• Alternative history: story and paint scheme

  • 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 Allen Hazen
If you are going to discuss as-never-was possibilities, it's more fun if you try to flesh out a scenario in which they might have been... So:

World War II is drawing to a close, and the Massachusetts state legislature has committes looking into post-war planning. The transportation committee has the foresight to see that basing a national transportation system entirely on highways and automobiles is lunatic: it proposes a variety of public transportation improvement projects, some involving public-private partnerships with railroad companies. One, that attracts enthusiastic support from legilators for the Worcester and Springfield distiricts, is to up-grade passenger service on the Inland Route between NY and Boston. (This service was run jointly by the New Haven and the New York Central (Boston and Albany). The route New YorkNY-->New HavenCT-->Hartford CT-->Springfield MA (this part NYNH&H, NYC(B&A) the rest of the way) -->WorcesterMA-->BostonMA is not much longer than the Shore Line route, and with good track could be about as fast.) After some discussion with the railroads, it is realized that IF the New Haven and the Boston and Albany ran their segments with the same sort of locomotives, the service fould be speeded up by running through Springfield without an engine change. A deal is struck: B&A will pay a part of the price of new diesel locomotives (after all, they will save money by retiring some maintenance-intensive steam power!) and the State will cover the rest of the price.
New York Central (Boiston and Albany) 760-767 are built as an extension of the New Haven's last Alco Dl-109 order, and are delivered in May and June of 1945. Initially delivered in a very austere, "Black Maria," pain scheme, they are subsequently repainted in full New York Central two-tone grey "Lightening Stripes." With silvered trucks.

(1) I'd love it if some modeler or photo-shop wizard could prove me wrong, but I'm afraid this wouldn't be altogether successful aesthetically. The Dl-109's low and slanting nose would be very hard to apply the Central's Lightening stripes to effectively. Of the cab units that ACTUALLY got painted in NYC colors, the closest approximation to the Dl-109's configuartion was, I think, the Baldwin "Babyface" design-- and from photos it seems to me that the Lightening Stripes don't work as well on these units as they do on types with higer and more nearly vertical noses.

(2) O.K., the story is moderately far-fetched: as far as I know, in @ the first state-financed passenger diesels were the GP40P for the Jersey Central and U34CH for Erie Lackawanna, over two decades later. Still, far-fetchedness is a relative matter. It seems to me that the stories needed to justify, say, an SDP45 in Rutland green would be even LESS plausible. ("Far-fetched," by the way, is actually used as a technical term by logicians discussing the semantic analysis of counterfactuals; the same people also use the symbol @ as a name for the "actual" world: history as it really happened.)

  by mxdata
Allen, your post reminds me that of all the paint schemes applied to the DL-100 series locomotives, my favorite was the Rock Island's, and that one is an EMD designed paint scheme.


  by Allen Hazen
It was a break from thinking about traction motors (grin!)....
As for E.M.D. paint schemes on non-E.M.D. locomotives, one of my favorites (as you know, I'm a fanatical fan of G.E. locomotives) was on Detroit Edison's U30C units: blue and silver E.M.D. demonstrator colors!