How hard would it be to build a locomotive?

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

Moderator: Alcoman

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Locomotive meyhem...

Post by Komachi » Sun May 09, 2004 7:45 am

Only GE, EMD or Hitachi for electricals? I know they haven't been involved in the loco. buisiness for a while, but wouldn't ya think that Westinghouse would take another stab at it? (Hey, was that a pig that just buzzed my window?)

I think I'm going to otherwise stand with the naysayers here. I started a thread on the previous incarnation of regarding a new ALCo. and we pretty much came to the conclusion that it ain't happening. Dream all ya want, but reality rules otherwise.

I'm going to duck offstage now to avoid the rotten fruit rappidly approaching in my direction and go before the temple of the sacred 251 to repent my blasphomey. :wink:


Post by wess » Sun May 09, 2004 2:51 pm

You dont read too much sience fiction do you? Theres stuff writers in the nineteenth century wrote about that we in the 21,st century now enjoy, so while you choose to hide in the naysayers corner, you at least provided something constructive. So for the moment, I,ll save the tomatoes for the moderator to throw at the ones who really deserve it. When I get time, I would like to sit down with a CAD loaded computer sometime and have fun. So if anyone else has something to throw in here besides preventing friends from using Alco locomotives. At least, make it something I can find usable. This thread had gotten off to a nasty start, and I dont want it to end on a nasty note. Can we just designate this the dreamers thread then?

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SF NUT!!!!!

Post by Komachi » Tue May 11, 2004 11:52 pm

Ah, yes, the great H.G. Wells was a great visionary, wasn't he? Although, I prefer the writings of William Gibson myself.

But, now that we're entering the realm of speculative fiction, as I mentioned on a thread on the former (in regards to building a new ALCo. unit), I'd like to see the reintroduction of the classic ALCo. PA/FA nose (I'm sure that thing would meet tier II standards with no problem) on said "dream" unit, give it a touch of class.

But that's my personal oppinion.


Post by wess » Thu May 13, 2004 11:27 pm

That opinion is quite welcome. I wouldnt mind seeing that face grace the rails myself. :D


Post by Railpac » Fri May 14, 2004 10:08 pm

My friend and I not too long ago were debating what the perfet locomotive would be, I came up with that the locomotive would have an ALCO carbody (for style and class), an EMD engine (for ease of maintainence, and reliability), and GE electrical system (GE can't design diesel engines and locomotives worth-a-crap, but they make some of the most reliable electricals out there). What do you all say about that little idea of mine?


Post by wess » Sat May 15, 2004 2:48 am

It would be a viable idea, however GE to this day is still quite hostile towards any mention of ALCO. Without a doubt, the GE-ALCO combination was the best, but if you can get GE to license their electricals in an ALCO powered locomotive, then it would be on the same level as Moses parting the Red Sea for a miracle. I wish they would. I believe this combination is the best. But until GE sees the light, it wont happen



Post by fglk » Fri May 28, 2004 3:25 pm

Last edited by fglk on Thu Aug 19, 2004 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.


I,d like to do more than dream here

Post by wess » Sat May 29, 2004 1:46 am

Anyone involved with locomotive construction or operation want to help in this thread? I did try to invite Casey back, but it seems that he,s a bit miffed about disciplinary action taken on this thread and it wasnt even him that the lock was imposed. Would the real railroaders kindly humor a nut? I,d like to do more than dream here

Ol' Loco Guy

Heresy ?

Post by Ol' Loco Guy » Sat Jun 05, 2004 6:51 pm


How DARE you mention the word "EMD" in this forum !!!!
Of course, I'm just kidding. To answer your question, the EMD N/A 645 series is capable of meeting Tier II. The OEM and the aftermaket aren't going to let that cash cow go down the drain.


Why are you so stuck on this question ? All kinds of folks have told you that new Alcos aren't going to happen-and they won't. It is Business 101
at work. The C420 is not a good starting point-it is obsolete-in all kinds of

One would need to start with a clean sheet of paper to build an Alco powered locomotive. That is expensive-and no manager is going to risk
his career on such a move. There are a number of suppliers for locomotives-not only in North America but throughout the world.

Shortlines do not compare to Class 1's. They can afford to run "oddball" power because of low overhead-and the fact that expertise is usually centralized. How many shops does the DL have ? Just one.

Give this topic a rest...and let it die.

Allen Hazen
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Post by Allen Hazen » Sun Jun 06, 2004 11:23 pm

Ol' Loco Guy--
Thanks for the information re the obsolescent diesel engine design from the unmentionable company (Grin!). ... My impression is that if you WANTED to maximize pollution, you'd go for a non-turbocharged two-stroke. To keep locomotives with that power-plant in service... How are the Tier II rules worded? Is it just pollution per kilowatt/hour WHEN IN USE (in which case you really have to clean up the engine), or is it partly a matter of pollution per unit of time (in which case, CSX's trick with Auxiliary Power Units could be a big help: locomotives in the 1500-2000 hp range tend to spend a large part of the day idle, and not even the unmentionable's engines pollute when they are shut down).


Post by wess » Tue Sep 07, 2004 8:18 pm

someone want to post the link for that clean-air act stuff? I,d be interested in that myself. Since it seems that would be the biggest stumbling block along with the other "handicaps" mentioned in this and previous wishful thinking threads


Post by wess » Sat Jan 08, 2005 12:39 pm

Just for grins and giggles, and to keep this thread going. I,ll suggest using a few of the ideas the Australians came up with for their Centuries. Some of you know I,m referring to the Pilbara re-builds with the full cab and extended cooling capacity. Still didnt get that link for tier three. Anyone?

Oh well

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Post by mxdata » Sat Jan 08, 2005 2:19 pm

Here is the link to the locomotive related emissions information at the EPA website. This page has the links which take you to various subject areas. Note that if you want to download and print all this stuff, you end up with a book about four inches thick.


Post by wess » Fri May 06, 2005 10:29 am

Thanx for the link. And for now, I,m going to hold off on any kind of speculative fiction. Ol Loco Guy you want to bring some more sunshine into this thread? I dont want it to die out. Yet.

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Post by Alcoman » Fri May 06, 2005 12:28 pm

We will not let this thread die....not by a long shot.

In India, the "epa" people over there did a test of the Alco 251 and found it is already close to meeting Tier II standards without any further tweaking. This was published on a website as part of the DLW webpage.
Now if they(FM/Alco) tweak this engine, I suspect they would meet the "EPA" requirements in this country without too much fuss.
They may haver to do it anyway as I understand that the EPA is cracking down on the Marine and Stationary engine business too.

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