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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pablo
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Yeah, that IS wierd...

Post by pablo »

My parents' first house, bought in Schenectady when I was a wee tyke, had shelving in the basement. When they were cleaning the place out from the previous owner, who had died suddenly while shoveling snow at an advanced age, my father found a drawer filled with old toenail clippings. Methinks that's a bit odd.

In regards to the rest, I have been called many of these things too. Some even by my ex-wife. So I buried her body next to the ALCO plant in Scehenctady. OK...just kidding. About the plant.

Dave Becker whose ex-wife is really alive and well. Well, alive...
~Dave Becker
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alcoAL
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Post by alcoAL »

I never understood why some people collect public timetables. But when looking at older ones there's alot of local history in there, like ads from local businesses that are long gone, or old phone numbers with words instead of all numbers. I suppose any small bit of history saved is worth it. Plus you can always donate these things to a museum.

And I always wondered, if you collected all the fingernails or toenails you trimmed over a lifetime, how much would they weigh? I guess someone out there has that answer........

Alcoman
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Post by Alcoman »

OK GUYS.....Back to the topic PLEASE! LAST WARNING!

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GOLDEN-ARM
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Post by GOLDEN-ARM »

Somewhat odd observation, I am making here. I am going through my slide collection, of LV diesels, I shot in the last 3 years of the Valley, before it died a horrible, "big-blue" death. Out of 30 rolls of slides 27 of them contain only Alcos. Some older EMD's, and freight cars, hacks, make up the balance. Of interest is the fact I didn't capture a single GE, although to be fair, there might be one in the background, of an Alco shot. I didn't intend at the time to do this (as if I even remember what the hell I was thinking, back then.... :wink: ) but I have all of the Alco's on film, that were in service, between Oak Island, and Sayre. I know I loved those big six axles (AF-27), and the DL-701's, but I never realized what I was doing, at the time. A passion, that I didn't fully understand, at the time. And a loathing of the GEs, excepting a few of their smaller industrial switchers. I guess this means I am ga-ga, but I can't truely explain why...... Regards :wink:

Matt Langworthy
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The reason why... Part II

Post by Matt Langworthy »

I saw alot of those same LV Alcos, as well as EL's fleet, which started the romance. In 1976, I got up close and personal with the Bath & Hammondsport RR, and their pair of S-1 switchers. I only got to see the former EL on occasion (at first) after I moved to H'port, and most of LV in NY state was torn up, so my daily railfan experience really centered on that pair of S-1s. Even at age 7, I noticed the difference in horns, headlights and rain shutters between the two units (one is ex-NKP and the other is ex-NYC). I became very used to the particular rumble of their prime movers, and deduced they had a different type of engine from the Geeps that CR ran to the interchange at Bath.

Also, my early experiences with other shortlines like LAL were largely Alco-based so that probably helped shape my opinion, too.
Last edited by Matt Langworthy on Tue Sep 13, 2005 5:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Matt Langworthy

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

wess

Post by wess »

I could say the same when I had the oppurtunity to go to Panama when I was in the service. Out of the 14 months total down there, I have no ideas how much film I burned or how much it cost, but the lions share was on the Panama Railroad. Instead of fishing or going to the beach and seeing all those bikini clad chica's fishing for gringo's. I would be riding the zoo train behind the last operable RSC-3 or taking yard shots at the Patio de Balboa. It was something that was fun and not "dangerous" though my platoon mates found it a bit odd. I didnt care. Now I,m glad I did since the line has now been regauged and pulls containers behind ex-Amtrak F-40's and hosts a tourist train that is unrivalled for a scenic ride.
wess

wess

Post by wess »

I dont mind being called a nut or whacky. But the person who mentioned the critical person who thinks he's normal chastizing a person for his hobby hit right it on the head.
I remember reading about these strange things called Alcos when I was a teenager and wondered what it would be like to ride them or operate them. That wish was answered when the KYLE started using ex-BN C424's on their Kansas line. The thing that was a come down for me was when I started getting flak from folks who thought I should be doing something else or could use my time more constructively. To them they should take a walk. If all they did was drink and fight and steal each others girlfriends, it looked to me like I had the better hobby so I stayed where I didnt have to put up with the crap. With no regrets either
wess

Matt Langworthy
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Alcos Alcos Alcos Alcos Alcos Alcos Alcos Alcos Alcos Alcos

Post by Matt Langworthy »

Great point, Wess. my toher hobby thoughout life has been rock n roll but I've gotten sooo tired of the local music/bar scene that I only rarely go out anymore. I decided about 18 months ago that my time could be more constructively spent with trains than drunks who want to brawl, bimbos who have no interest in me other than to introduce them to someone in the band, and various poseurs who want to turn the local music scene into a soap opera. So I still work for a band and go to see a few others, but I'd otherwsie rather save my time/money for an Alco or a shortline.
Matt Langworthy

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

wess

Post by wess »

Yeah a man has got specify his priorities, namely what interests him the most. And if it isnt interesting or constructive or satisfying, then it gets chucked. To quote a popular actor " Aman has got to know his limitations" :-D
wess

wess

Post by wess »

Speaking of staying on topic. Alcoman. Did you perchance get to order a copy of Andrews DVD? I,ll go ahead and share a little. Andrew put together a two disc set of Alcos in action in Alaska, Greece and India. I "roadtested" the one he sent me to see if it was compatible with DVD players this side of the pond and found it a very good player. Disc 1 is the Alaska scenes while disc two is evenly divided between India and Greece. All the scenes involved the narrow gauge six cylinder DL's used in those respective countries and there is smoke and sound to satisfy any ALCOhaulic. I wish he had panned the ground shots though, but I,m not going to complain. It is worth looking into guys and this is one way to stay on topic
wess

BoneValleyALCo

Post by BoneValleyALCo »

Howdy folks,

Guess I've always rooted for the underdog. :-D

But then again, ALCo's growl like beasts, and they smoked like a chimney. They have more of an 'industrial' feel to them.

In fact, I even build them from LEGO®...

Image

wess

Post by wess »

Have you noticed that ALCO vocals are a little easier on the ears as well? I have sensitive hearing and it is almost always excruciating for me to listen to a set of EMD,s go by because of the high pitch of the turbo always seemed to be right there in the neighborhood of some idiot dragging his nails across a chalkboard. Even the newer ones have that high octave.

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MEC407
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Post by MEC407 »

wess wrote:Have you noticed that ALCO vocals are a little easier on the ears as well? I have sensitive hearing and it is almost always excruciating for me to listen to a set of EMD,s go by because of the high pitch of the turbo always seemed to be right there in the neighborhood of some idiot dragging his nails across a chalkboard. Even the newer ones have that high octave.
While they don't bother me from the perspective of a railfan at trackside, there is some anecdotal evidence that turbocharged EMDs may be a bit more likely to contribute to the hearing loss of the personnel in the cab. The theory is that since the turbo exhaust stack is almost directly behind the cab -- as opposed to much further back, as on GEs and Alcos -- the crewmen are subjected to more noise, and at more damaging frequencies, in a turbo EMD than in a GE or Alco. I doubt there have been any scientific studies done on this subject, but there are a lot of locomotive engineers who will back me up on this.
MEC407
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