Pneudyne wrote:There were some dimensionally different DL535 variants/derivatives, about which more next year.
As mentioned previously, the Alco DL535 was 3’4” longer than the DL531. The truck centres were also moved out by 3’4”, from 28’0” to 31’4”, with the locomotive total wheelbase thus moving from 34’4” to 37’8”.
In 1965, Alco built the broad gauge DL535S for RENFE, Spain. This was four feet longer than the standard DL535, at 49’4”, with the extra length being in the short hood, so that it could accommodate both a dynamic brake unit and a train heating boiler, and not just one or the other. In this case the truck centres and total wheelbase were increased by three feet over that of the standard model. The DL535S was quite heavy, at 185 000 lb.
At the same time, Alco built the apparently similar, but metre gauge DL537 for OSE Greece. I haven’t seen explicit details, but I imagine that dimensionally it was the same as the DL535S. Why the different designations is not immediately apparent.
The 1969 three foot-gauge DL535E, as built for White Pass & Yukon, differed again. The overall length was 48’4”, three feet longer than standard, and this appears to have been taken up by the addition of front and rear end platforms. However, it retained the standard truck centres and total wheelbase, the extra length being obtained by increased overhangs, albeit asymmetrically so. The front overhang, truck centre to end-frame, was 9 ft, whereas the rear overhang was 8 ft, as compared with 7 ft at both ends for the standard DL535. So the running gear was effectively displaced 6 inches rearwards. This asymmetry was not unknown with low-short hood derivatives of what were originally high-short hood designs, and was found in some of the GE export Universals. This was a very heavy DL535 variant, at 210 000 lb. For comparison, base weight for the 12-cylinder DL541 (and probably also for the DL543) was 211 500 lb. And on the 3 ft gauge, the Colombia version of the GE U20C weighed 199 000 lb.
On weights, the 158 000 lb base number I previously quoted for the DL535 comes from the Alco listing in Jane’s 1969-70. Whilst Jane’s is not completely error-free, in general one assumes that what is manufacturer-provided data can be taken as being authentic. An earlier brief article in “Railway Gazette” (RG) for 1961 December 08 quote a base weight of 77 tons. Normally one would expect RG to quote in long tons unless otherwise annotated, but if so this would equate to roundly 172 000 lb, which seems too high. Possibly RG forgot to convert the short tons number provided by Alco. 77 short tons, 154 000 lb would make more sense. However, as there is an element of uncertainty, I am more comfortable with the 158 000 lb number on the basis of the information available to me.
That the DL535 gave Alco a competitor in the intermediate power class is illustrated by the progression of the Chilean State Railways (FFCCE) metre-gauge fleet. From the 900 hp GE U9C, its Dt9000 class, in 1957 it moved up to the 1200 hp GE U12C, its Dt12000 class, in 1961, followed by the 1200 hp Alco DL535, its Dt12100 class, in 1962. From there it went to the 1310 hp EMD GR12 as its Dt1300 class in 1963, and finally to the 1300 hp GE U13C as its Dt13100 class in 1968. So it fielded the Alco, GE and EMD contenders in this power class. The FFCCE version of the DL535 was quite heavy, at 187 000 lb.
mandealco wrote:I've been looking for information on any tenders Alco may have prepared for potential sale to New Zealand Railways.
The only case that I know of, and I think it is fairly well known, is that in the 1955 NZR tender that resulted in the initial EMD G12 order, Goodwin did bid an Alco model that could be sourced from Alco, MLW or its own production. The Goodwin offering was of 975 hp, so I imagine that it was something close to the DL531 design, but with A1A-A1A running gear. The DL531 was still a year away, but probably by then in the planning stages. I suspect that Goodwin knew that its offer, although compliant with the tender requirements, was not particularly competitive, and this may have been one of the first business opportunities in which Alco saw that its lack of an intermediate power locomotive was a disadvantage. Also, it was probably aware that despite the apparently open nature of the tender, that NZR had a very strong preference for the EMD design. GE bid a 1200 hp locomotive that was probably a precursor to its U12, then not too far in the future. Fairbanks Morse also bid, as did Baldwin licensee Cockerill of Belgium.
Whether there were any Alco contenders during the 1960s I do not know. One would have to search through the archives in Wellington to find hard information on any Alco locomotive designs offered to NZR - I haven’t tried it myself.
Presumably any “alternative history” would start with Alco locomotive designs that were actually bid or otherwise offered to NZR. Without that constraint, one may certainly come up with plausible model variations that would appear to have met the various NZR requirements, but that is entering the realm of speculation.
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