S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com ALCo Continuation Page 1 keywords = ALCo American locomotive co company diesel boxcab oil electric rail road PA FA DL 109 way model train Z HO scale Ztrack LIRR Long Island Baltimore Ohio B&O CNJ Union Pacific Century Big Boy Challenger 4-12-2 restoration Berlinerwerke "

Updated:   16 Dec 2010, 23:55  ET
[Page created 22 Oct 2001;

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/alco1.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/alco1.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I am scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


ALCo Continuation Page 1


See also the Main ALCo Page.

ALCoBlockLogo ALCoScriptLogo

ALCo Wheel Logo


  {links truncated}

On the Main ALCo Page:

  ALCo Love Song.
  PA Love Song.
  LIRR HEP Cabs.
  ALCo Auto.
  ALCo History.
  MLW (Montreal Locomotive Works).

On this ALCo Continuation Page 1:

  Scrapping a C424.
  ALCo DL-103 through DL-109/110.
  RS-1s and Six-Axle Sisters.
  ALCos in Portugal.

On the ALCo Continuation Page 2:

  Big Boy 4-8+8-4.
  ALCo FA Love Song.
        LIRR ALCo FA Roster.
  RS-1/RSC/RSD Love Song.
        Six-Axle ALCo RS-series Units.

On other pages:

ALCO-GE-IR Boxcabs,
ALCO-GE-IR Survivor Boxcabs continuation page, with roster, and
ALCO-GE-IR Survivor Boxcabs continuation page, with notes,
ALCO-GE-IR CNJ #1000 Survivor Boxcab (the first production unit sold),
ALCO-GE-IR Boxcabs Continuation Page, including LIRR #401,
  the world's first production diesel road switcher, and
See the Boxcabs index page for Baldwin, Westinghouse, other, and odd boxcabs.

There are endless other RR-oriented pages on this site, such as my Pennsylvania Railroad Page,
  and the Berlinerwerke Saga (HO-Scale, included with Horseshoe Curve information)
  and continuation pages with prototype and HO/N/S scale dimensions,
    satellite photo, pictures, description of the Horseshoe Curve
  Long Island Rail Road,
  and Z-Scale (1:220) Model Railroading;
visit my RR page for a master RR index.

Nothing to do with railroads but Long Island Motor Parkway Panel Associate Member Dr. Mark DeSantis has five great action shots of ALCo car #18 with a 584 Cu. In. engine, being driven to victory in the 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Race by Harry Grant, on his site; he believes that the second, third, and fifth photos were taken on the back stretch of the race:

1910 VC - Grant in ALCo 18 1910 VC 18 on curve (a) 1910 VC car 18 on curve (b) 1910 VC ALCo mileage 1910 VC ALCo curve (c)
(1910 Photos courtesy of M. DeSantis - all rights reserved.)
[Thumbnail images - click on the pictures for larger images.]

The fourth picture shows the huge mileage and speed tally board to the right (west) of the officials stand, opposite the grandstand [barely visible on the far left (north)].

That race was run mostly on the old (then-new) 1908 Long Island Motor Parkway; the Grant and grandstand stretch shots clearly show the fresh (and novel) Vanderbilt concrete paving; the other three are on local dirt roads.  I asked for Mark's permission to reproduce the photos here.

Scrapping a C424

For sheer ALCo horror, here are photos of the scrapping of a real (12" = 1') C424 #4240 of the Mass Central RR #4240, at their small yard in Barre, MA; the scrapping took place in the spring of 1999!

These photos are by Bert DuVernay and previously appeared on his Hocking Valley Railway - Quabbin District (HO) site; he kindly advised me he was dropping them and allowed me to put them up here.

I reduced the resolution to save memory and lightened some (they were shot across a six week period and some were taken under adverse lighting conditions) {they still took too long to load so I thumbnailed them on 22 Aug 03}; here they are in chronological sequence:

First week:

4240a 4240b

Second week:
4240c 4240d

Third week:
4240e 4240f

Fourth week:
4240g 4240h

Fifth week:
4240i 4240j

Fifth (left) and Sixth (right) weeks:
4240k 4240l (Photos by B. DuVernay - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail images - click on photos for larger images]

My sincere thanks to Bert DuVernay for allowing me to put up his photos of this atrocity
    (we can't save everything, but still - - - ).

Restoring a C425

Speaking of sincere thanks, they also go to Kevin Burkholder, who runs Eastern Railroad News On-Line Magazine, and the Great Lakes Eastern Railroad in HO Scale, for permission to reproduce his photo of Seminole Gulf ALCo C425 #550, recently purchased by Seminole Gulf (from Bay Colony Railway) and resplendent in a shiny new coat of paint:

(Cropped from photo by and © 2002 K.Burkholder - all rights reserved)

Also, thanks to the ubiquitous Harvey Henkelman (LEGO RR'er par-excellance), now on the SG, for this lead; as he writes, "Now THIS is a locomotive", to which I respond,

"Now THIS is the right way to treat an ALCo!"

