• 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 Lehighton_Man
 
Personally, the 710ECO is nothing more than a beefed up 567 to me. Just rebuilt to meet EPA PC people bullcrap standards. what'd i'd love to do is get a few of those monster C636s over there in Cohocton up and going to the WNYP moving a coal train, and spitting black smoke, just to piss off those EPA people. Its so stupid anyway. And the 710ECO may be a threat, but if F-M can find a way to fiddle with the V6 251's to put out 3k HP, i highly doubt that older units like RS3s and what not would be on their way out. Especially with many of these shortlines, that still use ALCos, for power to switch to those 710ECO units would be a task no doubt met with a big rejection.
my 2c.
Sean
  by Alcoman
 
Lehighton_Man wrote:Personally, the 710ECO is nothing more than a beefed up 567 to me. Just rebuilt to meet EPA PC people bullcrap standards. what'd i'd love to do is get a few of those monster C636s over there in Cohocton up and going to the WNYP moving a coal train, and spitting black smoke, just to piss off those EPA people. Its so stupid anyway. And the 710ECO may be a threat, but if F-M can find a way to fiddle with the V6 251's to put out 3k HP, i highly doubt that older units like RS3s and what not would be on their way out. Especially with many of these shortlines, that still use ALCos, for power to switch to those 710ECO units would be a task no doubt met with a big rejection.
my 2c.
Sean
Alco does not make a V6; only a In-Line 6. Before Bombardier shut down the loco business, they were working on a "NEW" 4 cycle engine based on the 251 called the B2400. This engine was built as a test bed in the V12 configuration and BBD had managed to get 3,000 hp out of it. I see no reason why FM cannot do the same with the 251 since they already have been doing R&D for EPA Tier II and above. FM/Alco has a big customer base especially with the Marine and Stationary engine business which I am sure will not give up on anytime soon.
I still believe that there is a market out there for a medium horsepower(1,000 to 2,000) rebuilt Alco that would fit in the market where customers want a locomotive that is familiar to them like the 251. Most shortlines and industrial operations are not able or willing to spend $1-3 million for a locomotive that sees limited use. It would take them 50 years to recoup that kind of investment.
Alcos are less expensive to buy and operate compared to EMD's or GE's .. Parts are still made for 251 engines and there are plenty of reconditioned and used parts as well.
  by Lehighton_Man
 
hmm ok alcoman, i thought they made a V6. hah
anyway, i dont see the trouble if the need comes to having to repower a worn 539 like from a S4 and swapping it with a inline 251 6cyl. or would it fit?
Thats the only question i pose, if like a inline 6 or a V8 251 would work in place of a 539?
Sean
  by Alcoman
 
I am not sure if repowering an S-unit would work, although I have heard its been done in Mexico at one time on RS-1's. I suspect there are technical reasons why its has not been done in the United States.Without studying the differences of the two engines(539 vs 251), I can only guess that the two engines are different in height or length or the way they sit in the engine compartment. Perhaps one of our CMO members could tell us.
Why would you want to do it anyway? There are S-6 switchers out there that could be rebuilt a lot easier with more modern electrical 's to boot. Heck, I know of at least one T-6 shell that could be used for a rebuilding project like that.
  by pablo
 
There are always major problems when swapping a whole engine into a locomotive it was not meant for. As a whole, it is either not successful due to financial concerns (costs too much to do - look for any research from EMD or ALCo as they tried to repower early versions of other units) or there are problems. For instance, in some cases, the engine is an integral part of the load bearing structure of the locomotive, and that's due to the strength of the block. You alter that, you have concerns.

Separately, you almost always have to completely remove the original electrical system and start over...I'm thinking the problems with DeWitt rebuilds at the start before they also did the entire electrical cabinet, too.

Of course it can be done. Doyle is rebuilding his PA with a 251 out of a newer M420, so of course it can be done. Specific to Sean's example, though, I vaguely remember the dimensions of an RS-2 or 3 not working with the 251 block.

Dave Becker
  by Luther Brefo
 
Dave,

What about D&H's RS3u? Weren't these RS-3 upgraded with a 251 V-12 as part of the upgrade? I understand the only thing they could not get to fit under the hood after raising the hood about 6 inches were the optional dynamics and this was in part due to the chopping of the short nose? Just wondering and thinking out loud here.
  by pablo
 
Luther, you bring up a good point. I would assume, though, that this would be one of those cases where it was cost prohibitive instead of mechanically prohibitive.

