Why are some of you folks so ga-ga about Alco's ?

Discussion of products from the American Locomotive Company. A web site with current Alco 251 information can be found here: Fairbanks-Morse/Alco 251.

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MEC407
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Post by MEC407 »

UPRR engineer wrote:It would be pretty stupid of me to love motocross and not ride myself.
Why is it stupid? I like NASCAR but don't really have any desire to be a race car driver. I like opera but am definitely not interested in becoming an opera singer. I love airplanes but hate flying in them. Submarines fascinate me but I have no interest in becoming a submariner.

Does that all make me stupid?
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GOLDEN-ARM
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* PLEASE EXCUSE THIS SLIGHTLY "OFF-TOPIC" RAMBLE

Post by GOLDEN-ARM »

Must be all of that "BIG-SKY" out there.......... :-D I like "warbirds", as well as trains. I wont ever get to own, nor fly, a P-38, an F4-U4, or even a P-51. I will stop whatever I am doing (including the train) for a chance to watch one, or see one up close. They are old, obsolete, take tons of money to keep them serviceable, and are not very usefull to own, realistically. BUT, I would give just about anything, for an hour of "stick-time". Building a GT mustang, will never be the same as a Ford GT-40. Less than a dozen ever built, only a few still left alive, currently selling (if you could EVER find one) in the multi-million dollar price range. Like me saying I could get a Cessna, hop up the engine, and feel I had a P-51. NO comparison. Ditto for those old ALCO's. I will never run a PA-1 (unless Doyle lets me, hint hint :-D ) but I still love those classic old lines, that cool grill around the headlight, and the way it brings back memories of seeing them in the last minutes of service. Imagine how lucky guys like you and me really are. We get to do on the day-to-day, what most guys out there only get to dream about. We can take for granted (although I never have, myself) the running of these engines, and trains, around the systems of various roads. You could literally, right now, place an ad, on eBay, for 1 hour of "seat-time", in a SD-70MAC, and you could probably get bids for several hundred dollars. You could do this many, many times, and you would always get paid. I would even bet, that you would never be able to run an auction there, and not get paid. The world is full of people, who would line up, for that 1 hour shot, at running a real train, on a real railroad. Sometimes it does seem "silly", but hey, I would be first in line for that "stick-time" I mentioned, and I would bet I wouldn't be alone. When I worked on the NYSW, we would place a "blanket-call" over the radio, stating "the first person to show up at crossing XYZ, or at XYZ station, with a pizza, burgers & fries, or whatever could ride with us, to wherever we were going, and return. Don't you know some guy with a scanner was running 90 MPH, to meet us with that meal, which he paid for, just for a half an hour, plus or minus a few minutes, ride on the train. I used to "trade" beer, to the old heads, for my seat time, when I was a teen-aged fan. I learned to run an engine, before I could even drive a car, and all it cost me was my old mans beer ! I gotta imagine you really dont know just how good we got it :-D I gave a kid, and his mom, a cab ride a couple of days ago. The last thing she said, as they left the engine , was "you just made me a hero, in my sons eyes". It was THAT meaningfull, to her, and to him. How could you ever beat something like that ? Hell, we only moved about 100 yards, in each direction ! I took their picture, for them, and they will remember that day, forever. That's the reality of what we get to do, for our paycheck. Some poor slobs gotta push a pencil all day, inside a cubicle. Nobodys waiting outside, to take his picture, you can be sure. I wouldn't trade this job, for any other job out there. That's just me, though. Regards :wink:

UPRR engineer

Post by UPRR engineer »

Ill try to go into more detail MEC407, i might get in trouble a little bit. If you love Nascar and drive a sh*tty broken down grocery getting van around, and you never plan to get a sports car so you can rip around town, thats stupid, but if you go to the track and see a race every year, well thats a little better. I work with a meathead that talks about cars all the time, he drives a twenty year old piece of crap truck around, has no garage, has no sports car, and he his kids have left the house for some time now, and he has 25+ years on the RR. Im a guy that does stuff, i dont like to just talk about the things i love. I love SD 40's, and sometimes i get to run one. I dont kiss the control stand, rub the fuel tank, and play with its air hose, or suck on the brake handles. ........*laughs* thats bad aint it. :wink: In my mind thats ga-ga about a unit. How long can you watch from a distance before you lose interest? How can you like something like a locomotive that is untouchable to you?

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GOLDEN-ARM
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Post by GOLDEN-ARM »

I'm OUTRAGED !!!! How could you say you wouldn't rub the fuel tank ? The poor old gal, you hurt her feelings :-D :-D :-D :-D I guess you just don't understand. That's cool though. That guy who talks about cars, etc. Maybe he can't afford them, with the wife, kids, bills etc. Doesn't mean he can't still love them, even though he may never own one. When you don't have the time to dream, you might as well just "eat the barrel" of the gun, so to speak. Dreams are free, and that's all some folks will EVER own. I am a lucky one, though. I get to live my dream :-D

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MEC407
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Post by MEC407 »

One of my favorite quotes:

"Lose your dreams, and you'll lose your mind." -The Rolling Stones

UPRR Engineer, I understand the point you're trying to make, but I disagree with saying that people are stupid just because they aren't physically involved in something that interests or fascinates them.
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Alcoman
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Post by Alcoman »

OK Guys....Lets get back to ALCOS now.