Harvey has his own SG page.

Speaking of chopping up an ALCo, it's not always ALL that bad!  Driving south on State Road 65 about a mile south of Baden, Pennsylvania, on 26 Jun 01, with CR's (the old PRR's) Conway Yard just west of the highway, what to my wondering eyes should appear but CR slug #977, obviously cut down from an old ALCo C6xx (or RSDxx?):

ALCo Slug 977 26 Jun 01 Conway
(26 Jun 01 photo by and © 2001 S. Berliner, III 2001 - all rights reserved)

Can anyone tell me more about this ex-loco?  Conway Yard is documented by Rob Schoenberg in an old PRR/Union Switch brochure.

Also speaking about chopping up an ALCo, DO YOU KNOW ME?

RSD5 Plow
(Photo cropped from Internet image - original provenance unknown)

This strange beast was actually once a C&NW RSD5, #1684, converted to a snow plow, C&NW #X263000, at the Oelwein shops for use in the Chicago commuter districts, in which capacity it served for years.  Supposedly it is now owned by the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad {it's not on J. Smith's BSV Web roster}.  An interesting aside is that the rusty weld seam around the cab is from when the top of the cab had to be cut off to get it into the shop for service after it was raised in the conversion to a plow.  The C&NW worker who did the cutting e-mailed my source to tell him the story; after the necessary repairs were made, they welded the top back on.  Here she is before the conversion:

RSD5 1684
(Photo cropped from Internet image - original provenance unknown)

Now, about building ALCos (in HO scale, that is), the famed Hobbytown of Boston line still exists and offers rugged, powerful craftsman kits for the die-cast ALCo PA-1 and DL-109*, FA-2/FB-2, RS-3/RSD-5, and SW-1500 and S-4 (and more); click on the link for a really funny story.  Also, a fantastic minature brass PA-1 is now available in Z-scale (1:220 - it's the size of your pinkie) from Ztrack Magazine (it ain't cheap, though).

Here, courtesy of Hobbytown (now part of Bear Locomotive Co.), are the DL-109*, PA-1, and FA-2/FB-2:



(Photos courtesy of Bear Locomotive Co. - all rights reserved)

    * - Note that the DL-109 has a resin body, unlike the other shells.

ALCo DL-103 through DL-109/110

Speaking of DL-109s, Life-Like came out with a Proto 1000 model (cast-on detail) of the DL-109 in plastic in January 2003, Southern #6400 in this case; see my Model RR page 6 for more on this fabulous HO model:

(07 Feb 03 photo by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

ALCo's 1940 DL-103 was their first high-speed, high-horsepower, streamlined road passenger diesel loco, with two 1,000HP 538 engines and a body radically styled by the famed Otto Kuhler; only one was made.  After switching to the 539 engine, two DL-105s and two DL-107s were made.  Finally, 73 DL-109/110 units were made (69 DL-109 cabs and 4 DL-110 boosters) from 1940 through 1945, when the 241 engine was introduced on the three-unit experimental "Black Maria".  Development of the 244 engine in 1947 led to the famous models DL-208 (FA) and DL-304 (PA) and on.

Here's a 17 Sep 1949 snapshot of a New Haven DL-109 at the Wollaston, Massachusetts, NHRR station:

(heavily cropped and rearranged from 17 Sep 1949 photo by W. Volkmer - all rights reserved)
[click on thumbnailed picture for larger image]

This image is a drastic crop and rearrangement of a photo-montage by noted RRer and RR historian Bill Volkmer.

SCHENECTADY BUILDER'S PLATE - The builder's plate for 1898 engine Nº. 4944 was on eBay!  I referred the seller to the ALCO Collection for more info. :

(photo from seller - all rights reserved - processed by SB, III) What became of this plate?

The September 2001 issue of TRAINS features ALCo ("American Locomotive Company - 100 Years") - well-illustrated articles (with a great 31 Aug 46 shot of the year-old, Otto Kuhler-designed, DL-109-like "Black Maria" B-B unit #1500c on a passenger train at New Britain, Connecticut (page 40).

ALCo RS-1s and Six-Axle Sisters

The RS-1 was essentially a lengthened S-1 with a short hood containing a train heating boiler (ditto RS-2/S-2, RS-3/S-3*); here's Aug 44 S-2{?} D&H #3001 (s/n 72749) before the LIRR took it over in Oct 63 as Class AS-10 #444 :

3001-1 3001-2
(info. per J. Scala; photos courtesy of A. Huneke - all rights reserved)

    [* - Except that the S-2/3 did not have the rounded cab of the RS-2/3.]