There are others here that likely know more...and I'd love to hear more.

Dave Becker
  by MEC407
 
Lehighton_Man wrote:...the 710ECO is nothing more than a beefed up 567...
That simply isn't true. The 710ECO has about as much in common with a 567 as a 2008 Chevy Silverado has in common with a 1960 Chevy C10.
  by pwormald
 
NREC is busy in Greece upgrading their fleet of MLW MX636 (8 locos, 2 wrecked long ago), MX627 (all 20 of the fleet still active), 11 DL537 (1 cut up) narrow gauge, and now the 7 (out of 10) remaining DL532B are also getting treatment.

Both the MX627 and MX636 are 251F engined monsters and these units really do sound good. They now have GE turbos fitted.

Photos from MX627 rebuild are here:
http://locopage.fotopic.net/p21922710.html
http://locopage.fotopic.net/p21922711.html
http://locopage.fotopic.net/p21922712.html
http://locopage.fotopic.net/p35805415.html
http://locopage.fotopic.net/p35805416.html
http://locopage.fotopic.net/p35805417.html
  by MEC407
 
Great photos!
  by carbone
 
I'm working on the study on American Short Lines. My goal is to identify all Alco locomotives and their traction motors, traction and auxiliary generators, compressors, blowers etc.

I have some difficulties to find information about rebuilt locomotives as GP10, GP8, SD20-2 etc..., and with some specific locomotives as GP7u, GP40-2LW, NW2M, RS-3m etc....

Auxiliary generators, blowers and air compressors exact types/ loco are also not easy to find.

Do you have some technical manuals, or files per Alco locomotive?

I really appreciate your help,

Thank you in advance,
  by scharnhorst
 
carbone wrote:I'm working on the study on American Short Lines. My goal is to identify all Alco locomotives and their traction motors, traction and auxiliary generators, compressors, blowers etc.

I have some difficulties to find information about rebuilt locomotives as GP10, GP8, SD20-2 etc..., and with some specific locomotives as GP7u, GP40-2LW, NW2M, RS-3m etc....

Auxiliary generators, blowers and air compressors exact types/ loco are also not easy to find.

Do you have some technical manuals, or files per Alco locomotive?

I really appreciate your help,

Thank you in advance,
Most GP8's, GP10's, GP11's, and GP16's as well as SD20's were rebuilds done by the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad and Later Illinois Central. The Rock Island Railroad also did some rebuilds and produced GP8's for Conrail there were a few outher Railroads that built them but these two were the big time rebuilders for Locomotives in the 1970's.

The Alco RS-3M program started under Penn Central and went on into Conrail from the mid 70's on till I think 1978 useing engines from retired EMD F-units or E Units? I beleve. MKT used EMD 16-567C engions and EMD Hoods, Missouri Pacific 12-567 engions but retained ALCO Hoods, and Rock Island Railroad used 16-567C engions and EMD Hoods when rebuilding some RS-3's.
  by nessman
 
I think the future of Alco locomotives is about the same as my 45 year old Mercury outboard engine. It's a good, reliable engine. As long as you maintain it, it will continue to run indefinitely. But it's no longer made and factory support was dropped decades ago.

It's loud, has no emissions controls, it drips fuel/oil and uses more fuel than I'd like - the EPA frowns at me for running it.

However, local marine mechanics won't touch anything older than 20-25 yrs. The guy who does the work on it for me lives 2+ hours away and is pushing 60 yrs old (if he isn't there already and who knows how much knowledge he's transferred on to the younger generation). Parts aren't as common as they once were.

At some point, it's gonna break down - some part I need isn't anywhere to be found and it'll have to be scrapped or parted out... or it's just gonna get too expensive to maintain and I'd be better off with something newer and more fuel efficient.

Those old Mercs with the chrome trim and whatnot- man, when you polish them up, they're pretty to look at, but a "restored" outboard engine is just gonna take up space in the garage and eventually the wife will give me an ultimatum.

Not much different than an old Alco.
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