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.

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Ol' Loco Guy

Post by Ol' Loco Guy » Wed Jul 20, 2005 7:54 pm

A new 16 cylinder FDL seems to be rather inexpensive compared to a new 12-251 quoted at $ 750,000.

wess

Post by wess » Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:52 pm

So
If one wants to build one for this tight market. What ranges and options would you choose?

I,d propose 2 4-axle models and 3 6-axle

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MEC407
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Post by MEC407 » Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:57 pm

It would depend on your target audience. Are we marketing this thing to Class I roads, or to regionals and shortlines?
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Allen Hazen
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Market entry

Post by Allen Hazen » Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:40 am

O.K., hypothetical: we've ironed out the technical problems and raised funding and we want to enter the North American locomotive market. Short lines don't buy many new units, and industrials are definitely a niche market, so we are aiming at the Class-1's and large regionals.
Intuitively, speaking from the depth of my vast business experience*, I'd say we should start with a heavy switcher or light road-switcher-- something we could advertise as an economical GP-38 replacement-- that people like Union Pacific could buy maybe ten of out of petty cash to see what they thought of our workmanship, and then-- as the good word about how reliable and efficent our "little" units were starts getting around-- introduce a full-size six-axle mainline freight unit (in maybe the 5,000 hp range) incorporating as many of the same components as possible.
Hmmm. Seems to me that there's precedent for THAT business strategy. And disappointingly (for those tempted to follow it) few Caterpillar engined M-K units working on the nation's rails.
---
* Well, I did help manage a coffee house for a while when I was a student. :-)

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MEC407
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Post by MEC407 » Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:39 am

And there in lies the problem. No matter how good the locomotive is, if it doesn't have an EMD or GE powerplant inside, the railroads simply aren't interested.
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Ol' Loco Guy

Post by Ol' Loco Guy » Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:21 pm

Guess what ?

NREC is building a new locomotive-but it ISN'T Alco powered-yet at the same time, there is a slight family resemblance.

Check the UP website for further details.

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MEC407
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Post by MEC407 » Wed Aug 31, 2005 4:55 pm

Yup, looks like a cross between a C415 and some sort of EMD switcher.

I think it's rather unfortunate that they insist on naming this thing a "truck engine switcher" and marketing it as a low-polluting unit -- that implies that truck engines, and therefore trucks in general, are somehow inherently less polluting than locomotives.
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Pan Am Railways — Boston & Maine/Maine Central — Delaware & Hudson
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Providence & Worcester — New England — GE Locomotives

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