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GOLDEN-ARM
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Post by GOLDEN-ARM »

Okay, fine. The main reason I like ALCO's, besides the items I listed above, is the "rest of the world" just doesn't get it. That's the best reason of all, to keep you guys guessing.

wess

Post by wess »

If'n it aint fun or down right interesting. Why bother to do it let alone live? Alcos Rule
wess

junction tower

Post by junction tower »

I am an EMD guy all the way, but I do find ALCO's rather fascinating. Lots of models, unique styling, different prime movers etc. The corporate history and all the termoil is interesting to me too. I am a die hard GM car guy, but as a history buff, the the Ford family and the Ford Motor Company is MUCH more compelling than the rather more bland corporate history of GM. GM and EMD along with it are a business. ALCO, like Ford always seemed to me to be more of a living breathing organism.

2spot

Post by 2spot »

Firstly, Alcos were good locomotives. Good pullers with bulletproof electricals( to quote a former EMD employee-Sept. issue of TRAINS magazine). Many shortlines still use them because theyre good. In fact some prefer Alcos over EMDs and GEs. If they werent good nobody'd use 'em or care at all. There are two major locomotive builders now that Alco has gone and what do they produce? Functional but unimaginative designs of disposable locomotives. But thats the way railroading has evolved since the glory days. The Alcos and to some extent older Geeps, SDs and maybe U boats are a throwback to those heady days. Railfans get it. Others dont.

Matt Langworthy
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Alcos in use

Post by Matt Langworthy »

2spot wrote: Many shortlines still use them because theyre good. In fact some prefer Alcos over EMDs and GEs. If they werent good nobody'd use 'em or care at all.
The proof is right where I live- upstate NY is Alco country Between B&H, Battenkill RR, BSOR, DLW, D&U, LAL, NYLE, OMID, ONCT, Owego & Harford, Upper Hudson RR, and WNYP, there are examples of nearly every type of Alco still in service- from little S-1/S-2 switchers up to 3000+ HP Centuries. 'Nuff said.
Matt Langworthy

"It is highly likely that the 1990s were an overrated decade."

Paul
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Post by Paul »

Hey GOLDENARM: I have a friend who has a couple T-6 Texans. You drag your sorry caboose out here and I can hook you up, but you gotta pay the fuel, as I can only do so much. BTW, I am only 40 miniuts or so from Chino. Ever see twenty five warbirds do a fly by?????
Here is a link you will like. This was filmed by my friend at the airport here in
Redlands. Make sure you play it loud!
http://www.t6parts.com/v/t6flyby.mov
Paul
"We are all here because we are not all there."

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GOLDEN-ARM
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Post by GOLDEN-ARM »

T-6's are cool, what with the radial engine, and all. Will be out in Cali., in the next 40 days, or so. Why do I like ALCO's so much ? Because Paul could fix them, almost as fast as I could break 'em, that's why :-D The things were bullet-proof, and IF one did break, repairs were usually quick, and easy. See you soon, Paul, Regards :wink:

thebigc
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Post by thebigc »

GOLDEN-ARM wrote:T-6's are cool, what with the radial engine, and all. Will be out in Cali., in the next 40 days, or so. Why do I like ALCO's so much ? Because Paul could fix them, almost as fast as I could break 'em, that's why :-D The things were bullet-proof, and IF one did break, repairs were usually quick, and easy. See you soon, Paul, Regards :wink:
I thought the T-6 had an eight cylinder 251? Sorry, couldn't resist.
UPRR engineer wrote:I get you there Arm buddy, but a guy can take the steps to get most of whats on your list, may not be the same. A guy that likes the new Ford GTO's can buy an older 5.0 mustang and bolt some extras on it. If a guy likes hot chicks, you can change the way you look and go get one thats cute. See my point there buddy, we get to touch the stuff and move it, they dont. It would be pretty stupid of me to love motocross and not ride myself. Thats what i dont get about these guys dude. lol Sorry..... feeling evil again today i guess.
While I'm in the mood, what exactly is a Ford GTO?
"You Fly - I'll Buy!"

mp15ac
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Post by mp15ac »

thebigc wrote:
GOLDEN-ARM wrote:T-6's are cool, what with the radial engine, and all. Will be out in Cali., in the next 40 days, or so. Why do I like ALCO's so much ? Because Paul could fix them, almost as fast as I could break 'em, that's why :-D The things were bullet-proof, and IF one did break, repairs were usually quick, and easy. See you soon, Paul, Regards :wink:
I thought the T-6 had an eight cylinder 251? Sorry, couldn't resist.
UPRR engineer wrote:I get you there Arm buddy, but a guy can take the steps to get most of whats on your list, may not be the same. A guy that likes the new Ford GTO's can buy an older 5.0 mustang and bolt some extras on it. If a guy likes hot chicks, you can change the way you look and go get one thats cute. See my point there buddy, we get to touch the stuff and move it, they dont. It would be pretty stupid of me to love motocross and not ride myself. Thats what i dont get about these guys dude. lol Sorry..... feeling evil again today i guess.
While I'm in the mood, what exactly is a Ford GTO?

Actually, the Alco T-6 has an inline six cylinder diesel engine. The C-415 has a V-8 diesel.

Stuart
The light at the end of the tunnel may be the headlight of an on-coming train.

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