Alco C636/MLW M636 Assembly Instructions



The Century C636 was one of the last locomotives that Alco rolled off its production line in Schenectady, NY for primarily US railroads.  Packing 3600 horsepower in its Alco 251 engine (16 cylinder), it was alco's response to similar GM-EMD and GE C-C road diesels of its day. Production lasted from 1967 to 1968 and only 34 units were built, despite the unit being tested on most class 1 railroads. Today the remaining C636 locomotives are in service for shortline and regional carriers.

MLW in Canada produced a very similar version of the C636 for canadian railways, known as the M636. This unit was outfitted with Dofasco trucks and had some different grille and door details. 

A number of M636 locomotives were built in Australia for railroads there. While CESM does not have the CAD done for this model, please contact us if you are interested in getting one or more made - there are many variations running. We already have CAD done for a Pilbara cab as well, so that is also a possibility.


The CESM kit comes in several different versions to accommodate different mechanisms, railroads, and modifications. We're able to offer all of these cool versions because of the technology used to created the models. Our models are made in-house using a stereolithography machine (in other words, they are 3D printed using a UV-curing resin). The process has been refined enough that the models are virtually ready to paint straight off the printer. Below is a brief overview of the different versions:


There are currently two individually selectable options for the C636, for a total of four versions of this kit:

  • Manual Brake Stand Type (only original owners listed below)
    • "Ratchet" style - Alco Demonstrators, Illinois Central, SP&S
    • "Wheel" style - Penn Central, 
  • Donor Truck
    • Atlas SD7/9/24/26/35 flexicoil truck - Includes replacement gearbox and truck side frames; reuses wheels, gears, and axle pickup wipers.
    • Atlas Dash 8-40C/8-40CW truck - Includes replacement side frames; reuses wheels, gears, axle pickup wipers, and gearbox.


The Dofasco trucks in our kits are designed by Briggs Models. They use the wheels and gears from the Atlas C628/C630 donor model, but they replace the gearbox, side frames, and pickups.

Currently we are only offering the wheel brake type on this model, but if you have evidence that any of these models were equipped with ratchet style brake stands, please notify us.


The CESM C636/M636 kit is a craftsman kit, and includes the following components:

  • (1) rapid prototyped body
    • Long hood, short hood, pilots, and sill printed as one for strength and stability
  • (1) rapid prototyped cab
  • (1) rapid prototyped fuel tank
  • (1) pair of truck kits 
    • C636 kits for Atlas SD7/9/24/26/35 donor trucks include:
      • (2) rapid prototyped clip-on hi-ad side frames (not compatible with 8-40C/8-40CW version)
      • (2) rapid prototyped replacement gearboxes
    • C636 kits for Atlas Dash 8-40C/8-40CW donor trucks include:
      • (2) rapid prototyped clip-on hi-ad side frames (not compatible with SD7/9/24/26/35 version)
    • M636 kits (gears and wheels reused from Atlas C-628/C-630 donor mechanism)
      • (4) resin individual dofasco side frames
      • (4) etched pickup wipers
      • (4) etched gear retainers
      • (2) resin gearboxes
  • (1) etched brass fret
    • top radiator screen
    • cab battery box steps
    • dynamic brake fan screen
    • sunshades
    • MU hoses
    • radiator side screens (left and right)
    • DB snow shield (some SP&S/BN units only)
    • corner grab irons
    • manual brake chain guide
  • (1) etched stainless fret
    • all handrails
    • cab wind deflectors
    • windshield wipers (short)
    • windshield wipers (long)
    • stepover platforms 
  • (1) laser cut window fret
  • (1) fiber optics for headlights/tail lights
 Pre-production stainless sheet shown; text was printed over handrail on accident

Pre-production stainless sheet shown; text was printed over handrail on accident

All rapid prototyped parts are shipped ready for assembly. Before shipping, we cut and sand away all the supports and post-cure the model. Usually models printed using UV cured resins display warping because the outside of the model is cured faster or more than the inside. We have eliminated this effect by developing jigs that securely hold the model and then shine just the right amount of light both inside and outside the model.

In addition to the materials provided in the kit, you'll need to supply the following:

  • Atlas C-628/C-630 locomotive - mechanism must be the "(C) 2003 ATLAS" version.
  • Micro-trains couplers - 1015 or True-Scale, or you can re-use the from the C-628/C-630
  • Atlas/BLMA 18" drop grab irons
  • Atlas/BLMA EMD coupler cut levers (old style)
  • Atlas/BLMA Air Hoses (optional; air hoses included with tru-scale couplers)
  • Paint - Tru-color has been tested
  • Decals

In addition to these components, you will also need the following tools:

  • Pin vise
  • #80 drill bits
  • #00-90 tap and tap drill
  • X-Acto knife handle with a #11 blade
  • Small glass plate for cutting parts off the etching fret
  • Jeweler’s files
  • 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • Jeweler’s phillips screwdriver
  • Jeweler's slotted screwdriver
  • Tweezers - we use these
  • Cyanoacrylate cement (superglue) - Bob Smith Industries
  • Solvaset or other decal setting solution


Assembly instructions coming soon