Alco 855

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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ic9623

Alco 855

Post by ic9623 »

Does anyone know what happened to the giant ALCO 855's? I have seen picturees of them but you never hear about how they ran and pulled.

Allen Hazen
Posts: 2494
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Post by Allen Hazen »

Only three built (two A, one B). People have said they were very unreliable: frequent road failures. (Somehow not TOO surprising given that they were a new non-standard design putting LOTS of power into their DC generators.)
I don't know the details of their fate but I assume they were scrapped at a fairly early date.

SSW9389
Posts: 315
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:22 am
Location: Shelbyville, Kentucky

Post by SSW9389 »

The giant ALCO trio was retired in 1970, sold for scrap on 9/13/71 to Industrial Maintenance Service at Council Bluffs, IA. The units were moved to Houston, TEXAS and scrapped by Houston Armature Works from 12/71 to 2/72. I am guessing the engines may have been saved for marine use. This information is from Don Strack's rosters at http://utahrails.net/ :wink:
COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!

ic9623

Post by ic9623 »

Thanks for the info. Sure is a shame they did not save one!

mp15ac
Posts: 295
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:05 am
Location: Long Island

Post by mp15ac »

According to one source (I can't remember where) there were two electrical cabinets in each unit (one for each prime mover). ALCO apparently wired one of the the electrical cabinets in each unit BACKWARDS. When the set left Omaha for there first trip west, when tey went through the first transistion the electrical cabinets exploded! The train had to be dragged back to the yard, the C855's cut off and sent for repairs. It was all downhill for them from there.

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

SSW9389
Posts: 315
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:22 am
Location: Shelbyville, Kentucky

Post by SSW9389 »

I think EMD's Jack Wheelihan wrote that up in CTC Board. He was on an adjacent set of DD35s and saw the whole thing. :wink:
mp15ac wrote:According to one source (I can't remember where) there were two electrical cabinets in each unit (one for each prime mover). ALCO apparently wired one of the the electrical cabinets in each unit BACKWARDS. When the set left Omaha for there first trip west, when tey went through the first transistion the electrical cabinets exploded! The train had to be dragged back to the yard, the C855's cut off and sent for repairs. It was all downhill for them from there.

Stuart
COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!

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