When Harvey Henkelman (above) isn't working on CSX, he plays with air horns and LEGO®, and he sent this picture of restored Jul 51 ex-AEC Southern Appalachia Railway Museum (Knoxville, TN) RS-1 (c/n 79053):

(Cropped from 2003 photo by H. Henkelman - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail image - click on picture for much larger image]

SARM also has RS-1 #5308 restored and running.

Juan Viladroza A. of Mexico advised 21 Aug 03 that the last operational RS-1 in Mexico was just retired; the NdeM units were all retired in 1992 but this one, NdeM #5641, s/n 82345, built Feb 57, was being used in a Mexican federal electricity power plant as a switcher until 2003 and will now go to the railroad museum in Merida:



(photos courtesy of J. Viladroza A. - all rights reserved)
{bottom two cropped from originals - but NOT at expense of available image!}

Considering how much I like the RS-1 and it's six-axle sisters, I have precious little else about them herein; here are two more sites that cover them in great detail:

    Stefan Nicolaï's MRS-1 and

    Rolf Stumpf's ALCoWorld with both MRS/RSDs AND shovelnoses.

Sr. Benoit is very much in evidence on both sites.

Rolf has a separate page about the Orange Empire Railway Museum at Perris, California, where the have TWO RSD-1s (as well as two RSD-12s and an S-1):

    No.	Model	Year	Notes
    1956	RSD-1	1941	ex US DOT 012, ex TCI 601, née USA 8009.
				repainted in 1996 for the 50th anniversary of the OERM
    015	RSD-1	1942	ex US DOT 015, née USA 8018
The Danbury Railroad Museum has restored 1948 NH RS-1 #0647 to her former glory and also has a 1949 ex-U. S. Army RSC-2 DRMX #1513.

    (If you're in Danbury, visit the Military Museum of Southern New England.)

EMD also built MRS-1s.

Stefan Nicolaï's great site about the ALCo-GE RSD-1 has a page on remaining RSD-1s!  [Stefan's an employee of the Belgian Railroad Company (NMBS/SNCB), where he host the Official website; before that, he hosted his own unofficial NMBS site.]

The Age of Steam Railroad Museum at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas, operated by the Southwest Railroad Historical Society has 1942 ALCo 539-series RSD-1 #8000, termed "one of the reliable 'Iron Camels' which hauled supply trains during World War II". "It was acquired by TXI and been in service at the Midlothian plant for almost 25 years.", but I know no more about it (yet).  They also have the Big Boy #4018 that was supposed to be restored (q.v.)!

J. Mech (whose photos grace many of my RR pages) has this photo of Penn Central RSD-5 #6801:

RSD5 6801
(cropped from photo courtesy of J. Mech - all rights reserved)

Now, IF it's a Pennsy unit, it was (according to Staufer's Pennsy Power II) 1952 1,600HP Class AS16a RSD-4 #8447, upgraded with MU equipment in 1965 as Class AS16am and renumbered to #6801.

RSC vs. RSD 6-axle units are explained on the next ALCo page.

Good news (at least for those on Long Island)!  The Twin Forks Chapter, NRHS, announced it is buying ex-LIRR RS-1 #467, built Apr 1950 and retired in 1977.  She worked various shortlines, is in running condition, and will be in good company.  Twin Forks has LIRR N5b hack #1 and LIRR Jordan Spreader W-93 and the neighboring RR Museum of LI has LIRR RS-3 #1556 and a bunch of passenger cars.  Donations are urgently needed to pay for #467 and hauling her back to her home turf; please send your contibutions to:

Twin Forks Chapter - NRHS
PO Box 188
Port Jefferson Station, New York  11776
Attn. 467 Fund

John Scala ("Diesels of the Sunrise Trail") pictures her leased to the Indiana Eastern RR (they then got the #465); John has her first going to Naporano on 09 Sep 77 (she was sold to them in Jun 77), then to the Western Ohio RR as #102, then to Silcotts, then to IERR ca. Nov 99, and then (last known) to Indiana Hi-Rail.

After the boxcab models, ALCo-GE-IR built a series of small 57/59-ton hood units on the Jay Street chassis, using the same the IR330 engine in a "cab-forward" hood configuration.  Bush Terminal got seven 59 ton units back in Sep-Oct 31, and seven others were made from 1931-1935, all for domestic use (2 - LV, 4 - USNSY/Mare Is., and 1 - USNSY/Norfolk) at 57 tons.  ALCo reputedly supplied two ALCo switchers (supposedly later referred to as HH300) to Panama, delivered to the Chiriqui Land Co. in 1937 and 1938.  Marre and TRAIN SHED CYCLOPEDIA each list one group but not the other and neither list the two export units!  Can anyone shed any light on the Chiriqui pair?

