ALCO/MLW drawings needed

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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RGlueck
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ALCO/MLW drawings needed

Post by RGlueck » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:40 am

I am looking for scanned drawings for ALCO/MLW FA locomotives, specifically FA1 design. I have searched the web and pulled most of what is probably out there. The thing I need are scans with measurements depicting the roof design, curves etc. I am presently in the middle of constructing a 1/8th scale FA1 for "live Diesel" operation. Please PM correspondence or post here.
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RGlueck
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Re: ALCO/MLW drawings needed

Post by RGlueck » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:36 am

Don't everybody respond at once!

Marty Feldner
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Location: Warwick New York

Re: ALCO/MLW drawings needed

Post by Marty Feldner » Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:04 am

A thought- Alco operating manuals. They contain scale equipment layout drawings that might be sufficient for your needs. I have a few here; there might be an FA in the mix, but they're buried so deep it would take a while to find them. Check Ebay- they're out there, for reasonable prices.

Allen Hazen
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Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: ALCO/MLW drawings needed

Post by Allen Hazen » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:06 am

There are a number of Alco operating manuals (including, I think, one that would cover the FA-1) at George Elwood's very valuable "Fallen Flags" rail image website: by all means check it out. I fear, though, that the drawings may not be detailed enough for someone building a large-scale model.
Something like four FA-1 drawings in HO scale have been published in model railroading magazines I have in my collection: I will try to dig them out and post references in a few days (the house is in a bit of an upheaval after trying to make space to install a new computer...).

Note that FA-1 weren't all completely alike. The first ones, in particular, built for the GM&O, differ in several notable features from later production: if you want to make an accurate model of a particular prototype, look for photos as well as drawings: George Elwood's site is GREAT for that.

Allen Hazen
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: ALCO/MLW drawings needed

Post by Allen Hazen » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:13 am

Hmmm... The relevant old model railroad magazines... seem to be deeper in household chaos than expected (but I'll keep looking).
Meanwhile... Kalmbach (the company that publishes Model Railroader) published a book called "The Model Railroad Cyclopedia, vol. 2: Diesel Locomotives" (drawing on articles previously published in the magazine). It contains (HO scale) drawings of an FA-1. Just to prove the point about not all FA-1 having been alike, the drawing shows the early, small, number-board/class-light fittings on the sides of the nose, but two of the photos shown with it show units with the later, angled, number-board boxes on the nose.
--
HO drawings in model railroad sources don't show all the details that will be visible in a 1/8 scale model, but they have at least some dimensions marked. If you can't find something better, they will perhaps give you a framework which you can fill in with details drawn from photographs.

S1f3432
Posts: 240
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 6:59 pm

Re: ALCO/MLW drawings needed

Post by S1f3432 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:53 pm

Extra 2200 South Issue 38 ( Jan-Feb 1973 ) has an article about the development of the FA1 with external drawings
as well as cut-away drawings showing internal machinery layout of both the demonstrator and production A units.
Issue 39 ( Mar-Apr 1973 ) has similar info and drawings for the FA2 and FPA4. I seem to recall a substantial article
about the FA's in Trains Magazine but I'm not able to lay my hands on it at the moment. Those with a Trains
subscription may be able to access it online.

Marty Feldner
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:50 pm
Location: Warwick New York

Re: ALCO/MLW drawings needed

Post by Marty Feldner » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:37 am

That issue of Extra 2200 South is currently listed on Ebay...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Extra-2200-Sou ... SwuUtc5KcC

Allen Hazen
Posts: 2461
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:14 pm
Location: Edmonton, Canada (formerly Melbourne, Australia)

Re: ALCO/MLW drawings needed

Post by Allen Hazen » Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:13 pm

HO drawings of FA-1 are in Model Railroader for February 1969. Railroad Model Craftsman for August 1973 has an article about the detail differences in the first FA-1, built for the GM&O: the article is about modifying a commercially available model of a standard FA-1 to represent this variant, with an undimensioned drawing. (One useful thing here: some of the carboy trusses are visible through the screening at the top of the sides, and the drawing marks their location.)
The two-part Trains article on the FA (both FA-1 and FA-2) mentionedby S1f3432 is in the June and July 1975 issues: lots of photos and some data, but no drawings.
---
Alas, I fear that none of these are good enough for the purpose of large-scale modelling. Ideally, of course, you would want photocopies of the original Also-GE plans! I think it likely that these have survived, but I'm not sure where you'd go to look for them. I believe that when Alco left the locomotive business, a lot of papers were donated to the library of Union College in Schenectady: a reference librarian there might be able to tell you whether they COULD help you. Another possibility is to find a preserved FA-1 (I think the Railroad Museum of New England, in western Connecticut, and the national Canadian Railway Museum in Delson Quebec (outside Montreal) have FA-1 units) and visit it with cameras and tape measure!
My guess is that the dynamic brake hatch and the circular radiator fan housing -- two of the most prominent roof features -- would be the same on the FA-2 if you can't get detailed images specifically of FA-1.
Sorry I can't be more helpful. Your project of a 1/8 scale FA-1 is marvellous; thanks for posting the under-construction photo in your first post!

Flakeroni
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Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:12 pm

Re: ALCO/MLW drawings needed

Post by Flakeroni » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:04 pm

Rail Data Exchange (raildata@yahoo.com) has quite a few high resolution scans of Alco erection drawings in the collection, I know for sure they have the FA-1 and FB-1. Might be your best bet, from personal experience the manual drawings can be less than reliable.

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