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.

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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby MEC407 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:38 pm

I think what you meant to say is that they'll be buying the new HR618AC from Bombardier -- it's got a Tier 3 18-251 under the hood rated at 4500 HP, and GE AC traction motors . :wink:

(you've got to admit that would be one heck of a beast!)
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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby Alcoman » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:03 pm

MEC407 wrote:I think what you meant to say is that they'll be buying the new HR618AC from Bombardier -- it's got a Tier 3 18-251 under the hood rated at 4500 HP, and GE AC traction motors . :wink:

(you've got to admit that would be one heck of a beast!)


You are right. 4,500 horsepower each! What a sound those would make climbing the Ozark Mts!
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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby MEC407 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:16 pm

Would make an SD70ACe sound like a kid's toy. :wink:
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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby steamal » Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:38 pm

Let's see--- The last ALCO locomotives were manufactured in 1969. ALCO kept manufacturing spare parts for a while after that, while Montreal Locomotive Works, a Canadian sister company of ALCO, continued manufacturing locomtives. In the '80s, Bombardier acquired MLW. Now, in 2012, no more MLW lcomotives are manufactured. Eventually, about 30 years from now at the very least, the supply for ALCO spare parts is going to run out. Maybe you could cannibalize MLW or Bombardier locomotives, but that wouldn't keep you going very long; maybe another 10 years (on top of the 30 I've already predicted).
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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby Alcoman » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:17 pm

steamal wrote:Let's see--- The last ALCO locomotives were manufactured in 1969. ALCO kept manufacturing spare parts for a while after that, while Montreal Locomotive Works, a Canadian sister company of ALCO, continued manufacturing locomtives. In the '80s, Bombardier acquired MLW. Now, in 2012, no more MLW lcomotives are manufactured. Eventually, about 30 years from now at the very least, the supply for ALCO spare parts is going to run out. Maybe you could cannibalize MLW or Bombardier locomotives, but that wouldn't keep you going very long; maybe another 10 years (on top of the 30 I've already predicted).


The above may be true for carbody parts, but as long as FM/ALCO builds the 251 engine and GE continues with electrical gear (much of which is usable on ALCO diesels) and DLW in India continues to build brand new ALCO locomotives, I don't see too much of a problem here.
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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby alcodoc » Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:11 am

Gentlemen, As CMO of a railroad that operates 25 Alcos............We can get almost any part we need..new or used to keep out fleet running. There are many suppliers that furnish all kinds of parts.....Yes, there are a few GE low mortality parts that may not be manufactured anymore, but they don't fail very often and many can be purchased used or even as "new old stock parts". And just for the record...General Electric renewal parts department is very helpful on all levels and still makes many parts. Alco engine parts such as heads, liners, pistons, rings, and such are easy to purchase and componets for an Alco power pack change out cost less than EMD!


Don Colangelo, GVT, CMO
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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby RS115 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:59 am

Thanks for the information. I'm wondering if Alcodoc or others can comment on whether there is really a multi-part answer to this question. I understand that obtaining parts for newer Alcos (let's say the Century series) is doable. Does the picture change when discussing older models/engines? Obviously DL has the "triplets" running with 244 series engines which are very rare, particularly doing "real" work. Tourist and short lines still have RS-1's and other 539 powered stuff running around (admittedly my first love). What is their parts situation/outlook on the "first generation" stuff?

Thanks
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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby mp15ac » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:23 pm

MEC407 wrote:I think what you meant to say is that they'll be buying the new HR618AC from Bombardier -- it's got a Tier 3 18-251 under the hood rated at 4500 HP, and GE AC traction motors . :wink:

(you've got to admit that would be one heck of a beast!)


Meanwhile GE gets 4500hp from six cylinders!

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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby MEC407 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:33 pm

I think you meant 12 (GEVO-12 is 4400+), but I understand the point you're trying to make. :wink:
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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby airman00 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:32 pm

Well I just happened upon this topic, and I like the sound of the s1/s2 and the rs-1. I've ridden the catskill mountain railroad and love the sound of those old alco's revving up. I believe both of those alco's CMRR 401 and 407 both have 539 engines? Anyway great sounding engines! :-) I hope old alco's like that never die.
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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby MEC407 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:31 pm

Alcoman wrote:The A&M is planning to retire its entire ALCO fleet in the next few years.

nessman wrote:I read the article but no where did it say they were retiring their entire Alco fleet. Just that they were going to invest in some new locomotives.

thebigham wrote:Based on an article at Trains Newswire, the A&M does not plan on replacing their Alcos.


Unfortunately, at least some of A&M's Alcos will indeed be replaced by units from that off-brand locomotive manufacturer whose name we shall not speak of...

More info here: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=174&t=83589#p1197118
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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby scharnhorst » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:41 am

Future still looks good for them here in Ukraine saw what looked to be like an RSC-1 Copy down here in Kherson, Ukraine getting photos was not possible with a not vary friendly security guard standing by the open gate at the River Barge Terminal.
no matter the weather or the country I'll still be trackside!
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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby Alcoman » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:27 pm

Be sure to check out Railswap.Org and you will see that the A&M has ALCO parts for sale. The are according to a statement made by the railroad going to retire some of the C420's after they get the Junk they just purchased.
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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby Redshirt214 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:00 pm

If I could put in my two cents, I think that there is a possibility we have not considered in the ALCO spare parts problem. You see, the general assumption is that spare parts have to be purchased from a company which makes them, since unlike steam locomotives parts, replicating them to acceptable tolerances is impossible. However, I think I know a way around this: why not make CAD files of all the parts and tools for, say a 244? You could post these files on a website, and then when a railroad needed a spare part, they could send it to a company which could use CNC machines to mill them up a batch?
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Re: What does the future hold for Alco locomotives?

Postby scharnhorst » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:30 pm

Redshirt214 wrote:If I could put in my two cents, I think that there is a possibility we have not considered in the ALCO spare parts problem. You see, the general assumption is that spare parts have to be purchased from a company which makes them, since unlike steam locomotives parts, replicating them to acceptable tolerances is impossible. However, I think I know a way around this: why not make CAD files of all the parts and tools for, say a 244? You could post these files on a website, and then when a railroad needed a spare part, they could send it to a company which could use CNC machines to mill them up a batch?


It's a nice idea but the issue with it is it has to be a worth while order for the company makeing the part the price to make the part may exceed the price of the matreals needed to make it. I don't think you'll find many tight budgeted Reginals or Shortlines wanting to fork over lets say 3 million for exsample for 50 piston's when they may only need or want two.
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