In addition TRAIN SHED CYCLOPEDIA #43 lists a 60-ton unit going to Tata Iron & Steel Co. in Jamshedpur, India, and placed in service July 1935 as #25; here are Bush Terminal #2 and Tata Iron #25:

BushTerm#2 TataI&S#25
(cropped from TRAIN SHED CYCLOPEDIA #43 photos - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail images; click on pictures for larger images]

ALCos in Portugal

    (moved from Main ALCo Page on 06 Mar 2002).

I hate to see old ALCOs die or just fade away; Steve Williams, the Business Manager of PTG Tours, billing themselves as "The Leading Operator of Railtours in Portugal", advised that "state rail operator, Caminhos do Ferro Português, EP (CP) has announced that the country's oldest diesel class, the 1501 Alcos, dating from 1948 (see attached photo), are to be withdrawn from service by the end of this year."  Kinda like an export RSD-4s or -5s:

(photo courtesy of PTG Tours 15 Nov 00 - all rights reserved; I hope to get a bigger image)

This and the following photos are (or were) from the Portuguese Traction Group's site linked above and are reproduced here by kind permission.  Here is #1501 in another day shot, a night shot (both also in the classic sliver/green restoration repaint), and one of her in her last service scheme, orange with a black cab and safety-striped ends; notice the diminutive passenger cars:

#1501NightOwl #1501Red

#1501 at Pinhao.
[Thumbnail image - click on the picture for the full, huge image.]

#1501&1524 #1501atBarreiros
#1501 and #1524 working a PTG special out of Barreiros on 25 Mar 00 (l.)
#1501 at Barreiros (r.).
[Thumbnail images - click on the pictures for larger images.]

#1501atPocinho #1525atFuncheira
#1501 at Pocinho - #1525 at Funcheira.
(all photos courtesy of PTG Tours 15 Nov 00 and 19-20 Mar 01 - all rights reserved)

Steve writes that the one of 1501 at Pocinho is not the best quality; the green 1525 is at a station called Funcheira, in south Portugal; the other of 1501 is at Barreiro which is the main station for Lisbon to the south although the station is a 30 minute boat ride from Lisbon itself!  They have actually organized a trip with #1501 along the only stretch of on-street railway in Portugal in the city of Coimbra (probably a good thing she has six-wheel trucks!).

There was to have been a last run on 31 Dec 00.*  Passenger service is on the UVIR (Unidades de Viagens Interurbanas e Regionais - Interurban and Regional Voyage Unit) in the South and Algarve, out of Barreiro.  Locos #1501 and 1524 (the oldest and newest) will be preserved at the Portuguese National Railway Museum.

The first diesel loco (presumably #1501) arrived on 15 Sep 48 and the first series ran #1501-1512 and a second series numbered #1521-1525.  In Oct 99, this was the roster (per PTG):

1501 - BA P (Barreiro, passenger service)
1502 - ss (stored, serviceable)
1503 - cut (presumably cut up)
1504 - cut
1505 - BA P
1506 - cut
1507 - ss
1508 - su (stored, unserviceable)
1509 - cut
1510 - BA P
1511 - ss
1512 - BA P
       - * - 1521 - su
1522 - ss
1523 - cut
1524 - BA P
1525 - BA P

REPRIEVE! - Steve Williams advises (19 Mar 01) that "the Portuguese 50+ year old Alcos are still soldiering on and will do so until at least June.  There are currently 2 in regular use and a further two pressed into service as and when necessary."  Steve further advises that "Our tour in April (see the website) which is supposed to be the farewell may be a bit premature!!"  We can all do with more such delays!  The possibly-premature "ALCo Farewell" run to which he refers is scheduled for 02 Apr 01 and still has a few places available (as of this writing, 19 Mar 01).

The ALCos were supplemented ca. 1967 by English Electric hood units vagely reminiscent of the ALCos; here are two for comparison, #1408 in standard orange and #1453 in blue for the 50th anniversary celebration:

EE#1408Orange EE#1453Blue
EE #1408 in standard orange  -  EE #1453 in anniversary blue
[dig that elevator/lift house (Elevador de Sta. Luzia)!].

[Per Steve Williams, the 1400s were based on a British design and are the most numerous of Portuguese locos; originally there were 67 but a few have fallen by the wayside.  The first 10 were built in England and the rest under licence in Portugal.  #1408 regularly passes right in front of his house!
{Whatever was here isn't intelligible any longer!}]

{Photos of other representative ALCo locos to follow}

Does anyone have a good shot of a six-axle RSC/D-1 or such for me?
Full, sharp-edged RS-1 cab, please; no slanted Army/DoT or rounded RS-2/3-style cab wanted, thank you.

More on RS-1/RSC/RSD at RS-1/RSC/RSD Love Song.

See also the Main ALCo Page and Continuation Page 2.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


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