• What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

  • 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

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  by alcodoc
 
I'll add my three cents worth.........I manage the daily operation of 20 plus Alco locomotives of almost every model. I can assure you that finding parts are not a problem. Of course there are certain items that may/can be difficult to obtain. Some GE items were not a high mortality part might be tough to purchase simply because they did not fail very often and not many spares were made. Even 244 parts are available, some engine parts might require a few phone calls to find, but they are out there. Many parts are common to all models and many parts interchange with 244 powered locomotives. For example, we needed the "friction plate and bolster sleeve" for our C636. The OEM to Alco is still doing business and gladly made the parts for us. They even recognized the Alco part numbers! Many companies that supplied parts and material to Alco are still in business!

Don Colangelo, GVT, CMO
  by alcodoc
 
I'll add my three cents worth.........I manage the daily operation of 20 plus Alco locomotives of almost every model. I can assure you that finding parts are not a problem. Of course there are certain items that may/can be difficult to obtain. Some GE items were not a high mortality part might be tough to purchase simply because they did not fail very often and not many spares were made. Even 244 parts are available, some engine parts might require a few phone calls to find, but they are out there. Many parts are common to all models and many parts interchange with 244 powered locomotives. For example, we needed the "friction plate and bolster sleeve" for our C636. The OEM to Alco is still doing business and gladly made the parts for us. They even recognized the Alco part numbers! Many companies that supplied parts and material to Alco are still in business!

Don Colangelo, GVT, CMO
  by mandealco
 
Thanks for the informative post Don. Thanks to skilled folks like you, we may see operational Alcos around for many more years. Or at least till I can come back to the USA to see some again.
Cheers
Steve
  by mikado-2-8-2
 
I see a distinct link or pattern between a defunct locomotive builder a defunct auto maker, Alco & Studebaker which by the way were at one time corporately intertwined in ownership. Studebaker you can still get any part you want, even though they quit making cars around the same time Alco quit building locomotives in the US. A lot of the parts are used, remanufactured or NOS although more reproduction parts are being made as the NOS parts are finally depleted as demand is still there. As long as there is a market, someone will fulfill the need. All you have to do is look at the prohibition era in the US, it made millionaires out of two bit criminals that barely had $20.00 to their name before. The key is demand, if someone wants the product and is willing to pay what someone selling it for can make a decent profit for the item whether it is NOS, remanufactured or new than it will be available. If not then you have reached the end of the line. Nothing lasts forever.
  by airman00
 
Well by that logic, then as long as there are operational alco's still out there... then there will be a need for parts. The more remaining alco's that get sent to pasture the less need for parts. Let's hope a few old oos alco's get repaired and put back into service.
  by daylight4449
 
mikado-2-8-2 wrote:I see a distinct link or pattern between a defunct locomotive builder a defunct auto maker, Alco & Studebaker which by the way were at one time corporately intertwined in ownership. Studebaker you can still get any part you want, even though they quit making cars around the same time Alco quit building locomotives in the US. A lot of the parts are used, remanufactured or NOS although more reproduction parts are being made as the NOS parts are finally depleted as demand is still there. As long as there is a market, someone will fulfill the need. All you have to do is look at the prohibition era in the US, it made millionaires out of two bit criminals that barely had $20.00 to their name before. The key is demand, if someone wants the product and is willing to pay what someone selling it for can make a decent profit for the item whether it is NOS, remanufactured or new than it will be available. If not then you have reached the end of the line. Nothing lasts forever.
True... As far as the 244 engines go, you're starting to run out of luck. 539s... Well, the Russians built thousands more for nearly all of their early diesels as the Penza 2D50. Same thing, although I'm curious on how closely compatible the parts are. 251s are fine for the time being. Maybe with some of the industrial 3D printers that are coming onto the market (that can work with different metals), one could start to deal with some of these parts shortages...
  by scharnhorst
 
daylight4449 wrote:
mikado-2-8-2 wrote:I see a distinct link or pattern between a defunct locomotive builder a defunct auto maker, Alco & Studebaker which by the way were at one time corporately intertwined in ownership. Studebaker you can still get any part you want, even though they quit making cars around the same time Alco quit building locomotives in the US. A lot of the parts are used, remanufactured or NOS although more reproduction parts are being made as the NOS parts are finally depleted as demand is still there. As long as there is a market, someone will fulfill the need. All you have to do is look at the prohibition era in the US, it made millionaires out of two bit criminals that barely had $20.00 to their name before. The key is demand, if someone wants the product and is willing to pay what someone selling it for can make a decent profit for the item whether it is NOS, remanufactured or new than it will be available. If not then you have reached the end of the line. Nothing lasts forever.
True... As far as the 244 engines go, you're starting to run out of luck. 539s... Well, the Russians built thousands more for nearly all of their early diesels as the Penza 2D50. Same thing, although I'm curious on how closely compatible the parts are. 251s are fine for the time being. Maybe with some of the industrial 3D printers that are coming onto the market (that can work with different metals), one could start to deal with some of these parts shortages...
Not much info out there but The TEM's are still in service in Ukraine. Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia are retiring what's left of the Soviet built TEM's and buying up a lot of old GE diesel units most notably former Conrail units being sold off be CSX and some Ex Union Pacific units.
http://alcoworld.railfan.net/plagiate.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by renrut44
 
Production of 251B engined Alco locomotives continues in India

1012-13 Annual report for DLW http://www.dlw.indianrailways.gov.in/wo ... 13__2_.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Page 44 13 Export locos completed in 2012-13
49 new type Alco conrods
52 development of high efficiency turbocharger
109 orders in hand for Alco loco production 2013-14, total of 31 units

Production of Alco blocks is due to be moved from Varanasi to the Golden Rock Workshops at Tiruchirappalli, to clear room for 16 and 20 Cylinder EMD production at Varanasi, which is ramping up

This is a new build 3'6" gauge 3300HP unit in Mozambique
https://www.flickr.com/photos/youthwith ... 1615966313" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://www.flickr.com/photos/youthwith ... 1615966313" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

2013 build for Bangladesh
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 0514_n.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://new.rites.com/index.php?page=shownews&id=7" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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