ALCO employees and the NRHS

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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mxdata
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ALCO employees and the NRHS

Post by mxdata »

There is so much discussion lately regarding the Mohawk & Hudson Chapter of NRHS and their stewardship of locomotives and photo collections that I would like to ask a question here among friends.

This particular NRHS chapter was seemingly perfectly positioned to locate and interview the former employees of ALCO, many of whom retired and remained in the Albany/Schenectady metro area. Anybody know if M&H chapter (or any other historical group for that matter) made any effort at all to interview the ALCO employees and document their experience in the locomotive building business?

MX
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Post by Alcoman »

Several former ALCO employees were members of the Chapter. As a former member, I have been lucky to meet a few of them including George Hockaday and Chris MacDermot and a few others whos names escape me..

Richard Steinbrenner has interviewed a good number of them in preparation of his ALCO book.

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Post by Luther Brefo »

Alcoman wrote:Several former ALCO employees were members of the Chapter. As a former member, I have been lucky to meet a few of them including George Hockaday and Chris MacDermot and a few others whos names escape me..

Richard Steinbrenner has interviewed a good number of them in preparation of his ALCO book.

Alcoman
Speaking of Chris MacDermot, what is he up to nowadays? I've been looking for his book for some time now but have had no luck whatsoever.
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Post by Alcoman »

I assume you are referring to his book on the RS-27 which is currently at the printer. It should be out by the end of October.

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Post by Luther Brefo »

Alcoman wrote:I assume you are referring to his book on the RS-27 which is currently at the printer. It should be out by the end of October.
Must be it because I have not been able to find anything railroad related authored under his name. I'll be looking for it in October then. Thanks.
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Post by mxdata »

Chris has been very busy in his retirement, he helps out a number of museums with projects and he also is probably the only remaining rebuilder of the GE electric governors for the 244 series engines.
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Post by Alcoman »

Alcoman wrote:I assume you are referring to his book on the RS-27 which is currently at the printer. It should be out by the end of October.
CORRECTION: I recently talked with R. Steinbrenner and the RS-27 book is expected to be out in late November due to additional information that he was waiting for from a source.
I can tell you this much about it; It will be color 99%.It will be about 150 pages landscape format. the retail price is expected to be around $59.95.

Mr. Steinbrenner and Mr. MacDermont will both be at the Train Show in Albany NY Dec 2,2007. If the RS-27 book is done in time, a book signing for the RS-27 book and The Alco Centennial book will be available. If the book is not ready, a proof of the RS-27 book will be there to give you a sneak preview of the book. Pre-publication orders will be taken.

The book is covering every RS-27 built by Alco starting with the Demonstrators right up to the remaining 2 on the Minnesota Commercial.
This includes the Union Pacific, CNW,GB&W, Soo Line,Devco, Peabody coal, the lease units provided by MLW to CP and BCR.
This is a book worth waiting for.

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GE governors

Post by EDM5970 »

Not to nitpick, but the GE governor, typically a 17MG8, was used on the 251s as well. I think it was standard on 251s up until the Centuries came out, then purchasers had a choice betwen the GE or Woodward PG governors.

I've seen both governors on C-420s, and have a C-636 schematic that shows a Woodward. GB&W had a mixture on their C-424s. The units with 17MG8s were better liked by the crews as switchers; they would load up much faster.

Not to get too far of topic, although I'll bet someone in Schenectady would know, but why didnt GE use the 17MG8 on the U-boats? My educated guess is simplification; there is a lot of wiring, five relays, and a control panel associated with the electric governor. The Woodward is wired and works, well...... just like the governor on an EMD.

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Post by alcodoc »

GE wanted to use as little rotating equipment as possible on the U25s. The 17MG8 governor required use of the 17MM16 tachometer generator. Also the U25s had Three Field Excitation while Alco used Type "E". And yes, Type "E" was superior.

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Post by EDM5970 »

I was going to edit my post to include the double ended fuel pump and hydraulic pump, which would also be a piece of rotating equipment. Your answer makes sense.

Chris Macdermot once told me that the C-415 had three field, and that it didn't work very well. You think Alco would have learned from the U-boats. Or was it a cost savings, four relays and a set of resistors being cheaper than panels and cards? Of course you needed that GY-50 exciter instead of the GY-27.

Herr Spreng

Post by Herr Spreng »

To answer the original question, there have been other Alco employees who surfaced such as Bill Battle, Tom Anderson and a few others.

There was also a relatively large group of GE employees who staffed the Alco design group. The few guys that made the effort to speak to them were duly rewarded. Unfortunately, they were for the most part-ignored.

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Post by Otto Vondrak »

Glad to know an RS-27 book is coming out. Who is printing/publishing it?

-otto-
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Post by Alcoman »

Otto Vondrak wrote:Glad to know an RS-27 book is coming out. Who is printing/publishing it?

-otto-
The book is being published by On Track Publishing of New Jersey.

The format (Landscape) will look similar to the Alco Centennial Book also done by On Track Publishing.

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Post by alcodoc »

Elliott, I think Type E on the C415s would have made them much more successful. Hindsight is 20/20 though. The only reason 3 field worked on the U25s is that you have a large high torque 16 cylinder engine......3 field just about...did stall the 8 cylinder 251. They never ran right! Type E would have been taylor made for them.......Type E might be difficult to learn....but it hardly ever breaks!


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