by Tommy Meehan
Just to backtrack a bit, the assertion that the price of customization didn't stop New Haven from ordering FL9's. The Alpert regime ordered the FL9s as part of a plan to phase out operation of electric locomotives (which they largely accomplished). The need to be able to operate the locomotives on third rail wasn't an option; if they wanted to run them in and out of Grand Central they had no choice. The new locomotives had to be dual mode. But the reason for choosing dual mode diesels was to save money by reducing electric operation. (Whether it actually accomplished that is very questionable but that's besides the point.) It wasn't an expensive add-on the New Haven wanted for its own sake, it was an expensive add-on the NH couldn't avoid.