50 years ago...

Discussion of products from the American Locomotive Company. A web site with current Alco 251 information can be found here: Fairbanks-Morse/Alco 251.

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50 years ago...

Postby JKR251 » Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:22 pm

It was 50 years ago to the day (January 1, 1965) that ALCO Products Inc. officially became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Worthington Corp. No longer in control of its own destiny, ALCO's fate now lay completely in the hands of others.

It was the beginning of the end some would say.

In just under two years, Worthington would go on to merge with Studebaker resulting in the creation of Studebaker-Worthington Inc. With the die now cast, the final chapter for ALCO was unfolding rapidly.

A shake-up of S-W Inc. corporate officials soon followed. And in an executive boardroom far removed from Schenectady, the fateful decision to terminate locomotive production was made.

Despite the valiant efforts of Union, NY State and Schenectady officials, there would be no stay of execution for ALCO.

JR
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Re: 50 years ago...

Postby Allen Hazen » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:00 pm

Given the way the trends in locomotive sales were going at the time, I doubt Alco would have stayed in the locomotive business much longer in any event. But my understanding is that at the end they were turning away business, perhaps even cancelling orders. Any idea if staying open another six months or a year would have been better for the bottom line than closing when they did?
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Re: 50 years ago...

Postby JKR251 » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:43 pm

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Re: 50 years ago...

Postby Alcoman » Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:55 am

S-W had no interest in ALCO or its business. ALCO was forced to turn away orders and cancel others because SW would not allow them to buy needed material to build locomotives. Considering that ALCO had canceled orders for about 100 locomotives worldwide, it was a major blow to the Company.
One question is WHY ALCO allowed S-W to come in to the picture anyway. It seems that ALCO was on a uphill battle anyway with GE as their main supplier of electrical gear which made it hard for ALCO to advance in that area.
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Re: 50 years ago...

Postby CREEPING DEATH » Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:18 pm

S-W was a sick sad joke that destroyed several major American corporations - but the 1960s corporate culture did that a lot. Look at the MILW, C&NW, CRI&P, etc. - all had a downfall that started in 1960s mismanagement. Studebaker, in particular, was mismanaged into oblivion by the same company that killed Alco.

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