• Alco/GE Builders Plate 69819 July 1942

  • 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

  by Fredrail

I am looking for any information on the history of this builders plate.
It is Schenectady plate, builder's number 69819, dated July 1942, and has both Alco and GE logos on it.
I suspect it is from an RS-1 with GE electrical equipment, but I could be wrong, and would appreciate any information anyone has.
Also, is there a comprehensive list of Alco builder's numbers available anywhere?


  by scottychaos
Took some creative googling, but I found it!
Alco C/N 69819 doesnt appear to be on-line anywhere, so I started looking for sister units..
searching for Alco 69820 brought it up! :P


Your plate 69819 is from an Alco S1, New Haven 946, built in July 1942.

  by Fredrail

I was not expecting a reply within 24 hours (or even a week, if truth be told.)
A creative google search (you aren't the only one) brought me to the same series of locomotives only 3 minutes ago - how time flies... ;-)

While this certainly narrows it down, be careful of assuming that the builder and the purchaser followed the same sequence in their numbering.
The series starts at 69814 on the Alco list, and runs 941-947 on the New Haven locomotive roster, but sometimes an engine would be delivered from the builder "out of sequence" which was no big deal for the railroad - they didn't care if 944 was pulling cars before 943 so long as the cars were moved - but it can cause confusion for those of us who are trying to identify something more than half a century old by looking at just a number on a piece of cast iron. Until we can find documentation that identifies a specific builder number belonging to a specific locomotive, I can only say that it is one of these seven New Haven S1 locomotives.

I am sorry if that sounds overly critical - that is not my intent - but I found a situation a while ago where the builder's construction numbers and the railroad's locomotive numbers were scrambled within a series of 10-12 units. That was on the PRR, and among Fairbanks-Morse engines, but what can happen to one builder (or railroad) can happen to another. This is not unique to locomotives - I was told that the makers of the early Gibson guitars had serial number plates made in batches, and the assembler would pull the plates out of a box that held several hundred plates. Which one was built on Tuesday and which one on Thursday? Nobody could tell. And they still can't - they are lucky to pin down the right year.

At least, we have identified the series of locomotives we are looking for, and for that, I am grateful. From 75,000+ down to 7 -- that is a significant reduction!

  by scottychaos
yes, I considered the "out of sequence" issue..
and I while I agree it can certaintly happen, in my experience (looking up tons of "survivor" locos) its quite rare..
and especially where all the locos in an order are in sequence, and go along with a specific road number sequence, (rather than a mix of numbers in either C/N or road numbers) IMO the odds are about 95% that the builders numbers are in sequence with the road numbers..

In this case, where the C/N and road numbers match up so nicely, I see no reason why they wouldnt be in sequence! its too neat to not be in sequence..

like I said, could be wrong!
it happens..
but I highly doubt it in this case..

lets see..maybe we can prove it! :)
in the case of this one order, if the numbers matched, they would have to look like this:

69814 NH 941
69815 NH 942
69816 NH 943
69817 NH 944
69818 NH 945
69819 NH 946
69820 NH 947

Searching for other builders numbers brings up!
http://www.alphabetroute.com/nynhh/rost ... elunit.pdf

go to page 6.. :P
case closed.. :wink: