• Alco S6

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

  by clutch
Does anyone out there know the value of a running Alco S6 with friction bearings? Also a guess on the cost of installing roller bearings. Thanks Clutch.

  by BR&P
With the problems of moving anything with friction bearings across the Class Is today, start with scrap value. Guess about 115 tons (?), and about $150 a ton. So that's about $17,000. Less the cost and expense of actually cutting it up. You could probably sell parts and make more, so anywhere from $20-25K.

I don't know the exact cost of replacing or converting to roller bearings but suspect it would exceed the cost of buying the loco. Some time ago I explored EMD trucks and they were around $18,000 each. It's supply and demand, if you find someone with some to get rid of at the right time maybe you'll be lucky.

So I'd guess you're looking at ballpark $50,000 or more to get a RB equipped S6. But that's just a guess, prices range all over - you could find one for half that or you could find some ASKING a lot more. I may be way off but this will get the discussion started. Good luck!
  by Alcoman
clutch wrote:Does anyone out there know the value of a running Alco S6 with friction bearings? Also a guess on the cost of installing roller bearings. Thanks Clutch.
You might want to contact RELCO as they have done a lot of truck conversions of this type.

  by scharnhorst
What about contacting any of these rail lines in Mexico or in Canada who are still runing or retireing there ALCO/MLW Units for parts?

There is also the option of moving it on a flatcar, to the location you want to use it at. There are no rules againt running one, on your railroad, just not able to use it, in interchange service. Another option, might be freight car trucks, with brake rigging made to work, for transporting only. :wink:

  by midwest fred
Plenty of AAR roller switcher trucks out there, but if you can pull the trucks where it is at and do the work figure $3K per axle for wheels and bearings. Fully rebuilt trucks figure at least $16K per truck (not necessarily inclusive of motors). Lots of other costs to factor in. I'd call around and find some trucks somewhere else to swap in, even if only for the move.

Good Luck.


  by scharnhorst
What about converting the current trucks over to Rollerbearings? I have seen a few Locomotives that retained the original trucks. I've also seen a few cars not many but a few in interchange with converted trucks as well.

  by BR&P
That's what Fred is saying in the post above yours - about $3,000 per axle to convert.

Some years back they converted some freight car trucks to roller bearings but retaining the boxes from friction bearings - it looked like a "roller bearing in a box". I believe they are no longer allowed in general interchange service. We acquired a ballast car with that arrangement a few years ago, and had to furnish the Class I rr with a written statement we would accept the car despite those bearings.

  by scharnhorst
Question thow How dose or would a railroad go about the movement of a full size steam locomotive with friction bearings in a cost to cost tour? As its been done befor in the past.

  by Aji-tater
Friction bearings are not ILLEGAL in interchange - the FRA does not have a restriction. The AAR interchange rules have declared them obsolete and no longer approved for regular interchange service. It's a rule, not a law.

There is nothing stating a railroad CANNOT accept friction bearing equipment, but the big guys do not want to handle them as many of the car department guys today are not familiar with them, parts such as brasses are not easily available and so forth. There are many FB cars still in captive service on regionals and short lines. And, if two adjacent carriers AGREED to accept FB cars from each other that is OK.

In the case of a big steam loco making a tour, maintenance usually would fall to the owners and not the railroad...I'd guess the group would have spare brasses and know how to change them if needed.

My take on plain bearing cars, in interchange, is based on the following: Cars in "restricted service", not for use in interchange service, and under FRA waiver/approval only. Section 49CFR 215, parts 215.201&203 paragraph (a) section (2), lists the requirements, to confer with Appendix "A", which then states, under section "E" "plain journal bearings". The plain journal bearing, is listed under "Restricted Equipment", under the scope of interchangeability, for cars not accepted, in interchange. They may continue to operate, in Restricted Service, on the road of ownership, with FRA approval/waivers only. My take on this, is that if a car is equipped with plain friction bearings, it may operate on road that owns said equipment, with prior approval/waivers, from the FRA, and the car is stenciled, as per part 215.303, and cars will not be accepted/presented, for interchange. There is a list of inspected items, for using plain bearings in service, but this would be, reasonably, under permission to continue use, from the FRA. Not having the complete set of "freight car safety standards" available at this location, the CFR, in the parts I mentioned, were what I used, to make my determination. Railroads may "place into service" (use) cars with the plain bearings, when the parts of 215.107,109,111,113 are met. It IS possible, that the cars are suitable to interchange, but I don't have the interchange rules available here, to verify that. Aji is probably correct, and without further material supporting the ban on interchange, I will defer to him. I do know, as a matter of consequence, most rule books, will have, as he mentioned, a requirement to reject plain bearing cars, if discovered in a train, at interchange points. (unless they are the cars, of the road you work for, then the cars are acceptable, under the provisions I provided above). Will continue to search, for the definitive rule of law, on this matter. :(

Added, after more research: The AAR's 1994 ban, of friction bearing equipped cars, and some discussion on it's effect, of movement of MOW equipment, between railroads, can be found here: http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/counsel/mowterm.pdf
This would seem to indicate, that the friction (plain) bearing equipped cars, and/or locos, are not to be presented, or accepted for interchange. I will look into this some more, but the three pages present, in the PDF, are pretty good reading, regarding friction bearings. Regards :-D

Also added, reference to removal of all plain bearings, with dates of removal from interchange service requirements: http://www.amstedrail.com/aar/C7513.htm
http://www.thefederalregister.com/d.p/2 ... 27-02-7364

I will note this, as an aside. The AAR's "Rules for Interchange" are just that. Rules. While the rules are mandatory, they are not "Laws", and don't carry the civil penalties, that the violation of a law, would incur. The items in the CFR are, Laws, and carry a list of penalties, or fines, for accidental, or "willful" violation, of those laws. As Aji states, the "rules" about plain bearings, are indeed seperate, from the Laws, in the CFR. Regards :wink: