to Australia); Southern Pacific; and the previously mentioned high short hood models for the N&W. [This prototype information comes from a five-page article on the ALCO Century 630 in the August 1984 issue of RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN magazine.]
 
TYCO's Super 630 model stays in the product line nearly until the end in 1993.  By the early '90s however, many sets that might feature the Super 630 on the train set package actually contained a Yugoslovian-produced Alco Century 628 model.  This substitution occurs frequently in very late production run train sets made from around 1990 to 1993.  The model is still dressed in Santa Fe red-and-silver warbonnet scheme, but again it is a low-nose Alco Century 628.  This replacement Alco is the same Century 628 model shell introduced by Life-Like in the early 1970s; later sold by AHM and Model Power; and most recently among the IHC Hobby product line.  The model does not carry TYCO Hong Kong markings on its fuel tank, but has "RSO and Yugoslovia" on the bottom of the fuel tank.  Beyond train set offerings the substitute Alco C628 is not known to exist as a separate item in TYCO packaging.
 
There are no known Canadian or Australian exclusive TYCO Super 630 models.  The Super 630 is also not among the diesels that found their way into any promotional train sets.  IHC Hobby currently holds ownership to the TYCO mold for the Super 630, however some years ago I was told that no plans were in the works for this model's return under IHC's name anytime soon.  IHC did make a run of the similar Century 628 model a few years ago, which would seem to further indicate that the Super 630 shall continue to rest for now.

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DOES IT EXIST?
The first Super 630 displayed in the 1973-74 TYCO catalog.

Illinois Central Super 630 Prototype

This image is from the 1973-74 catalog and is the only time that TYCO cataloged a Super 630 in "IC," rather than "ICG." Between swap mets and eBay, I have yet to see an example of an ILLINOIS CENTRAL Super 630.

This model differs even from the rare original run Super 630s, which did feature these correct trucks, but this one has a filled-in pilot with no talgo coupler. Very likely, it is a prototype model found only in the 1973-74 catalog.

The Illinois Central owned a few examples ALCO's Century 636 model from the late '60 to about 1980. The Century 636 is similar in many respects to the C630, however the IC's C636 diesels were of the low short hood variety.

Above is a TYCO ad promoting the introduction of the PowerTorque drive that was the standard issue for the Super 630, outside of the original production examples.

TYCO Super630 Handrail Set

Originally, TYCO offered the Alco Super 630 with a handrail kit that provided wire railings and individual stancions.  The image above is the card insert included with the railing kit.  By the late '70s, solid flexible plastic one piece handrail sections are found on Super 630 models.  And like many TYCO locos produced in the 1980s and later, examples are also spotted that drop the handrail sections from this model completely. 

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